Former President Jimmy Carter appeared to skewer President Barack Obama Tuesday for his failure to act quicker to address gender pay gaps, while speaking at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.
The former president said Obama could have done more — and in a quicker manner — to address pay disparities between men and women, BuzzFeed reported.
“They have been in office for five years now,” Carter said. “They could have started working on this the first week (Obama) was in office.”
Carter, who just released a new book on women’s issues, also conceded that a pay gap “probably did exist” when he was in office.
“I would guess that those salary discriminations and discrepancies where there when I was (president),” Carter said.
“I would guess that those salary discriminations and discrepancies where there when I was (president).”
On Tuesday, Obama signed two directives that he says would address income disparities.
He signed an executive order that prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay. He also directed the Labor Department to issue rules requiring federal contractors to provide aggregate compensation data by race and gender.
These actions were part of a concerted election-year effort with congressional Democrats to draw attention to women’s pay. The Senate began debating legislation Tuesday that would make it easier for workers to sue companies for paying women less because of their gender.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter