Carter aide: Reagan gaffes are 'what we've looked for'

President Carter's campaign team is secretly delighted over what it sees as a series of gaffes by Ronald Reagan, topped now by the criticism of Mr. Carter for opening his campaign in Tuscumbia, Ala., which the GOP candidate called "the city that gave birth" to the Ku Klux Klan.

One administration source was chortling over the whole affair. "It's what we've been looking for," he said. "On top of trying to change our China policy and bring back the question about teaching evolution in our schools, he now has insulted the South. We don't like what he's saying. Yet he certainly is helping us politically."

While not admitting it publicly, the Carter campaign has thought for some time that the only way the President could overtake Mr. Reagan would be for the latter to make some comments that would raise questions about his intelligence.

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