Jimmy Carter bemoans money in politics on Super Tuesday
March 6th, 2012
04:09 PM ET
11 years ago

Jimmy Carter bemoans money in politics on Super Tuesday

(CNN) – Jimmy Carter, peanut farmer turned 39th president, said he was casually following Republican politics on Super Tuesday, as he does sometimes for amusement.

Watching from the sideline has given Carter some perspective he said. He is not thrilled about how things are playing out.

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As he sat in his Plains, Georgia home, he bemoaned the influx of money into politics, and with it –vitriol.

"A lot of that money is used to destroy the character of your opponent in an election and that animosity and character destruction carries on when members of Congress get to Washington," Carter told CNN by phone.

"I hope the Supreme Court will reverse its stupid decision to let the corporations contribute massive amounts of money, and also rich people," he said of the high court's ruling on the Citizen's United case which paved the way for the creation of super PACs and with them unlimited donations to political action committees and the onslaught of negative advertisements.

He said when ran for president, "I always referred to incumbent President Gerald Ford as, 'my distinguished opponent' and that's the way he referred to me. When I later ran against Governor [Ronald] Reagan, it was the same thing, 'my distinguished opponent.' "

No matter the issue he said it seems, "everything is vitriolic now."

As for the outcome on Tuesday at the polls, he surmised his neighbors in Georgia would give former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich a win in his home state, but that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would be on the top of the Republican ticket in the end.

Not surprisingly, ether way Carter said he will support fellow Democrat President Barack Obama in his reelection bid in November. And the former president said he hoped the current president would be able to stay above the fray and away from the vitriol.

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Filed under: 2012 • Georgia • Jimmy Carter
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Joey

    And the voters "bemoaned" Jimmy Carter

    March 6, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Squealy

    Well, when he's right, he's right. And he is 100% correct. BOO to the SCOTUS for these developments in politics! My little personal vote has far less value now. How is that right for any of us, regardless of which party you belong to? By granting rights to corporations, they have taken away my right to equal say. Worst supreme court decision EVER!

    March 6, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Isn't it remarkable how conservatives have stacked the deck against liberals this election cycle? You gotta give 'em credit for covering all of the bases. They have set up a solution for every area where they were beaten so badly in 2008, with one major exception.

    Republicans came in second in fund raising in 2008, but Citizen's United fixed that.
    Republicans came in second in voter turnout in 2008, but Voter ID laws are going to fix that.
    Republicans came in second in positive messaging in 2008, but launched a negative campaign in 2008 just for 2012.

    But, Republicans have forgotten about the most important part of an election. The "will of the American people" who wil be going to the voting booths. But, judging from the controversies and seeming malfeasance in the GOP primaries that we have seen, maybe Republicans have come up with an answer for the "will of the American people" too.

    March 6, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I wish we could have had more Jimmy Carter,and a lot less George W Bush.

    March 6, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    You can now see the effect of appointing intellectually and morally deficient jurists ( conservatives) to the bench.

    March 6, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Yeah, leftists ALWAYS hate it when the other side can get their message and ideas out since their inferior and defective ideas cannot withstand scrutiny. They have already proven to be a failure EVERYWHERE they have been tried. Yes, it all that evil free speech and exchange of ideas that is the problem.

    March 6, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. WiredweirdinSF

    Should Carter be listened to? His reputation as the worst president was only helped by Obama vote theft of 2008. How much money did the corrupt union bosses give him when he ran. Union's had been running rampant prior to this decisoni, a fact that is seldom mentioned by the democrat liberals and everything they touch, they corrupt.

    March 6, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Dave

    When you talk about REAL backbone, the 1st thing that comes to my mind is when The PREZ looked directly in the eyes of The Supreme Court during a State of The Union & told them they were horribly wrong & there will even be money & boatloads of it coming from NON- American intrests. He was Incrediby Bold to do this & Incredibly 100% right. The mans got no choice in fighting The Koch Bros & The Mormon Superpacs, not to mention The oil Companies billionaires and so on and so on.

    March 6, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Dave

    The voter ID changes by the GOP is going to make it harder for the ELDERLY & MINORITIES have their right to cast their ballots. Im tellin you Mitt & the Right are SEVERLY viscious people with no scruples. Its not unlike in 00 when Bush paid his brother Jeb to pull all the strings to win. All the sudden The Supreme Court, yea you guessed it Scalia & Co said ok stop, George is Prez. That is NOT democracy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 6, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Correction – the republican president George W Bush will always be the worst president in our history. In 2000 the most corrupt supreme court selected him, and W's corporate slugs and right wingnut lap dancers still defend the most criminal president in history.

    March 6, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Dave

    It really goes to show you that yes even in AMERICA, elections can be bought with cold hard cash. Please do not ever allow 00 to happen again!!

    March 6, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Noodle Nose Johnson

    I too think the Citizens' United decision was a travesty. But here's the thing: No matter how much money a candidate has or spends, it does not guarantee their election, especially if they a pathetic candidate. See Whitman, Meg.

    March 6, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Rickster

    lol...Jimmy Carter.....another pathetic loser that brain-dead democrat voters foisted upon us....here's a rule of thumb kids....whatever democrats are in favor of, you should be opposed to and vice versa.....live by that rule and you will NEVER go wrong.

    March 6, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

    "Yes, it all that evil free speech and exchange of ideas that is the problem."

    Citizens United is not about any of those things, unless you are delusional enough to believe there was never free speech and an exchange of ides before then. Oh wait, I forgot who I'm talking to.

    March 6, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. l2louie

    Interesting position from a guy who belongs to the party that spent more in the last election than the other party by a long shot, like, over 30% more. and the same party that said they would accept limits, then didn't. Lib hypocricy. Regarding Citizens, when unions are similarly restricted in their spending, then we can talk about limiting corporations.

    March 6, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Dave

    Yo another day, What you talkin bout Willis???????????

    March 6, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Troy in Austin

    Why would anyone think it is a good thing to infuse money into any election. Money always breeds corruption and division. The Supreme Court decision was as stupid then as now. I doubt it will change, we have never been very good at that.
    Why can't republicans just try to do the correct thing anyway, always with the religion and regulation rhetoric!

    March 6, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. James

    I think politics is simply reflecting the ugliness of the people they represent. The reason the candidates are so vitriolic is because it SELLS. If their audience did not respond to it then it the politicians wouldn't try it. They are every bit the product of the supply and demand.

    Just take a look at the comment on this article. It is quite the reflection of rhetoric in this election cycle.

    March 6, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |