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

Carter says unity ticket would be 'worst mistake'


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. L. Tran, TX

    I agree with Jimmy Carter. Clinton should stay out of this election. Obama will take the responsibility of losing this election to McCain. Better, Obama chooses another woman for his VP.

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. EBC

    Thank YOU Mr. Carter. YOU are absolutely RIGHT. At last, someone with some level of intelligence.

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Ohiovoter

    Oh, and "venus" – I'm a MCCAIN supporter and I say that you people are the RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDEST of all people! RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE!

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. APS in Hawaii

    Does not matter any more. Only the news medias are interested in this story. For me, I will not be voting for Democratic nominee this year. Obama ran a very dirty behind the scenes campaign that Bush/Rove would be proud of. I will be protesting and voting for McCain. Obama has too many negatives that are all of over the internet and being blocked by the news media. Too bas the news media forgot that their job was to report the news and not to pick the candidate. CNN you should be ashamed of yourselves for the coverage during the campaign. I expected more of you. Just like Obama is an everyday politician with a slogan, you too have nothing more than a slogan. This has been the worst covered election ever. You probably will moderate this comment out too. Seems like only Obama supporters get their comments on this site any more.

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Arishia Nishi

    HRC and her so called "supporters" can go bark at the moon. We don't negotiate with terrorists. You guys LOST. Get over it.

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. NoozeJunkie

    Cheney has shown that the VP seat is not irrelevant anymore. He has weilded some astonishing power from that office. Do you really want Hillary to have that much power and possibly undercut Obama's policies?

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Emanuel Agarez

    I am not american (european, portuguese) even though this election will also elect the president of all of us, i.e., the next world's president so...

    Obama can easily be defeated by the republicans if the VP will not be someone as promising as him. But also as valuable as him. Pick up (two or) just one?

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Dem. NY

    I agree with Jimmy Carter completely. The so-called "dream-ticket" will be nothing but. This will just give the Republican Party a field day.

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Hillary supporter!


    You sound so angry. YOU are one of the reasons why many of us will not support your candidate–your vicious mouth. Have a good day!

    CNN I honestly don't know why I waste my time with you either. You seldom print my comments–why do you like to irritate me?

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Tre

    I love how hillary supporters are now hurt by their own karma. All that racism tastes horrible now huh?

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Louise Walker

    2 things stay in my mind as to why this would not be a good ticket. BILL CLINTON TELLING PEOPLE IN SMALL TOWNS THAT OBAMA LOOKS DOWN ON THEM-do they want to vote for someone who does that. Second, Hillary Clinton's almost daily quote that Obama can not beat McCain. WHO WANTS THESE 2 NEGATIVE PEOPLE IN THE SAME ROOM WITH THEM. They don't care about Obama!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. leslie

    Why is it that everyone thinks that he needs her to win the presidency? He didn't need her to win the nomination. And that with all the garbage thrown at him. Remember McCain has to prove himself too. Today it is a clean slate and I believe that honest people see the truth and know that Obama is not what the media has made him out to be and Hillary is not a monster. However, she was less than pleasant last night. I saw Obama stand up to McCain and Clinton last night , which proves he will not bow down other leaders either

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. cr

    In what way has HE disrespected HER?

    She foolishly made fun of his 3rd grade paper, insinuated he was a Muslin, insinuated he was a drug addict, her husband insinusated his South Carolina win was the equivalent of Jesse Jackson's, and she said she and McCain were qualified to be President but Obama wasn't.

    She needs him – not the other way around!
    Without the VP position Hillary Clinton is just another JR. SENATOR!

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. ray

    lol even this idiot Kennedy says"it won't help him" and HIS ticket, speaking of Obamma. UMM hello this is about what is best for AMERICA. these people just want to helop themselves including Obamma.

    He is not good for this country and is UNEXPERIENCED. Lord help us if he wins. 2 years down road USA will be doomed.

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |

    cnn doesn't post the real comments because they don't want people to read the truth no matter Jimmy Carter said it all and so does this beautiful headline stating the TRUTH!!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. Brian

    You've gotta be kidding me. If Hillary isn't the Democratic nominee, and Obama doesn't offer her VP, the entire base of the Democratic Party will separate. This is the case with literally 100% of everybody I know that supports Hillary Clinton – and there are a whole lot more of them than Obama supporters.

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. Mar

    Mr. Carter, what you are too ignorant to figure out is that if he doesn't have Hillary, he will lose by a landslide. Just what I would like to see too!!
    Independent for Hillary!!

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. Mike G.

    For those who supported Senator Clinton and now say they will not vote for Senator Obama this fall, I really have to ask are you really serious? Take a few days and think about the ramifications of staying home or worse voting for McCain. If Obama loses and the Clintons are not seen as being supportive and helpful to Obama the loss will be pinned on the Clintons and their supporters. That would kill any chance of Hillary being the nominee in 2012. A McCain victory means many more years in Iraq and possibly in Iran. A McCain victory means no health care reform. A McCain victory means that the Supreme Court could have two perhaps three new justices all as conservative as the two President Bush recently appointed. ARE YOU REALLY SERIOUS!

    June 4, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. Mark Anthony - Lake Elsinore, CA

    I honestly believe this is a bad idea, I know there are a lot of Hillary supporters out there that want this but it would make the democrats lose in in Nov.

    Hillary could show her support by promoting him and the democracts.

    June 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Andy J, NY

    Jimmy Carter was one of the worst presidents in modern history.

    Who cares what he thinks?

    By the way, i bet Obama will fall on his face, similar to the way carter did, if he becomes POTUS, god forbid.

    Got some news for ya- Obama isn't going to help our problems by taxing the rich and doling it out to the poor, lazy people who don't know what a savings account is.

    Jimmy Carter and Barack Hussein Obama are 2 of the most liberal, elitist, and naive politicians of our time.

    p.s.- Since when is it offensive to use someone's full name? Oh, thats right, all us country bumpkin white folk are racist., so that must be it.

    June 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. SL

    I also agree with Carter. I think Hillary Clinton would be a terrible choice for VP. I believe there will be other roles better suited for her.

    I don't know why everybody is in such a rush for Obama to select a running mate. As he did with his campaign, Obama will use a strategic approach to select his running mate and that will take time. He will not be pressured by letters, petitions, or any other scare-tactics.

    June 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Peter E

    Apparently he's in the 'no we can't' crowd...

    June 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Mike from Dallas

    Come on you Republicans, you know old man McCain do not look presidential, his smile looks suspicious, he looks like he ready to fall over any minute. His speeches are horrible. Did you see his speech last night…Wow!
    Barrack is your next president, get your head and who knows what else out your butt and jump on Barrack train. Barrack will win almost every state doing the General.
    You guys can throw out the Racist comments, his church and whatever else you throw out there, but the bottom line is Barrack is the man of “Change” and he will lead our country for 8 years.
    America is great when all the idiots are out numbered by people who have at least half a brain.

    June 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Solo Nieves

    I still cannot understand why people are acting like children when it comes to voting. If Hilary doesn't win you will vote for Mcain? Why? People have their family members in war dying for no reason..but here you are big and bad saying you won't vote because it is not Hillary? Oh grow up. He is a good person and is far more intelligent then our president that we had in office for 8 years. Obama 08'

    P.S. Even if it wasn't Obama...I would vote for HRC just because Mcain can't even move his cheeks. None the less get us out of this mess that we are in.

    June 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. PCS / North Carolina

    If Hillary is going to be the running mate, then Obama need to watch his back and hire a food taster. Because, Hillary will be waiting for a RFK like thing to happen !!

    June 4, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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