June 3rd, 2008
04:25 PM ET
12 years ago

RNC points to earlier Carter interview skeptical of Obama qualifications

Carter, in a 2006 Charlie Rose appearance.

Carter, in a 2006 Charlie Rose appearance.

(CNN) - Minutes after a spokesman for President Carter confirmed reports Tuesday that he was officially endorsing Barack Obama’s presidential bid, the Republican National Committee sent reporters a two-year-old YouTube clip in which he said the Illinois senator was not ready for the Oval Office.

“I just don’t think he’s got yet the proven substance or experience to be the president,” Carter told PBS host Charlie Rose in a 2006 interview, when asked whether Obama’s effectiveness as a campaigner and enthusiasm he had generated on the campaign trail that year might make him a good presidential candidate this cycle.

Elsewhere in that interview, he added that he considered Al Gore the best-qualified presidential candidate, although if then-frontrunner Hillary Clinton was nominated, he would support her.

Carter has not explained spoken publicly about his decision to endorse Obama, but in earlier interviews has spoken approvingly of the response generated by the Illinois senator’s candidacy.

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. James, SC

    Two years is enough to get to know a candidate. Also, a superdelegate can support whom ever he wishes.

    June 3, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Dan

    It's obvious why Carter supports Obama now. He, too, can change his mind/convictions when it's convenient. It will be a great year to see my two favorite democrats lose the elections of their lifetime. I almost feel like I should be paying more taxes to have this much fun.

    June 3, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Its OK to be right

    HELLO....that was two years ago.

    June 3, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Want to know the future of America

    Bush screwed over fiscal conservatives (and some of the neocons even, but I think neocons deserve their own party... they are ruining the good republican name Ronald Reagan held)...

    so now we are about to elect the most socialist president we will have ever had... I cannot wait for the economic failures that will occur... gas gets 5,6,7 bucks a gallon or hire... Obama will say tough luck deal with it... but will support the special interests blocking wind energy because a bird may die in the turbine....

    Only his dramatic failure will finally bring a true, strong candidate, and I guarantee you it's going to be Ron Paul if he is still in politics.

    I can't wait for 2012 and Ron Paul.

    June 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Karen

    Sooo what? No body knew Obama than and everyone knows him now. The problem is that RNC still does not know OBama today. They are doomed.

    June 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Bayou Joe

    No surprise here. Fact is it doesn't matter who endorses Obama. We know who and what he represents and will have nothing to do with him and his followers. Even if the Pope were to come out for Obama which I doubt he would I would still vote and campaign for McCain;
    No Hispanic, No veteran , No patriotic American will ever allow his or her country to be governed by the Left Wing Democrats that support this man.

    Obama will lose big time to McCain. 3 big reasons: Rev. Wright,
    Bill Ayers and Michelle Obama.

    June 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Butch Dillon

    This is almost too funny for words. The Republicans discredit everything Jimmy Carter has ever said and now they want to enlist his comment against Obama to help McCain. McCain is already DOA, nothing can help this major league Bushie flip-flopper, least of all this joke.

    June 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Jeanette

    The man has proven that he has experience in

    1. Raising money and being a good money manager with it. (he has money to loan Clinton)
    2. Bringing people together instead of dividing them
    3. Being diplomatic even when the kitchen sink is thrown at him.
    3. A God fearing man
    4. A brave and steadfast man
    5. A community organizer with a world vision.

    Becoming the president is much like becoming a parent you don't get a book on how to raise a child you just do it.
    He will have plenty of coverage from the Congress, House of Rep, the news media and the people to keep him straight forward. It is not like he will be in a boat without a paddle.

    He will win because it is his time, and with God to guide him he will make a great President

    June 3, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. USAF Staff Sergeant

    HAHA! Wow they're trying everything now.

    I just may enjoy watching the Republicans' desperation.

    June 3, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. charlene

    Carter must be looking for another cabinet postion

    June 3, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Berat, Park Ridge, IL

    Is this the best the Republican Party can do? Nobody cares what Jimmy Carter thinks of Barack Obama. Very few people even care what Hillary Clinton thinks. There's only one question: What do the American people think? And I'm pretty sure that they're not at all certain what they think of Barack Obama. One thing IS clear, though: they don't have any real fondness for the policies John W. McCain is promising to implement.

    June 3, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Liar, Liar pants on fire

    He has seen the light....at least he admits it.

    June 3, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  13. Cliff

    Just goes to show that even an ex-president's endorsement can be bought with a few promises. Thought he was above that. Guess not. Now every last bit of respect I ever had for Carter is gone.

    June 3, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Mike

    Sorry Democrats, because of your blatant racism and sexsism, your candidate will lose.

    Obama had a lot of jealous old Democrats who said a lot of dumb things regarding his electability and now it will come to bite them!!!

    June 3, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Hey "Want to know the future of America"

    It's spelled "higher" not "hire"

    Learn to spell, Chief.

    June 3, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Chi4Obama

    It is completely Hilarious, that the worst things that the GOP can find on Obama is what "people around" him say or do.

    The "experienced" McCain obviously cannot match up with Barack on REAL ISSUES, such as the economy, war, and healthcare.

    Therefore, Republicans resort to tacticts like digging through hours of video clips of ex-pastors, in order to create fear of Barack to many mainstream Americans (as evidenced by Fox news).

    Please, I think the American people are intelligent enough to see through the BS of the GOP. (this probably won't get posted).

    June 3, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. Jesus

    If I were to support John McCain, would Team Obama crucify me?

    June 3, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. Obamacan in Texas

    Good Grief...they went back to a 2006 interview. Republicans are running scared already. Hillary set the table for them now they are ready to dine but it won't work.

    I don't think they can top Hillary's kitchen sink strategy and he still won. Let the events in America play out over the next few months and we will see who the best president will be.

    June 3, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. Bob

    I seem to remember a lot of upset republicans when John McCain wrapped up the nomination.....somehow I think that's worse than Jimmy Carter changing his mind. McCain still has a long way to go with his own party.

    June 3, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA


    These people have no credibility.

    June 3, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. Linda

    That statement was made two years ago and of course Sen. Obama as you can see is the frontrunner with a lot of substance and experience. McCain has stated he has changed his views but he still clings to Bush.

    June 3, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. @americans

    RNC?.....they are scared out of their bearings!

    June 3, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Fret Taylor

    Barack Obama = Second term of Jimmy Carter

    June 3, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. LBowie

    Ummm... And how is that significant. That was 2 years ago. People have the right to change their minds. The RNC will need to come up with something better than that...................

    June 3, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. SNS, Los Angeles, CA

    To summarize: the RNC released a video from TWO YEARS AGO to illustrate that President Carter has changed his mind about Barack Obama's qualifications for the office of the Presidency. Somehow, this is their way of attacking and discreditting President Carter's position.

    Another fine example of how the RNC tries to distract Americans from the real issues: an endless war, a wrecked economy, and a lame duck President.

    June 3, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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