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. cjl

    HAHAHAHA. I know not 1 person, liberal or conservative, that does not cite Jimmy Carter as the poorest performing president in their lifetime.

    September 21, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. Steve in North Carolina

    A legend in his own mind! Too bad nobody else remembers it that way!

    September 21, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    Carter can definitely be proud of what he's done post-presidency. He's accomplished a great deal. He's had a much better record out of office rather than in office, but there's no understating this man's contributions to America and the American public and foreign relations.

    September 21, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. Ron in Califonia

    Once again Jimmy Carter proves to be a cut BELOW other Presidents. I'm sure he is a nice man looking for a bettter place in history than he has. But he can say all he wants the public perception of his Presidency is not very good. He should just stick to the Charity work he is doing and stay out of todays politics.

    September 21, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. Jack in Florida

    He has had more impact on the world as a "past" President than he did during his time in office. He has done great things as a Statesman and that will be his legacy.

    September 21, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. Kate

    He speaks the truth. Bill Clinton could be a contender but he hasn't put in the number of years that President Carter has.

    September 21, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Mark

    Well I would say... that for his work AFTER being president I don't think there is any other president I can think of that has been so active and positive in the world. How many prisoners has this guy freed now? I'm not the biggest Jimmy Carter fan in the world, but his work continues to this day and is much unlike we have seen from former president.

    September 21, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. Adalbert

    He is correct.

    September 21, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. Rich

    Carter truly cares about what happens and does his best to make a diference. I'm a repub but am fully behind whatever carter wants to do.

    September 21, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Jon

    Carter is responding to his efforts after he was President.
    Clearly he is telling the truth – he has been the most effective ex-president to deal with humanitarian issues with out question. Clinton still has to catch up.

    September 21, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. Jan Strnad

    Actually, I agree! Although his actual term in office was less than stellar, Jimmy Carter is one of the best former Presidents we've ever had.

    September 21, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. Boo-Yah

    Can't blame him for tooting his own horn. He was a great president that has been vastly overlooked and underappreciated . He didn't play games with Congress so they worked against him and yet he still accomplished much more in his 4 years than many did in 8.

    You've had and always will have my deepest respect, Mr. President.

    September 21, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. stufit

    This man is either trying out for the stand up comedy role, or has gone senile. Until Obams, no other president was less successful, inept or incomptetent. At least Obama hadn't failed yet when he was awarded the phony Nobel Prize, he was just a failure waiting to happen. Carter failed and was awared one. He has got to be thanking his lucky stars that Obama came along and took his place at the bottom of the list of failures in the presidency.

    September 21, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  14. Bob Dog

    Poor Jimmy. A very good man who always sincerely does his best, it seems the weight of his legacy must be too much to bear at times like these.

    September 21, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. Anonymous

    Leave it to CNN to hook you in to read this article entitled "Carter declares his superiority to other presidents" only to read that that it is not what he said at all. Typical.

    September 21, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. OMG!!!!!!

    What a nitwit. Jimmy Carter is a nice man, but he was a very crappy President.

    September 21, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I consider some of his actions and statement to be less than ideal. His condmenation of Israel has been way out of line; Israel is not practicing anything close to what South Africa has done. Some of his work with Habitat for Humanity has been some good stuff, but his foreign work is mixed.

    September 21, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. scott

    "Peanuts" is an embarassment to the great state of Georgia and the entire nation. Nothing he says shocks me.

    September 21, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. Cheryl

    He can walk it back all he wants, I was watching when he said it and I think his ego really is that big. I think out of all the Presidents in my life (I'm 53) President Clinton has used his office to the best of his abilities. And does it without seeming to blow his own horn too much.

    September 21, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. A. Goodwin

    Carter HAS done more good while not president than probably during his presidency...and he DOES have many years experience being a former president than most...but his comment was a bit narcissistic.

    September 21, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. really!

    I would tend to agree with President Carter. He certainly has done much as a Former President 🙂

    September 21, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  22. Lucas Breen

    He's right, except for Bill Clinton.

    September 21, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  23. bobbi

    Carter's humanitarian role while in office caused us the state of Florida to Cubans, crime, drugs, etc. Go home... and stay there. Don't offer this many any money for his comments on anything. Go home.

    September 21, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. Jo

    I've always said that. He's the only one that goes where no one is willing, and get i'ts done. Others feel, It's "Not their job anymore." They just go on speaking gigs and rake in a couple of million, or whatever obnoxious amount they get to stand their and blow hot air, push a book and rest on their "Laurels"

    September 21, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. Derek

    There is no doubt in my mind that Jimmy Carter is one of the most influential Presidents that the United States has ever had in terms of what he has done post-presidency. Standing up for human rights in areas where there has never been an advocate in the past takes a lot of courage.

    However I do believe that each President still alive today does bring something special to the community of the world, just not many of them get the press recognition that they deserve. I don't think Jimmy Carter was completely out of line, but he probably should have taken a different route to getting his point across.

    Congress 2016!

    September 21, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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