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. jj

    obama is a petulant kid who throws tantrums note the socalled snub. he needs to grow up. the american presidency is serious business

    January 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Michelle

    Thanks for the confidence Pres Carter~

    YES WE CAN!

    January 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Vincent

    Carter didnt endorse Obama, Corey.....And acually 79-59 clinton is ahead in Congressional endorsement..read up on your facts

    January 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. J

    President Carter is a nice man and was a good president. If he endorses Senator Obama, it is over for Senator Clinton.

    Kudos to CNN for always siding with Obama and being critical of Clinton's.

    January 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. KimSC

    You might want to get a CLUE, Carter was the WORST Democratic President of our recent history from an economic point of view. Like Barack he was an unknown who became popular and won, what he did next was unfathomnable! Obama does not want to be tied to this.

    A humanitarian to be sure but those of us that lived through his Presidency would not welcome an endorsement for the party. Say nice things and move on would be the best thing he could do.

    January 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Vancouver-Truth

    If you listen to the actual interview, this doesn't seem to be an endorsement for Obama so much as a recognition of Obama's oratory skill and the pull he has with young people. There was nothing negative said about Clinton.

    January 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. God Help US All, Atlanta,Georgia

    Hey Corey, did I miss something? Did Carter endorse obama?

    January 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. trisha2

    senile.

    January 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. AH

    January 30, 2008 11:14 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I donot understand why people still do not see the Clintons through….Democrats should realize that Obama has the best chance winning against any republicans…I donot have anything against Hillary. She would also be a very good president for USA. But, she has so much negetaivity..and definitely in a weaker position to beat a republican candidate (specially if it si Mccain).

    Wake up democrats… Look at how the best democrats in our life times are supporting Obama for the same reason…

    January 30, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. David S., Chicago, IL

    Rock-n-Roll!!! I would have voted for Jimmy All-the-way, All-day...CHANGE BEGINS NOW! OBAMA'08

    January 30, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Robert Bell

    "Obama's campaign has been extraordinary and titillating for me and my family,"

    Tittliating? as in "lusting in my heart?" (from his Playboy interview).

    An endorsement by Jimmy Carter would be viewed as a negative endorsement in some quarters. Ditto for Ted Kennedy.

    The Republicans would use that in an attack ad, and it would work, unfortunately.

    January 30, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. The Juice

    Corey, I'm a big fan of Obama but this is far from over. Hillary still leads in national polls and has a ton of money to spend. I'm just hoping Bill steps back, this nasty sniping stops, and Hillary can once again put herself back on track to pulling in Obama's supporters if she does indeed win the nomination.

    January 30, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Jusu A. Gow

    Hey Corey, Carter ONLY PRAISED!!! He DID NOT endorsed!!! OK.

    January 30, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. jim geminiano

    Mr. Blitzer ,will you please ask Senator Obama int the Democratic Party Debate ,in the spirit of unity which he strongly advocates, will he ask the Democratic National Committee to recognize the results of the Florida and Michigan primaries where in the voters decided whom they elect without campaigming from the candidates ? Remember Florida and Michigan are very crucial to the General Election , and the party can not afford to alienate the democrats in both states .

    January 30, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Scott M.-Kalamazoo, MI

    Sorry to see Edwards go as I truly believe he was the best of the three, but I can comfortably throw my support behind Obama and say, "yes, I do have a candidate I can believe in".

    January 30, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Janet

    Actually the quote indicated For. Pres. Carter said Obama's CAMPAIGN was extraordinary. Just to be clear.

    January 30, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. BM

    I agree with Carter. That's why I'm voting for Obama. It's about getting rid of animosity so are elected officials can do their jobs.

    January 30, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. averagejoe

    wow, the first tactical move of the day for the B.O. camp after his loss in Florida! juicing out the article to make it appear that he's Carter's "chosen" one even though it doesn't say so. indeed, desperate times demand desperate measures!

    January 30, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. CANDY

    Everybody relly wants the Clinton's to run this Country and someone please tell me how long will it be before we all awake and smell the coffee the Clinton's are brewing. Let's vote for Obama and we as a country, and nation will actually see what change is, ont a way to continue from the past. The future holds a new atmosphere for our future but the Clinton's want us in the past. Please everyone get out and vote for Obama if you really want a change. Hiliary only wants to get in the White House and then people of all color will say I told you so, she is not what we expected from a President.

    January 30, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. carolyn

    I'm happy that the former Pres Carter spoke out regarding Obama. He sees something that the American people are failing to see. You have an individual trying to bring us together as a whole. It is not about race, religion or sexual origin, its about people, the American people. That we need to stand together and make the government work for us and not us for them. Our fathers, mothers, grandparents and so on have worked all their lives to get us to this point and we have failed them. They didn't stuggle to just give it all away to the "greedy", they struggle to make our lives better and to give us the voice to speak up and be heard. Now we have someone (Obama) trying to continue the fight and we as the people should stand behind him. He is the answer. The Clinton are not for us, they are for themselves and the "rich". When Hillary speak about we, she is mentioning what her husband has done in the past. We are not electing her husband, it's suppose to be Hillary Clinton running. What is wrong with this picture.

    January 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. JH

    I donot understand why people still do not see the Clintons through….Democrats should realize that Obama has the best chance winning against any republicans…I donot have anything against Hillary. She would also be a very good president for USA. But, she has so much negetaivity..and definitely in a weaker position to beat a republican candidate (specially if it si Mccain).

    Wake up democrats… Look at how the best democrats in our life times are supporting Obama for the same reason…

    January 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Constitutional Law Professor

    No one listened to Jimmy Carter when he WAS president... why start now?
    but he does get the award for being the most obnoxious president in history.
    if you look back at the others – its hard to think of even one that stood up and
    criticized a sitting president...over Anything! does anyone else remember the disaster called the Carter Administration? who cares who he endorses!? Jimmy Carter's endorsement could make things worse for Obama, If you had any liberal republicans that were leaning towards voting for Barack – they would be gone after this!

    January 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. JJ

    I wonder how many people actually know the differences between Obama and Clinton on the issues. When looking outside of the way the candidates handle themeselves in public there is very little difference. When you ask Obama supporters why they like him in most documented cases, they all point to non factors in actually running the country. Having said that, Obama is by and far the more likeable candidate.

    January 30, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. steph

    Thats so true, thanks mr. president...Go Obama

    January 30, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. JPB, KY

    DUH..sounds like he is supporting Obama to me....and really...when is the last time anyone took Jimmy Carter seriously...PLEASE!

    January 30, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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