At 93, Jimmy Carter’s presidential days are long behind him, but the 39th president is still very in tune with national politics. He made his views about some of the latest pressing national issues very clear in a recent interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
On Russia meddling in the election:
Dowd asked Carter: “Did the Russians purloin the election from Hillary [Clinton]?”
Carter said: “Rosie and I have a difference of opinion on that.” Rosie is Carter’s wife.
“I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes,” Carter followed up.
On President Donald Trump:
Carter said: “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.”
Who was their 2016 preference?
Given that Carter is a Democrat and served in the White House as a Democrat, it would be easy to assume Carter wanted Clinton to be president in 2016. But he explained he and his wife voted for a different candidate.
“We voted for Sanders,” he said.
In the interview, Carter also knocked former President Barack Obama.
“He made some very wonderful statements, in my opinion, when he first got in office, and then he reneged on that,” Carter said of Obama’s Middle East policies.
Carter also lamented “the fact that Obama joined in the bombing of Yemen,” according to Dowd. However, Carter confirmed all 22 members of his family voted for Obama. He also said he doesn’t have Obama’s email address, meaning he likely doesn’t directly talk to the 44th president.
On the Clinton Foundation:
When Dowd tried to draw comparisons between the Carter Center and the Clinton Foundation, Carter struck it down.
“Rosie and I put money in the Carter Center. We never take any out,” he said, implying the Clinton Foundation does.
On NFL kneeling protests:
Carter said: “I think they ought to find a different way to object, to demonstrate. I would rather see all the players stand during the American anthem.”