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. Helene

    Carter is absolutely right. God forbids these deranged narcissists (Billary) becomes VP. The media is giving her too much attention anyway. She is history.

    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Kathryn

    I believe it would be detrimental to Obama's campaign to ask Clinton to be his VP. His campaign is about change, not bringing back the past that obviously was unsuccessful! She would just be waiting in the wings for something to happen to him, and then she can take over! Big mistake to even think about adding H. R. Clinton, HUGH!

    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. rose, texas

    nobody is stopping obama from moving on, as much as his supporters don't want 2 admit it he needs hillary's supporters in order 2 win in nov. mccain ......08

    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. PL

    Barack, don't screw things up now by picking HRC.

    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. MurphyMorseJohnson

    Carter is correct. Other than Democratic Party affiliation, Hillary Clinton has little in common with Obama. Her criticisms of Obama throughout the primaries prove she could never be a team player under Obama. Nevertheless, she can be a key player in helping Democrats to win in November and should apply herself to that end.

    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. J.L.

    President Carter's right. You're going to lose some rabid-Clinton supporters... most likely those "I'm gonna vote for McCain" people, which isn't much of a loss... since if they're so willing to let their emotions make them think so irrationally, better they're not on your side... but you have more chance of gaining people who see negatives attached to Hillary, if she's not connected to the ticket.

    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. fec


    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. MD

    Any ticket with Obama on it will be a bad ticket.

    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Mike

    I think Hilary would be a bad choice. Now if she would have gave it to him and fell out earlier then it would be a different story. But how can you run with someone who was killing your reputation. Now she is sucking up to him to get in. Whats next, she takes over the office and takes him out of power. I don't think so.

    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. D.

    Hillary can not obey this man; she does not respect him. She appeared kinda sleazy offering herself out there. The drinking was loud enough but to put herseld out there when it is customary to be invited into the office. Tacky, just tacky. If she had been polite and exhibited poltical correctness it might had gone a long way but uncouthness did model anything apporiate- just entitlement.
    Manners goes far, Mrs. Hillary.

    June 4, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Chris

    Right on Carter..I will not vote for Obama if he puts Hillary on the ticket. She does not represent change. She represents the same old politics filled with lies and corrupt.

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Ray

    I agree with Carter the dream ticket is now the baggage ticket thanks to yet another Democratic dragout. Someone mentioned the Hispanic Vote is key... Then Obama-Richardson, lets put some smiles back in the office this fall 🙂

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Ron

    First I am a Obama supporter. The comment about adding HRC to the ticket would not reflect his message of change is understandable; but isn't this the type of conventional wisdom we have used in the past?
    I believe change, [fundamental] change is a departure in the way politics has been handled for many decades. Obama can redefine the importance of the VP duties and influence in shaping policy. It a Obama/Clinton ticket could work, if there is a understanding of where the buck stops.
    Real change is a departure of what is the norm for all of us.

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. Jenny from IN

    How can Obama pick Hillary? She is far too arrogant and has proved that she's not easy to work with. I am outraged by Hillary Clinton's speech last night. Gergen put it best: deranged narcissism. Hillary Clinton has divided this party, and if she really cared about the party winning in November, she would get her supporters to stop hating Obama - for no reason, mind you, Hillary and Obama are after the same policies in Washington - and help unite the party without needing something in return. This is about her ambition.

    And how come no news network has picked up on the racist "affirmative action" comment made by Ickes at the committee hearing to seat Michigan? Blatant racism and spewing of hatred and we just let it go, but if a guest pastor at Obama's ex-church says something kind of not nice it's big news?

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Nadine

    You got that right Jimmy Carter! Hillary is lethal, but the power of God knows how to fix that. It's Obama's decision, not Hillary, Lanny and his crooked croonies. Not even Bob Johnson, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. As a matter of fact, boycott the Bobcats!!! You folks are out of order.

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Brian

    Of course Carter favors a former Georgia Senator. But I agree with him – Clinton would bring too much baggage, controversy and negativity to the Obama message. He needs to kick her like he kicked nicotine.

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Darnell in San Diego

    NOT BILLARY, not after her not conceding, again she is about HER not the movement of women but HILLARY.

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    I think Carter has hit the nail on the head. I'm sorry Clinton-ites, but Jimmy Carter's right. It would be a very popular ticket with Clinton supporters, but the DNC and GOP both need independents to win a presidential election. Bill Clilnton would kill the ticket. I'm so sorry.

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. Tammy - KCMO

    I agree – there are plenty of good candidates for him to choose from and Hillary is not one of them.

    She doesn't know how to be 2nd and Bill would be part of the package. Not something we need again in the White House. Too much baggage.

    Take your time and pick someone else please!

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Leftist

    Carter's ignorance and arrogance is suprising, but then again he will go down as one of histories worst presidents. Leave 17million or so democrats bitter that Hillary got nothing, and all of their time and energy was wasted. Then lets see who wins the nomination.

    Obama/Hillary 08

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Cletus A. Witte

    The idea of a Obama-Clinton ticket is an insult to Obama himself ,as well as the millions of Americans who rejected her for the very same reasons she lost the nomination. She is selfish, conceited, and "delusionally narcissitic" as heard on CNN last night. The disprespect she showed Barack Obama in not acknowledging his nomination smacks of the "entitlement" and presumption Father Pfleger mocked in his sermon. The two of them together would cause Obama to lose whatever legitimacy he has as a a candidate fighting the staus quo. Right now it seems to me Hillary Clinton is holding the Democratic party hostage until she gets the VP nomination. Her scorched earth tactics are what make her presence on the ticket i
    impossible to bear.

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Go Away Please.....

    NO, NO, NO, NO, NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TO Senator
    Clinton, Go Away Please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. Don in Florida

    Obama should wait until the convention to make his choice for VP. Meanwhile Clinton should get on board the Obama Nation Express and do everything in her control to help pull the party back together. All this VP talk now is counter productive and premature. And when the time comes, the Obama compaign will decide on who it thinks will be the candidate that bests helps them beat the Republicans.

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. char19145

    Who asked him???

    June 4, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Joshua College Station Texas

    NO to the so-called "dream ticket"! It would be a nightmare. Hillary would hog the spotlight, compete with Obama on every policy issue she agreed with until she got her way, and essentially act like she was boss, not the other way around. She is not humble, she is not gracious. And she can't be trusted. NO NO NO!!

    June 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44