Republican congressional leaders, in a formal response to President Carter's Stateof the Union address, say Mr. Carter should not have committed the United States to defend the Persian Gulf. "We are very much interested in the Persian Gulf, there's no doubt about it," House Republican leader John Rhodes said. !ut we do not have the means of defending the Persian Gulf at this time."
Representative Rhodes said the decision to defend the area was made "without adequate consultation of our allies" and with consulting Republican congressional leaders. Acting Senate Republican leader Ted Stevens of Alaska said the Persian Gulf "is the worst place in the world to meet the Russians," because it is near the Soviet Union and would require a very long US supply line.