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Greg Bluestein

Jimmy Carter endorses Donald Trump — over Ted Cruz

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Former President Jimmy Carter, at Britain’s House of Lords on Wednesday to deliver a lecture on the campaign to eradicate the Guinea worm disease, was derailed for a few minutes by a BBC reporter who asked about the presidential election.

Carter opened with praise for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “remarkable” showing in Iowa’s Democratic caucus and a prediction that frontrunner Hillary Clinton will ultimately score the party’s nod.

Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump

Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump

Then he turned to the GOP, predicting that billionaire Donald Trump will “fade away.”

Our AJC colleague Jill Vejnoska, comfortably on this side of the pond, has the rest.

From her dispatch:

“When people actually get ready to put on a ballot, ‘This is the person I want to lead me for the next four or eight years, I think they’ll have a little different opinion,’” Carter said.

Still, better him than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, he said.

If he had to choose between Cruz and Trump for the Republican nomination, Carter chuckled, “I think I would choose Trump, which may surprise some of you.”

(It did, judging by the loud laughter from the audience.)

“The reason is, Trump has proven already he’s completely malleable,” Carter explained. “I don’t think he has any fixed (positions) he’d go the White House and fight for. On the other hand, Ted Cruz is not malleable. He has far right wing policies he’d pursue if he became president.”

Trump, meanwhile, has taken a shot or two at Carter along the campaign trail.