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

Carter: Tea Party forebears elected me



(CNN)
– 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. fred guisse

    Fox biased? False impressions? How absurd.

    October 31, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. MrPragmatic

    Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, you were a wonderful President with some very progressive ideas. And the country owes you a debt of gratitude for blazing the trail of energy independence. Too bad you were then followed by the the worst President the middle class has ever had in this country. But to credit the "Tea Party" for your electoral success indicates you're becoming a senile old feller.

    October 31, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Mr. Wilson

    Okay, I trend towards the left and commend President Carter for his years of service, especially after his presidency. That said, this is one of the most naive things he has ever said.

    He's right about Fox News versus President Obama, but only someone even more naive than Carter would not see that. Same with the Tea Party financiers.

    October 31, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Larry

    It is up to the American people to pay attention

    If all it takes is lies on TV to persuade their thoughts ... poor they

    If all it takes is money, to buy some of our leaders ... poor all of us, who have none

    PLEASE VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT ... please

    October 31, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. GuyinVA

    Has this man no shame? Or at least no memory? He recently claimed a third party candidate (rather than his own ineptitude and lack of leadership skills) cost him reelection. I believe the final electoral vote tally was 489 to 49. And now, he claims it was people like the TEA Party members who put him in office. For Pete's sake, this guy is the anti-Pete Rose. No hustle, and when he wants to sell a book, he goes on a nationwide tour distorting the truth rather than finally coming clean.

    October 31, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Uninvited Guest

    There's no question, the billionaires will reap extraodinary returns on what they see as a meager investment.
    Jobs will continue to be one of our major exports. Basic economics tells you from supply and demand, labor rates will plummet. A few will prosper, many will suffer.

    October 31, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. yvrguy

    Though Carter clearly is was not the most respected president in office, he is definetely as ex-prez/elder statesman.

    Don't know why people slag on him has worst prez...that's GWB 2. People slag him for being a one term prez....that's GWB 1.

    What has GWB 1&2 done out of office for USA?

    October 31, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Johny Huber

    President Carter was not elected by tax fetishists, second amendment whackos, anti abortion goofs and John Birch Society also rans, but one can dream.

    October 31, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. andrew

    Tea Party, IS funded by oil companies.

    October 31, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. VM

    The Republicans/Tea Party are "interesting". They get working class people to vote for candidates who will benefit millionaires and billionaires. The only way to do this is to use emotional arguments instead of facts.

    October 31, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. George

    Carter gets this one completely right. Tea Party people simply feel unrepresented by the politicians presently in Washington. And, most do not realize where a lot of the money financing Tea Party activities comes from. As for Carter being a one-term president, that had more to do with Khomeini than anything else. While probably not what was intended, the Iran hostage situation gave the election to Reagan.

    October 31, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Darth Vadik, CA

    Jimmy Carter has a habit of being too nice to some people. You can not be nice to snakes, remember the old tale about the man who found a frozen snake and nursed it back to life?

    What you need to do with the Tea Party is raise your boot and bring your heel on its head with all the force you can muster, crushing it so it can never hurt another person again.

    But you cant fault Jimmy for what he said, he is a true Democrat, a great humanitarian and a much better man than I am.

    October 31, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Ron in Asheville, NC

    I have a lot of respect for Jimmy Carter. Even though i didn't vote for him then, I think he was a much underappreciated president who inherited a bad hand and did pretty well with it. But no, I recall that election campaign too well: by and large the tea-party predecessors–who were pretty loud back then too–voted for Ford.

    October 31, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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