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. Frank

    Those are strong words from a former President supporting Obama. Another giant blow to the Clintons. President Carter resonates with Obama because of the qualities of truth, integrity, and dignity that are lacking in the Clintons.

    January 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Nestor, Pembroke Pines, FL

    This is for you Mr. Moderator of CNN. CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT'S YOUR IDEA OF MODERATING? Why don't you publish my comments? Do you find them offensive? Offensive to who? You? or President Carter? P. Carter has to take responsibility for what he says now, before and in the future.

    I really don't understand you... I will make sure I send my comments to the director of the media, with whom I have a good relationship, to ask him if CNN is becoming biased or tries to manipulate the information at its will.

    If you're going to moderate this way, don't use a blog for that. Blogs are for free expression, as long as it is being done intelligently and without using bad words, from which I do not believe I used any.

    January 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Kathy

    Endorsement basicly say that they are going to vote for that particular candidate. You and I also have a vote. Basicly endorsements make it seem like a popularity contest and takes away from what is important.

    That is why everyone should vote for the issues and values that are important to you not someone else.

    The media spin at that moment changes the polls that is pathetic, a laugh or a snub should not influence the way you vote.

    We have had 8 years with somebody; people thought they would like to have a beer with. Not what really what issues effected them.

    Research the candidate and choose based on the voting pattern as well as what was going on historically at the time.

    Are we Lemming's, or are we well informed Americans that make decisions based on thoughtful intellegent choice.

    January 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Amy R.

    They didn't run that trash because it was false. Hillary appeared on TV saying that she held her hand out to Obama and he snubbed it. She was a complete LIE! I saw 4 photos that showed her reaching out to Ed Kennedy and Obama turning to talk with another person. Hillary NEVER reached her hand out to Obama and she had the NERVE to publicly lie on tv, like her husband mind you, while documented photos have caught her lie. She proves the Clintons can't be trusted and she is dirty campaigning.

    January 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Matt

    It's sad to sit and read these blogs and see how the majority of people who say that Obama has no substance. You all are misguided and show your own ignorance by not taking ten minutes out of your day to visit his website and reading the issues. This will be my first Presidential Election in which I can vote in, and considering myself a democrat I actually took the time to read all of the candidates positions. I am picking Obama because I believe that he has the most substance and the best answers to dealing with the problems facing America. And, unlike those Obama haters who only repeat what they hear on TV and feel that they have an opinion that's actually worth something, I can say that I have made my decision off of reading the candidates positions. Let's attempt to bring about change by making informed decisions instead of "spin" that we hear on TV and vote for the best candidates on their issues. Most importantly we need a Democrat in the White House to fix these problems, and I hope it's OBAMA in 08.

    January 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Patrick

    Speaking figuratively -sincerely.

    January 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Cliff Baker

    To thad nze,

    Actually, what you will be witnessing is this: Bush – Clinton – Bush – Clinton – Clinton. Do you understand why? Here is a nightmare scenario for you: the Clintons will occupy the White House for the next 16 years.

    Hillary in the White House from 2008-2016. And by 2016 Chelsea will be 36 years old (35 is the min. age requirement).

    To my dear extremist Republican, history is in the making. You all will witness the FIRST woman to become president, the FIRST husband and wife to become president, and the FIRST father, mother and daughter to become president.

    Hillary 08
    Hillary 12
    Chelsea 16
    Chelsea 20

    Go Hillary! Go Chelsea!

    January 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. david anderson

    Obama is SPECIAL! Wake up America and dont miss this chance!

    January 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Jenna

    Carter need to go back to his Penut farm, he has no bearings for a presidential election.

    January 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Carrie

    Why all the negative about President Carter? He is a respectful, honest, and caring man; who has done alot of good for this country and around the world. He knows what is needed to fix all this anger.

    January 30, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. Jenna

    Carter needs to go back to his Peanut farm, he has no bearings for a presidential election.

    January 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. kare

    I wonder did we get his full comments?? I liked him a lot, yet only 4 years in office, his vision and empathy was not enough. He is an excellant man.

    January 30, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. Black Women in Florida for Hillary

    Go Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    President Hillary Clinton 2008!!

    January 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Anton

    Please read and reply!

    My company was hiring project managers. I have some experince leading a mid size team and I delivered 80% of what was expected of me. When I asked my company to hire me for the project manager position, I laid down a good case in front of management. They hired someone with more experience than me. I don't have any hard feelings cos it was the right thing to do.

    Then how can we give the position of "Manage America" to someone who doesnot have enough experience. I know Obama has laid out a good case for being the nominee, but fact is he wants us to believe his words. Why can't he be in senate for few more terms and then come back and seek the nomination.

    January 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. adanma

    Doris I am disappionted by your comments. I will be surprised if I found out you had any education. Diana I totally agree with you. Its an afront for any person to accept or reject a candidate on such flimsy foundation as race or gender. I think personality should play a part. President Carter has proved himself a remarkable human and has touched more lifes than 90% of the people on Earth now could. He is widely loved and respected. Being a good human counts more to me than being a good anything else. Obama can heal and America needs healing.

    January 30, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. Dave in Houston

    I think he is just the only person I know of who can say the word "titillating" with a straight face. For me and everyone else, it's a pretty easy punchline.

    January 30, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. Deborah

    OBAMA '08, thanks Mr. Carter. Please forgive me Mr. Cafferty, but I would like for you to answer my question about the Florida primary's, because I am voting for the first time. If the vote's in Florida didn't count, how come everyone including Senator Clinton are claiming her victory, when also there are no Delegates. And what are they going to do with the winning votes? Will they attach them to her votes on Super Tuesday? That would'nt be right. Thanks for your time, and will you e-mail me back. Also I asked this question to Mr. Lou Dobb's but he did not respond back, I guess because listening to him on CNN, he is a Hillary supporter, so maybe that is why. Again thanks for listening.

    January 30, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. scl

    I don't see why everyone is bashing President Carter simply because of his impression of Obama's message of extraordism (he clearly says that he is not supporting Obama). The issue here is Obama vs Clinton, in deciding who's the best candidate of the Democratic party and who will beat the Republicans not changing your vote bacause of a former President. All this critism and racial tension from comments from the black women bashing Obama is a disgrace of their own race. I am a white woman that sees Obama as a new leader and will bring about change in this county. He has more experience than President's Bush and Bill Clinton together. he All I see is Clintonism "old politics as usual" back into the White House. I am a government retiree and know how inside politics work, for I have worked through several Administrations and different govt. agencies for the past 30 years, almost the same amount of time that Hillary says she has 35 years experience. I didn't know of the woman until she became First Lady. I respect her as a strong woman and what she has gone through during the Clinton White House years. But, what has Hillary brought to the table for the past 35 years as she claims. I see the Clinton Campaign doing anything to get elected. Yes, Bill was a good President, but who's running for President here, Bill or Hillary? The fact that Hillary is a woman does not mean that she is the best candidate, in which some of you woman have expressed. Sounds like some of you are voting for her because you are biased against men. I think Hillary is playing victim when she says she reached for Obama's hand during the Pres. Union Speech. Has she nothing else to talk about, except the Clinton campaign complaining once again. This is an insult to American voters. Again, this is just another tactic for her to plead that she is victim . She's only jealous that Ted Kennedey did not support her. I am with Obama all the way. So, wake up people and get with the program! I hear a lot of bias against Obama, especially from the women of his own race. He is his own person. Just because his mother is white does not make him indifferent against his race. I see him strongly for all people, not just a few. A strong supporter from Virginia.

    January 30, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Cathy in Walnut, California

    The "Clintons" didn't/don't have integrity or moral principles in their marriage so what makes us think they will run the "White House" any different! It's unintelligent to vote for someone who has already showed you their ethics.
    Cathy in California

    January 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. tomw


    January 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. stan pitts pa

    im sick of the bush-clinton-bush dynasty we have a democracy folks not a monarchy, lets end this rule of America by 2 families, lets preserve our democratic integrity,say no to hillbilly, yes to the future, obama08!

    January 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. alexis

    One Obama doesnt salute the flag....How can he even be allowed to run for President
    Two Obama doesnt believe in god....
    He will bring this country down... he cant even handle Clinton(turning his back on her ) what makes people think he can handle the country with maturity????

    January 30, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. Gave Up

    If we want any kind of change we will not vote for any incumbants, or any of these smooth talking politicians. But, we will vote, and 4 years later we will be blogging again whinning and complaining. C ya in 4 years. The elected are only going to get worse. Look at the past presidents, only getting worse.

    January 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Pat

    JFK's father bought his presidency and now his brother has the nerve to be 'offended' by how Bill Clinton is conducting himself as he campaigns for Hillary. What a hypocrite. Also, what will Obama owe Teddy if he gets elected? In Washington, no good deed goes unrewarded!

    January 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. GreatHawk

    President Carter is one of the last remaining heroes in the Democratic Party. I hope he will endorse a new generation of leaders with Barack Obama.

    January 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32