WASHINGTON (CNN) - One former president has long assumed a very outspoken role in the presidential race. Now another is speaking up.
Jimmy Carter says he's not formally endorsing any candidate, but in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the former president lavished praise on Barack Obama, calling his campaign "extraordinary"
"Obama's campaign has been extraordinary and titillating for me and my family," Carter told the newspaper in an interview published in its Wednesday edition. According to the paper, Carter was particularly praiseworthy of the Illinois senator's rhetorical skills, comparing them to those of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Carter also said Obama "will be almost automatically a healing factor in the animosity now that exists, that relates to our country and its government."
Carter, a onetime governor of Georgia and one of only two Democrats to win the White House in the last forty years, also said he thinks Obama's candidacy could put several southern states in play in a general election match up.
Carter also commented on the recent criticism surrounding Bill Clinton, following that former president's comments on the campaign trail that some have viewed as racially divisive. Carter said Clinton personally called him to explain the remarks.
"He doesn't call me often, but the fact that he called me this morning and spent a long time explaining his position indicates that it's troublesome to them, the adverse reaction," he said.
"I told him I hoped it would die down. - the charged atmosphere concerning the race issue," Carter continued. "And I think it will."
– CNN Producer Alexander Mooney
He said Obama's CAMPAIGN was extraordinary. He didn't endorse him. Can't anyone just let someone's words stand, without redefining their meaning?
The vitriol aimed at Hillary (and Carter) on this cite is appalling. Most of the obviously biased accusations are based on media innuendo, mis-interpretation, vicious exaggerations, and many lies, What has this woman done to deserve such contempt? Specifics, please.
At the same time, what has Obama done to deserve sainthood?
SILENCE is GOLDEN sometimes. There is no way, HILLARY will loose this battle. SHE STILL LEADS THE NATIONAL POLLS! She started her campaign way back before, this is the reason why she has a strong base support now! We have not heard of Obama before, he only resurfaced just now. Even Illinois residences do not know him until now! What is his major achievement?
Anyway, I will go for Hillary since I believe in her vision. She is qualified to do the job and she is the only one who can beat any Republican! GO HILLARY!
adanma January 30, 2008 5:15 pm ET
Doris I am disappionted by your comments. I will be surprised if I found out you had any education.
Oh that's right only the uneducated people are backing Clinton. Whatever – it doesnt take a genius to figure out Obama. By the way FOX had a story on Obama. Said he was going to donate to charity some of the money he got from his friend in Illinois. Wonder if he is also giving back the house.
Unbelievable! So many mean-spirited attacks on Jimmy Carter by the Clinton backers. Just goes to show they will do anything and attack anybody that doesn't back their cause.
GO Hillary 2008! Obama gets back school! Or you are becoming a CHINA emperor and there many old, dieing men stand your back.
GO Hillary 2008!
Thank you President Carter!
Another one of the Clinton's friends are moving towards Obama. The Clintons should take that as a sign that they are doing something seriously wrong instead of just brushing it off or ignoring it.
As Toni Morrision said in her endorsement of Obama, youth does not equal lack of wisdom. Senator Obama is able to make the right decisions and take us down the right path.
I have no doubt that Hillary would be able to get a lot accomplished but it may the be the right things. On top of that she would alienate many people, as we are seeing.
I am a woman and I support Barack Obama!
January 30, 2008 7:47 pm ET
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Why dont they put obamas wife back in the spotlight… when the public sees what they are getting for a first lady the race will be over….
it would be nice to get through moderation
Thank you for your peaceful Presidency. Please formally support Barack Obama for President.
i to no why the new york post is say that about obama and ted Kennedy are at a old boy clubs is not like that. im a Afro American women i feel she could come to them as well they can come to her. im tired of the cinton it time for a change so make a change
I'm watching the CNN debate...besides Anderson, who are other folks asking questions?
Greg...can I get an AMEN, best comment tonight.
I'll try this again...I truly love Jimmy Carter and all that he does for our country and abroad and the Jimmy Carter will say something titillating about Hillary at the 2008 democratic convention right before Hillary accepts the 08' democraction nomination.
As an educated black woman who has been in countless situations over the years where someone white has told me to my face that I am "different" from "regular" black people, I think I have a right to take offense when Obama is heaped with superlatives and compliments that paint him as the second coming.
WHY WOULD RACIST REMARKS FROM A FEW WHITES GIVE YOU THE "RIGHT" TO BE OFFENDED BY PEOPLE'S PRAISES OF OBAMA? It does not.!!!
YOUR BLACKNESS SHOULD NOT MAKE YOU ANY MORE OR LESS OFFENDED OR HONORED BY THE PRAISE AND CRITICISM THAT OBAMA RECEIVES.
DO YOU THINK OBAMA HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT OTHERS THINK AND SAY ABOUT HIM? NO. He does not control the opinions of others.
To be fair I understand if you somehow believe that Hillary is more qualified.
However, it is odd that you feel that because of your skin color you have a "rght" to be offended that others have political views that differ from yours and that you feel it is your duty to disregard their opinions based on the color of Obama's skin. I think it would be best if you stick to fact based opinions and not try to give your argument credence based on the color of your skin.
Thank you, President Carter.
Your praise for Obama, the campaign he has run and his potential for healing our country and the world is endorsement enough for those of us who respect you and the work you have done for future generations.
President Carter is a great man, Im truly believe you are, and I respect , president Carter. YOU SAVE MY LIFE MR PRESIDENT.