April 3rd, 2008
04:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Carter hints at supporting Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/03/art.carter.gi.jpg caption=" Carter hinted Wednesday he'd likely support Obama."]

(CNN) - Former President Jimmy Carter all but said Wednesday he plans to cast his superdelegate vote for Barack Obama.

Speaking with a Nigerian paper while in Abuja, Carter noted several reasons why he might be leaning toward the Illinois senator.

"Don’t forget that Obama won in my state of Georgia," Carter said. "My town, which is home to 625 people, is for Obama, my children and their spouses are pro-Obama. My grandchildren are also pro-Obama."

"As a superdelegate, I would not disclose who I am rooting for but I leave you to make that guess," Carter added.

The Carter Center confirmed to CNN the newspaper did quote Carter accurately.

Responding to the comments, Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said Thursday, "Both Senator Clinton and President Clinton have a great deal of respect for President Carter and have enjoyed their relationship with him over the years, and obviously he is free to make whatever decision he thinks is appropriate with regard to presidential choice."

Wolfson also acknowledged "people will be interested in the choice that he makes."

Carter's remarks are the latest from the former president that suggest he is backing Obama over rival Hillary Clinton, although he has made no official endorsement. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in January, Carter said Obama's campaign has been "extraordinary and titillating for me and my family."

He also said then that Obama "will be almost automatically a healing factor in the animosity now that exists, that relates to our country and its government."

Related: Watch Brian Todd's analysis of Carter hinting at supporting Obama

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Jimmy Carter
soundoff (509 Responses)
  1. Ben

    Why do people think Carter was a terrible president? Is it because they thought that the world would be better if we kept the current dependencies on foriegn oil? Yeah that's really worked out! Carter was ahead of his time, his programs are still the route solution we need in this country. He makes his decisions based on wisdom not popularity, that same careful wisdom will be an endorsement for Obama.

    April 3, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Mike

    It feels like Obama has finally gotten to the top of the hill and is starting to pick up speed as he goes downhill. As the PA race tightens, I picture the Clinton team driving themselves crazy trying to decide what mud to throw at Obama over the next couple weeks. The latest poll (PPP) at pollster.com actually shows Obama leading in PA. Howard Wolfson is whipping up the troops – c'mon guys, let's find something that will stick...

    April 3, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. Greg

    I think it will be interesting to see if people's opinins stay the same come the fall.

    My current vote order is: Obama, McCain, Clinton. I hear a lot of people with that order and a lot of people say Clinton, McCain, Obama.

    I wonder how many people will keep those orders when Clinton or Obama are out. It is a bit strange since Clinton and Obama seem to have such similar policies. Is it the heat of the campaign or other reasons for the vote orders? My issue is that I think Clinton divides too much of the country. We need healing locally and abroad after the last guy in office...

    April 3, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. p henry

    Jimmy Who?

    April 3, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. bessie

    Why are Obama supporters asking Hillary to quit? Are you afraid that Obama might actually lose? She is only 1% behind Obama, WHY QUIT? Or you're asking her to quit because simply she's a woman? In 1988, Jesse Jackson took his hopeless campaign against winner Michael Dukakis all the way to the convention, often to great media praise. In 1980, Ted Kennedy carried his run against Jimmy Carter all the way to the convention, even though it was clear he had been routed. Even in 1960, Lyndon Johnson and Adlai Stevenson fought the "certain" nomination of John F. Kennedy all the way to the convention floor. HILLARY '08

    April 3, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. OMG

    Oh yeah, there is a great endorsement. I believe Carter may go down as one of our worst Presidents ever.

    That's it – just figured out. He is throwing his support behind someone whom he figures can unseat him as the worst President ever.

    Good Choice, Jimmy, the weak must stay together.

    April 3, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Bud from Florida

    I am a HRC Supporter here in FL... But.
    It is interesting to read these blogs as, faced with the inevitability of an Obama nomination, us the Clinton's supporters now have to blackmail with our votes and threaten that we will lose in November...

    How about being positive and considering that if the Carters alike in the democratic party are wise enough to endorse one candidate,we can do the same and examine why and how we can still achieve victory in Nov. You know... Instead of fearmongering...
    If he does win the nomination as it looks more and more to be headed towards now... Fair and Square... He deserves my vote and will get it this November.

    April 3, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Tim in Canada

    President Jimmy Carter is a Mega-Delegate.

    April 3, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Wake up

    Cater knows that Obama cannot win in general election since Obama only won red states so far, he obviously want McCan to win the general election, he is doing that in a unspoken way.

    April 3, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. cy

    when obama wins this nomination,even without winning this november election.I will come and live in America.Because it reinforces my sense that America is once again,the land of opportunities where small dreams can bring out the hero in yu.come on USA.Support obama

    April 3, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. OhioDemocrats

    Well Done, Jimmy!! One step closer to gettting Obama nominated and forcing many middle of the road Democrats, like myself, to vote for McCain!

    Ugh....looks like Bush's third term because there is NO WAY Mr. Obama gets this guy's vote. Wake Up people!!

    April 3, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Texas Democrat

    It doesn't matter to me who's endorsing whom at this point. This election has left a very bad taste. Obama wins the nomination, I will not vote in the general election.

    April 3, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Natalie

    To "Lady in MN"

    Ignorance is apparently bliss for you. Climb on board the Obama train! We are very forgiving, accepting, EDUCATED and open minded people!

    "Kool-aid drinking"........ how appropriate.

    April 3, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Jane Alt

    Great choice President Carter! Great choice. You know what Amercian needs.
    Just come out now and make it open so that the Hillary will drop out of the race.
    Good job President Carter. Clinton's families are known to be a big lier. How I wish Bill Clinton will respect himself and tell his wife to drop out of her race. Bill please respect yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 3, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. mary

    Is it true Obama has threaten black superdelegates to side with him?

    April 3, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Dan

    Whether you consider Carter a "the worse president" (I would disagree, Hoover, Nixon, Eisenhower, and I'm sure many many more would agree the current one is top of that list), the fact is he has been a tremendous post-president and embodies the qualities that most former president's look to become. I don't care who he endorses, as I don't care who anyone else does. I just want this over and done with. Let the Democrats get their nominee.

    This should be a Demcrats dream year (bad economy, war casulaties, oil companies making big bucks while people are losing their homes). Keep it up Dems and we will have Bush, part IV (the Mc Bush years)

    April 3, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. marian


    April 3, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Oleg, CA

    Good president, great post-president. Cannot imagine he could endorse somebody guilty in launching Iraq war.

    Obama 2008

    April 3, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Anybody but McCain

    Oh, sorry, Carter hinted Wednesday.

    April 3, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. Pete from Boston

    Carter, Kerry, Kennedy - all elder superdelegates. Somehow it seems Bill belongs on this list. Could he already be planning his endorsement, maybe his people talking with the Obama people? It is the ultimate triangulation.

    April 3, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. GARTH

    CHANGE2008............This is for you. Just google "hillary's earmarks" and follow the links from there. I don't know if you will find itemized earmarks, but folks HILLARY RECEIVED SOMETHING LIKE $2.2BILLIONS SINCE 2002. EVERYONE SHOULD CHECK THIS OUT!!

    April 3, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Ga. latino voter

    Thank u President Carter.

    April 3, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. james Pa

    thanks Mr President
    let ball rolling for sen. Obama

    April 3, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Logical 1

    Lady in MN wake up the returns would prove that she and Bills' loyalties are for sale.

    April 3, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Voter

    Whatever you think of Mr. Carter's presidency, he is the finest human being to hold the office in my lifetime, including JFK, and his life and dignity after his term in office shows it.

    It therefore means something when President Carter gives his endorsement.

    It is also worthwhile to compare Jimmy Carter's style and dignity to that of Bill Clinton's wallowing in the mud to get his wife elected!

    April 3, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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