Former president Jimmy Carter says he hopes Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is not the Democratic nominee for president in 1984 because he is not sure he could be trusted to make complicated decisions in a crisis.
Carter also said he was "absolutely" prepared to launch a military attack on Iran's capital had one of the 53 Americans held hostage in Tehran been injured or killed.
In an interview with Barbara Walters on "20-20" (ABC, WJLA), Carter blamed the economy, the challenge from Kennedy and the hostage crisis for his 1980 election loss to Reagan.
Asked if he thinks Kennedy could be trusted to react "with integrity" in a crisis, Carter replied: "I'm not sure."
"I hope he's not the nominee in 1984. He would not be my favorite," Carter said.
The former president reserved sharp criticism for his successor, saying he was "amazed and disconcerted" by a meeting the two had before Reagan took office.
Carter said he "had identified 15 or 20 of the most crucial issues for our country" for Reagan and "my impression was that he was not interested, in particular, and probably wouldn't recall what I was telling him, and asked me no questions, didn't take any notes."