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

Carter hints at supporting Obama

 Carter hinted Wednesday he'd likely support Obama.

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. Alice

    I am not a fan of Jimmy Carter - but am glad to hear he supports Obama.

    Apparently, the only superdelegates who support Hillary are those who locked in early, and now will have trouble getting out.

    April 3, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. deep_eye

    Smart, good man – but a lousy president. Still, this is significant; he has well earned the status of elder statesman and his humanitarian work is beyond reproach. Thank you, sir.

    Clintonistas' – what say ye – how shall we brand this latest ingrate – let's see, we have – "Judas, a nobody, traitor, non-experienced, stupid, loser, means nothing, etc. etc.," Which one shall we choose here? If he had gone over to "Her Highness," we would be hearing no end of how it was a "major endorsement" and "deeply significant." God, how I love that hillbilly spin machine.........

    April 3, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Bob Stephens

    Hillary needs to wake up and smell the roses.. It's over, lady. Pretty soon the only Super delegate endorsing Hillary, will be her husband....

    April 3, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Get Real

    I am a Hillary supporter and I don't fault Carter for his choice. Obama won in his state, unlike Richardson. Plus, Jimmy has no aspirations for a position.

    I just pulled the numbers state by state and Hillary is only behind about 140,000 in popular vote with 10 primaries left. Obama won in predominantly red states...I say predominantly so please read this accurately. He has not won in some of the most major states that are crucial to Democrats winning in general elections. Plus, he wins in caucauses which only provide a small window of opportunity for voters...a general election lasts all day so voters have an opportunity to go to the polls.

    The Democratic party is really behind the eight ball in this primary election. They have left the Clintons alone to fight this battle while coronating Obama. Hillary has a lot of support and they will not be so forgiving in the general election and there is a huge possibility that this support will go McCain because they believe that the Clintons are not the sole reason for the negativity and they just don't trust or know Obama well. Obama looks clean cut while his supporters/surrogates are out doing the dirty work. Any time you have a close election like this and the party is showing support for one candidate, it does not fair well with the other candidate's voters, especially when Obama claims change and a new Washington and he is dripping in the same old Washington folks.

    April 3, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Obama Supporter

    I’m so tired of people holding Pastor Wright’s remarks against Obama. Hillary's doing all kinds of out of character things and her supporters are still there for her. What makes you think Obama wasn't a good influence over the Pastor Wright. Obama just made a wonderful speech that no other politician in history ever dared to make – because they couldn’t touch it. Being the son of a white mother and black father allows him to see both sides of the race issue. There needs to be a healing with regard to race in this country and only Obama is prepared to bring us all together. As a Democrat I will vote for Hillary if she wins against Obama because I’m Democrat. We all have to stick together.

    April 3, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Carol/Lansing Michigan

    The troops are starting to rally around one candidate, and that one is Obama.

    Of course he will either be a Benedict Arnold and insignificant according to the Clintons.

    After all, everyone and every state that has leaned towards Barack doesn't matter according to them.

    April 3, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Sam, Grand Prairie TX

    Super Delegates Unite!!! Domcrats Unite behind Obama who has worked hard to get the nomination. This guy faced a former president, a first lady, his race, name, and experience. He overcame all these odds and challenges with hard work and intelligence. If this is not the American dream than the dream has deferred. This is how Obama got my vote. Thanks President Carter!!!

    Obama 08!!!

    April 3, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Nancy


    April 3, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Jason the Independent

    To all the apparently pro-George Bush Hillary supporters:

    If your candidate loses and you vote for McCain you are voting for 4 more years of GB. It's time to start getting through the various phases of grief.

    Don't forget, the president in many ways is a figure head and if Obama wins he will have a lot of smart people (including most likely Hillary!) working in his administration.

    April 3, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Midge from Ohio

    They are both "nice" people, but not strong enough to run the USA>

    April 3, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Nita

    I am a Obama supporter, however is Hillary getting any superdelegates that the media can speak about?? Just curious...

    April 3, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. ALBO


    Even Democrats which certainly cannot be titled LIBERAL are now endorsing OBAMA, as the Pennsylvania senator, Lee Hamilton, Richardson and now Carter are supporting OBAMA.

    And OBAMA has nearly closed the gap in Pennsylvania and is running away in North Carolina.



    April 3, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Mike, Texas

    If I don't like Obama.....or Hillary......or McCain....does that make me racist or part of the "Clinton Machine"? You people are weird. I don't like any of them. Why do these old democrats find it necessary to "back" anyone? Obamabots, Hillarybots and McCainbots...you're all the same. There is not ONE person on either ticket worth being president. But the people that are so pro-Obama seem to be brainwashed. It is really sickening to see how the man has done NOTHING to warrant all of this idol worship except give "inspirational" speeches. Obama supporters scare me as much as his unknown factors do.

    April 3, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Anne

    Did anyone see the Chris Matthews interview with Obama????

    Was it just me, or does Matthews have a man-crush on Barack?
    I swear, he was swooning........

    Hillary has had an uphill battle for months now, ever since the
    pundits on the cable news channels have decided that they'd
    rather have a man than a woman president, and that's the bottom line.

    Barack Obama is too soft, inexperienced and racist to be the
    President of the United States. It's time for a REAL CHANGE.

    HILLARY '08!!!!!

    April 3, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Deb

    What I remember from "The Peanut Farmer" years-17% interest rates, the complete lack of leadership during the Iran Hostage Crisis, I'm not surprised that he would endorse a candidate that is no longer viable!

    April 3, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. jwilliams

    Good grief who cares about what Carter has to say. Cater a Christian
    !!!!!!!how could he vote for someone that has listen to Wright for 20 years and let his children listen to such harsh word . I thought he was a good moral man but that thought just when out the window

    April 3, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. ILoveAmerica

    Carter is America's greatest "elder statesman" and his preference for Obama comes as no surprise. When Hillary fabricated the story about running to a car with her head down while braving sniper fire, she lost whatever remained of her credibility as a leader.

    April 3, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. stophillary

    As President Carter is reported to have said, "The Clintons are always there when they need you."

    That pretty much sums up Billary.

    April 3, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Roger

    President Carter is highly repected but I think he is a bit too old to make the right judgement. Sorry Mr. President but dementia is a terrible disease to have in old age.

    April 3, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Jos/TN

    I admire senator Hillary Clinton, but she should step back start grooming Chelsa for a White House run in 2025 or thereafter. To all of the superdelegates, you shouldn't feel that you owe the Clintons anything, that is the main problem with American polictics. America needs a complete overhaul Obama is the right person for the job, i hear the hype about experience, did experience bring America to its current state if so, it doesn't say anything for having experience, Iraq war, fuel prices, and economy.

    April 3, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. philip

    If Carter does endorse Obama, it will be the kiss of death for him.

    April 3, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Adam

    I respect if he votes with his home State. Wish others would do the same.

    April 3, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Truth

    President Carter,

    I admire your courage. Your endorsemnet should be annouanced on 04/20/2008, right before PA closed primary. We need to help Obama close the deal. We should force the inevitiable loser to drop out.

    By the way, CNN Campbell Brown is a Republican and she supports Hillary Clinton.

    April 3, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Jeff

    Good for Carter, he can choose who he wants.

    Just an FYI, part of the reason so many clinton supporters would go over to McCain is because of how Obama supporters treat them. You may want to consider that in the future.

    April 3, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. JIMBO

    Obama has all the old losers backing him up.. I thought he was going to promise us something new !!!! Wow Teddy-bar Kennedy and now Jimmy Carter. Real poster boys for disfunctional government

    No-Bama 2008

    April 3, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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