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. Vince, Arizona

    anyone notice that the only people making this about gender.... are women?

    January 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. God Help US All, Atlanta,Georgia

    Boy, the more old fossils from the democratic party of the past (Carter, Kerry, Edwards) are all rallying around the boy wonder. LOL. Seems like this is an old boys club after all. Maybe it is a bit sexist.

    January 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. SilerMarriott

    This is just more pile on from the democratic establishment. The media always says HRC is a part of the establishment, but the Clintons have always been grudgingly accepted because they could bring in votes and money. Barack may want change but he fits in very well with the wine and cheese ultra liberal types. Like talking about arugula in Iowa. Give me a break!!!

    January 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. DJH

    Two things stand out here. First of all, Carter was easily the worst president in modern history, and would fall in the top 5 in our history. While he is to be commended for his quest for peace since leaving office he has time and again shown an ignorance or lack of understanding and a 'peace at any cost' mentality that is foolish and dangerous to the US and it's citizens.
    Secondly, all of this to do about Obama and the guy hasn't said a single thing yet! It's amazing. Not one word about how he intends to affect change, not a word about how to pay for his socialist programs... nothing! The guy has charisma, he's obviously intelligent, but he's an empty suit and the last thing this country needs is a foray into even more socialist policies.

    The real problem with this country isn't the president, it's the congress and until we the people get control of the idiots in congress who we have as our president isn't going to make that big a difference

    January 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Kia

    Ernest, Bill Clinton isn't a racist. By definition, a racist is someone who hates people based on race alone, and Bill Clinton is not person. However, Bill Clinton did play the racially based Southern politics game, and anyone who didn't see that is blind.

    January 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. MVE

    The worst President ever Jimmy Carter

    The 2nd worse President ever Bill Clinton

    The one eye man is the king of the blind

    January 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. interested bystander

    OK, now this is really quite a list of fans...

    John Kerry
    Bill Bradley
    Ted Kennedy

    and now...

    Jimmy Carter


    I'm sorry Obama folks, if you don't see the problem here you've already lost the game. 🙂

    Show me an endorsement that actually illustrates the ability to transcend politics and unify....

    January 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Nee

    Way to go President Carter!

    Obama 2008!

    May God keep you and your safe!

    January 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. angelina_ MN

    Go Obama, _ everyone knows he is the agent for change in this divided country.........

    January 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. scott

    What foolishness Obama won't even say the pledge of allegiance to America. VOTE WITH YOUR MIND NOT YOUR FEELINGS- COMMONSENSE IS HELPFUL

    January 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Flem

    Carter did more to destroy America's standing in the world than any other president. This man is a bona fide moron. This'll only hurt Obama's chances with moderates!

    January 30, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. John

    Good God almighty, just because I do not support Queen Hilliary does not mean I am a bad person. I just saw one post that said I am afraid of women for not voting for Queen Hilliary. Let me tell you something TRACIE, I hate Hilliary, not for the reasons you stated, I dislike her because she is not going to washington to help this country out. SHE IS IN THIS ONLY TO THE FIRST. That is why the Queen went to NY and ran for senate, and not from her home state. This goes out to anyone who supports the Queen. I have a right to vote for whoever, and for what ever reason....that is my RIGHT. Not because I belive women should be cooking something as you stated......you have the backwards thinking lady....not me.
    John Karsten
    Go support your Queen, and let's see if America is ready for a Monarch again!

    January 30, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. MJF

    Obama did not invent the phrase beauty contest for what happened in Florida, nor did the 'sexist media' (from another article). It's a common phrase for contests with no real meaning.

    Beauty Contest:
    2. Informal. any contest, election, etc., that is decided on the basis of popularity.

    January 30, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Drake,Indianapolis, Indiana

    I hope Edward's fans support Hillary now... they are seem to have the right ideas.
    Please John give your votes to Hillary

    January 30, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Christian, Tampa FL

    Jimmy Carter is great. We shouldn't be angry at him as some have been, but instead respect his opinions.

    January 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. geeee

    what a reason to endorse obama(good speaker)
    comparing him to King...wow..
    way to go president carter.

    January 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. Tapera

    The major reason why America's forefathers chose to have a 'delegate' system over a 'popular vote' system is to avoid a situation that happened in Palestine. For those who don't know, the popular vote went to Hamas although Hamas had nothing to offer in terms of progress to their country. People sometimes vote with their hearts and emotions.
    The delegates are responsible for choosing the next leader. Most of these high profile people praising Obama are super delegates and that does mean a lot.

    Popular vote doesn't guarantee one a nomination in the US.

    January 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Alex

    I have to admit, I've followed closely the campaigns and have really been torned between Clinton and Obama. I think Hillary would be a great president, and I actually like Bill Clinton, no matter what it is said out there and I will vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is.

    Yet, I can't be blind to the ways these campaigns have developed, whether spin or not, tactics or not, dirtiness or not, the past month I have seen only negativity coming out of the Clinton campaign and only positive messages from the Obama campaign.

    Then again it is always key to elect who will likely win the White House, but in doing so I don't want to lose the soul of what the Democratic party is all about. The message for me is important, as well as the integrity of the party and the what it stands for... I think Obama has the right message, represents the true soul of the party, just as Pres. Carter said he has the capacity to heal the arty, the country and send an astounding message to the world. That gets my vote.

    January 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Lisa, Texas

    Carter was a good president. He let the government run itself. Laissez-faire politics.

    Well, luckily Obama is no Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, then maybe some of us would not be offended.

    January 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. GSJ Cumming, Ga.

    I love how Obama supporters talk about his plan. "Texan for a United America" above lists the following for a plan from Obama.

    1. hope for a better future
    2. a very real opportunity to unite this country again.

    These are not plans but soundbytes. The same goes for Hillary and McCain. America needs to wake up because of the canidates left in the race only Romney, Huckabee and Paul have offerred real plans and NOT soundbytes.

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

    Considering that Obama is the next Carter (nice guy, but fluffy weak Democrat with Republican appeal whose lack of battle-tested experience would lead to a disastrous presidency), this comes as no surprise.

    January 30, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Carrie

    After reading some of the comments ,I am really saddened over the hateful and negative thoughts about some former Statesmen and the candidates that are now running. I am very glad I have the freedom to live in a country where we have the right to hate publicly without retribution but I really am concerned about this hate filled division we now are watching taking place. There is no one that does not have faults just look in the mirror. But for the grace of GOD----–

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

    One thing for sure is that we know the Clintons really divide our country.

    I find this an interesting article. The Clintons have always divided and it's worse now, especially when you see all the nastiness during this campaign. Obama can probably help the healing.

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

    If I could meet one famous person in the world it would be Jimmy Carter. If I had an invitation to meet Bush or Cheney, I would be busy washing my dog that night.

    January 30, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. Steven/Oklahoma

    He's another man endorsing a Man-Being a great orator is not the same as being a great President. Carter certainly was not a great President–Remember the failed rescue.

    January 30, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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