Carter on CNN: Clueless as usual

posted at 6:45 pm on January 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviews Jimmy Carter tonight, and the man who really could lay claim to the worst President in my lifetime shows that he remains as clueless as ever.  Carter starts off the interview by claiming that the economy worked better in his term than now, and that unemployment hasn’t been this bad since the Depression, when today’s peak unemployment doesn’t exceed the Carter average for his last year in office.

BLITZER: All right. You were president in the late ‘70s. He’s referring to the bad economic situation then. Was it that bad then as it is right now?

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT: No, not at all. There was not a crisis. There was a very bad international situation because Iraq invaded Iran. And the world lost all the oil that had been coming out of both of those countries so inflation was rampant and it was bad.

But it wasn’t any crisis like this with very high unemployment and the prospects of future very bad but also with the banks failing and major corporations going under and untold numbers of unemployed and I think by the end of this year we’ll probably see the unemployment rate go up more.

BLITZER: Because I remember interest rates were really high and they returned, too.

CARTER: They were.

BLITZER: And inflation was a real serious concern.

CARTER: It was all over the world, as a matter of fact. Inflation was very high.

But it was not a good economic situation then but I remember as a child the adverse effects of the Great Depression and that was terrible. The unemployment rate got up to 25 percent or more. In Georgia it was 35 percent. But now this is the worst by far since the Great Depression.

BLITZER: You think much worse than what you experienced in the late ‘70s.

CARTER: Oh yeah.

The unemployment rate for January 2009, the last month of the Bush presidency, was 7.2%, certainly nothing to brag about.  In his final ten months in office, Carter had unemployment as low as 7.2% only once, in December 1980.  What makes this even more ridiculous is that unemployment was even higher earlier in the 1970s and later in the 1980s, where 1981 and 1982 saw unemployment rates hit double digits as Reagan wrung the last of the effects of a decade of bad economic policy out of the US.  In fact, it didn’t get back down to 7.2%  until 1984.

Moreover, the Misery Index — unemployment plus inflation — hit all-time peaks under Carter.  When he left office, the annual MI for 1980 was 20.76, by far the worst of the post-war period.  In the last fifteen years, inflation has remained under control, and the MI has not exceeded 10.

As for the international situation, Carter forgets a couple of pressing crises that happened on his watch.  Iraq invaded Iran, of course, but if that was the biggest worry on his plate at the time, then it explains how he let dozens of American diplomatic personnel to be held hostage by the Iranians for 444 days.  Oh, and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, both of which touched off a wave of Islamist fundamentalist terrorism that plagues us to this day.

Carter makes an excellent case in the start of this interview as not just the worst President of the last 50 years or more, but also for Media Dunderhead of the Year … and it’s only the 28th day of 2009.


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I’ll say this for him…he’s very reliable. The man is the perfect ‘reverse barometer’ for any policy (domestic or foreign) imaginable. It’s not easy to achieve that! If they gave a Nobel Prize for being the biggest moral and intellectual douchebag, then it would have been well earned.

AUINSC on January 28, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Easily the worst president of the 20th century, at least.

stonemeister on January 28, 2009 at 6:51 PM

both of which touched off a wave of Islamist fundamentalist terrorism that plagues us to this day

To be fair, he waited until well after his Presidency to screw up on North Korea….

calbear on January 28, 2009 at 6:52 PM

He was so disastrous and incompetent here and overseas it makes you wonder if he did it intentionally.

darwin on January 28, 2009 at 6:53 PM

Is there a Nobel Prize for historical revisionism?

whitetop on January 28, 2009 at 6:53 PM

Where’s his keffiyah?

Bishop on January 28, 2009 at 6:53 PM

And don’t forget how he let Castro tool him.

whitetop on January 28, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Is it just me, or does Carter look like a basset hound with his nose ground off?

George Orwell on January 28, 2009 at 6:54 PM

“…Carter forgets a couple of pressing crises that happened on his watch.”

But he sure was quick to travel the world……….

…….. and tell everyone who would listen what a disaster President George W. Bush was, in his view.

This is just sad…….

…… the status of the Presidency of the United States has been reduced to “Old Man Carter”, “The Pimp Clinton”, and “Talk Show Critic Obama”.

Seven Percent Solution on January 28, 2009 at 6:56 PM

Peanutbrain gave us the worst economy since the depression by far. Anyone who lived it can’t help but remember waiting in line for hours to get gas and an interest rate that peaked around 19%. I bought my first house in 1980 with a mind-boggling 11.5% interest rate. (Refinanced it during the Reagan years.)

And all this while our hostages were under control of jihadists radicals in Tehran as Jimmah twiddled his thumbs in the Oval Office.

Carter …. an embarrassment, a loser, then, now and for all time..

fogw on January 28, 2009 at 6:57 PM

Proof that working on reactors has consequences!

dmann on January 28, 2009 at 6:58 PM

In all fairness, I think Jimmy is at a point in life where he can’t remember what he had for breakfast, much less what happened 30 years ago.

They could have probably done this interview 3 hours later and got an entirely different set of answers.

They should start out with ‘Mr. President, what year is it right now?’

BigWyo on January 28, 2009 at 6:59 PM

This man is a disgrace.

sherry on January 28, 2009 at 7:01 PM

In the last century, only one President took over from the opposing party & then lost re-election. Guess who?

jgapinoy on January 28, 2009 at 7:02 PM

What a joke.

darii on January 28, 2009 at 7:03 PM

In all fairness, I think Jimmy is at a point in life where he can’t remember what he had for breakfast, much less what happened 30 years ago.

Well maybe…but if so, he reached that point in 1976…

AUINSC on January 28, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Serious question: Is Carter suffering from Alzheimer’s? The 1970s sucked. They sucked hard. Plus there were Red Army/Red Brigade terrorists in Europe, who are only now being released.

May the four years of Dear Leader lead to the next Reagan.

rbj on January 28, 2009 at 7:08 PM

Ass, meet hat.

Bruce in NH on January 28, 2009 at 7:10 PM

This man is a professed born-again Christian. What a jerk. The only reason anyone is willing to talk to him is he is willing to blast conservatives. Even his Habitat Homes are falling apart. When Carter was president, he got rid of the presidential yacht (i.e. large boat, laid off the staff that serviced that boat) because he did think a president needed that. Probably not, but those people were probably not happy with him.

Mrs. Carter should leave him or be paid extra just to stay with this fool.

Sweetness0726 on January 28, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Mr. Carter is incredibly clueless. Worst president of the past 50 years? Definately. The Misery Index was at it’s highest level of the past 11 presidents during the Carter years. Bush finished 6/11, even with his bad finish.

therightwinger on January 28, 2009 at 7:11 PM

Carter on CNN: Clueless as usual

What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.
- Dan Quayle

MB4 on January 28, 2009 at 7:13 PM

It’s hard to imagine someone having the gall to claim that today’s unemployment situation is worse than what it was during his HORRIFIC term as president.

This pathetic, disgusting failure of a man should just retire to his home in Georgia and spare us his mindless bullshit.

jdflorida on January 28, 2009 at 7:15 PM

James Earl Carter… Brightest Moron I ever did see.

It’s just breathtaking. I don’t even know where to start, in dismantling his diatribe.

paragon27x on January 28, 2009 at 7:18 PM

But it was not a good economic situation then but I remember as a child the adverse effects of the Great Depression and that was terrible. The unemployment rate got up to 25 percent or more. In Georgia it was 35 percent. But now this is the worst by far since the Great Depression.

If this hadn’t been in a quote, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m no historian, but I do believe I learned somewhere that the Great Depression was by far the worst economic time in our history. It was even worse than in pres. Carter’s term. Whitetop’s got it right, he ought to get a Nobel Prize (or some sort of prize) for revisionist history.

4shoes on January 28, 2009 at 7:19 PM

This man has let me down in sooooo many Dead Pools.

paragon27x on January 28, 2009 at 7:20 PM

When Carter was president, he got rid of the presidential yacht (i.e. large boat, laid off the staff that serviced that boat) because he did think a president needed that. Probably not, but those people were probably not happy with him.

Mrs. Carter should leave him or be paid extra just to stay with this fool.

Sweetness0726 on January 28, 2009 at 7:10 PM

My husband complains all the time about how Carter sold off a huge historical icon like it was nothing when he sold that yacht. Just goes to show how he views history.

4shoes on January 28, 2009 at 7:23 PM

The only thing that can keep Bush from ever being the worst president since the 20th century began is Jimmy Carter. He is the most incompetent person to ever serve in the White House. I would say that has ever served, but Harry Reid has that distinction. Both are a waste of good air.

volsense on January 28, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Carter on CNN:Anything: Clueless as usual

FIFY Ed.

BKennedy on January 28, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Carter wants amnesia for all.

kanda on January 28, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Douchebag,Fuctard, i wonder if he will look good after the obama single-term presidency.

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on January 28, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Proof that working on reactors has consequences!
dmann on January 28, 2009 at 6:58 PM

I’m not sure that Carter actually worked on a reactor. He worked for Naval Reactors but I don’t think he ever qualified as a nuke.

Here’s an excerpt from his naval service bio.

# 16 OCT 1952 – 08 OCT 1953 — Duty with US Atomic Energy Commission (Division of Reactor Development, Schenectady Operations Office) From 3 NOV 1952 to 1 MAR 1953 he served on temporary duty with Naval Reactors Branch, US Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C. “assisting in the design and development of nuclear propulsion plants for naval vessels.” From 1 MAR 1953 to 8 OCT 1953 he was under instruction to become an engineering officer for a nuclear power plant. He also assisted in setting up on-the-job training for the enlisted men being instructed in nuclear propulsion for the USS Seawolf (SSN575).

The key phrase is

1 MAR 1953 to 8 OCT 1953 he was under instruction to become an engineering officer for a nuclear power plant

Basic nuke school is minimum 6 months and that’s all classroom no practicals at all. He was discharged from the navy on 9 Oct 1953 which means that he never made it to prototype where the reactors are or were. Of course that was in the early early days of nuclear power and things were probably different so I’m guessing here. Yes it was before my time but not by much.

Oldnuke on January 28, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Carter makes KKK Byrd look like a youngster!

Keemo on January 28, 2009 at 7:37 PM

The year is 1976 or 7. My 7th grade government teacher wanted us to make a poster for our favored candidate.

Mine was simple: The rear end of a Ford car, having run over a peanut. I even put tire tracks on the peanut.

I got a D

Ugly on January 28, 2009 at 7:37 PM

What makes this even more ridiculous is that unemployment was even higher earlier in the 1970s and later in the 1980s, where 1981 and 1982 saw unemployment rates hit double digits as Reagan wrung the last of the effects of a decade of bad economic policy out of the US. In fact, it didn’t get back down to 7.2% until 1984.

So what your saying is that the effects of an outgoing administration are long lasting? Surley the ecomomic climate during the Clinton administration could not be attributed to Republicans. Could it?

sonnyspats1 on January 28, 2009 at 7:37 PM

My husband complains all the time about how Carter sold off a huge historical icon like it was nothing when he sold that yacht. Just goes to show how he views history.

4shoes on January 28, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Hell he at least sold the boat. He gave the Panama Canal away.

Oldnuke on January 28, 2009 at 7:38 PM

Carter is a such a…well this is not Ace so I won’t say. You know what I am thinking.

Mr. Joe on January 28, 2009 at 7:40 PM

In a perfect world Billy would be the only living son of Miss Lillian.

BHO Jonestown on January 28, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Didnt see the segment but I am guessing there was no follow up remark by Blitzer before or after the interview segment to correct the President’s mis-statement of fact and point that out to viewers.

More likely CNN did not even attempt to cite authoritatively where was unemployment rate in Depression vs. the 70′s vs. today, and simply allowed Carter to say whatever he wanted.

CNN. the most trusted name in news.

Mike D. on January 28, 2009 at 7:43 PM

BHO Jonestown on January 28, 2009 at 7:42 PM

No… In a perfect world, Miss Lillian would have been born w/o ovaries.

paragon27x on January 28, 2009 at 7:45 PM

I think his hard-hat is wayyyy to tight!

N4646W on January 28, 2009 at 7:52 PM

This is just embarrassing. What a doddering old fool.

ronsfi on January 28, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Is there a Nobel Prize for historical revisionism?

whitetop on January 28, 2009 at 6:53 PM

The peace prize.

the_nile on January 28, 2009 at 7:55 PM

In the last century, only one President took over from the opposing party & then lost re-election. Guess who?

Please, God, may history repeat itself.

jgapinoy on January 28, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Don’t forget that Carter (unintentionally) created the term “Misery Index”.

What a feat!

DavidM on January 28, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Malaise Forever!

ZK on January 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM

I wish he would go away.

CP on January 28, 2009 at 8:38 PM

Gawd. And I voted for him back then.

Twice.

Shoot me now.

ex-Democrat on January 28, 2009 at 8:42 PM

Without a doubt, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER.

Jew-hater, America-hater, inept, gullible, to name just a few of his better character traits.

There is nothing that George W. Bush ever did, on his worst day that ever compared to the damage done by Mr. Peanut. I hate him so.

J.J. Sefton on January 28, 2009 at 8:46 PM

this is why i know the usa is almost doomed

Carter wants to HeLP our islamic enemies
Carter thinks the economy was better
CARTER is so deranged he thinks the military was better equiped too??

BULLSHIT
I was In the army during his reign of STUPIDITY..
I was in Korea
I had to go down to the PX and BUY My units only tools
With my entire paycheck..

When this CREEP CARTER Dared to show his ugly usless face in korea
The army had to basically BEG soldiers to show up with a free day off promise..
I chose to work and then go drink a beer to just get the sight of carter out of my head,

I was unemployed during 1982 right after his loss
I remeber having a car loan (i bought it while in the army)
at 18.9 % and i had DECENT credit..
I remeber begging on the street going to resturants begging for a dishwasher job..
I was told by one owner
A. your a bit overqualified
B. i cant pay you anyway i hired someone for 1/2 of the price

That was at min wage of 3.15 per hour..

the only thing that saved our buts was God provided a good job and my wife had some job to tide us over..

Jimmy carter is a complete FOOL and now is Delusional..

jcila on January 28, 2009 at 8:48 PM

Jimmah,

I was a kid in the ’70s. I remember the gas lines. I remember you telling me to “put on a sweater”. Kindly go away.

BTW, thanks for giving us President Reagan. My only wish is that Ronnie was still here so he could put a wingtip in your azz.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 28, 2009 at 8:50 PM

The venal, shallow, stupid weakling who allowed the Ayatollah Khomeini to invade sovereign U.S. territory in Iran without crushing that lunatic and his mad minions, thereby encouraging the modern Jihad movement and promoting the theocratic maniacs who terrorize and murder in the name of Islam by his gutlessness and brainlessness and spinelessness.

An Asshat Trick.

profitsbeard on January 28, 2009 at 8:54 PM

J.J. Setton at 8:46 PM-

+100

profitsbeard on January 28, 2009 at 8:56 PM

I owe Jimmy Carter thanks for making me into a lifelong Republican. Besides the Camp David Accords, which was truly a great achievement, his entire term was one bitter disappointment after another. I’ve not voted for any Dem since him. Perhaps Obama will have the same effect on a new generation.

ksm on January 28, 2009 at 9:00 PM

Basic nuke school is minimum 6 months and that’s all classroom no practicals at all. He was discharged from the navy on 9 Oct 1953 which means that he never made it to prototype where the reactors are or were. Of course that was in the early early days of nuclear power and things were probably different so I’m guessing here. Yes it was before my time but not by much.

Oldnuke on January 28, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Correct. He was never a Nuke. Selected by Uncle Hyman, but resigned to grow peanuts instead before finishing nuke school.

BobMbx on January 28, 2009 at 9:03 PM

The only thing I will credit to Carter for is approving the development of the Tomahawk missile.

Other than that, he has no credit with me.

BobMbx on January 28, 2009 at 9:05 PM

Gawd. And I voted for him back then.

Twice.

Shoot me now.

ex-Democrat on January 28, 2009 at 8:42 PM

Too late..you found your brain. Back then, yeah, I have gladly shot you in the head. Something like I feel now about the Obamamaniacs, btw…only I’m civilized, and don’t act out on my emotions…unlike them.

AUINSC on January 28, 2009 at 9:09 PM

Some say Carter works for peanuts but I think it’s the petro dollars that keeps him lying.

Basilsbest on January 28, 2009 at 9:11 PM

Blitzer is as bad. Great softball pitcher though. Has anyone checked out Carter’s ties with the tainted peanut scandal going on?

wepeople on January 28, 2009 at 9:18 PM

Jimma makes Billy look like the bright one in the family.

TugboatPhil on January 28, 2009 at 9:51 PM

Hey Jimmy member this!

sonnyspats1 on January 28, 2009 at 9:54 PM

And let’s not forget what started the whole Islamic Revolution” Little Jimmy Carter letting the Shah of Iran into the U.S. for surgery, inflaming the Ayatollahs. With Ayatollah Khomeini exporting radical Islam throughout the Islamic world, the USSR was very worried about having radical Islam at its doorstep, across the border from its own Islamic “republic”. Therefore the invasion of Afghanistan. Trained mujahedeen, Osama bin Laden, 9-11.
So, there is a direct thread from Little Jimmy Carter to 9-11.
Great diplomacy there Jimmy. One Nobel Peace Prize just isn’t nearly enough for you.

Amendment X on January 28, 2009 at 10:01 PM

Hey, ya get old, ya forget things. Especially things you WANT TO FORGET. Right, Jimmah?

GarandFan on January 28, 2009 at 10:08 PM

Unbridled senility.

Johan Klaus on January 28, 2009 at 10:32 PM

but resigned to grow peanuts instead before finishing nuke school.

BobMbx on January 28, 2009 at 9:03 PM

I’d bet he didn’t make the cut.

Oldnuke on January 28, 2009 at 10:52 PM

but resigned to grow peanuts instead before finishing nuke school.

BobMbx on January 28, 2009 at 9:03 PM

I’d bet he didn’t make the cut.

Oldnuke on January 28, 2009 at 10:52 PM

I was in the Air Force in the late fifties and if you resigned before your time, it was because you were forced.

Johan Klaus on January 28, 2009 at 11:22 PM

Tool.

juanito on January 28, 2009 at 11:35 PM

Tool.

juanito on January 28, 2009 at 11:35 PM

A tool is good for something…ANYTHING. You’re giving too little credit to the tool!!!

HarryStar on January 29, 2009 at 1:27 AM

I give him a -100 on Presidential Greatness Scale

Done That on January 29, 2009 at 6:40 AM

Let’s also not forget Mr. Carter’s getting rid of the Panama Canal. His statement about the gas prices increases being caused by the Iran Iraq War is laughable. The gaslines were caused by the 1973 boycotts due to the Arab Israeli wars and thereafter by the idiotic economic policies of the Carter Administration and his embrace of Soviet expansionism wherever it occurred except, strangely, Afghanistan.

eaglewingz08 on January 29, 2009 at 7:37 AM

OOPS. I meant that Carter’s term brought us ‘stagflation’, Misery Index was of course coined earlier.

DavidM on January 29, 2009 at 8:17 AM

Jimmy,

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

Kafir on January 29, 2009 at 8:40 AM

Funny thing is that Carter was a lousy liberal President. He became a raging leftist once he lost in 1980.

Hilts on January 29, 2009 at 8:41 AM

From the man who validated the terrible economy during his presidential term with the “Malaise” speech. I remember how mediocre he made me feel as an American.

The nut farmer is just following the Clinton teachings of “…keep saying it aint so and people will believe it…”

DamnYankee on January 29, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Carter’s right, there were no economic crisis during his adminstration. It was bad and uniformally steadily worse during the whole time.

MarkTheGreat on January 29, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Full on Dementia

Baxter Greene on January 29, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Don’t forget that Carter (unintentionally) created the term “Misery Index”.

What a feat!

DavidM on January 28, 2009 at 8:13 PM

It wasn’t unintentional. Carter created the term and used it against Ford. Then Reagan showed how much the “misery index” had increased during the Carter presidency.

MarkTheGreat on January 29, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Jimmy Carter is the worst president and worst ex-president I can remember in my 67 years of life. A good rule on how to determine what the proper response to problems to take is to study what “Jimmy Peanut” did–and then to do the exact opposite!
***
I hope all liked “Jimmah’s” 4 years of trashing our defense, economy, and protection for our people. Because we are going to get Carter’s DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN with President O’Bummer–he is Jimmy Carter II in spades! (Bridge term–not a racist term–spades are the highest card suite.)
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on January 29, 2009 at 12:39 PM

W3RD

Fish on January 29, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Hey carter you moron

today i was reading the bible (you know Gods word)
In zecariah chapter 3 God explicity STATES
I will return to Zion
I will Become a WALL of fire around her (meaning to protect israel)

Not Nuke it like you wish you antisemite..

Sorry Carter you and all the muslims are going to
LOOSE..

Even if america is destroyed like you and obama wish
God still will protect the jews
This is Gods promise..
and he will not fail..

jcila on January 29, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Don’t forget, Mika’s daddy was giving him his advice.

RobCon on January 29, 2009 at 1:38 PM

OK Carter, you may SHUT THE H*LL UP NOW! Will someone please direct him back to his nursing home where he can gum down his Cream of Wheat?

CynicalOptimist on January 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

I swear carter should be in a horror movie
I mean just looking at those red baggie dumb ass eyes of his
Reminds me of why i dont go to horror flicks any more

To many liberal lookalikes in them now,

jcila on January 29, 2009 at 3:25 PM

I am sitting here idly speculating about what POTUS over his life time did more serious damage to the United States of America than Jimmy Carter. And I have to conclude that in both the “over his term in office” and “over his lifetime” Jimmy Carter wins the award for doing the most damage to our country.

{o.o}

herself on January 29, 2009 at 5:27 PM