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. LJ

    Too bad Carter came out for Obama, I liked him. Now that former President Carter has endorsed him I will have to look elsewhere.

    January 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. Evergreen State

    Agreed...the worst President in history. This is bad for Obama.

    January 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. BAS

    I think Hillary will make a good president but I believe Obama will be an oustanding president of the USA. He will get all what the US had lost internationally and nationally. You do not need someone with great Washington experience you need someone who is very smart, highly motivated and honest. Obama has all of that. Give him a chance, let the US dream of the young generation comes true

    January 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. RockerFellerFile

    Our former President may be attempting to jump aboard the Obama choo-choo, but like everyone else who has been seduced by his cloud of "hope," canonizing Obama will only allow for possible sainthood when he gets elected and he will proceed to give everyone whatever they wanted and driving our country into a deeper hole. Step back and consider what a neophyte can really do but make you "feel" better.

    January 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Deborah

    After graduating from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, becoming First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, and now US Senator, Hillary is only now finding her "own voice". How could anyone even imagine voting for someone who wasted such valuable experience and who seemingly failed to contemplate their place in it all? Move over Hillary!

    January 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Marianne, NJ

    Every politician who have support Sen. Obama so far, from Kerry, to Leahy to Kennedy to McCaskill, has been disparaged by Hillary's supporters. Don't believe me, go back to all the POLITICAL TICKERS and read for yourself. These politicians are either heros or icons of the Democratic party, yet these Hillary supporters continue to spew nonsense and bitterness. I am convinced that Hillary has brainwashed these feminists.

    To Hillary supporters: Many Dems., will NOT EVER support Hillary for President. That is a fact! It looks like McCain will get the GOP nod. I will support him over Hillary.

    Sen. Obama is the best choice for the Democratic Party.

    Obama 08!!

    January 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. Jak

    totally BRAD!

    Obama REALLY reminds me of Carter. If we Dems get another Carter in the White House, the Reps will take it back and not let go of it!! Watch out.....

    January 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    Another bitter loser endorsing Obama. CNN should go back in time, as it constantly does to the Clintons, and remind us what the Jimmy Carter Presidency did for America, and also remind us about the public personal battles he and Ted Kennedy used to wage in the media, when both were seeking the nomination. Now, they've both obviously have undergone extensive reform and are the wise old noble sages of American politics. How come they were both lame as both President and Presidential Candidate, but now that they're anti-Clinton, er I mean,pro-Obama, they're now the greatest?

    January 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Karl Charleston SC

    I can see the CLinton campaign has attracted a lot of women who are jaded about men and only voting for her because she is a woman FACT! Read some of these comments. Truly Pathetic.

    January 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. GaryLee

    I read that article in the Wall Street Journal. Here's the title ; " Carter Stays Neutral in Race, But Praises Obama's Oratory"

    He praised Obama's oratory. This is the quote: "He has an extraordinary oratory…I think that Obama will be almost automatically a healing factor in the animosity now that exists, that relates to our country and its government."

    Words can be soothing no doubt. But those words will play only a small factor in any healing if they are not backed up by ability, knowledge based on experience, and a reasonable plan of action.

    Obama has his oratory, and that can be a healing factor; but if he cannot quickly back up those words with real ability, then those words are useless.
    So far, Obama has shown us that he knows how to speak in generalities. He knows how to orate and inspire, But how would he deal with specific problems?

    It looks to me like Obama's oratory IS Obama.

    We need a President with substance.

    NOT Obama.

    January 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. Marcia Houston, TX

    Carter didn't say Obama was extraordinary. He said his CAMPAIGN was extraordinary. "Obama's campaign has been extraordinary and titillating for me and my family," I would agree that he has added an interesting element to the campaign. However, great rhetorical skills and inspirational speeches is all fine and good. I want a President that can lead the country in the right direction, one that commands the respect and has the power & experience to do so. I AM convinced that Obama is a fantastic, inspirational speaker, but, I am not convinced of much else about his abilities when it comes to leading our government, at this point.

    January 30, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Kevin

    To MJF:

    The choice of phrasing was still obviously calculated. With your reasoning, then the editor that used the word "Lynching" in reference to Tiger Woods should be off the hook cause it has no true link to race in it's definition.


    to seize somebody believed to have committed a crime and put him or her to death immediately and without trial, usually by hanging

    January 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Andreas

    Boy I guess nothing else was in the news.

    January 30, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. clara

    proof of record "The wise guy" this is why experience is important. would you promote the newly hired accounting intern to CFO based on his well spoken words and the promise to do a good job? Do you think that using the word "hate", which by the way is YOUR perspective, will make the comments from the Hillary suporters less valid than yours? I'd say follow your own words "cut the cry drama! be adult and face some facts"

    Hillary IS READY to be the next President of the US. Obama can have his day 2017... that's it... let's start campaigning for OBAMA '17

    January 30, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. TD

    As a black person, I'm finding some of the praise for Obama a bit offensive.

    May God help you Lynn.

    January 30, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. jcf

    this is getting crazy. jimmy carter was a disaster. don't get me wrong, a nice and thoughtful guy. somebody who thought so hard about the iranian hostage crisis for 440 some days that he did absolutely nothing and as a result, along with other woeful aspects of his presidency, gave use 12 or 16 years of conservative presidents. no one wanted to touch another 'weak democratic' president. i'll vote for BO if that's what i'm left with, never have voted for a republican, but at this point he's a lot of hot air and feel good. i think he is going to get reamed in the general election by J Mc if he keeps up with the softball crap. Hillary knows about the vast right wing conspiracy. she can't talk about it but she is on guard. BO will be eaten alive, they are just waiting for him....

    January 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. missobama08

    Yessssss! We Need Change! Mr. Barack Obama 2008!!!

    January 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. brightofeyes

    Jimmy Carter is the one of our greatest president in US history. Like JFK. We trust whatever he said. But Bill clinton is historcally liar. no mater how he explain, he is dirty politician, hill/bill clinton are just chameleon. He wouldn't never share any respect that American people give their presidents.

    January 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Never little o

    Lifelong dem would never vote for o. Only Clinto or McCain (he's not insane)! That's a line from the obama spin machine. They like to rhyme, they can. yes they can.

    CLINTON – 08 Real person, real issues, real problem solver.

    o = speaker. not doer

    January 30, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Madar

    Obama put his foot on the white road to the white house and US policy will return to world stage after November 2008 slection.

    January 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. bridgett, lansing

    What is weird about this is that all the people that are backin Obama are truly powerful in their own right. So I wonder whay are they backing this man. There is really nothing that he can do for them so it makes me wonder do they really believe that he would be a good president. It is something that is making me think. I will have it figured out by next Tuesday of course.

    These people have more money than he does, definately more power so maybe he will be a good president. The reality of it is these are the inside people and they know these two better than anyone so I am going to take a closer look at this man.

    January 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Edward Barnett

    Jimmy Carter was a "one term wonder" and one of the worst Presidents in my lifetime. When last I checked he was so roundly rejected by the American people that he managed to win electorial votes in only 3 states. Who cares what Jimmy Carter has to say and why does the news media keep dredging him up?

    January 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Andrea

    I have always admired and respected President Carter, and still do.

    I am a supporter of Senator Clinton

    January 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Norman

    The former president has made some outrageous comments about the Middle East & Israel. He has no credibility with me.

    Hillary for me in 2008.

    Norman (Maryland)

    January 30, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. L>J> Stratton

    I am so glad to see that Jimmy Carter has seen fit to speak so hightly of Barack Hussein Obama. Why isn't the news meadia using Obama's middle name in all of the garbage that we has to listen to for 24 hours a day.
    It would be nice if the news media would give some sort of credit to Hillary Clinton, or has athe apety toward blacks been shifted to women??? Sure looks like to when you see the how every little move that Hillary makes is criticized to high heaven by the media at all levels, with very little criticism of Barack Hussein Obama.

    January 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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