As CBS anchorman for 19 years, Walter Cronkite was often approached by well-wishers who urged him to run for office.

"Not once did any of them, and there were quite a lot, not once did they ask me where I stood on the issues. Not once," Cronkite told about 800 people Thursday at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.Speaking as the first Theodore H. White lecturer on press and politics, Cronkite said White's "The Making of the President" books inadvertently turned the spotlight on the technique of politics rather than the substance.

"It's not his fault that we, since his example, have concentrated on the sizzle rather than the steak," he said.