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Jimmy Carter: It's Understandable That Obama Skipped Paris Rally Because He'd Just Come Back From Vacation


"Your desk is piled up, and he had other pressing problems to address."

Former President Jimmy Carter signs copies of his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" at the Carter Center as part of an Atlanta Press Club luncheon in Atlanta, Ga., Friday, Dec. 8, 2006. (AP Photo/Ric Feld)

Former President Jimmy Carter defended Barack Obama for skipping Sunday's anti-terrorism march in Paris because he'd "just come back from vacation."

“I know that President Obama’s just come back from vacation, and I know how it is when you’ve been gone for a week or two,” Carter told Katie Couric in an interview with Yahoo News. “Your desk is piled up, and he had other pressing problems to address. So I don’t think there’s any reflection on our country or no criticism is worthy.”

Carter was interviewed Monday, shortly before the White House itself admitted that it should have sent a higher-ranking official to Paris. Millions of people marched, including dozens of world leaders, after last week's terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher grocery store. The U.S. was represented by the American ambassador to France.

Carter said the United States has "made everybody know that we really support the efforts by the French to eliminate this threat in the future and also express condolences on behalf of you and me and everyone else. I don't think that was any oversight."

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