September 17th, 2009
08:40 AM ET
12 years ago

Carter again cites racism as factor in Obama's treatment

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - Former President Jimmy Carter reiterated Wednesday that he believes racism is an issue for President Obama in trying to lead the country.

"When a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the president of the United States as an animal or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler or when they wave signs in the air that said we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kinds of things are beyond the bounds," the Democrat who served from 1977-1981 told students at Emory University.

"I think people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African American.

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soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. jaye

    Jimmy Carter is right!
    Just read the horrible disgusting signs being carried at tea bagger parties and town hall meetings.
    Republicans are racist to the core – you know it and I know it....and the media knows it.
    The little kid carrying the sign calling our president a monkey....a kid, mind you.
    Stop burying your head in the sand – take a look at whats going on and you'll know Jimmy Carter is right.

    September 17, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. warren smith

    i totally agree with what the formal presiedent says
    and anyone who don,t
    is either not paying attention
    or
    they are lliving on another planet

    September 17, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Brain Dead in Ohio

    This is an easy one... If you oppose the Presiden's policies, you're not automatically racist. If you oppose his policies and call him a monkey, guess what?

    Cliams of "we want our country back" have a thinly veiled type of racism that permiates in the south. This is the part of the country that once seceeded from the US over slavery issues, yet they claim to be the most patriotic.

    September 17, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. mike

    any organization that protest has a set goal that all the protester fallow so that there is unity, with the tea party there is no goal but disruption and racism you can see in the signs they carry and there talk. the organizers that say they have no control over what the people I have to say are fools to think that they have a tea party is a total joke and they are as disorganised as the protest they claim is against the goverment

    September 17, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. steve

    C'mon Jimmy Carter it's time to enter the year 2009, more white people voted for Obama than McCain, so how can they possibly be racist. His comments don't sound like a president, they sound like a bitter 85 year old man.

    September 17, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Old Man Carter

    Carter reveals his own, deep-South biases. He can't see things any other way.

    September 17, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Annie, Atlanta

    I, too, live in GA and cannot believe the hatred I saw and heard during the campaign which has just grown worse since the election. I volunteered for President Obama's campaign, and the experience left my skin crawling; and even to this day when I recall the encounters. I'm actually afraid of the place I've lived and loved for half my life.

    September 17, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. jaye

    Steele is an idiot! He knows racism is being used every day against our president.
    The republicans are playing a dangerous game getting the crowds all riled up with lies and hate....and I fear it will lead to a disaster.

    September 17, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    Keep throwing gasoline on the fire, Carter. You're just widening a racial divide which, unfortunately, does exist... but not to the degree it's being made into. The more people throw out the race issue, the more it's going to increase... and the more people are going to be desensitized to it.

    So let me borrow a line the liberal posters use in their critique of the GOP, if I may:

    "Instead of complaining about race issues, what are you going to do about it? What's your plan?"

    September 17, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. Deb

    The Former President is correct because Racism is a factor. The Tea party is racist. The republicans are racist. Glen Beck is racist and so is Joe Wilson he is deep south racist. Michael Steel is just plain stupid.

    September 17, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. Citizen

    The only person putting race into this debate is Carter. This is an extremely sensitive issue for Americans and is bound to bring out some radicals. Even Obama says race is not a factor. Carter is just after some quick headlines and public attention.

    September 17, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. Pete Caloger

    We would do well as a nation to listen to this man.

    September 17, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. Alfred E. Neumann

    People who deny racism is part of conservative talk radio deny reality.

    People can't define it but they know it when they hear it!

    September 17, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. J.R. American in Canada

    It has been said, (not exactly like this)

    "THE TRUTH ONLY HURTS THOSE WHO BREED HATRED AND DIVISION". "For their day has come!

    Racism is bred and instilled, and it usually comes with those who speak with the word "GOD".

    The USA don't have to worry about exterior Terrorism. It has enough of their own....Especially, those Religious Extremists on the RIGHT!

    Religion is a BAD SEED when the Student believes the TEACHERS!

    September 17, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Sniffit

    What Carter said:

    "I think people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama..." are influenced or motivated in part by racism.

    What the GOP wants you to think he said:

    "I think people who are guilty of that kind of attack against Obama's policies..." are influenced or motivated in part by racism.

    Thank you CNN and the rest of the American media for pretending there's a controversy here. Whatever would we do without trumped up nonsense to talk about?

    September 17, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Mark

    I figured it would take at least a year before the liberals started playing the race card!

    September 17, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. Rick in OP

    If you disagree with a Liberal you are now branded as a RACIST.

    September 17, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Kristi

    easily the worst president is US history needs to keep his senile mouth shut. If I was as big a disappointment and failure as he was I would just stay out of the public eye. Just because he sees everything in terms of racism doesn't make it so. He also thought cowering to the Iranians was the thing to do as well.

    September 17, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. Wake Up

    Typically Dem ploy. Attack, lie, and call names...but don't debate! Obama's policies are indefensible.

    Speaking of racism, could you imagine if some white country start took a trophy from an african-american teenager? I can't understand, why the dems promote racism and division.

    September 17, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. joc,alabama

    This is so true.I'm say this I bet Michael Steel doesn't have the guts to attend a rally of the Tee Parties let alone shake hands with the crowd.I bet he'll know then.

    September 17, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. therealmarie

    He sites it because it is true.

    September 17, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. Bob the Observer

    These words are spoken by a man who campaigned as a segregationist in order to win the governor's seat being vacated by Lester Maddox.

    Jimmy Carter was a racist when it was convenient to be one, and is no not one because it's convenient not to be one.

    It is an insult to people like me to hear a so-called statesman who would boil down all of the differing view points and disagreements to something so simple as the color of one's skin.

    Carter was a racist when he was young. In a sense, he is now a racist as a doddering old man. He is still looking for a way into the history books. At least one besides the obvious: "One of the five worst presidents we have ever had."

    September 17, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. joe m

    with mr. carter now having something to say about kanye, i'm no longer sure if mr. carter is trying to help the president or trying to garner attention for himself. and if we accept mr. carter's argument, then one would have to wonder if those who criticized mr. bush (43), some comparing him to hitler, are also racist. it is naive to believe that there aren't some who trully oppose mr. obama solely b/c of his skin color, but mr. carter's comments lumps all critics as being racist. not helpful to the discussion.

    September 17, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Counting the days until the Obamanation is GONE and America can prosper again

    The problem isn't the Obamanation, it's the socialistic bent that his government has, and his communistic Czars. But, I knew when he was elected president, that the race card would be played – anyone who doesn't agree MUST be racist. No matter how awful those policies are.

    September 17, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. Nagudcm Sugna

    Carter must be a racist to even mention this. It only takes away from Obama. Carter must believe that Obama cannot succeed because he is black and that is wrong.

    September 17, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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