May 21st, 2008
03:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Carter: Obama-Clinton ticket unlikely

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Carter says a joint Obama-Clinton ticket is unlikely."](CNN) - Hillary Clinton would accept the No. 2 spot on the Democratic ticket, but it's highly unlikely Barack Obama will offer it to her should he be the party's nominee, former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday.

Speaking during a question and answer session at an event in Houston Tuesday night, Carter said, in his view, it's not impossible the two could pair up for the general election. But the former president said Obama will most likely search for a different vice presidential candidate.

"I think it would be highly unlikely for Obama to ask her to take it," Carter said. "Because I don't see how it would help his ticket. I think he needs somebody like a [former Georgia Sen.] Sam Nunn, but I won't name others.”

"But I think if he asked her, she would take it," Carter added.

The former president also reiterated that he does not have direct contact with either campaign and is not privy to the VP deliberations.

Carter also said a unity ticket would likely help the party come together after the prolonged and at times divisive primary race. But he stopped short of saying such a ticket would be the strongest Democrats could field

"That would be the ticket the republicans would favor I think," he said.

Carter, a Democratic superdelegate, has yet to formally endorse a candidate, but he has strongly hinted he is in favor of Obama.

soundoff (570 Responses)
  1. Linda from Prescott

    My Word! Are we democrats losing our senses? First, I support Senator Obama, secondly at one time I supported Mrs. Clinton, however, I took exception to her methods and decided to go with Senator Obama.
    Now let's see here, we are democrats, our goal is to reclaim the whitehouse. Traditionally speaking, when your favored candidate loses the nomination you vote for whoever has been determined to be our standard bearer, it becomses a vote to support your PARTY AND BELIEFS. Being spiteful and flipping over to the republican candidate shows a real sense of immaturity and a lack of belief in party ideals.
    Personally, I think that Clinton is supporting this switcheroo idea as a petty "I told you so"...don't play. VOTE DEMOCRAT in NOVEMBER.

    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Mike Jones

    Hillary supporters can take their vote over to McCain. But in 2012 the Obama supporters will take their votes elsewhere, when she tries to run again. "Karma" as Earl Hickey would say.

    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. JAY

    That decision wont be made my Carter! I want to see some comments in reference to the new stance the Bush administration is taking towards Cuba by allowing Americans to send cell phones to Cuban relatives. I want to know how is McCain going to insist that no dialogue between the Castro regime is benefitting anyone. Also I think America needs to stop putting so much emphasis on trying to appease certain groups and have the same policy towards all racial groups that exist within the United States.

    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Obama/Kennedy

    We the Obama supproters we do not want to hear the Name Clinton Ever again.

    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. ellianna

    By the time Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton get finished with their "prolonged attempt" to "HAVE EVERY VOTE COUNTED", there will be absolutely NO CHANCE FOR THE DEMOCRATS TO WIN IN THE FALL!! The latest tactic "sexism", is going to just add more fuel to the fire she has purposely set that burns hotter every day!! I will not be surprised to see her go all the way to the convention!! Irregardless of what the critics might say, I truly believe SHE IS SET ON A COURSE to completely tear the Democratic party apart!! The Clintons are narcissitic, petty, liars, cheaters, and corrupt politicians and individuals who are only interested in two people in this world, BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON!! So, I respectfully send a message to every Super Delegate that has not endorsed as yet!! PLEASE PLEASE, SUPERDELEGATES - ENDORSE BARACK OBAMA IMMEDIATELY, ASAP, IN THE COMING DAYS, so that he will have the numbers necessary to close this primary and get on with campaigning in the general!! WE NEED TO END THIS RACE!! IT IS GETTING UGLIER AND MORE DIFFICULT WITH EVERY DAY, DUE TO THE CLINTONS AND THEIR DETERMINATION TO TEAR THE PARTY APART!!


    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Garth

    I'm a strong Obama supporter and I'm starting to warm up to Hillary as VP, but I think it will be a hard sell to most Democrats. I also worry that Hillary as VP brings all the Clinton baggage along without the impact. But the Republicans have such a weak candidate, a one -two punch with Obama and Clinton might be the answer.

    On the other hand, there are Obamacons that might not vote for the ticket because they despise the Clintons. The independents and cross-over Republicans, which I think there are many are a force not to be ignored.

    I also believe that by offering the VP, she will SHUT UP about the evils of sexism etc. Maybe we would be lucky and she wouldn't take it because she is still expecting to be the Nominee.

    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Don't Vote


    If Hillary is not on the ticket we will not vote or we vote McCain. This is 100% true.

    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. David, Newport OR

    this is smart...many of the "non-Democratic" states where Obama lost to Clinton will not be won by the Democratic Party when it comes to the general election, regardless of who the nominee is. I'm sorry...given a choice between a white man and either a woman or a black man, some states will go with the white man everytime. This is not being said to be is just a fact that too many people choose to deny. States like New York and California will go Democratic with either candidate. The addition of Clinton to an Obama ticket will not increase the likelihood of a fall win. The VP needs to help turn close states like Ohio, Penn, Michigan where solidifying the Democratic Party will still not be enough.

    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Bob

    Having Hillary on the ticket would do a disservice to Obama as well as Hillary. Hillary represents business as usual as supported by the exit polls in WV and KY. On the other hand there will be a number of blacks who will believe that Obama took them for granted, if he places Hillary on the ticket. When it comes to the race card, Hillary opened many wounds for African Americans. When she was putting down Barack ,she in subsequent was putting down all African Americans. Like it or not racism and sexism do and willplay a part in our politics because America does have some uneducated backward people, in all groups of people. The ism's are alive and well in America until the backward generations die off, then America will have to dill with their children.

    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Karen

    You don't want her voters? You're an idiot. Then Obama loses. Democrats are too hateful to run this country.

    May 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. David in Illinois

    Voting because of the VP?

    Isn't that worse than being a one issue voter?

    Instead consider this, are better off than you were eight years ago?

    Is the country better off than it was eight years ago?

    Do you want more of the same for yourself, your nation, and your children?

    This is bigger than one canidate or one party. This is about getting America back on the right track. Vote appropriately.

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. Wise White Guy

    It is unlikely but with Clinton all but saying since that she is planning to stay in until the convention what is the alternative. She has said she is staying in until someone reaces the required number and she does not feel that a committment is enough. The superdelegates do not vote until the convention so she is threatening to go all the way to the floor. It is nice to think of her as VP becasue it would bring the party together enough to win the general but the reality is that she is so loaded with skeletons in her closet it would be a nighmare against the GOP. Obama is squeaky clean compared to all other politicians and it would be nice to keep it that way. If for no other reason Paul V Clinton is enough to not allow her on the ticket if possible. I mean how would it look for a VP to be endited on felony charges? Not to mention that Obama would never be able to sleep again with his life being the only thing in between Hillary and the job of President. I know i would not want my life in between her and something she wants because she puts herself above all else.

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Terry, Dallas Texas

    I am getting tired of reading all the posts of people saying that if HRC is not the nominee they are voting McCain. To be honest ,if you are prepared to put up with 4 more years of a costly war, to continue to watch our standing as a world power crumble and to pay more and more to live while watching your salary stand still, please go ahead and do it. I really doubt you ever intended to vote for a Democrat anyway. Take your ball and go home. There are plenty of us to make up the difference.

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. CW

    Yes, Highly unlikely because SHE is to good for the VP spot. If anything, he should be begging her for VP because, there is NO WAY he will win without Hillary! The man doesn't have a clue on what to do on anything. Believe me, Hillary would be doing HIS job while he would be taking all the credit! No, if anything HE should be VP and Hillary for President, the only way the DEMS will beat John McCain in the fall! Wake up people......

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. R. Squibbs

    Strange. Another story linked on the CNN page has Carter saying that having Clinton as VP is key to Obama winning the White House.

    I think it's a horrible idea. Clinton represents everything Obama has campaigned against: divisiveness, negativity, cynicism, dishonesty. She's exactly the sort of politician that Obama's supporters have shown that they don't want. And if she were on the ticket, all of the truckloads of baggage from her past that has so far gone unmentioned during the primary would suddenly become Obama's problem. Plus, if she were on the ticket, you'd have Bill skulking around the White House thinking HE should be president.

    Hillary had her shot, she blew it by running a lousy campaign. She's a good senator, but keep her far, far away from Obama's ticket.

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Gerry M

    Senator Obama would be well advised to chose a vice-presidential running mate who is more in line with his ‘new politics’ agenda than is Senator Clinton. Senator Obama has successfully marketed himself as an agent of change in the political atmosphere and behavior of what is accepted for political discourse today. If Senator Obama chose Senator Clinton as a running mate he would counter that argument because Senator Clinton chose to be an agent of non-change and a representative of the politics as known wing of the Democratic Party. A better choice for Senator Obama would be a southerner with strong foreign policy credentials or a well-known westerner who could chip into and take some of those ‘red’ states in the west.

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Denver CO, 4 Obama

    ATL Dan we do need to unite as a party to win in November. Camp Obama wants and needs Hillary's supporters to back him. But it makes me SICK to see Hillary's supporters say they would vote for McCain. Are the issues not a factor anymore? Hillary and McCain are polar opposites how can you vote for him? Simply because you don't like Obama and his supporters have ticked you off? This is way too important. We cannot doom ourselves to 4 more years of the same leadership, and don't give me that experience crap. He's been a senator as long as she has and being someone's spouse doesn't count! My wife can't do my job and I can't do hers! Can yours?

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. proud army and navy mom

    to atlantadan:
    you must have plenty of money to waste if you are still sending money to hillary's campaign.

    if you vote for mccain, you are exactly the kind of voter that republican's attacts, dumb.

    don't you care about our troops? you voted for bush, didn't you

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Canadian EH!

    No -she should not be on the ticket.. She has deliberately unfairly attacked Obama and this is evident based onthe poles...Now why in heavens name would he want a Jezebel as VP.. As strong a candidate she is I think she would try to take the spot light from him..No Thanks..

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Kim, PA

    oh... and don't be too alarmed by a Hillary Supporter voting for McCain....
    see we were REPUBLICANS in the first place

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Helene

    I hope Barack selects someone who is in sync with his message. That is not Clinton, that would be disastrous for his presidency.

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. Clinton is VP???

    Think about it, she can do anything for the power. Once she becomes VP, She might be really thinking how to topple Obama. I think Obama needs a reliable VP not someone who digs into their own yard.

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Andy in San Diego

    Well, AtlantaDan, I guess we *do* get the leadership we deserve. If Hillary supporters vote for McCain, we'll get exactly what we deserve.

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Jeff M.

    AtlantaDan – You have to understand that the perceived slighting goes both ways. I'd like to believe that most Obama supporters can overlook many of the less-than-friendly comments Hillary supporters have made in past months, but nobody here is claiming to be anything close to perfect. We believe we can win this thing, and we would certainly like your help in delivering a democratic White House, but the decision of VP is Obama's alone, and a few events of the past months may be lingering in his mind (Her pouncing on the word "bitter", claiming at one point that McCain would be a better choice than Obama, any number of gaffes made by Bill this season).

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. AtlantaDan, explain it to me... seem like a fairly rational person. Other than just being upset that you wasted money by backing the eventual loser, why on earth would you vote for McCain over Obama if you're a Democrat?

    Obama and Clinton are much, much closer on policy issues regarding health care, foreign policy, taxes, civil rights, abortion, energy policy, everything than McCain is to either one of them. So if you believed in Hillary's policies enough to support her, why wouldn't you support the candidate whose viewpoints most closely mirror hers? I really don't get it....

    It seems to me that most Hillary supporters say they won't vote for Obama because there's some strange notion that the DNC handed this election to Obama and that Obama somehow single-handedly disenfranchised Michigan and Florida. All I can say in response is that Obama got more votes and, under the primary rules of the DNC won far more delegates – so how did the DNC hand him anything? And as far as him disenfranchising Michigan and Florida, that was a decision made by the DNC and supported by all of the candidates at the time, including Hillary Clinton. I can guarantee you with 100% certainty that if she were in Obama's position and he were in hers she would reject out of hand Obama trying to claim that he was ahead in the popular vote, and she would be the first to claim that the DNC made its decision regarding Michigan and Florida and all of the candidates are simply bound to follow that decision.....not like Obama did this all himself

    May 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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