June 4th, 2008
03:44 PM ET
11 years ago

Carter says unity ticket would be 'worst mistake'

ALT TEXT

Jimmy Carter is not a fan of the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket.

(CNN) - A host of prominent Democrats are pushing for an Obama-Clinton unity ticket - but Jimmy Carter isn't one of them.

The former president, who publicly endorsed Barack Obama shortly before polls closed Tuesday in the final two primary states, told a London newspaper that a joint ticket between the two former rivals would be "the worst mistake that could be made."

"That would just accumulate the negative aspects of both candidates," Carter told the Guardian, saying that both candidates' vulnerabilities could overshadow that the ticket if the two team up together.

"If you take that 50 percent who just don't want to vote for Clinton and add it to whatever element there might be who don't think Obama is white enough or old enough or experienced enough or because he's got a middle name that sounds Arab, you could have the worst of both worlds," he said.

This is not the first time the former president has expressed doubt in the success of a unity ticket. Speaking at a Houston event late last month, Carter called the prospect "highly unlikely," and said other potential picks could better serve the Illinois senator.

"I think it would be highly unlikely for Obama to ask her to take it," he said then. "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 largely stayed on the sidelines during his party's prolonged presidential nomination fight, though the Georgia Democrat had long hinted his preference for Obama. Speaking with Sky News last month before he made his endorsement, Carter said that once the final two contests had been held June 3, it would be time for Clinton to give up her presidential bid.

soundoff (1,076 Responses)
  1. Brenda

    I, too, agree with former President Carter. The Clintons can not be trusted. Senator Obama, I hope you will take time to do your homework ... they, the Clintons are not in your corner and do not have your interest, or the interest of this country in their hearts. The just cannot stand to be defeated, as they are not accustomed to such, but the American people have spoken!

    June 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. IT'S FINALLY OVER NOW FOR THE REAL BEGINNING

    YES WE CAN AND NO SHE SHOULDN'T....BE ANYWHERE NEAR THAT TICKET IF BARACK CAN HELP IT. IF HE DOES DECIDE HOWEVER TO PUT HER ON THEN I WILL SUPPORT HIM IN HIS DISCISION BUT I THINK HE HAS COMMON SENSE NOT TO.

    June 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. McCrazy

    Whether it is a good idea or not, the second worst president in history should shut up. Obama better hope he isnt the next Carter.

    June 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Sophia

    We have soooo much to already thank Jimmy Carter for. Billy Beer being the best in my memory.
    It really does take some serious gall for this moron from Georgia to have a public opinion on anything of substance. He was a nightmare President. In his reign gas & cigarettes both tripled. He did however get a good rate on his peanut farm loan by giving the Saudi's some F15's. Yes sir, that 's some good negotiations.
    And let us not forget his concern for our National Security issues by ignoring EVERYONE telling, asking maybe begging him not to do his Hamas stunt.
    Jimmy Carter doesn't hink this ticket is a good idea? Maybe we should rush to it then. He's proven himself to be opposite to what is good or right over & over again in this long discussion we've had to endure with him.

    June 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. concerned Dem

    Hillary is like a poisonous asp...deadly

    June 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Moody

    President Carter never had the greatest judgement on polictical matters.

    Obama/Hillary '08!

    June 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Karen in Cape Cod

    I think Carter is getting senile!

    June 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Cmitch, FW TX

    Brian Seattle, GWB is the worst President of United States. Eight years, eight years, eight years, eight years. NO CLINTON IN OR NEAR WHITE HOUSE. Carter is Right!!!!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Bill

    We should just send the Billary supporters packing. They are just rabid feminists with only their man-hating self interests in mind. Let them move on. The party will ultimately be stronger without that type anyway. Anyone who supports a candidate as dishonest as hillary belongs with the republicans anyway.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Yes we can

    Yes ex-president Carter is right.
    I know many people, including my self, who were independent and will not vote in any ticket containing Hillary Clinton.
    Any other woman or a man is not a problem. You can pick up Hillary to unite the party but you will divide the country and defeat your own message Barak...
    This lady is so arrogant...
    I may not vote for McCain, but will be looking for other options

    Yes we can if we avoid Hillary

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. BARAKFORLIFE

    It is obvious t hat he is NOT going to tap Hillary–since he has enlisted the help of a committee..YIKES! So, stand down–Sillary is not in out future.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Donald Wilson

    Why is it that none of the News channels are telling the viewers how crazy this woman is!
    This woman in the White House would be the worst debacle in U.S. history.
    Let her supporters vote for McCain, in two years they will all be homeless and on the street anyway.
    Obama doesn't need her or her husband in the hallways of the White house.
    Hillary, please seek professional help.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. prairieguy

    Is there a "food tester" in the house??????

    What should have been a historic, jubilant night for Barack and his supporters she stuck her nose into it. She could not and still has not congratulated him on his win. He has been more than gracious to her, especially again last night, yet she is acting like a spoiled brat.

    I use to respect her and Bill but those days are over..she needs to go back to the senate and try to be like Ted Kennedy has been after his defeat in 1980.

    She also needs go out and support Barack to the fullest or she can kiss her political career good-bye!

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Edryn

    I need for the Cliton supporters to admit that they have been rude as well! They keep saying that the Obama supporters are rude. They are worse than the white folks that beat their slaves and went to church on Sunday! The sword cuts both ways. The Clinton supporters need to be respectful of their next President! Obama has done NOTHING to them! Stop whining about the person and get behind the PARTY!!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. ct voter

    OH AND A WHOLE LOT MORE MONEY RAISED FROM THE PEOPLE, NOT BY ANY LOBBIESTS!

    DONE AND DONE!

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Mike

    Hill would have him "off'ed" within a year. She will try anything to ge the Presidency.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. larry

    there's no way in hell he should pick her

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Adam

    If he does not chose Hillary, what's to stop her from running as an independent. Clinton & Clinton ticket.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. heartlight 3, Maui, HI

    I think there is a place for Hillary in the cabinet, but I don't think it should be VP. Perhaps Health & Human Services. If she had run a different campaign and she had presented herself as more of a team player, VP might work, but he ran on changing the way Washington operates, and she ran on being more experienced at the existing system, and those two positions are incompatible. I used to think an Obama/Clinton ticket was a good thing, but not after watching the campaigns.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. sukkee

    Absolutely right. Obama would have a better chance to be elected without self-centered psycho and big ego, Hillary.

    If Obama picks up her by whatever reason, I'm sure she works for electing McCain for her own year 2012, not Obama. That's her true color, gullible folks.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Pam

    Hillary Clinton is far too brilliant to take the VP slot if is offered.The media would forever be referring to her as "second best" even though we all know that she would be the best person to be President.Personnally I would love to see everyone who supported her cast a write-in ballot for her.I have been an independent voter my entire life who has always voted democrat.This is the first election that I will not be casting a vote.As for ex.President Carter-I used to have very high regard for what he accomplished after leaving the White House but his speeches,books and comments have put him in my"not relevant "file .He and others like Bob Dole should think about playing more golf.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Independent-Cuban-American-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Its interesting how Clinton supporters point to the "popular vote" . Sen. Obama had the popular vote, he won in more 'red' states. Hillary supporters forget that in national polls Hillary is the one most disliked.

    President Carter is a great man of peace, some small minds can't understand this. There is an old saying "KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMIES EVEN CLOSER." What protocols?

    Sen. Obama may have to have Mrs. Clinton on his ticket for the sake of party unity, but I doubt Hillary will accept.

    A VOTE FOR MCCAIN IS A VOTE FOR THE WAR WITH IRAQ, MORE DEAD, MAIMED....... MORE DEBT.... MORE CHAOS, MORE LIES.

    WITH HILLARY'S COMMENT ABOUT RFK, I WOULD NOT TRUST HER AS VP.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. RDT

    Yes to OBAMA as President! No, to Hillary as VP!

    HRC has done nothing but trash Obama, there is no way he should select her as the VP, regardless of the fact that her campaign is encouraging her supporters to hold him hostage to such a proposition for their future support.

    Has anyone ever explained to the Clinton's that there is such a thing as second place? Sometimes it just doesn't work out. Put the country first and leave your ambitions aside for a short time to help us get past the last eight years of a Republican administration. Its time for HRC and her supports to swallow their pride and work for the success of the Democratic ticket and the country.

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Darren M.

    We won't even have to worry about having an election in November if Obama selects Hillary as a VP, because all Obama supporters won't vote McCain, they will just stay home. Then the 17 million Clinton supporters can hope they have enough numbers to defeat McCain.

    Why would anyone want that kind of baggage on their ticket?

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. IT'S FINALLY OVER NOW FOR THE REAL BEGINNING

    PLEASE DON'T PUT HER ON SHE ISN'T WORTHY OF THIS TICKET SHE HAS BASHED HIM LEFT AND RIGHT AND NOW SHE WANTS TO TAKE ON THE VICE PRES. ROLE I DON'T THINK SO SHE'S JUST GONNA TRY AND UPSTAGE HIM AT EVERY EVENT AND HOLD EVENTS OF HER OWN TRYING TO GET HER NAME OUT THERE IN THE NAME OF HILLARY AND NOT THE PEOPLE

    June 4, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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