Former Gov. Cecil Andrus opened his remarks at Thursday's
City Club of Boise forum distancing himself from the claim of his former press secretary, Chris Carlson, that Andrus is Idaho's "greatest governor."
Andrus and Carlson appeared to discuss Carlson's new memoir, "Cecil Andrus: Idaho's Greatest Governor," which has prompted a good deal of debate about who is worthy of the title.
Before Andrus answered the first question posed by moderator Marty Peterson, Andrus asked for time for what he called a "disclaimer."
"This is Carlson's book, not mine," Andrus said, "and I took offense at the cover and the title, you know, 'The Greatest Governor.' What an arrogant sounding, conceited title."
Andrus, a Democrat, then suggested three contenders for the "greatest" moniker: Republicans Phil Batt and Bob Smylie and Democrat John Evans.
"Phil Batt's children, I've known them, they could say their dad was (greatest). John V. Evans, Jr., could talk about his dad in the mid-1980s facing some very difficult times and he being the greatest. I happen to agree with Steve Smylie...Bob was a three term governor, was successful."
"I just wanted Steve to know that I agree with his comments that his father should have been included," Andrus said.
"I think everybody thinks their father is the greatest, and that's the way it should be."
Andrus calls Carlson a "surrogate son." He said he confronted Carlson about the title and Carlson replied: "'Then it'll be controversial and I can sell more of my books.'"
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