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. Mike

    I hate to bring it up but there is a slight problem about Obama though.

    The Obama people whine that Hillary's campaign is giving ammo to the GOP that can hurt Obama later. That is the biggest dumb thing ever.

    Think about it. The GOP knows the same thing that Hillary's camp knows. If Hillary hurts Obama in the primary race what do you think the GOP is going to do in the general election?

    The reality is that Hillary has been very civil because her goal is to win the nomination without disenchanting Obama's people and not hurting Obama's career.

    The GOP will not be near as nice. They are not interested in holding back. They want to end Obama's career completely and put as bad a taste in the mouth of his supporters as possible.

    Anything that Hillary has attacked I can guarantee you the GOP will and much, much, much worse.

    There are things about Obama I know about that have not hit the main media that would end anyone's career. I am sure the GOP is already waiting to use it for full impact if Obama is the nominee. They have so much on him that he will not be electable at all.

    Consider this one point. John Kerry in 2004 a decorated war veteran with a clean record was burned down by false spin by the GOP. Obama with numerous issues and bad voting record, the GOP will have this election in the bag and they know it.

    Hillary's record is already known well and there is nothing left to attack on her part. She is much more a fighter and has fought the GOP many times already even as first lady.

    Trust me if you want a Republican in the whitehouse make Obama the nominee. If you want a Democrat in the whitehouse make Hillary the nominee.

    April 3, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. Aaron G. West - Jackson, Mississippi

    Way to go Mr. President ................. You know "THE TRUTH"

    Will someone convey that message to BILLARY & company please?

    Obama has the capitol & Major Democratic backing .............

    They all are coming on in ................. one by one .................. AMAZING!

    Rocky is not gonna be saved by the BELL this round

    OBAMA 2008 ..................

    April 3, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Terry from VA

    More superdelegates should come out, speak their mind and end this thing. Hillary is allowed to run as long as she wants. All most of us have asked is that they keep the contest on issues and not identity.

    Good Night and Good Luck

    April 3, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Joe

    jujub, you don't know what you're talking about. Jimmy Carter is not revered. He is considered one of the worst presidents ever. Yep, that's a pretty lofty goal to aspire to.

    April 3, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. RuthieM

    President Carter, do it, endorse Senator Obama today, thank you!

    April 3, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Scott

    jimmy, you and the media seem to for get the so called Ronald Reagan

    democrats, you know us personally, were the ones who retired you..

    this party got to realize that there base vote is as fluid as there lack of

    intelligence in understanding we are the democrats, and independent

    and turn coat republicans shouldn't be allowed to vote in the

    democratic primary. that's why its called a democrat primary......

    we should have closed primaries and every one votes on the same day in all states and territories, with the vote of the people.

    being the last and only word......... court the others after the closed primary has selected our choice for nominee.....

    i dont get it? why is that so hard to achieve???????????


    April 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Leila

    Please Jimmy Carter, do not fall for this man's empty promises. He says he'll be a different kind of politician but he is just as corrupt as anyone. He loves Rev. Wright but he broke ties when the Wright controversy hurt his chances to win. His campaign has pulled one sentence from a McCain speech and twisted it into something untrue. Then they complain about that same thing happening to his wife's statement about not being proud of America.
    Jesse Jackson "threatened" black Superdelegates that they need to support the only black candidate. Not because he is best, but because he is black. Same stuff as always. Obama is not different.
    He will do and say anything to get the office. We MUST know more about him before giving him the opportunity to run America.
    I am a lifelong Democrat and was very young when Carter was in office, but I admire what he has done since leaving politics. I hope his judgement is better than to support the Obama media machine.

    April 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. BCC

    Please Mr. President, make your Super Deligate decision on logic not on emotion. Senator Barack Obama, like you is a good man with good intentions. Unfortunately, he has no meaningful experience to draw from to be our President and Commander-in-Chief.

    If Barack Obama really wants to serve our country as President he should take on much needed experience by remaining in the Senate and in either four years or eight years from now, depending on who is elected this year, then run for President.

    With the problems our counrty faces after the current Presidential Administration, we can ill afford a new President who will need a first term to gather the needed experience to be effective.

    April 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Jamey Columbus

    If obama wins he will be a 4 year president... just like Jimmy...

    April 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. cyp

    JIMMY, did you tell your grandchildren that OBAMA

    voted NO to


    maybe you should. What kind of person would vote to deny babies already born alive the right to life ?

    Check Obama's voting record in the ILLINOIS Senate

    April 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Funny

    Without CNN media, without Obama;

    Withou Obama, without more news;

    Without more news, without ads;

    Without ads, without money;

    Without money, without CNN.

    So, without Obama, without CNN.

    April 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. Kareem from Hampton VA

    Whats really funny is how allof these endoresements barack is getting alwat seem to not mean anything, BUT YET youre mad about it! Hmm!

    April 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Marc

    Sounds like an endorsement to me!.......

    Great news ALL this week!!!!........

    The SUPERS just keep coming in for Obama!.....

    Great money total for Obama this month as well.....

    Hillary now should realize America wants Obama not her.......

    OBAMA: THE NEXT PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. Juanita

    I have little respect for the political ability of former President Carter as I think he was an ineffective president but I do think it takes courage to go against the Clinton machine.
    Who'd thought?

    April 3, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. BoricuaSport

    As a former Republican I can only stress how important the support of former President Carter the best International policy advocate this country's ever had, in favor of Obama. His support only spells one thing. This country has the best opportunity to move forward with Obama in the White House, unless Americans prefer another Beaurocrat with the same old crapy politics. Please just think about the 4K dead and many more injured in a worthless war in Irak before you support McCain. This does not make sense not even to a kid.

    April 3, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Ross in MD

    That means since March 4, 12 new superdelegates for Obama, just one for Hillary...

    Thanks Carter for another wise decision!

    April 3, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. North Carolina

    Lady in MN you are exactly right. America does need to wake up! Obama would get smoked in a general election. He doesn't stand a chance in the general election without being on the same ticket with Hillary. He needs to suck it up and be the VP and get SOME EXPERIENCE under his belt and then run for Pres. in 2016 when he will only be something like 54 years old. He hasn't won a single big state outside of where he lives in Illinois. In a general election John McCain would take California and Florida and Ohio from him and it would be a breeze for the Republicans. Do you guys really want possibly 8 more years of George W. Bush policies? Think about it. Nuff said!

    April 3, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. skylark

    Mr. Carter was not a bad president. George Bush is a bad president.
    Bill Clinton not a bad president. Just a dirty Old Man!

    Thank you Mr Carter!

    Obama '08

    April 3, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Evelyn Mills

    President Carter,
    I am disappointed in your supporting OBama.Thank God ,I am no longer a Democrat

    April 3, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Montreal

    It's quite obvious. Many of the superdelegates were uncomfortable going up against the clinton machine. Read threats and political amnuvering) Now they are beginning to be unafarid and speaking their real truth.
    Speaking about truth,
    Why aren't the clinton backers botherd by the fact their candidate made a deal re Mi/Fl primaries and has no qualms about breaking her promise. Or have they abandoned the concept of honour and honesty alltogether?

    April 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. twister49 - oklahoma

    lady in MN, looks like there are no takers for your question to the O supporters:

    Lady in MN April 3rd, 2008 12:23 pm ET

    I have 3 questions for you kool aid drinking Obamapologists. I will be impressed if you can answer one in an informative and rational manner.

    1) All I hear you whine right now is “What about her tax returns”….”where are her tax returns. Its a fair point, but please explain to me what could be possibly near as damaging in them, as compared to having Wright as your pastor (not pasture Obamabot) for 20 years.

    2) I also consistently hear “Do the Math”. Fair enough the math is impossible for Hillary, but why don’t YOU do the math. Please get Obama to the needed victory in the electoral college in the GE. NOTE – OH, FL, MI, and VA cannot be counted as he will not win them….see current polls. (I’ll start you off with CA, IL, and Vermont). GOOD LUCK

    3) If CNN and MSNBC were as in the bag for Clinton as they are for Obama…..Do you honestly think Obama would be in a statsistcal tie like Hillary is now.


    April 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Ed

    At first it is a trickle and then a flood! Expect more and more to see that\ supporting the Clinton's is a losing proposition. They carry way too much dirty baggage. Her ecent lies about sniper fire didn't help and her weak explaination she misspoke only underscored her inability to see things clearly. If she can't be trusted in the middle of the day, why would she be better at 3a.m. ?

    April 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Carl from Pa

    This is a pretty big deal, Carter is well respected and a party elder. I have a feeling after Pennsylvania, when Obama pulls within 5 points, more super delegates will cast their support behind Obama and he'll have the nomination by June.

    April 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. CANDY

    That would nice if Carter endorsed Obama. That will show the Clinton 's that they can't control everybody.

    Obama 08

    April 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Kathy

    Poor choice from Carter.

    April 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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