Former secretary of state James Baker told Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation this morning that Reagan probably regretted his veto of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act.
“Certainly he regretted it,” Baker said. “On the other hand, once that happened and control of South African policy passed to the Congress, President Reagan was really determined to meet with and deal with — meet with the black leaders of South Africa and deal with the problems of apartheid, and he was able to do so.”
Baker added that he met with Mandela in Namibia three weeks after his release from prison and said that he was amazed by his conviction and dignity.
“He had an enduring and endearing presence of dignity that I don’t think I’ve ever seen on any other person,” he said.