Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that he would prefer businessman Donald Trump as president over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Following a speech at the U.K.’s House of Lords, Carter took questions and was asked by a BBC reporter for his analysis of the 2016 election.
“Can you give us your assessement of American politics?” the reporter asked, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “Also, whether you’re for Sanders or Clinton?”
Carter said he was “hoping” not to get “that question,” but answered anyway.
“Bernie Sanders has had a remarkable showing, particularly among young people. In Iowa, he had 85 percent of young people’s [support],” Carter reportedly said. “I don’t know what the final result will be. My own personal opinion is that it’s very likely Hillary Clinton will still prevail in the Democratic party. Of course, I’m a Democrat and I will support the nominee.”
The former president then turned his attention to the race for the Republican nomination. He said he had a “feeling” Trump would ultimately “fade away” — then made an unexpected statement.
If he had to choose between Trump and Cruz, Carter reportedly said, “I think I would choose Trump, which may surprise some of you.”
“The reason is, Trump has proven already he’s completly malleable,” Carter explained, according to the Atlanta-Constitution Journal. “I don’t think he has any fixed [position] 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.”
Cruz responded to Carter’s remarks at a campaign event in New Hampshire:
"In response, I may have to send Jimmy Carter a bouquet of roses," Cruz says.
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) February 3, 2016
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