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. Viola

    Those of you, who seem to think that Obama "needs" Clinton, will be in for a rude awakening. Clinton has held true to the belief of others that she is divisive and selfish. She laid plain for all to see that she would stoop to any low to win the nomination....and her last ditch effort to divide not only the party but the country with her race baiting and claims of sexism was extremely offensive. As a woman I was ashamed of the strategy she used.....She could have healed the wounds and taken a step closer to uniting the party last night....but true to who she has always been, she gave that pathetic and trite speech.....If Obama wants to win, he should pray that McCain chooses Clinton for his VP.

    June 4, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Jane

    Don't go trailer trash on us Obama. Don't pick her!

    June 4, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Bye Bye Billary!

    PLEASE, please Senator Obama, do NOT ask that witch to be the VP!! She'd do anything to get power of the White House. ANYTHING.

    PLEASE, please CNN and the rest of the "Clintonian" media – stop pushing Hillary down our throats! I'm appalled that Obama's victory is being overshadowed by more Billary propaganda. She lost, get over it, move on!

    June 4, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Joe

    The only way this could work, and it would be an ever-so-fitting way of dealing with the she-witch Hillary, would be for Obama put her on the ticket and then reduce the office of vice-president to its pre-Cheney level of nothingness. Maybe Obama really should keep his friends close, and his enemies closer, as the saying goes.

    June 4, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. noemi of reason, latina for obama!

    please go to hillary's website and submit a comment: ask her to stop down. tell her we don't want her as our VP. i already submitted my request and my friends have too. hillary needs to know that this has to stop: we cannot take her divisive rhetoric anymore…she has said too much trash about obama to know want to be his vp. she has to remind supporters that she is a democrat and that democrats should put the party first….mccain is another bush term.

    obama generation 08

    June 4, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Danielle, TX

    And I agree!!!
    (CNN, please post my comments)

    June 4, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Obama Mama

    Dear HILLARY SUPPORTER you say you will not vote for Obama because HIS supporters are rude and derogatory to HILL! You have got to be kidding, first of all this sounds like sour grapes, second if you are judging candidates based on the rudest of their supporters how could you possibilty vote for McBush! Bushies stole TWO elections with fear, deceit, and downright disregard for the Constitution.

    June 4, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. LuCretia in Texas

    Putting Hillary on the ticket is the one thing that would make me doubt Barack's judgement. Character is important, and Hillary lacks that, completely. Even the Republicans had enough decency to congratulate Obama. I would rather see Bush's name back on the ballot than Hillary's.

    June 4, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. GERALD STROTHER

    NO WAY FOR HER AS VP IF SHE CAUSE HIM TO NOT TO WIN THEN WE HAVE 4 MORE OF THE SAME ,AND YOU CLINTON FAN THAT OBAMA BET HER BY HER RULS YOU CAN BET WHEN IT COME DOWN TO 2012 OBAMA WILL BE THE ONE TO RUN NOT HER WE ALL KNOW HIM NOW SO YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT HER RUNING IN 2012 SHE WILL NOT MAKE IT YOU THINK SHE GOT BET NOW SHE WILL LOOKS VERY BAD IN 2012 IF THE IS THE WAY YOU WANT IT SHE WILL GET BET VERY BAD. SAD DAY FOR YOU ALL TO ACT AS YOU DO . GET OVE IT OR WE WILL HAVE 4 MORE OF THE SAME AND SHE WILL NEVER BET OBAMA IN 2012 AND SHE WILL BE BLAME FOR OBAMA LOSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO GOOD LUCK FOR HER !!!!!!

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. lanman

    He is right. As a Republican, I would be more inclinded to vote for a Obama/Richardson ticket than McCain.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. JJ

    I've got to voice another unpopular possibility to Democrats. The even split between the two polarized candidates may mean that Obama will lose no matter what he does (same might have been true for Clinton). There is a significant pool of people who will vote against him if he picks Clinton as running mate and a significant pool who will do the same if he does not pick her. So, yes, he may be screwed either way.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. sadie

    I am amazed by the threats regarding "if Obama doesn't do xyz" then we are going to vote McCain. Let's call them what they are...threats. Frankly - if you make that choice, you had better sign-up to go to war in Iraq...prepare for another 4000 to die in the middle east......get ready for a further recession....and plan of globalization to take your job...cause that is what you'll get. Another 4 years of failed policies. I don't care if you like Clinton or Obama or anyone else....and think about the impact not the emotion of this decision.

    Stop the threats. UNITE FOR CHANGE IN 08

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. me

    Why should she force him to take her.Disgruntled clinton supporters have been mad at Obama,the Press, and everyone.now they are made because they have been denied the chance to be mad at the Mcain supporters.get over it come on

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Mike Stubbs

    Choosing Hillary would not make any sense politically. Obama needs someone that would balance out the democratic ticket both geographicly and in Liberal/Conservative philosophies. Picking Hillary would mean having two candidates both from the North and both having Liberal beliefs. That would cost the Democrats a lot of votes in the November election.
    Mike--McKinney, TX

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Allen McKnight

    If the Demacats out there truelly wanted a Democrat as president they would vote for him no matter who he chooses.

    They will vote for Obama whether he has her on the ticket or someone else if they truelly want to see a Democrat in office.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Mike G.

    By the say President Carter is right. He cannot pick Hillary. Senator Clinton should go back to the Senate and work on legislation to reform health care in this country and in January when President Obama is sworn in they will both be ready on day one to fix the problems of this country.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. ANGIE

    im not being disrespectful in anyway to hillary i just dont trust the clintons on the ticket to much was said and done in the primaries and she is still insisting shes the better canidate thats not respectful to him i dont think it would work out well but i can see him putting her in the cabinet maybe healthcare that would be great and hillary would love it shes so dedicated to the healthcare issues

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Liza

    I had a dream last night that Hillary conceded and congratulated Obama. Then I woke up.

    Just watch. Hillary will take this to the convention and put herself as an Independent on the ballot, thus continuing to destroy the party. Way to go, Hillary.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. rugbygrrrl

    What better way to unify the party than for the two former rivals to suck it up and make nice? It's not really a winner-take-all with such a large percentage of voters behind the other candidate (and I'm sure Obama and his supporters would want a VP slot if things had turned out differently).

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. No McCain

    We will support whomever Obama choses to BE his VP, even if it is Hillary. However, Clinton and her supporters need to stop the same mistake they made in the primary: SHOWING SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Tony

    From one lousy president to possibly another. Great advice Jimmy Boy!

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Blake, San Diego

    In 5 months, Hillary Clinton's name will be a faint echo. I believe there is time to heal the party before November. Let's just get on with the process as the process has always been done.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Darlene

    I agree with President Carter as well...that would be the worst mistake especially since she has been so divisive and could not even acknowledge his victory last night. This is still just about her ego and she needs to realize that she has lost and move on with her life.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Oregon

    People who say they won't vote for Obama unless Hillary's his running mate . . . won't vote for Obama anyway. These are people with out-of-control emotions. The spectacle of Hillary in the second position would be too much for them. So, Obama should just let them go and pick someone who would be a good . . . and loyal . . . vice president.

    Let the chips fall, Barack. Be brave enough to just say "No."

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Carter is absolutely right

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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