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

Carter praises Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/30/art.carter.gi.jpg caption="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. Amy

    Everyone is getting on the Obama train!!! Edwards supporters, we will carry on his work. Hop on board the Obama train!

    Obama '08

    January 30, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Sam

    Carter your legacy is great. Obama '08.

    January 30, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. AnnAloha, Independent Thinker. PA

    I Love Pres Carter

    January 30, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Dan

    Kiss... of.... death....

    January 30, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. dee

    The African Americans have awakened and modern day community pharisees are running scared, not able to control that Young American Vote. We are one America. Youthful america young and old are Ready for Change.

    Bill Clinton had no washington experience. however, in 1992, he told Bush sr. The same old experience is irrelevant today. that would apply to Hillary Clinton

    Edwards Dropping out of the presidential race.

    Oh Yes!

    This is big news!

    Hillary fake win in Florida will be put on the back burner.

    Florida should get its delegates. Whom ever wins the nomination at this point should be awarded the delegates. The candidates were put in a bad situation.

    All Candidates should have been able to spend more thier campaigning. Thanks to Howard Dean, The time candidates spent in other states was a boost to the local economy.

    Howard Dean has the Dem party at the breaking point.

    Experince you may want more of ???

    Hillary voted for war with Iraq
    Hillary voted for war with Iran, 2007
    Hillary Economic stimulus plan fell short, Her econ. adviser had to revise it to look like Obama.

    Who wants more of the same old status Quo Experience

    Obama 08

    January 30, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Al in Wpg

    I surprises me the lack of respect given by americans to this man, I think he was the last leader you had, who had any of your actual interest in mind.

    January 30, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Ivelisse

    what a surprise!!!!

    the Weakest President in a Generation – before GW Bush, of course- is 'praising' Obama.....

    I guess takes one to know one....

    January 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Jay Lowe

    Jimmy you couldnt get much done in Office, but only because you wouldnt be the puppet the controllers wanted you to be.Thank you for continued service to an ungrateful nation.

    January 30, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Corey, Bloomington IN

    So what major democrats are endorsing Clinton? Oh yeah, herself and her husband. I think it's over.

    January 30, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Jim

    The comments and commentary from statesmen regarding Senator Obama, the way in which Senator Obama conducts himself and his campaign, his quips and spoken word certainly resonate strongly versus that of Senator Clinton and her respective campaign. It is rather refreshing to have a viable candidate and campaign that represents itself well in this democracy.

    January 30, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Gigi

    Yet another slow news day? File under "irrelevant" any comments Carter has to share.

    January 30, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. TJ WILLIAMS, Los Angeles, CA

    This man is still one of my heros. Time and time again he has shown us how a real statesman and fomer President should conduct themselves.
    What a great humanitarian.

    January 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. John

    Jimmy, you took the words right out of my mouth. I agree 100%!!!!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. E. in Dallas, TX

    No matter what people say about his presidency- President Carter deserves our respect and has done a lot of the international community.

    January 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. AJ

    "According to the paper, Carter was particularly praiseworthy of the Illinois senator's rhetorical skills, comparing them to those of Martin Luther King, Jr."

    When are the Obama supporters going to start screaming racism? They went insane when Bill Clinton compared Obama's campaign with that of Jesse Jackson, now that it is a praiseworthy comparison, does it make it any less racist?

    Carter is a decent guy, but he's gone off the rails lately and, given his huge success as president, perhaps he should think about keeping quiet!

    January 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. nik

    He was a governor of GeorgiNa???

    January 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Gerald

    Hope is in the air...

    January 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. California Independent

    Please don't tell me Obama is selling him a government post also.

    We're just hanging out here in California. Can't wait to not vote for the dweeb. Go Republicans! I have voted Dem for 15 years so this is really change for me this year. No, to you morons, I am not a plant. I'm not only sick of our govt, I am sick of the Democratic Party. If I ever thought I could vote Dem again, your sickening behavior pushed me over the aisle.

    January 30, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. John

    Another Democratic arrow in Obama's quiver

    January 30, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Dave Corley

    In the past week I've come to realize that the Obama "thing" is probably the real deal. He is standing up to not one, but two of the most experienced political pranksters/Washington insiders who are slinging mud and spreading Rove-esque whispers about his religion and race. And he has still, somewhere in there, found time to be inspiring and try to bring disenfranchised voters on board. I wish I could get the donation I made to the Clinton campaign back. They have my money, Obama has my vote.

    January 30, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Chris, Columbia, SC

    It sounds like Bill was hoping some praise from Carter would go Hillary's way.

    January 30, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Sus

    Another voice from the past. The only thing that's extraordinary about Obama is his speaking talent. It remind many of us of an actor. He is not qualified to lead – make him the speech writer and Hillary will be in great shape.

    January 30, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. Melissa in CA

    Thank you, President Carter. Obama would help heal america's standing in the world, and divisions within the country. Why can't people see that, and see how important it is.

    But I wonder how the angry Clinton crowd will attack and dismiss Carter now? Just like they turned on Kennedy and Kerry.

    Call him old? Irrelevant? Come on, smear away.

    Anyone who crosses the Clintons seems to get attacked. Reminds me a lot of Bush and Rove ....

    January 30, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. Patriot

    Sounds like an endorsement of Obama to me.

    Where is Georgina by the way?

    January 30, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. An Agnostic Democrat

    Extraordinary, wisdom, integrity, briiliant, principled ... One candidate has received these types of endorsements and one has not. The one who hasn't just happens to pretend she has these qualities; just like she pretended to win the Mrs. Florida beauty pageant , then prance around like an old mare donning her crown and sash. Aren't beauty pageants a thing of the past and no longer broadcast on network television because they are so superficial?

    January 30, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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