JIMMY CARTER, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT:Â I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that heâ€˜s African-American.Â I live in the South, and I have seen the South come a long way and I have seen the rest of the country that shared the Southâ€˜s attitude towards minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans.Â And that racism inclination still exists.Â And I think itâ€˜s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white peopleâ€”not just in the South but around the countryâ€”that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.Â Itâ€˜s an abominable circumstance and grieves me and concerns me very deeply.
Apparently, you only think you do.
CNNâ€™s Candy Crowley thought so too.Â Check out this exchange she had with Jimmy Carter this morning, while she was at the Carter Library to do a puff piece on the occasion of the regrettable 39th Presidentâ€™s 85th birthday.
Crowley, who was very deferential, nonetheless asked the reasonable question about Carterâ€™s controversial remarks, which had been disavowed pretty thoroughly by the President and his spokesman:
CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me ask you first, domestically, you made some remarks recently about how you felt about the protesters that were protesting against President Obama. You said, overall, you thought the protesters, were upset that there was a black president, that there was racism involved. You said that many people…
J. CARTER: By the way, that’s not what I said.
J. CARTER: I said, those on the fringe element that had the vituperative personal attacks on president Obama, those were the ones that I included…
CROWLEY: Your first remarks were that overall…
J. CARTER: No, it wasn’t. If you read the remarks carefully, you’ll see that’s not what I said. I said those that had a personal vituperative attack on president Obama as a person, that was tinged with racism, but I recognize that people who disagree with him on health care or the environment, that the vast majority of those are not tinged by racism.
CROWLEY: So you think they were taken out of context. You didn’t mean that most of those protesters out there were racist…
J. CARTER: I meant exactly what I said. What I actually said, if you look at the transcript, is just what I just repeated to you.
Well, look at the transcript.Â I donâ€™t see the words, â€œfringe,â€ or â€œminorityâ€ anywhere.Â There are no limitations in his remarks.Â In fact,â€ many white peopleâ€”not just in the South but around the countryâ€ and â€œoverwhelming portionâ€ DO make an appearance.
In fact, the next day, Carter repeated his main point (along with some embellishments and additional slanders, which Ben Johnson covered here.)
CARTER: There is an inherent feeling among many people in this country that an African-American ought not be President
Again, â€œmany people,â€ not a â€œvituperative fringe.â€
Mr. Carter, I believe you.Â You DID mean what you said.Â It was the culmination of a week of Democrat spokespeople and surrogates for the President floating this trial balloon and hoping that the â€œYou lieâ€ outburst by Congressman Joe Wilson would give you the opening to make this slander.Â It backfired, and the White House was nimble enough to see it wasnâ€™t working, and they threw you under the bus.Â (For a list of the FOOs — Friends Of Obama — under the bus, check out Paul Cooperâ€™s excellent post.)
And what you said clearly and plainly was that the majority of anger directed at the President came from racism.Â Donâ€™t give us this read the transcript â€œcarefullyâ€ garbage.Â You are a public speaker with decades of experience.Â You knew what you were saying, and the general public is not expected to read between the lines to see if you left any wiggle room.Â Had the public saluted when you ran this garbage up the flagpole, you would today be taking credit for having been the first person with your stature to sound the alarm.
So, Jimmah, is that bus heavy?Â Good luck trying to crawl out from underâ€¦ Of course your outrageous and predictable remarks near the end of this interview, saying that Iran is only reacting to Israeli and American aggression to â€œdefendâ€ itself, wonâ€™t help you in that effort.