U.S. Senator Chris Dodd on Monday came to the defense of his old buddy, the late Senator Edward Kennedy, against new criticism by former President Jimmy Carter.
Dodd rejected Carter's charge that Americans could have begun enjoying the benefits of sweeping healthcare long ago if Kennedy hadn't stopped a plan by Carter in 1979.
Speaking at the Reuters Summit, Dodd declared, "All I can say is that no one cared more about the issue" of healthcare than Kennedy, a fellow Democrat.
Dodd said Kennedy admitted to missed opportunities in his long crusade to provide healthcare to all Americans, but didn't see his failure to back Carter's unsuccessful bid as among them.
"I will take the Kennedy side of that debate," Dodd said in standing up for the liberal icon who died last year of brain cancer. "I think he did the best he could in '79."