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. Dennis

    He has accomplished much more out of office than in. In my opionion, he was one of the worst Presidents ever. However, he has done a lot of good for the world since leaving office. I don't agree with his assessment of the Middle East , but overall, he's a pretty good guy.

    September 21, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Dan

    Narcissism really shows in senility.
    Although I do commend him in his work after his Presidency, he didn't really change or alter anything with what he has done. This is the problem with Dems. Big talk – no show.

    September 21, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. ReddirtTXn

    I think someones spent a little too much time in the peanut fields.

    September 21, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. A Mom of 4

    Say what you will about President Carter, but he isn't far off from his statement in my opinion. While Presidents Clinton and George HW Bush have teamed up for natural disasters, President Carter has helped so many more people who weren't victims of natural disasters. The Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project have done wonderful things for people in this country and abroad. How many former presidents do you see buidling houses for lower income families?

    September 21, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Gary

    Jimmy Carter is a better former President than was a acting President. Meaning that he is free to take advantage of his status to help others and our country. Also, without working with Congress which also helps him a great deal. He gets things done his way, makes things happen and promotes good relations with the US. He's a national treasure and will remain as such due to his determination and good will.

    September 21, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. robie

    Mr. Carter has profoundly raised the bar far more than any
    other presidents. This is a fact. Look at his biography and
    work compared to others. HE CARED MORE.

    September 21, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Karl Andersen

    As a Vietnam veteran, I have always (and will continue to) HATE Jimmy Carter for letting those draft dodgers off scott free. He was the WORST president we ever had!!!!

    September 21, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. John

    He is better as a missionary than he was as President. No other former President has done more after his tenure as President.

    September 21, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. mlr

    You know- the media really should draw the line at publishing the ramblings of a senile old man. The only thing carter has achieved – is looking better than Obama.

    September 21, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Al

    This idiot can think what ever he wants of himself. The only point about his statement that I agree with is that he is a former president, and thank God for that simple fact.

    September 21, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. rosaadriana

    It is true, as a former president, Carter has done the most good around the world. I can't think of anything any other president has done after he left office.
    The closest would be Al Gore. He has done a lot of good work on environmental issues but he was vice president.

    September 21, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. sigmund seroczynski

    The working man's best best ally

    September 21, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. dawgdays

    Carter should stick with only doing habitat for humanity. A glowing success. In almost all other areas when he opens his mouth he fails miserably to show any intelligent thought.

    September 21, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. Jordan (South Dakota)

    Whatever you say Jimmy. But I'm pretty sure your just getting jealous of all the press Bill's been getting.

    September 21, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Jay

    Shock? For telling the truth? This man has done more humanitarian and world-bettering things than the two Bush stooges combined.

    This country is in some deep trouble if people are too stupid to tell what defines good and what defines horrible men and actions.

    September 21, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. mike

    I don't think Carter is superior over other presidents but what I do think is that he is commented on helping americans something I have yet to see
    from any republican as soon as they are out of office it is like they fell off the face of the earth unless they want to yell some crap to make money like Palin but is never about donating there time just to help people and they say they are patriots what a joke

    September 21, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. BDub

    Superior as in one of the worst? FDR's 90%+ tax rate would probably qualify as the worst. Progress to destruction!

    September 21, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Sara

    Why must the news media twist his words? He explained what he meant. Why attack him? He is a wonderful person who continues to help the downtrodden people.

    September 21, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. M-AZ

    Mr. Carter,

    I will always consider you one of the best presidents. Over the years people have been unfair to you, so if you want to toot your horn a little, go right ahead. Few people or former presidents can tout the accomplishments that you have had in past years, especially in the area of human rights.

    September 21, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. Bedtime for Obonzo

    One of the many reasons why Carter lost in 1980 is that he was perceived as mean and arrogant. These comments remove any doubt about that.

    September 21, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. David

    He's right... he's done more than even Clinton, and far more than either Bush.

    September 21, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Edward from Ohio

    Superior? Only perhaps because your leaving office was so overwhelmingly welcome to Americans, so in that respect, Yeah, you are superior to most former Presidents. The nerve of Uncle Jimmy

    September 21, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. rm

    You picked the wrong Jimmy Carter quote. In an interview with (I believe PBS) Carter claims his superiority is based on the "fact", as he sees it, that he passed more bills of legislation than any of his immediate predecessors and all of his successors. Apparently that is the basis for his claim to distinction and he seems to be quite happy with it.

    September 21, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. rawk

    He he he he, Keep it up Carter. Everytime he opens his mouth...hehehehe. I mean do I really need to say anything ?

    September 21, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Blaum

    Although Obama is working hard at it.... no other U.S. president has put its citizens in worse shape than Carter did.....

    September 21, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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