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. NickNas

    I believe 99.999999999999999999999% of Obamas supporters feel the same way, that Carter is 100000000000% Correct.

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

    TO ALL OF YOU HILLARY SUPPORTERS : GET OVER IT ! SHE LOST, AND WAS A VERY SORE LOSER AND NOT GRACIOUS ABOUT IT.. SHE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HERSELF.. IF YOU ARE THAT SELFISH TO VOTE FOR MCSAME, SHAME ON YOU AND I HOPE YOU LIVE IT TO REGRET IT... PRESIDENT CARTER IS RIGHT ON TARGET THAT HILLARY WOULD NOT BE A GOOD TICKET, SHE HAS TOO MUCH BAGGAGE, MOSTLY THAT IDIOT OF HER HUSBAND WHO COST HER THE ELECTION.. PERHAPS SHE SHOULD GET A DIVORCE, AND START OVER??? OBAMA 08

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. wwf

    I have followed the comments here for quite some time. To the Clinton supporters who say that Obama supporters have been cruel, etc., that ship sails both ways. Don't go trying to force anything down anyone throats. Want another four years of what we have had? Then vote that way. Vote out of anger, instead of what is best for the country. Both candidates were very close on the issues. I guess if you hate someone so much that you will vote, or not vote to hurt yourself and the nation, then one must question your sanity. I am sure that Hillary will be a very positive part of Obama's campaign, and a very important part of his administration. It just might not be the vp. There are other appointments where she can really sink her teeth into her primary concerns. I am part of the older crowd that supported Obama. That said, I reconize the qualities that Hillary brings. Will he win without her? Yes. Would he win easier with her? Maybe. Bottom line, if we are fed up with the same old politics in Washington as ususal, then we had better come together and do something about it. That is the bottom line. Nothing else.

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

    Party meltdown.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Nikki

    Hillary would make a FANTASTIC Supreme Court Justice, and would ultimately have more influence in that position than she would as VP. Imagine what she could do as a youngish member of the Supreme Court!! Her work there could influence this country for decades!

    No disrespect to Hillary's supporters.... Obama's ticket needs a new face and style. I like Obama/Richardson, but I trust Obama to make the best choice to get the most done to benefit our country and our work in the world. What an exciting time!

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Joel

    President Carter:

    PLEASE GO AWAY!

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Bergota Maiz

    Carter was the worst president ever of USA. In less words, good for nothing!!! You are a shameless person

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Travis (in the real world)

    Someone PLEASE flush the Clintons down the toilet....PLEASE,,,,they are POISON.

    June 4, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Emma in Texas

    I agree with Preisident Carter. This would not work !

    Yes..Hillary is a hard worker and a fighter. We must give her credit for that. However, Hillary will not take second-place. She has a BIG ego and alot of pride. Second-place is not in her personality.

    She will not respect Obama and give him the place that he deserves. AND OF COURSE...there is Bil !!!! This is a bad situation !!!!!

    We need a VP who will respect and work with our President. Not one who will disrespect him, watch his every move and try to work against him.

    SORRY...Hillary is not a wise choice for VP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Mr President you are right with all the world of experience you are in a better position to have a say.Hillary should be responsible enough to bow out honourably and stop being an ungrateful and bitter loser.The american people have spoken so her respect that.Most of thosed who voted for her were republicans more comforted with the prospect of Mcain beating her in the fall.Let the winner do the right thing and not through sheer pressure

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

    Hillary Clinton is still being diverseness to concede to Obama. Hillary should not be consider as the VP. This is way we need change in Washington.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. ck

    If she is named as the VP Obama better add a food taster too his staff.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Georgette From

    I am an Independent, who has not supported one candidate over another. If all Americans think for one minute we have a voice in this or any election forth coming you are mistaken. The elections are manipulated to sever the few high-powered in government.
    Just look at the events of this campaign.
    Lets be honest here, from day one the news media has been bias. They have not been fair to the candidates, nor given Americans the real truth behind the stories. They broadcast what they want us to hear and know. Have you ever noticed the clips they choose to show, clips that in most cases then not are negative, without out revealing the actual truth behind it.
    The talking heads you see before your TV screens get there marching orders from the higher ups, who have already set the agendas.
    These self-severing originations from the onset, picked a candidate and proceeded
    To influence the American people with propaganda. The news media, journalist and ill informed annoying talking heads are part of America’s problem!

    Sympathy for Senator Clinton, I think not! PROUD YES INDEED!!! She is a fighter, strong with many years of experience. She represents millions of strong Americans who will support her in whatever path she chooses.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Benjamin

    Maybe Carter should consider the culmulation of both candidates POSITIVES, instead of considering the culmulation of their negatives. A lot feel that Obama is lagging in areas where Clinton doesn't, and vice versa, and together it's a more COMPLETE ticket.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. THE LONE RANGER

    TO ALL CLINTONISTAS OUT THERE DEMANDING RESPECT ,LIKE YOU ARE SOME KIND OF HIGHER AND ROYAL EXISTENCE. YOU HAVE TO EARN RESPECT. CLINTON THREW GARBAGE AT OBAMA, AND YOU DEMAND RESPECT.???. GO TAKE A LONG HIKE OFF A SHORT PIER.
    BY THE WAY , 2 CAN PLAY THE GAME. THERE'S A WEBSITE FOR A PETITION TO KEEP HILLARY AWAY FROM THE VP. NOMINATION. COME ON , ALL DECENT AND RATIONAL DEMOCRATS, WRITE IN YOUR OUTRAGE AGAINST THE CLINTON'S ENTITLEMENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. JB

    Hey B from NYC

    She LOST.

    Her horrible speech about me, me, me showed no respect for Obama of the party.

    Email her to tell her what she should do? Is this how she'd decide things IF she had won?

    Shameful!

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Hillary Clinton

    Hold on there!

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. Chula

    More democrats voted for Hillary than Obama.

    The majority said NO to Obama!!

    Jimmy Carters comment....is exactly why we are supporting Hillary all the way to the Convention!

    It's the good old boy network and the Washington Elite who have consistently tried to manipulate this selection process.

    It is Obama, Kennedy, Carter and the elite who have continued to disrespect Hillary supporters.

    In the end we will have the last say in November and our voices will be heard loud and clear.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Jon- Columbus, IN

    Carter is absolutely right. She truly brings nothing to his ticket that he can't eventually get for himself, as her more devoted supporters won't support any ticket without her at the top.

    And I'm getting tired of Hillary people saying he outspent her so he must be bad. The Clintons have been on the national stage since 1992. When Bill's term was up, Hillary began her Senate career. When Kerry lost, people were already propping up Hillary for 2008 signs. She had all that momentum and support before her campaign even started. Compared to Obama's almost zero national name recognition outside a few political insiders and of course he'd need to outspend her by a ridiculous margin.

    She started out with twice as much money anyway.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Pat NY

    Carter, Shut Up! Taking political advice from you is the kiss of death....you may be one of our best ex-presidents, but you were one of our worst presidents! George W. Bush was a gift to you, taking over your role as the worst president ever.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. blue

    Carter is right. In addition to the votes cast for Obama the candidate, Obama received many votes against Hillary. Hillary is incredibly skilled at pandering to every constituency with lies or half truths as it suits her. It's incredible that she can make up such outrageous lies with a straight face when at least some of her lies are so easily discoverable. The critical problem with Hillary that her supporters appear to ignore is her character. If you add grime to a clean surface, it's grime that you'll see. Adding Hillary to Obama's ticket will besmirch Obama's campaign. Furthermore, if Obama wants to continue to campaign on the message of change, bringing on Hillary will defeat that message. The same people who voted for Obama against Hillary, will vote against the joint ticket.

    Even in the unlikely chance that they were to win on a joint ticket, can you imagine having to work with Hillary for the next four years? She will use every opportunity to over shadow Obama and control the administration, not for the good of the country, but to satisfy her ego.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Steve

    Once again, Jimmy Carter, I applaud your honesty, intelligence and understanding of people in this country. Hillary would be much more of a liability than a help to Obama. He could do a lot more with Edwards on his ticket or even Caroline Kennedy. As for me, I will not be voting for him, Hillary or McCain in November - only the Green Party is asking questions and proposing solutions to the root structural problems that call out for true change.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. R Thomas

    Hillary supporters keep acting as if they are hurting Obama supporters by not voting for him in November when in reality they are hurting themselves. Hillary did not wi the popular vote, nor the delegate count, that is the reality. She has been rude and disrespectful to Obama and I would rather see him lose with someone who respects him then to have her and Bill trying to run a White House he has earned. Also remember one thing, Hillary or anyone else can't get in the White House today or four years from now without our vote either.....we can rise or fall togethertake your pick.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. dev

    He is absolutely right. He is one guy who is not shy about speaking the truth.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Kelley in TX

    It's Obama's decision and he will make the right one.

    June 4, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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