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. Mr. Duke

    Carter is the kiss of DEATH. The worst president EVER!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. murk

    how is the support of a FORMER PRESIDENT considered slow news? all aboard the obama express!

    January 30, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Conan

    From the man who made us the laughing stock on the world and brought us Stagflation. Sweet.

    January 30, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. WAB

    For all you igmo's, Billy Carter died in 1988 due to pancreatic cancer.

    It's a toss up for the worst presidents of all time, here's my list:

    1. Carter – crazy stagflation – huge unemployment – 19% mortgage rates – inflation, deterioration of the US as a world leader, terrible president absolutely terrible, nothing but goofballs in administration and his family (you might be a redneck....)

    2. Bush II – awful communicator, mr stumble-mumbe, lost the biggest opportunity to galvanize the world with mutual respect after 9/11, lost US moral authority around the world, even though taking Sadam was the right thing to do. He took the war on terror to the middle east, nothing happened here, but unable to effectively communicate this the american public. Where is his cabinet? They are a bunch of empty suits, no talent power hungry stiffs. The oil thing bothers me too, he's done nothing to address the single biggest threat to the US and its economy in dealing with the scum in the middle east, undermining the world economy as well.

    3. James Buchanan – didn't he marry his cousin in the white house? He did nothing to address the impending seccesion of the southern states...he is widely regarded as a completely ineffective leader.

    Don't you love the current state of politics...are these people the best we can get...oy vay! They suck...we should have term limits (perhaps weight limits with Ted Kennedy, what a joke). The house and senate is only into their own power and money grab, nice pensions and health insurance...that is a crime they are commiting on the american people.

    Other than that...hoping the Super Bowl is at least competitive.

    Peace out!

    January 30, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    for people who keep saying Obama is all "speech" GO TO HIS WEBSITE!! IT IS ALL THERE!! the issues, the problems, everything is laid out on his website!!

    And for those who say 80% of Black voting for Obama makes him a "black" candidate, then what about the large percentage of WOMEN who vote for HIllary, then does thta make her the "gender" president?!?! oh please

    OBAMA/EDWARDS 08!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. James Miller

    Let`s break the Bush-Clinton-Bush- Clinton? chain. When people see Hillary, they see Bill. Both Clintons and Bushes are very "polarizing" regardless of what you think of either as president. McCain may be a good man, however, the fact he is a Republican and longtime member of the Senate, he is from the "establishment". -–It doesn`t take a rocket scientist to know where our economy has gone under the present Republican controlled Congress and Presidency. Reminds me of an old and wise saying, " Are you going to believe me – or your lying eyes?"

    January 30, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Nicole

    Your comments are hilarious LOL

    Obama 08!!!!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Patrick

    The vitriol aimed at Hillary on this site is appalling. Most of the obvously biased accusations are based on innuendo, deliberate mis-interpretations, vicious exagerations, and many, many out right lies.

    What has this woman actually done to deserve such unwarranted contempt?

    At the same time, what has Obama done to deserve beatification? that usually doesn't occur until one's demise, and that won't happen until Super Tuesday.

    To all you Clinton bashers: your diatribes are food for my conviction.

    January 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Randy - Denver

    Carter a loser?
    Maybe living through his presidency leaves me with a different viewpoint.
    Long lines at gas pumps.. so true I remember them well.. but why did we have long lines? because we would not suck up to dictators in the mid-east. Hostages held for 444 days-yep remember that also why again? oh yeah we would not suck up to dictators in the middle east. let me see interest rates around 20% yep that happened also.. what were they and the trend when he came into office.. oh yeah mid teens and going up, why hmm global markets and money concerns and high inflation he inherited mostly driven by rising oil prices
    His answer to these problems.. stay true to what America means, do not give into Middle east dictators, tighten our belts, suck it up and deal with the problem now so we will not have to deal with it in our childrens times. He lost the election after that, Reagan stepped in, gave into the dictators, I was in the military at the time, retired now, and decided that we would give away our values so we could ahve some comfort in our lives then.. and now today we face the same problems never resolved... and Reagan was a GREAT president and Carter the worst???

    January 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

    This guy presided over THE, THE worst period in American history... so bad was it, that a new economic term was coined, "Stagflation."

    Carter was literally King Midas, in reverse.

    Obama seems like genuinely nice guy, and while I disagree with much of what he believes re economics and politics, I feel it's my duty as both an American and a good person, to warn Obama not to hitch his wagon to that old broken down horse (Carter). Believe me, there is nothing positive that can come of this for Obama.

    January 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Bryce K. Dixon

    Kerry, Ted, Al now Carter all good people who support Obama wow....

    But just a little history they are all losers... Remember? lol

    Hilliary 08

    January 30, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. D Lowery

    I believe Obama should give it to Hillary, he is too inexperienced and too young. And I don't believe America is ready for a Black Leader.

    January 30, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Sherrie

    Hillary needs a wardrobe makeover, can someone volunteer to help her out????

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Voice

    Carter is just jealous of Clinton because Carter was never able to get in on that hot intern action.

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Richenel


    We all vote for OBAMA here!!

    OBAMA 2008- 2016

    Like Europe already has......you folks need a new inspiring strategy.

    Voting for Hilarious won't do you all good.

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Max

    Who cares what Carter thinks. Look how his run in office went. And why in the world would we want someone to be president if they won't even pledge allegiance to the American Flag! It doesn't make a bite of sense. All you who are in favor of Obama need to look at the big picture. So he says all these great things and all this crap that he stands for. First of all he has little to no expierence and second he DOESN'T pledge allegiance to the AMERICAN flag!

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. lester

    Carter may be brainless at this stage of his life, but then again it is a no brainer to pick Obama over Hillary.


    January 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Michael Moloney.(Ireland)

    President Jimmy Carter oozes decency and displays the US at its best, never a bully, dignified even when others attempted to humiliated him and will be
    remembered long after more recent leaders are forgotton.

    A true statesman and elderstatesman at this stage in his life I respectfully suggest that all Americans give him his due honour.

    President Clinton who was committed to the Northern Irish Peace Process and
    this we are all eternally grateful. However for a man that should be the last to throw stones, there is a bitter after taste to his agenda of the last few weeks.
    He showed a side of himself that many were willing to believe did not exist, depite
    good reason to objectively think about.

    Obama, what can one say, a breath of fresh air for politics way beyond the shores
    of the USA, can he lift politics out of the gutter in all our countries? Can he reestablish belief and faith in the politics of democracy?

    I'm from a family of local politicans, for seventy years we have went the roads and
    lane ways of our area to get out the vote. In many ways the work of representation has not changed very much, 'Parish Pump Politics' is the legitimate way of helping
    your area have a voice.

    However as across the globe the level of cynicism here, is high and all politicans are deemed to have a price. It is futile to suggest one could change this perception with reasoned argument.

    Might it possible that Barack Obama could enkindle the flame that public life so badly needs in these times?

    Is it not possibe that irrespective of however successfull he may or may not be as
    President of the US he just might raise the bar for many and bring about a new
    age of public representation?

    January 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Carl

    Go check out the home pages of Clinton and Obama.

    Clinton has a salute and a large picture of John and Elizabeth.

    Obama has a big picture of HIMSELF and a smaller one of Kennedy.

    January 30, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. Vera

    I'm not sure, but didn't President Clinton sign and even push NAFTA? How has NAFTA done any good for the Amaerican worker? John Edwards was a good candidate. His ideas and his belief in this country would do well as vice-president to Obama. Together, they would be a powerful force in securing the presidency for Democrats. McCain is no joke. He is powerful and smart and we will need a good team to beat him. I'm not sure that Hillary will win against him and I don't think that Obama would want to be her vice-president. They are too different. I have heard many people say they will vote for McCain if HRC wins. John Edwards should definitely endorse Obama because his focus was not doing business as usual and that changing the government is important. That sounds like Obama to me. It's a no brainer decision.

    January 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. dymoy

    Let's see...Obama says he's for change and a break from the old Washington politics. Yet the Old Guard seems to be lining up for him or does Kennedy and Carter represent "change"? If he's so much for change, why accept the endorsement or is it going to be old style payback time when he's elected? Obama also is beginning to look much more liberal with these endorsements versus the centralist he purports to be. That will make him more of a divisive candidate than a uniter especially with the conservatives. He talks a good game, but something doesn't feel quite right. I got the same feeling when Bush was first running.

    January 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. Jamie


    Now THREE reasons to vote for Hilliary!!!!!


    January 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Carl

    Only for those of you that like Hillary Clinton.... go to Youtube.... new video "Dude, Hillary Just Quit the Band"

    I hope CNN shows this. It's fun.

    January 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Ginger

    How can Obama be for change and align himself with the same old politics of the Ted Kennedy bunch. Was the "change" thing just a slogan.

    January 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. stan pitts pa

    ABC= ANYBODY BUT CLINTON, CNN= CLINTON NEWS NETWORK, HRC = PRETENDER-IN-CHEIF! HRC does not represent the strong women of America who stand on their own every day! women of America want a female for president, just not this woman! using her husband for everything is not a good way to show female lead and strenght!

    January 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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