Entries in Jimmy Carter (4)


Obama Thanks Jimmy Carter's Grandson for '47 Percent' Tape

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has finally thanked Jimmy Carter’s grandson for helping him win the 2012 presidential election.

It was James Carter, grandson of the former president, who brought the now-famous “47 percent” tape to light, connecting Mother Jones columnist David Corn to the source who secretly filmed it at a Mitt Romney fundraiser.

When Obama was in Atlanta last week, he met James, the former president told CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight in a televised interview.

“When James went to meet President Obama, President Obama ran across the room, embraced him and thanked him profusely — first time, by the way,” Carter said.

“I don’t think he said winning the election, but thank you for helping me win the election — I don’t know exactly what the words were,” Carter said when Morgan asked if Obama had thanked James for winning him a return to the White House.

Later featured in TV ads, the tape became a staple of Democratic talking points. Democrats had already dogged Romney with accusations of an elitist class view, and the tape became a liability that Romney was unable to shake.

Video: Sept. 26: Romney Responds to ’47 Percent’ Comment

“I think it was the pivotal moment,” Carter said of the tape, acknowledging that his opinion of his grandson’s role in the election is, of course, biased. “It was something that he could not deny, and it stuck with him for the rest of the election, and I think it was a major factor if not the major factor.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ryan in Ohio Uses Carter to Mock Obama

J.D. Pooley/Getty Images(WEST LAKE, Ohio) -- Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan took the GOP campaign to the key state of Ohio Tuesday, and on a day Democrats plans to air a video tribute to Jimmy Carter, Ryan used Carter to mock the Democrats. Polls show that the Republican ticket is trailing in Ohio, and most analysts believe that winning the state is virtually essential to a Republican victory in November.

“Ohio is the epicenter. Ohioans, you have a tremendous responsibility,” Ryan told a crowd of almost 1,900 people in a recreation center in West Lake.

With Mitt Romney absent from the stump, Ryan carried the Republican attack as the Democrats gathered in Charlotte to open their convention. Part of Tuesday night’s events includes the tribute to Carter, who has become a favorite target of Ryan over the weekend.

“They fired Carter and they hired Reagan. We’re going to do the same thing,” Ryan said, repeating what has become part of his stump speech.

Republicans have been reprising Ronald Reagan’s classic line against Carter in the 1980 election, asking essentially whether voters are better off than four years ago.

“If we fired Jimmy Carter then why would we re-hire Barack Obama now?” Ryan asked Tuesday. “President Obama can tell you a lot, and he’s good at doing that, but he cannot tell you that you’re better off. After four years of getting the runaround what America needs is a turnaround, and the man for that job is Mitt Romney.”

The vice presidential candidate also blasted Obama for waging a campaign “based upon the politics of envy and division.” Ryan said Obama’s record is “worse” than Carter’s and repeated the same unemployment and delinquent statistics as he did in Greenville, N.C., on Monday, but he corrected his bankruptcy numbers.

“In 1980, 331,000 total bankruptcies. Last year, 1.4 million,” he said.

In Greenville on Monday, Ryan conflated personal and business numbers, describing them as just “business bankruptcies.” Tuesday he clarified, saying, “in 1980, total bankruptcy filings -- that is personal and business bankruptcies,” making clear he was talking about all bankruptcies.

Ryan, who is from Wisconsin, gave some regional praise to his Ohio audience, complimenting them for their large walleye fish.

“We fish out of similar boats in the Great Lakes for great walleye. You got bigger walleye here in Lake Erie than we do up in Lake Michigan, I’ll tell you that. I wouldn’t say yours is better tasting, but walleye is the best freshwater fish to eat bar none, I’ll give you that,” Ryan said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dictator Tour or U.S. Diplomacy? Carter's Trip to Cuba Raises Eyebrows

Gary Miller/FilmMagic(HAVANA, Cuba) -- Jimmy Carter, who is in Cuba for a three-day private visit, will travel to North Korea soon in a move that has some questioning the former president's agenda.

Such trips are not unusual for Carter, 86, who in the three decades since he left office has often mediated, on an unofficial level, with pariah states.

In 2002, he became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba since its 1959 revolution. He's traveled to a number of other world hot spots, including Gaza in 2009, where he met with the then-leader of the U.S. designated terrorist group Hamas.

"Carter has been brave and courageous in being unorthodox in his approach. What was once unorthodox has become the Carter orthodox, so going to Cuba right now is not surprising," said author and history professor Douglas Brinkley, who traveled with Carter to Haiti in the early 1990s. "His bully pulpit is the globe, not the White House. He's erased what they think about his track to diplomacy."

It's "Jimmy Carter going by the beat of his own drum," he added. "There are times that he raises eyebrows and it's all part and parcel of Carter's post-presidency. You can't really cherry pick them."

Though Carter has been mum on the issue of jailed U.S. government contractor Alan Gross, his release is likely to be a central topic of discussion in the former president's meeting with President Raul Castro, who invited Carter to Cuba.

Carter, a prominent figure on the international stage known for his diplomacy, traveled to Pyongyang in August 2010 to retrieve an American citizen, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, who had been sentenced to eight years in prison for entering North Korea illegally from China that January.

While his efforts may not be as visible as those of former President Bill Clinton, those who follow his work say Carter has been more successful in this arena than any of his peers.

It could be days before Gross is on his way back home because of Carter's trip, Brinkley says.

"Carter has an extraordinary record, as ex-president of getting political prisoners released," Brinkley said. "I would expect that Gross will be out because of Carter's trip. You're just seeing the warm-up act. He's just arrived. When he's done there, Gross will be released because Carter's bringing the prestige towards the Cuban government that they're looking for out of an American figure of his stature."

Carter rarely travels as an official envoy, or with an official delegation, of the U.S. government, unlike Clinton. Of his upcoming North Korea trip, the State Department said they had not had any contact with Carter about it except to be informed of the trip.

His unorthodox style and rogue trips have often resulted in a clash with U.S. administrations. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher Dies

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Warren Christopher, the globetrotting statesman who was also an expert in domestic affairs, passed away last Friday in Los Angeles.  He was 85.

It was during the Democrat's time as secretary of state under former President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997 that Christopher helped negotiate a peace deal in Bosnia, although he was less successful in trying to settle the long disputes between Israelis and Palestinians that continue today.

From 1977 to 1981, Christopher was undersecretary of state under former President Jimmy Carter and proved instrumental in forging the Panama Canal treaties.

He was also faced with the arduous task of attempting to win to release of 52 U.S. embassy workers taken captive by the Iranians in November 1979.  It wasn't until moments after Carter left office in January 1981 that the Americans were freed in exchange for the lifting of sanctions and unfreezing of Iranian assets.

At home, Christopher served on a commission to investigate allegations of brutality by the Los Angeles Police Department following the beating of Rodney King.  The panel's recommendations in 1991 led to the wide scale overhaul of police practices in Los Angeles.

Christopher was also used by Vice President Al Gore's campaign in 2000 to oversee the disputed vote count in Florida following the presidential election won eventually by then Texas governor and Republican George W. Bush after a Supreme Court vote.

At the time, Christopher was criticized for not standing up to the aggressive strategies used by his counterpart, former Secretary of State James Baker.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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