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. DB

    I had the wrong name on my last post...... IT IS PETER PAUL.

    Next time I hear about Rezko, ask your self about Hillary and the people she interacts with. Search for Peter Paul and Clinton. That may be the biggest fraud towards campaign contributions ever. There is a great youtube docuentary video that has a video of her thanking him, then denying she knew him, then asking for money. Slow starter but worth the 10 minutes.

    January 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Dan

    This trully means a lot.
    May the leaders of a free world unite.
    End tyranny, global domination, and begin to restore Americas image around the world

    Obama '08

    January 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Ginny CA

    Oh, now I get it. In Edwards' announcement about dropping out of the race, he also mentioned he'll work on Habitat for Humanity projects.

    January 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. TW

    Why is Obama "extraordinary"
    Does he have a plan to end the war?
    Does he have a way for the government to stop hemmoraging cash?
    Does he have a plan to secure the borders?

    All I hear is that he makes people feel good, maybe Dr Phil should run as Obama's VP?

    January 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Dianna - Oklahoma

    Doris January 30, 2008 11:35 am ET wrote

    "Mr. President I will try to be kind sir, since you were the first candidate I ever voted for. You lost. I think you saying that they are running an exordinary campaign is a little odd. And most important was your comment "he will be almost automatically a healing factor in the animosity now that exists." He is the separating factor. All of you are just women haters. You are so afraid of women.

    "Maya Angelou, poet, educator

    "You can write me down in history with hateful, twisted lies, you can tread me in this very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise." Clinton 08"

    How in the world do you explain away the fact that I am no supporter of Hillary's. I am a woman the last time I checked, so am I also a woman hater? Saying that I need to support her based on gender alone is insulting to my intellect. Even if I liked her which I do not (I find her shrill and polarizing) I am a realist. The Republicans will destroy her in the general election and fire up their base. No one unifies their base like a Clinton. I am supporting Obama for two reason 1 is practical in that he has a far better chance of winning then a Clinton does. And 2 Is most important and dear to me Find him to be inspiring, unifying and highly principled. Above someone mentioned money he gave bake to Rezko. I have to say if the best they can find on him is money gave back them bring him on Hillary has far more skelletons and anyone who says otherwise is deluded.

    January 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. wER

    Thanks Jimmy! You are my hero. Carter is a statesman and patriot the way he stood up to Bush the last 8 years. He also has shown to be a leader even after his presidency, by the way.

    What a week it has been, getting praise from many, many GREAT Democrats.

    Obama is a force – he will unite this country and perhaps even the world.

    The times, they are a changin' !!!


    January 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Leo

    Is it that easy for people to fall for an illusion and think that it is in fact reality?
    Barak Obama as future president of USA = illusion

    January 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Amy

    Obama does not deserve to win the nomination, regardless of what some people say. There are other African-American or mixed race candidates that don't get half the free publicity Obama receives from CNN, and unlike Obama they are not admitted drug users.

    January 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Heidi

    I am a woman andI would to see a woman in office...but not HILARY

    January 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. roger, conway sc

    WITH NO DUE RESPECT MR. PRESIDENT I beg to differ with your opinion....Obama is just a smooth politican he speaks very well but his words have no substance. When asked a question his answer is very brief and really does not answer the question and then he goes off on this change message that is very long and has nothing to do with the question and people get all excited. I do believe that he is the one mostly causing the racial tension in the SC primary by complaining, acting like a bully & then whining to Jim Clyburn, Jesse Jackson, & the media. If he can not handle the Clintons just wait until the GOP gets ahold of him...MR & MRS OBAMA & MR & MRS EDWARDS both started the critizing & negative campaigning of Hillary long before she started fighting back with Bill, the Edwards slacked off but the Obamas kept up the crap and when she fired back the media & black leadership pulled the race card...

    January 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. sharon

    Jimmy Carter! Who cares. He was the worst president we've ever had.....I call his endorsement....."The Kiss of Death."

    January 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Kelvin

    Hillary will take us to war with Iran

    January 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Wayne, Wentzville MO

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Senator Obama, is indeed the person who should be leading this great nation of ours. Ted Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and other notable scholars of their time, would also agree to that.

    We need Obama in office people! In my mind, no one else even comes close to what he can do for this country, on such a huge and wide scale. Please give him a chance to perform for us! Thank you!

    January 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Jorge

    America is a democratic country with a free vote and with out Dynasties or Royal Ruling Families! Or maybe not…
    1981-1989: George H. Bush (Vice President)
    1989 – 1993: George H. Bush (President)
    1993 – 2001: William J. Clinton (President)
    2001-2009: George W. Bush (President)
    2009 – 2017: Hillary R. Clinton (President!?!)
    36 years of the same two families holding the executive office of the United States of America.
    28 years of the same two families serving as President of the United States of America.
    Do you Really Think that Hillary Clinton it’s CHANGE?

    January 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Raman, Plano TX

    Obama is fine as long as he speaks. But his actions diverge from what he actually preaches:

    1. He mentions in his speeches that he is not a racist. He has a history of being member of an extremist church, that avows racism. He has not come forth and explained how he is going to manage such spiritual relationships.
    2. There is plenty of evidence that some people who support him have extreme Islamic ideology. Not that other democratic leaders do not have such relationships, but a candidate running for president's job has to come out clean on such issues.
    3. He mentions that he is a uniter, but a news earlier proved that he could not muster enough strength to greet Sen. Clinton during State of Union address. Not that it matters. It is his personal choice whom to greet or not. But then he should not make false claims of being a uniter.
    4. and many more such issues

    His message is appealing and that is all there is that we know about him. So far he is coming across as a leader whose actions are not congruent with his words, but has star power to put on a perfect show.

    US would prefer to have a president who is accountable and down to earth when it comes to solving issues.

    January 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Leah

    Apparently, some of you need to do your homework on the Carter Presidency. I haven't forgotten what he did or should I say did not do for this country. The military was left behind, the Middle East never abided by their peace treaty, and we lost the Panama Canal. And, if memory serves me correctly, he is the one who kept our athletes from competing in the Summer Olympics. These people had trained their entire lives to compete, and in one swift move, he said no.

    His term in office is still one of the worst in our history. Please look up the facts on his Presidency as some of you obviously weren't around during that time, or you have chosen to forget.

    We will never forget, and we will never give up.

    January 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Al in Wpg

    Tracey M, you silly, sexist, uneducated person. No, not all of Canada, and defenetly not the world, hope that America votes for Hillary. Don't know where you got the power to speak for the whole world, but I'm pretty sure I didn't vote for you to speak for me.

    January 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Anne

    Memo to political hopefulls–
    –If you take the high road, you never have to explain, retract or apologize for your remarks.

    January 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Jerry

    If the Dems want the Presidency they will vote for Obama. As an Ind/Dem i would rather vote for McCain than Clinton.

    January 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Jacqueline Bauer

    Let me see...

    Old liberal Teddy Kennedy
    Old liberal John Kerry
    Old liberal Jimmy Carter
    Old liberal Bill Bradley
    Old liberal Patrick Leahy
    Old liberal ...

    YES! Barabk Obama is the man of CHANGE, the man of NEW IDEAS, the man who will turn around the OLD WASHINGTON ESTABLISHMENT!!

    Obama like a man who just received MANY kisses of death!!

    January 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Jen

    I DO NOT think this is a woman-hater issue. I am a yellow dog Democrat and a woman and even I can see this simple truth: HILLARY CLINTON IS A DIVISIVE, NOT UNITING, FIGURE! It is not a question of whether or not she can do the job. She is more than capable. She could intimidate most world leaders more than the man in theOval Office right now! But my problem with her is, she would do what's best for HER and her re-election bid 4 years from now. She is a shrewd politician who will say anything to get elected.

    I do not believe that Obama is a saint but I do believe that he will change the tone in Washington. Special interest groups will not be making policy in an Obama Administration.

    Thank you, President Carter, for always speaking from your heart whether it's popular opinion or not! Obama '08!

    January 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. KH

    We do not need two families (Bush/Clinton) to control the White House for 24 years. Furthermore, wouldn't you rather see a woman become president on her own rather than the coattails of her husband?

    The Democrats need to send a candidate that can beat McCain. Hillary simply cannot do that. Obama has a shot.

    January 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. robert

    Obama is getting tremendous support from media.The greatest Cheerleadewrs are: Wolf Blitzer and Jack Caferty _ CNN!
    Two days ago when FBI arrested Obamas good friend (of 20 years) Chicago land
    speculator by whom Obama obtained property at much lower price there is NO COMMENT from Wolf Blitzer and Co, if such happened with Clintons CNN's bells would ring still.
    Media shall be neutral, objective and informative.
    What you doing at CNN is shamefull and unprofesional.

    January 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Philip

    It's time for someone who can do the job right, who cares about it being a woman or a man? Apparently some women are hell-bent on that person being female, and that's just not the right priority to have right now. You're asking for less ego, and you're supporting Hil Clinton? So 80% of African Americans are voting for Obama seems racist to you? If that's the case, then a majority of people voting for Clinton are sexist–do you see the logic in that, or are you busy baking cookies for Jimmy Carter? You're not very bright are you?

    January 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Jim

    Hey Doris, breaking news. Just because there are men who don't want Hillary Clinton for president does not mean they are women haters or afraid of women. I have no problem with a woman as president. It's just that as a political conservative, I want the first woman president to be less liberal (and have less negative baggage) than Ms. Clinton. Surely, you can understand that point of view as something other than misogyny.

    January 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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