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. Mario

    To Brian Seattle... President Carter may have had his problems, but after eight years of Bush I would chose eighty years of Carter!!!

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. independent in GA

    Finally someone speaks the truth!!. This so called "Dream" ticket would not be a dream at all. Jimmy Carter put it very eloquently and as Hiliary has stated she will do whatever the Party asks, then let her endorse Senator Obama and help him to get to the Whitehouse and respect his earned right to choose his running mate.

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. John, VA

    President Carter should be respected for what he has done as former president...as for the presidence itself he is a looser!!!!!

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. blackaustrian

    I think Obama will not pick her, and also think she does not want Obama to win MCcain

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. Mr. Florida

    Not being Gracious and strong arming is not right. To not give credit and honor Obama for winning just sunk the Clinton's the lowest low.
    Terry McCullough is so disingenuous and totally a lying spin machine. To introduce Hillary as the Democratic Nominee is totally outrageous and Hillary strong arming the Democratic Party. She keeps saying that she has a army behind her.. NO she doesn't. If you Name is not on the ballot you have to make a choice Obama or McCain. Her voters should realize how wrong this is. The way you conduct yourself means everything. Stealing the spotlight on day when he wins the Nomination is just not right no matter who you like. This does not warrant any consideration for VP. McCain is challenging Obama and he needs to be able to respond. Not answering Hillary questions everyday. She deserves absolutely No VP consideration.

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Matt

    Here is an example of a hillary blogger. it's really funny!

    I DONATED LAST NIGHT TOO!!!!!!

    I CAN'T BEAR THE THOUGHT OF HER NOT BEING IN THIS RACE...IT HURTS TO THINK ABOUT IT...I WANT HER TO KEEP GOING.

    HILLARY – WHAT CA WE DO?
    TELL US AND WE WILL DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!
    WE ARE BESIDE YOU 100000% – SO WE ARE HERE FOR YOU, AND WE ALWAYS WILL BE. PLEASE TELL US WHAT WE NEED TO DO.
    I KNOW YOU WILL DO WHAT IS RIGHT, BUT FOR MANY OF US, THE ONLY RIGHT THING IS FOR YOU TO BE PRESIDENT!!!! HOW DO WE NOT CONTINUE THAT FIGHT WHEN WE BELIEVE SO MUCH THAT YOU ARE THE BEST CANDIDATE???? YOU ARE BETTER – IT'S THAT SIMPLE.
    HOW DO WE JUST STOP?????

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WE ARE WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Julio

    To everyone above me,
    yes, however, w/out Clinton you have 18,000,000 people who did NOT vote for Obama and if he hasn't won them now, he will not do so in November.
    There is no other formidable candidate to run next to him in Nov. Unless, he wants to be ridiculed for the next 5 months and see himself LOSE the election!

    Chicago

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. mjc

    carter, what are you talking about?

    to quote:

    "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.

    50 percent? she won the popular vote, what about her supporters who just WON'T vote for Obama?? Carter, are you paying attention at all???

    you loser one term president, please keep your mouth shut because your foot is ending up in it every single time.

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. aughhhh

    I agree. Hillary would be a detriment to his campaign. When elected, appointing her to head something would be appropriate. But now is not the time. There are too many open wounds on both sides that will not be healed by forcing them together. She destroyed her opportunity to become vice president by refusing to concede after the primaries on Tuesday night. If she were applying for the VP slot with that speech, she did a very poor job.

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. Mike D

    true, obama needs balance, a white military tough guy who can back up obama against mccain, hillary would make the ticket too hard a sell for the average voter

    June 4, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. dajackg

    If Obama ends up with Clinton as his VP, I hope he hires a food taster as well.

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. D.J.

    Brian, we have the worst president ever right now.

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. No more Hillary

    After everything Hillary has stated about Obama, she does not need to be within a heartbeat of the presidency. There are enough women scorned Hillary supports that might do something crazy.

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Dealt

    It's not often I agree unreservedly with president Carter. Hillary is shamelessly trying to blackmail Obama. She's keeping on the race just to hold that threat over him and to make sure her more fanatic supporters stay on the leash. It beats me how she expects to be his running mate after her attacks and mockery of Obama. When the Republicans use her statements as ammunition against Obama is she going to say what? That she misspoke? Or was misunderstood?

    60% do not think Obama should take her as VP. And it beats good sense. Her supporters (those more wise and sensible) will come to him. But if he takes her (and add-on Bill) as running mate, some of those that could cross over from other parties, will feel (and rightly so) suspicious of that change promise.

    She's so power-hungry it's scary...

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. BHO Not my candidate

    The Clintons dont want Obama to win... they want to run again in 4 years...

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Bruce

    Just like a broken clock, Carter may be right twice a day. And this is one of those times.

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. John

    Clinton needs to bow out gracefully and do what she can to help Obama. That includes not having her backers hinting or suggesting she be VP. bad move

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. B - NYC

    ***************************************************************************
    With due respects to Senator Obama for running a good campaign, despite needing four times the money and the title of "media darling" to win.

    His supporters need to realize a few things... They have been rude and disrespectful to Senator Clinton therefore, rude to her supporters... What they are failing to realize is that HE NEEDS HER, SHE DOES NOT NEED HIM and we will NOT support him, which means, he will in fact not have enough votes to win in November...

    I would start being a bit respectful if I were you...

    ***************************************************************************

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Cyndi

    Maybe thats why Carter likes Obama – Carter did nothing and Obama will fit right in with him!

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. susan sosh

    Obama will not win unless he has Hillary on his ticket. Hillary's people will not vote for Obama. I will not

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. Independent for Obama

    Unfortunately he is right – those two are like oil and water. Plus, she doesn't help him carry a state that he wouldn't carry (she's the Senator from NY), and I'm not sure that he will get the disgruntled Clinton voters even if she was the VP.

    I think it is a great change election, but we know there has been racism and sexism at play in this campaign, and putting them on the ticket together may just turn off enough narrow-minded people so that McCain wins...

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. J Hendricks

    Obama should cut a deal with McCain and make him the vice president ,
    perhaps we can then get our troops out and claim victory at the same time, then everybody will be happy.

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. fred

    Carter was speaking from his stature as one f the worst President of USA.

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. dem

    We can say goodbye to all of Hillary's supporters.

    Hello President McCain.

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. WHoCares

    I don't think Hillary should ACCEPT the VP position. Obama better offer it to her if he wants to have a chance in a prayer of winning this thing.

    And as for Carter. He is senile. He should be imprisoned for Treason for breaking protocol and talking Hamas without CLEARANCE. He is an ex: President. There are protocols in place what ex: Prezs can do or cannot.

    June 4, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 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