Anderson ponders an '84 campaign to test 'sound-alike' candidates
Washington — John Anderson isn't talking about winning in a new run for the American presidency. Instead, he is focusing on perhaps heading a ''New America Party.'' This party, he told reporters over breakfast, could infuse the government with new ideas and would make its impact by signaling the new President that there was substantial dissent to the way he was leading the nation.
Basically, the Anderson thesis seems to be this: Both parties and their presidential candidates in their bid to reach out to a wide spectrum of special interests end up sounding like tweedledum and tweedledee.
What the nation needs, Mr. Anderson said, ''is a new party that could do something about this systemic failure by having the vision and courage to go ahead and talk about things that may not be popular with this group or that group or another group but is necessary, given the kind of problems we have in the nation and the world.''
''How do you hope to appeal to Republicans?'' a reporter asked.
''It will come over their disappointment over economic issues,'' Anderson said. ''By voting for our third-party candidate they could signal to the Republican Party that even if we don't win, there are a . . . number of us who are terribly worried that the GOP has deserted its principles and, as a result, the economy is going to be in serious trouble.''
But didn't the excitement for you last time come mainly from Democrats - as in Massachusetts?
I would hope that the excitement this time would be over the new party - to permanently restructure the process, not a personality cult. And over the ideas that would be in the platform.
What is your position on US involvement in Central America?
I don't happen to believe we will solve the problems of Central America militarily - and I also believe the main focus of our concern ought to be Mexico.
Are you for a nuclear freeze, the way Senator (Alan) Cranston is?
Oh, yes. I feel very strongly that if we continue to build and develop and qualitatively improve systems, we will be shooting at a moving target we will never hit as far as effective arms control is concerned.
Thus, the candidate many voters found the most refreshing voice on the political scene in 1980 is at it again. And he's gearing up a campaign that could be bad news for the Democrats and good news for Ronald Reagan.