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Gerald Ford's 'Free Poland' Gaffe – 1976

Feeding Frenzy During a critical debate with Jimmy Carter a month before the presidential election, President Gerald R. Ford declared in response to a question from the New York Times' Max Frankel, "There is no Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe." While the statement may have been prophetic, given the events of a decade later, it was absurd at the time.

The press pounced on this passage of the debate and wrote of little else for days afterward, so much so that a public initially convinced that Ford had won the debate soon turned overwhelmingly against him.

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© Copyright 1998 Larry J. Sabato

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