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The best president of his lifetime, Ford said, was a more moderate Republican: Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Ford considered John F. Kennedy overrated and Bill Clinton average. He admired George H.W. Bush's handling of the Persian Gulf War and had mixed opinions of Carter, who defeated Ford in 1976.
In 1981, Ford said: "I think Jimmy Carter would be very close to Warren G. Harding. I feel very strongly that Jimmy Carter was a disaster, particularly domestically and economically. I have said more than once that he was certainly the poorest president in my lifetime."
But two years later, he praised Carter's performance on the Panama Canal treaty, China and the Middle East. And in 1998, he said Carter "will be looked on as a better president than some comments we hear today."
"He was a very decent, fine individual," Ford told the paper. "There were no major mistakes. There just weren't a lot of exciting results."
Ford said Reagan, who challenged him unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in 1976, was "a great spokesman for attractive political objectives" such as a balanced budget and defeating communism, "but when it came to implementation, his record never matched his words."