September 21st, 2010
09:11 AM ET
12 years ago

Carter declares his superiority to other presidents

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Former President Jimmy Carter suggested Monday that he is superior to other former presidents."](CNN) - In the exclusive club of former presidents, not often does one declare his superiority to another. Former President Jimmy Carter appeared to do just that on Monday.

"I feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents," Carter told NBC's Brian Williams, citing his work on domestic and international issues that "fill vacuums in the world."

"When the United States won't deal with troubled areas, we go there and we meet their leaders who can bring an end to a conflict, or an end to human rights abuse, and so forth," Carter said. "So I feel that have an advantage over many other former presidents in being involved in daily affairs that have shaped the policies of our nation and the world."

Shortly after portions of his interview aired, the 39th president walked back his comments.

"What I meant was, for 27 years the Carter Center has provided me with superior opportunities to do good," Carter said in a statement confirmed by CNN.

Carter is far from the only former president to fill humanitarian or charitable roles after their term in office. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush joined together in the wake of January's devastating earthquake in Haiti to form the Bush Clinton Haiti Fund. George H.W. Bush teamed up with Clinton in 2005 after a tsunami washed ashore in south Asia killing over 200,000 people.

Carter is making the interview rounds to promote his new book written from a lengthy personal diary he kept via Dictaphone as president. He told CNN’s Larry King that his dictations produced 5,000 pages of written material.

“I think when the paperback of this book comes out, I'm going to make it available to scholars and news reporters to go to the presidential library and read the...taped original,” Carter told King Monday night on Larry King Live.

Filed under: Jimmy Carter
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. manuel Rodriguez

    He should remember that he was the one that sign the bill to use corn syrup instead of sugar cane on soda(an soda company was the biggest fonder of his election) which has cause more american death due to health reason than all the war put together in which the has U S being . no to mention that it caused the collapsed of the sugar industry overseas where the poorest work the fields causing another millions of death due to hunger.

    September 21, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. SHOOTER12

    Well, what most of us already knew has definitely been confirmed by J.C. himself...he's delusional.

    September 21, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Pete

    Former President Jimmy Carter has proven to be a much better Statesman than his predecessors and I agree, he is far superior then they in humanitarian and charitable roles. He wasn't as successful in office but has far surpassed any other as "Representative of the United States" abroad. The others have stepped up when called upon, however, President Carter stepped up because it was the right thing to do.

    September 21, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Snow

    I must admit he has been a better ex-President than he was as the President. He was the worst President in our history until obama and obama is alot worse than carter.

    September 21, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. New York

    Just to clarify former means “before me” it does not mean X president, big difference. Words have connotations and denotations; any educated person on the English language knows how “former” is connoted or denoted here.

    September 21, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. pa mom

    Another dilussional democrat. I watched his interview aired this past Sunday on 60 Minutes and as stated, he broke the rule for his verbal attacks on past presidents and Ted Kennedy. Maybe never getting a naval command speaks volumes about his capabilities. Obama is following in Carter's footsteps and may take away Carter's title as "worst president".

    September 21, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. carterschmarter

    Carter is full of it!!!! His lack of understanding of the world in his 4 years screwed up the world. He wanted to be the hero of oil problems in late 70's. His admin meddled with Iran's then Shah, helping to overthrow him, but forgot to stop islamists from stealing that revolution ..... cuz he thought it's a good idea to have an islamic army right under USSR's belly!!!! and get 2 birds with one stone!!!!

    Then he turned American soldiers into laughing matter by trying to free the hostages!!!!! Thank God he was forced to leave after 4 years, and a genious like Reagan could reverse some of Carter's goof ups...

    All islamic problems, terrorism, and power started from that point when Khomeini showed the islamic world that he can mess up everything, and gave rise to extremists......

    September 21, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. HorkusMac

    God bless him for his efforts with the Carter Center, but his legacy for many will be how 52 American lives hung in the balance for 444 days while he WASN'T exactly superior – and that's when he was counted on most, as the Commander in Chief of our Nation.

    September 21, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Easley Blackwood

    Egomania is truly a dreadful affliction. I miss Eisenhower and Ford.

    September 21, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. The Tea Party is another Koch Brothers Product

    He was much better than that scumbag Reagan,who tripled the deficit.He borrowed and borrowed and left the bill for the next chump.Jimmy couldnt get anything done only because Wall Street thought he was too honest,so they made sure the hostages were held till the day he was gone.

    September 21, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Four and The Door

    I watched the interview and do agree that Jimmy Carter had his successes along with his failures. But I don't agree that he was in any way superior to other past presidents. The current president? Absolutely. But he's got two more years to find some successes. Anything.

    September 21, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. slipthalo

    I wouldn't say he's 'superior' to other past Presidents but he did change the role of former Presidents to one of service to the citizenry rather than just being led out to pasture – i.e. Habitat for Humanity and other projects he is deeply involved in.
    I feel Reagan played dirty with the hostage situation and did some dirty dealing in the timing of their release to his (Reagan's) favor which probably still sits bad in Carters' mind.

    September 21, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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