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. one opinion

    thank you, Lynne, for your input. I agree with you

    January 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Julie, Binghamton, NY

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

    So I guess Hillary is more popular, eh?

    January 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Independent Voter

    Another bleeding heart liberal endorsing Obama, what a surprise! Another meaningless "Praise". The average American will not support someone so far to the left as Obama is and his liberal endorsements only make things worse for him.

    January 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. BM

    Lynne you're wrong. If Barack were white, I would still vote for him. It's who he is and not his color that matters to me.

    January 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Julie

    If I were Obama, I wouldn't be bragging about being endorsed by Jimmy Carter. I clearly remember the Carter days. Gas shortages for one. 52 hostages he failed to bring home. I could go on and on but I won't.

    January 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Tammy

    Jimmy Carter kept my generation out of war and our country at peace with all that was happening at the time . Thank you Jimmy !

    January 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Chris Texas

    i've said it in many posts.
    Most of you arn't too bright.
    Those of you who say that Hillary has alot of negativity only read the tabloids/cnn/and these blog posts.
    Hillary is winning in 75%+ of the Super Tuesday states. Negativity?
    Hillary will win the nomination over Obama, not due to popular vote (Even tho she will have the majority of that), but based on the key electoral states and her aggresive strangle hold over them. Florida. Obama would lose against McCain. Do we want that? no. Arkansas, New Jersey, PA. Chances for Hillary to win. Obama? negative. It's not about the popular vote, it's about who can win.

    We need a president, not a motivational speaker.

    January 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Dee

    People, people calm down. Go read WHITE WASH.

    January 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    I am voting for experience, not a good speaker. Go HIllary all the way!

    January 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. veronica lynne

    Another liberal speaking praise for Obama?
    Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, now Jimmy Carter?
    At the GOP headquarters right now, they surely are discussing how McCain will crush BO in the general election should he get the nomination.
    I'm looking for someone more moderate in their views, and for me that is HRC.

    January 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. Hillary 2008

    ok.....Florida primary was decided on the basis of popularity. HILLARY WINS and so ALL THOSE VOTES FLORIDA must not be disenfranchised.

    NOW OBAMA is surrounded by the people INSIDE washington that he does not like, and now he like them. Obama a hypocrite. all talk.

    January 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Larry, CA


    I'm glad most African-American woman are not like you who believe in the Hillary rhetoric about "Uniting" this country. All she has done is unite the middle-aged american woman. Name one significant male endorsment she has gained. If you want a "REAL" Black woman in the White House vote for Barack. As his wife truely cares about the issues of the Black Woman struggle in America and will help. The women voting for Hillary because she is simply a "Woman" are nothing more then "Man haters" and Single who need to read and I'm glad the younger "Educated" and well dedicated woman is not falling for this garbage.

    January 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Nita

    And Carter is full of it if he thinks Bill started anything racist. Monte Brown you are so right about all these people who are so intimidated. It was Obama's camp that started the race card. If you gonna say something say the true facts. I guess you forget to mention that Obama is far the candidate Hillary is. At least Hillary is arrogant and stuck on herself. Hillary is for all of us. Not just one.

    January 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Bob Slone

    These comments coming from the 2nd worse president we've ever had should strengthen Senator's position.

    January 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Independent

    Those of you who are in the Hillary camp need to understand that the Democrats won't win this without the support of the Independents. It is looking more and more like it is going to be McCain on the Republican side. If the Democrats want a Democrat in the White House you should think long and hard about voting for Obama. Independents will swing hard to McCain if Hillary is on the ticket. If it is Obama, I think they will swing hard to the Democrats.

    I personally want to see a Democrat in the White House, but I will never vote for Hillary.

    January 30, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Polls show that Obama is the weaker candidate against republicans. It's not in dispute. Commentors here that say otherwise are simply lying. Bill Schneider spelled it out last night if any of you were listening. Obama has no chance on Super Tuesday. Are all of you now going to vote for McCain as you threatened so many times? Phony democrats all of you.

    January 30, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. mjc

    you Obama supporters are so blinded by speeches!!

    sure, he's a great guy but he's a POLITICIAN just like hillary. the difference? substance! where are obamas well thought out plans?

    stop thinking he is some PURE, MAGICAL HEALER to america's problems. we need a serious democrat here, not someone who wants to REACH OUT to people who will slam him into a wall.

    another thing – the right wants to go up against Obama, thats why the pundints and even karl rove are saying good things about him. they think he is easier to beat.

    don't be swayed by the obama love.

    he's a POLITICIAN. there are skeletons in his closet they will drag out in a general election.. with hillary, we know what we are getting and SHE knows exactly what they will throw at her in a gen. election.

    January 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Bob

    I have no doubt that former President Carter is a good man and I admire him for his good deeds in the community. But after what he did to our country, I don't care about his opinion on any political or foreign policy topic.

    The media should also be admonished for continuing to seek comments and opinions from him as they are irrelevant. People need to listen to the canidates themselves and make up their own minds. Anyone who determines who they vote for based upon comments and opinions expressed by others should have their right to vote revoked.

    January 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Tim

    Perhaps Jimmy could build a house for Obama when he looses the nomination. Oh that's right, Obama already has a mansion from a little help from his friend, the Chicago slum lord.

    January 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |

    Lynne, Are you really African American? Doesn't sound like it! Get real-Obama is getting attention because he is "black"? What planet are you from?

    How many americans have Obama's resume? Do you?

    Everyone, regardless of race or party preference, has acknowledged his extraordinary ability; not to mention his brilliance.

    Hiliary, is that you?

    January 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. Lydia

    TC...you speak with such authority. Since you can predict the future, you should make a killing in the stock market.

    January 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. adampeart

    Poor Obama! He and his supporters should be frightened as hell to have the second worst president of the last 75 years (Bush being the worst) endorsing him! All I can say is "thank God" Carter isn't endorsing my man, Ron Paul. Of course, Dr. Paul wants Americans to return to individual self-reliance and individual independence from their federal government, so obviously it would be contradiction for the peanut farmer to endorse him. Democrats, please! Do not nominate Hillary! ANYTHING or ANYONE would be better than her!

    January 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This could be a kiss of death to Obama. Carter has made some poor choices and statements (and books) in the recent past. This could be as bad as Dennis Kucinich endorsing someone. I would have hoped that Carter would have realized that.

    January 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. BRAD

    Jimmy Carter was the Worst President in the History of the United States. but Obama reminds me of Carter. That scares us

    January 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. Joseph DeSousa

    A good man(Carter (one term president)) supporting no doubt another good man (Obama(I need to get over the name)) being managed by the establishment.

    The difference is Carter actually wanted to bring change to Washington. Let's not forget what happened.

    Maybe in 8 years with more experience Obama can actually accomplish something. But now we need someone who can come in, work with the establishment, charter a new direction and make it happen.

    Men have been trying for over 200 years and I for one want to see what a woman can do! Even in PMS mode maybe she can do a little of Reagon and out of PMS a little of Bill.

    January 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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