October 31st, 2010
12:21 PM ET
8 years ago

Carter: Tea Party forebears elected me

- Former President Jimmy Carter dismissed any notion that he has ill feelings toward the Tea Party movement.

"I don't have any criticism of the members of the Tea Party," Carter told CNN's Howard Kurtz in an interview on "Reliable Sources." "A lot of those same people, 30 years ago, were the ones who put me in the White House."

The former president did however, express concern about the movement's funding, while at the same time taking a shot at the recent Citizens United Supreme Court ruling on campaign spending and free speech.

"This Tea Party doesn't realize that they are financed by oligarchs, in the oil industry primarily - the Koch brothers and others," Carter said. "They've been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the political system... after what I call a stupid Supreme Court ruling last January."

As for election predictions, Carter wrote off the Democratic Party's chances of maintaining their majority in the House of Representatives.

"That's almost a foregone conclusion," Carter said. "I hope they (the Republican Party) won't get the Senate as well, I don't think they will."

When asked about President Obama's relationship with the press, Carter said cable news channels have changed the presidential news landscape, and did not mince words about Fox News.

"The discussion groups... on Fox News, are totally biased," said Carter. "They implant completely false images not only of facts about legislation that's passed or doesn't get passed, but also about the character of President Obama."

Carter has recently made appearances across the country to promote his new book, "White House Diary."

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    "This Tea Party doesn't realize that they are financed by oligarchs, in the oil industry primarily – the Koch brothers and others"
    Bingo. Carter knows his stuff. Those teabaggers are merely puppets working against their own interest in favor of billionaires.

    October 31, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. vic nashville tn

    Fox news Bias we know that but last night Fox saying MSNBC not a news organization( there was discussion NBC and MSNBC)

    FOX doesn’t know when you point the finger 3 fingers point at you

    October 31, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Reader

    Hey Jimmy, who's George Soros?

    October 31, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. vic nashville tn

    "A lot of those same people, 30 years ago, were the ones who put me in the White House." Jimmy Carter
    that mean they will throw the same candidates after 4 years

    October 31, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. darko

    Deluded much???

    October 31, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Sparky

    Which is why you were a one termer Jimbo

    October 31, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. CBR

    As much as I respect Mr. Carter and the work he is doing I must disagree on his assessment of the TEA Party. It seems as if everyone forgets about Jim DeMint whose name comes up with the TEA party. Mr. DeMint is a bout 100 light years from Mr. Carter. Mr. Cater cares about al people, Mr. DeMint, not so much.

    October 31, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. ohhiya

    My grandmother is one of them "all politicans are sleazy slimey snakes, they all should burn in hell" southerns. Still, she is a fan of carter's, claims if he only could controll his party's corruption better he would of been great. Other southern democrats from her get no such lip service, Clinton, Gore, LBJ, and Truman. Of course all types and versions of republicans as well (even Eisenhower) are evil according to her, she's the old school like that.
    Maybe Carter is on to somthing here.

    October 31, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. WBN

    As other are pointing out, the "blindness" of the left is startling. Carter thinks FOX is biased and that the Koch brothers are influencing conservatism with big money; he is willingly blind to the fact that all other networks are biased toward liberalism and that Soros funds their causes even at a larger scale. The Supreme Court's decision to keep private the names and of donors is a safeguard against a winning administraion making an enemies list from donors to their defeated opponents.

    October 31, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Alaskan Sourdough

    He may not have any criticisms but I sure do for the thugs who stomp on the heads of the defensless, hand cuff reporters,for trying to ask questions. It's an indication of where they're headed with their ideas of how to run our country.
    So will it be back to the "Free speech zones" that Bush had implemented or will our constitutional right of free speech be squashed like someones head? I'm voting against the tea baggers.

    October 31, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Emile Zola

    I voted for Roanld Reagan twice, but I didn't know, at the time, that he had said that Medicare would lead this country to communism and I was a republican then. Now, after all that has happened and knwoing a lot more about Carter and Reagan, I came to realized how wrong I was about both candidates. Jimmy Carter is and will be the only honest politician that this frail democracy has given us. He is considered, by many, as the worst president, based on lies, innuendoes, and distortion of facts and hadn't been by Ted Kennedy, we would have had medical care for all. To me and many others, Jimmy Carter is the best politcian ever, the most honest and the only one that cared for our Constitution. He even gave back the Canal Zone to the wrong people, I say, because Roosevelt-I took Panama-stole it from Colombia and Mr Carter gave it back to a dictator. I would like for Mr Carter's forgiveness for not voting for him. This travesty of mine and time, will live in infamy forever in my life.

    October 31, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The rich have always hired the poor to do their work while they profit and the Tea Party people are the laborers for the rich.

    October 31, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. FrankG

    So they are financed by the oligarchs as if the Democrats and Republicans aren't too. Progressivism and neoconism are why we have the corporatist state we have today. Both political philosophies unwittingly or intentionally benefit the oligarch and embrace the big and powerful. I guess at least the progressives do a better job of hiding it from the common man, but all one has to do is think for himself and look at the facts to realize that no matter what direction you take, you will be a tool for some group of oligarchs or elitists. The Tea Party since its infancy has scared the crap out of the oligarch and none other then Robert Riech explains this rather well when he wonders why Corp. America isn't more afraid of them since these people are a threat to their power and corporate welfare. Of course he fails to understand that corp. America has learned through over 80 years of progressivism and 28 years of neoconism, how to embrace politicians regardless of their leanings. Sadly, the unsophisticated Tea Party has slowly been taken over by the oligarch without even realizing it. In the end I don't think any of this matters. One only has to be able to do simple math and have an inkling of common sense to know that our government is on the verge of financial collapse. Even the oligarch knows this and is finding it difficult to hide anymore.

    October 31, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. Steven P

    The TEA Party purports to be about less government and against confiscatory taxation. How does Mr. Carter think that's the kind of support he had? His support was more like Mr. Obama's where the independents coted for anyone but a Republican. The pendulum is swinging the opposite way now.

    October 31, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Jim in Georgia

    Jimmy Carter would like to rewrite history and have us forget his one term failed presidency: 21% interest rates, double digit inflation, high unemployment and his totally flawed and failed domestic and foreign policies.

    The country was so sick of Jimmy Carter after his one term in office, the republican party could have run Mr. Potato Head against him and Mr. Potato Head would have won hands down!

    October 31, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. steven harnack

    I think what former Pres. Carter meant was don't hate the people in the tea partys, just pity the fact that they don't know that they are being used by some cynical, secretive billionaires to cut their own , and our, throats.

    October 31, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. nuser

    President Carter is correct! The Tea Party and most republicans stuck a knife in President Obama's back.They are now slowly twisting it. Ignorant Americans eagerly lapped all the innuendos and Palin crap up.People made a lot of money and
    managed to divide the country entirely. Why is it these enemies of America got away with all their slanderous ways and
    was never called upon to explain how they would fix the mess were are in? These people are so self serving. Why did they
    not work with the president? If you think this election is going to change things for the better, you are badly mistaken. Why did you not wait for 2012? America is a wonderful nation filled with some of the best people in the world. Americans helped
    liberate Europe and some of us are eternally grateful. Take care.

    October 31, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. wrack

    Carter has a better perspective on what's going on than do most of the talking heads out there today.

    October 31, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    That is such a crock. The Dems have the same rich and powerful funding for their campaigns. The rich and powerful donate to both parties, so no matter who wins, they can wield influence.

    October 31, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. sally

    The Tea Party has hidden its huge financial backers from their membership. Anybody who votes for them are being chumped....they will be voting against their own best interest unless they are rich. The Tea Party have also gotten undue attention from the media which has over-reported on them, repeated their lies with no attempt to search for truth, and have hyped the "anger" voters are feeling. The anger I feel is directed at the Tea Party and the media for throwing this election!

    October 31, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. Robert in NYC

    Tea parties are for little girls. Yes, he is right. These loons are puppets sadly working against their own best interests. They are merely corporate shills.

    October 31, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Former Presidents Need to Quit

    I would consider my self a Tea Party type of individual. I am Asian, well educated, and know how to balance my check book, live within my means, pay all my bills on time, and have the attitude of I can and will make good things out of my life with my hard work and talents. I am not white and am not racist. I am under 50 so I do want the OPTION of not having social security or medicare knowing that I can keep those taxes and manage my own future.

    Carter needs to just do what he is good at doing...building houses for habitat and that is about it. His political commentary is a waste of time.

    October 31, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Ancient Texan

    The Tea Party will be around until the last of the wild spending radical progressives are out of power, which will take at least two more elections. The Koch Bros. vs. George Soros; might even the playing field.

    October 31, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Get A Grip

    Sure thing Mr. Carter.....you keep believing this and while we're at it I have some dry swamp land to sell you.

    October 31, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. New Age Independant

    I find it hilarious that Democrats are now trying to align themselves with Tea Party principles as they realize it spells their doom. However, their party is terribly fractured at the moment. They cant decide whether to continue their campaign of discredit and bashing or to distance themselves from Obama to get their votes.

    October 31, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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