Jimmy Carter: ‘The media have been harder on Trump than any other president’

Former President Jimmy Carter discusses his cancer diagnosis at the Carter Center in 2015. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

In a must-read interview with the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, former President Jimmy Carter offered Donald Trump his services to negotiate with North Korea’s leader. But her sit-down with the Georgia native at his home in Plains was chock-full of other tidbits.

The 93-year-old repeated that he and his wife Rosalynn voted for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in last year’s Democratic primary. He questioned whether Russia’s attempts to interfere in the election changed “enough votes, or any votes” to matter. And he knocked some of former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy decisions.

We’re including some of his choice quotes, but please read the entire New York Times interview here.

On Trump and the media:

“I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about. I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”

On whether the nation’s image in the world has soured under Trump:

“Well, he might be escalating it but I think that precedes Trump. The United States has been the dominant character in the whole world and now we’re not anymore. And we’re not going to be. Russia’s coming back and India and China are coming forward.”

On Obama’s Middle East policy:

“He made some very wonderful statements, in my opinion, when he first got in office, and then he reneged on that.”

On the debate over removing Confederate war memorials:

“That’s a hard one for me. My great-grandfather was at Gettysburg on the Southern side and his two brothers were with him in the Sumter artillery. One of them was wounded but none of them were killed. I never have looked on the carvings on Stone Mountain or the statues as being racist in their intent. But I can understand African-Americans’ aversion to them, and I sympathize with them. But I don’t have any objection to them being labeled with explanatory labels or that sort of thing.”


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