January 30th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Carter praises Obama

Carter lavished praise on Barack Obama.
Carter lavished praise on Barack Obama.

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

soundoff (791 Responses)
  1. John

    Is CNN pro-Obama. Carter didn't call Obama Extrodinary as the headline suggests but rather his campaign. There is a big difference and one that CNN should clearly spell out.

    January 30, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. James

    We are talking about "Barack Hussein Obama" the same one that does NOT put his hand over his heart during the Pledge or National anthem?

    Chech out truth or fiction – picture worth a 1000 words!!!

    CNN has become very biased for Barack Hussein Obama and is also losing my praise of them as well. Used to be my favorite. This election may end up hurting them really bad as their biased is not going unnoticed by a LOT of people.

    I have put a number of comments with actual facts from CNN web site and they disappear because they do not want others to see them.

    January 30, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Hugo M., Ithaca, NY

    OBAMA 'O8
    Everyone but the feminist old ladies and woman's rights activists are with him! Just accept that Hillary is not the candidate who should be remembered as the first woman president.

    January 30, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. kamenwati

    My brains tell me to vote Obama. I don't need to go through some kind of laundry list of "race" mumbo-jumbo to make my decision.

    January 30, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. Paul

    what has Obama ever accomplished? why is the media and everyone else fawning over him?

    January 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. The wise guy again

    Another thing, any time anyone endorses Obama, women are offended! Gees I wonder why! It is high time that all the women of this nation drop that bias. America is too great to be voted based on gender of race. DO NOT believe anything that is convenient. Do your research, watch the debates, and if what you are looking for is integrity and honesty, I have no doubt there will only be one choice to make and will transcend the empathy all women have for women.

    January 30, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I hope the Democrats will remember why they dislike Hillary so much...remember...I'm a Republican....coming from supporting Giuliani – I now support Obama....Hillary supporters want you to believe that if Obama is nominated – he would lose....not so....people hate Hillary....in fact...the majority of the people hate Hillary...

    January 30, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. STEVE

    LYNNE

    I LOVE YOU....THANK FOR THINKING OF ALL OF US FIRST VERSUS SOME

    SYMBOLIC GESTURE

    January 30, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. mike

    go look at obama's voting record.

    that guy wants to take our guns away

    i can't believe americans are so stupid.

    January 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. John

    Thank God above people understand the scary consequences of an Obama presidency. The guy flies in the face of all that has made America the greatest nation on Earth. His Mentor Jimmy “the peanut” Carter was for change too when he ran. That was a proven historical joke and nightmare. His chicken little approach to the hostage crisis created the impression Americans had no guts and no principles and we were pansies like Carter. Took years to get out from under that stereotype. In addition the other change Jimmy “the peanut” Carter achieved was the largest recession and the greatest inflation this country had ever seen in my lifetime. A liberal democrat for president?

    No thanks Obama. Please take your change message and stuff it! We have already seen where no experience leads the nation. We that remember want to take NO more risks.

    January 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Buena717

    "What a shame. It seems the system becomes more and more closed to anyone that is not beholding to some kind of corporate or specific political special interest." Hmmm, then I wonder why our big CHANGE candidate Obama had no problems knocking Edwards out of the race.... please, people see through the sweet talk. Put your faith in God where it belongs- be not decieved, this country IS voting along racial lines and Clinton will win the nomination. FL is the key- the rest of the country will vote similarly- even with Edwards' 14% Obama still will not carry the majority. And I am black folks.....

    January 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. violet

    I think black people are voting for Obama because he is black.Men are not ready to accept a woman as a leader.So they will vote for Obama.But if it would come down to it between McCain and Obama,I beleive neither the whites are ready for a black president.bottom line it is all racism.Anyhow no one has ever made a real difference.Maybe the woman can!

    January 30, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. walter

    Having Jimmy Carter to endorse Obama is the second reason not to vote for Obama, the first was Ted Kennedy's endorsement. No where can I find Obama's accomplishments that would make him good Presidential material. He had been a senator for one year when he announced he was running for President. He has not authored any legislation of any importance and has not run a business or been a governor of a state. He may make a great candidate in several years, but his inexperience and lack of accomplishments makes me wonder how he got this far. I'm sure all blacks and Oprah's starry eyed female audience will vote for him. Not that I plan to vote for Hillery, but she will be the Democratic candidate.

    January 30, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Esther

    Well, after SC and FL primaries definitely in the first race was important and in the second the gender was the issue for Dems.
    Really, the run for the election starting NOW when big state as FL push OUT the competition John Edwards and others. Hillary Clinton and B. Hussein Obama are in in business! Who is going to win? Let' wait the super tuesday and do not care about endorsements, for me some "leaders" wants to fishing over the candidates momentum!

    January 30, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Dan, NJ

    One of only two Democrats elected President in the last 40 years. And a great humanitarian and statesman after his term in office. One of only 4 (soon to be 4) living former presidents. Show some respect.

    January 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. BABucher, NYC

    You cynics need to take a deep breath. Seriously, breath in 1....2....3.... now go call your therapist and allow the rest of us to discuss the primary race with a degree of mutual respect.

    January 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Ado

    Its fine to disagree but what is with all this vitriol? Americans complain about the mood in Washington and devisive politics, but look at these postings? People are just nasty?

    And another thing, why is it racism when blacks turn out to vote for Obama? Women are turning out for Hillary and prior to this everyone had to turn out for white men. Its ridiculous. America and Americans claim that there is no race issue but it is clear that there are a lot of narrow minded, scared people out there whose only response is to lash out at things they don't understand.

    One more thing, the media is the media. I am so tired of hearing how they are biased. We have known this for a while and we should get over it. If you want to know where the candidates stand on issues, don't expect Wolf Blitzer to tell you. Read more, see what they did in the past and look at what they say. You guys sound like Bill O'reilly!

    I am an Obama supporter. The big three democratic candidates all had similar positions on many things. What separates them is their world views, their sincerity and in Hillary's case, here belief that she is entitled to the presidency. Obama is more than an eloquent speech. He has a magnetic quality to him, the kind that makes for natural leaders. He was also a great State Senator and was shaping up to be a great US Senator. He was also president of the Harvard Law Journal. No small feat.

    January 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. BM

    Lynne your're wrong. If Barack were white, I would still vote for him. It's who he is and not his color that matters to me. Lighten up!

    January 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. marie

    Wikipedia – Jimmy Carter – his run for election

    The support for Obama just continues to mount and a large part of politics is just getting elected. I still think Hillary has much to offer, but it looks pretty clear that Edwards will endorse Obama.

    January 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. BCNU purple state, usa

    RE: Terry El Paso:

    (If you voted for Bush the younger, you should reimburse a Democrat for his portion of the national debt. You got us into this mess, and many of us saw it coming. Also, when the government has to raise taxes to pay that debt off, you should pay our portion of the tax increase. Unfortunately, in a democracy there is no penalty for voting stupidly. Your fellow citizens have to suffer with you for your mistake.)

    Terry, I'm not aware of any laws that said you had to quit paying at your previous rate. Have you given more to the IRS the last 5 years than you had to? In fact, the Shrub alluded to this the other night at the State of the Union, sayingthat the IRS will accept checks and money orders. So, if you haven't been over paying, I don't think you have too much room to squeak.

    January 30, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Justin

    I am for Obama. The excitement is in the air. Yes we can!

    Carter was a great President – certainly underrated for his time. His comments mean a lot to me and other young, service-minded, globally aware persons.

    The Clintons are shrewd and devisive. They have done good things, but I also remember a lot of negativity around their presidency and I think our country deserves somebody who can lift us up and bring us together, not further divide us!

    I like Obama's history. I like Obama's outlook. I like his policies and his way of communicating!

    Go OBAMA!

    January 30, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Praise coming from a previous President whose administration presided over record high inflation, rampant unemployment, double digit interest rates, and fuel shortages isn't really much of an endorsement. I lived through those days. It wasn't pretty.

    Yes, Jimmy Carter is a great humanitarian, but as a President he was very lacking.

    January 30, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. JoR

    President Clinton has to explain himself all the time because the media puts a spin on everything he says. The media interjects racism into his comments. They show half quotes. Have you noticed that they don't show the comments made by Michelle Obama?

    I loved Obama's speech at the National Convention, but this country needs more than inspiration. When I looked at the issues, it became a problem because there is not much substance in his answers.

    January 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. Jimenez

    Monte Brown, New York, NY January 30, 2008 12:52 pm ET

    Some Democrats, not Jimmy Carter, are only endorsing Obama to spite the Clintons because they know that the Clintons are the only Democrats that have made achievements of which the Democrats can tout. Hillary clearly beats Obama on the issue. Hillary is the candidate for real change and not some ying yang. I am confident that Hillary will win, but I think that it is amazing how people buy into the bull instead of going with the sure fire thing.

    Monte you are so right on this. Hillary 08

    January 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. The wise guy again

    Another thing, any time anyone endorses Obama, women are offended! Gees I wonder why! It is high time that all the women of this nation drop that bias. America is too great to be voted based on gender of race. DO NOT believe anything that is convenient. Do your research, watch the debates, and if what you are looking for is integrity and honesty, I have no doubt there will only be one choice to make and will transcend the empathy all women have for women.

    BTW, S Hunt, out of the 35 years of experience Hillary Clinton has, do you know how much of it is on her own two feet as an elected officer? Less that Barack Obama, I am sorry to inform you of it. Be careful when you say experience, experience as what??

    January 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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