McCain: Carter worst president in 20th century

posted at 2:18 pm on September 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Well, it’s not as if this is a particularly controversial point. What other President in American history allowed dozens of embassy staff to be held hostage for over a year? What other President kissed a totalitarian on the cheek and pronounced American fears of Soviet Communism overblown? What other President addressed the nation during an economic crisis and told us that we more or less had to get used to it? Oh, wait, there has been a new entry in that last category …

I don’t think Michael Medved expected that response from Senator John McCain (R-AZ), but McCain can be unpredictably blunt in interviews. There may be competition for worst in American history from the 19th century — Franklin Pierce comes to mind — and perhaps from the 21st century, if the rest of the Obama term goes like the first eight months. But I’d agree with McCain that Carter has the 20th century title locked up. (via Greg Hengler)


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Hey, McCain: guess who is the worst of the 21st?

Vashta.Nerada on September 19, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Too bad McCain couldn’t point out how similar his 2008 opponent was to Carter, especially foreign policy-wise.

alliebobbitt on September 19, 2009 at 10:51 AM

I agree with the point made earlier on Wilson being the worst for establishing the Federal Reserve.

The Dean on September 19, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Hey, McCain: guess who is the worst of the 21st?

Vashta.Nerada on September 19, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Well that’s a no-brainer! George W. Bush.

Norman Blizter on September 19, 2009 at 11:13 AM

As far as damage to the USA and freedom goes, no one can even approach FDR. As far as being a despicable piece of human garbage that causes decent people everywhere to wretch every time he opens his mouth, Jimmah’s got that covered.

cjk on September 19, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Obama will take the 1st place on this so Jimmy can move to 2nd place!

xler8bmw on September 19, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Hey, McCain: guess who is the worst of the 21st?

Vashta.Nerada on September 19, 2009 at 9:57 AM
Well that’s a no-brainer! George W. Bush.

Norman Blizter on September 19, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Defeating the terroristic Taliban, chasing Osama into an impotent rathole to rot, overthrowing Saddam Hussein, the UN-mocking terrorist despot (who used WMD’s on the Kurds), and capturing, among others, terrorist leader Khalid Sheik Mohammad (who beheaded WSJ reporter Danny Pearl), who spilled the plotting of upcoming mass-murderous outrages, thereby preventing any further terrorist attacks on the US.

Yeah, what a lousy record.

Bush should be ashamed of himself for keeping the country safe.

Meanwhile, Obama’s weakening of our national security, harrassing of the CIA, undermining our alliances with friends in Eastern Europe by cancelling the missile shield, failing to confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions effectively and half-heartedly condemning the mullahs’ terrorizing of their prisoner populace during crooked “elections”, and then allowing their maniac tyrant Mahmoud Achmadinejad to come into the US to speak.. that’s a shining record… after less than a year in power.

Obama is well on his way toward eclipsing Carter’s incompetence and disastrous effect on our national security, if he hasn’t already.

profitsbeard on September 19, 2009 at 11:44 AM

I agree with the point made earlier on Wilson being the worst for establishing the Federal Reserve.

The Dean on September 19, 2009 at 10:58 AM

The Federal Reserve Act of 1916 attempted to institutionalize the expertise and direction of JP Morgan and the Bank Trust, demonstrated when he prevented a banking collapse in 1908. It has generally served us well, though since it is politically correct instead of “greedy” it will cause much trouble.

Chris_Balsz on September 19, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Jimmie is holding on to the crown but Barry thinks he is entitled to that honor based on reparation.

bayview on September 19, 2009 at 12:21 PM

I haven’t really read comments for several years.

For some odd reason I read this post’s comments this morning.

Man, the last few open registrations has apparently let some really slimy stinking garbage into HOTAIR.

Reading comments used to be fun and inspiring here.

Now it’s like searching for a dollar bill in an open septic.

And that’s the largest danger to this nation.

Not Obama. Not Bush. Not Clinton.

The largest danger to this nation is simply citizens with their heads so far up their arse they are stone blind to history and reality.

Well, that reality is coming to rip their heads out their arse.

And shove a 4×4 post up there in place of their heads.

They’re not going to like that.

The country will fall divided.

.

Griz on September 19, 2009 at 12:28 PM

I think every president does good. And maybe bad.

I agree with you.

AnninCA on September 18, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Buried the Needle on my “Kumbya Meter”.

AnninCA, do you believe in anything, our do you just believe what you are told?

Never mind, I suddenly realized that your side is losing in every debate and, frankly, I couldn’t care less what you “think”.

GunRunner on September 19, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Gee thanks, Griz, for stopping by to share your lofty and razor sharp thoughts.

Your post is like a two dollar bill in an open septic. It is that much more valuable than a one dollar bill.

bayview on September 19, 2009 at 12:50 PM

I meant to say:

Jimmie is holding on to the crown as the worst president but Barry thinks he is entitled to that honor based on Affirmative Action.

bayview on September 19, 2009 at 12:56 PM

McShame; You’re RACIST against Jimma Cahta, suh!

Cybergeezer on September 19, 2009 at 1:18 PM

And what other “worst ex-President ever” stood on a podium (in 2004) and engaged in blatant race-baiting by repeated one of the biggest, most vicious lies ever . . . that ONE MILLION black and minority voters had somehow been disinfranchised by Republicans in Florida on the basis of race during the 2000 Presidential election?

Hint: If you were on Jeopardy, the correct answer would be: “Who is Jimmy Carter?

And the then-candidate for the Democrats, bobble-head nodding John Kerry, stood right there and agreed.

They just do not get that this country is fed up with that rubbish, and is not going to tolerate it any longer. It is very instructive that both Obama and Biden are running away from that characterization made by Carter. I’m sure they can read the polls.

Trochilus on September 19, 2009 at 2:08 PM

McCain is right. In fairness, give him credit.

Also, give McCain credit for his voting record this year. McCain’s voting record this year is conservative and as good as any. McCain has voted AGAINST every Obama bailout bill. McCain has voted AGAINST every Obama deficit spending bill, denouncing the multi-trillion dollar deficit spending as “generational theft,” a phrase thereafter used by Sean Hannity and even lately by Rush Limbaugh. McCain has voted AGAINST the confirmations of tax cheat Geithner, radical pro-abortion advocate Sebellius, leftist Kagan and transnational legal theorist Koh to their respective positions in the Obama Administration. McCain voted AGAINST the confirmation of Sotomayer to the U.S. Supreme Court. McCain has announced he is opposed to Obama’s cap and trade bill and admantly opposed to ObamaCare.

In the 2008 election, McCain unwisely pulled his punches against Obama, who I bet will go down as the worst Presiennt in the 21st century. At the same time, it probably did not matter given what the Republicans faced Republicans in 2008. Polls for years showed only McCain was possibly electable, and there were in 2008 “headwinds” that precluded even McCain from being elected President — (i) a financial meltdown that created economic anxieties that have historically favored the Democrats and did this year; (ii) a financial bailout that muddied the waters of what was a Reaganesque economic message delivered by McCain and Palin on the campaign trail and helped hide what always Obama’s socialist agenda; (iii) the unpopularity of Bush, which is unfair but which is the result of unceasing attack by the Left and Bush not using the bully pulpit to defend his Administration; (iv) money and more money, some of it illegal, that Obama had (how do you beat a 7 to 1 advantage?); (v) media bias that was absurdly in the tank for Obama and that operated effectively day-in, day-out as a propaganda machine for Democrats (e.g., Obama, the tax cutter); and (vi) demographic changes (had the country the same demographic make up as it did in 1992 and the percentages per group betweem McCain and Obama remained the same, McCain would have been elected).

My advice to McCain: more blunt talk such as in the video; use opportunities like the CNN interview after Joe Wilson’s “you lie” cry to hit the Obama Administration, instead of tut-tuting about decorum that the Democrats do not honor; challenge Rush to an interview so that Rush has to confront McCain’s current actions and cut the waste of Rush’s radio time on old McCain paraodies; more McCain talk praising the TEA Party movement; more McCain talk lambasting the insane deficit spending; more McCain talk supporting Sarah Palin, who was after all his VP running mate; and more talk critical of Obama’s weakness in foreign policy, militayr matters and national security other than the Af-Pak War.

Phil Byler on September 19, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Look at the bright side. It took 77 years to get the worst president of the 20th century. It only took nine to get the worst of the 21st century. Once Barry is removed from office, think how great it will be.

Vashta.Nerada on September 19, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Yeah, what a lousy record.

Bush should be ashamed of himself for keeping the country safe.

You mean despite what happened on 9/11?

Defeating the terroristic Taliban, chasing Osama into an impotent rathole to rot,
profitsbeard on September 19, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Man get your head out of your ass,profitsbeard. Osama has been in a rathole for the last 20 years. Just remember we were supposed to capture Osama. And since when did we defeat the Taliban?

FDR is the greatest US president evah! Elected 4 terms, defeated fascism and freed western Europe and Asia, got America through the depression and got the ball rolling on civil rights for Blacks.

Norman Blizter on September 19, 2009 at 3:36 PM

GRIZ said,

Man, the last few open registrations has apparently let some really slimy stinking garbage into HOTAIR.

Drive-by posting is silly. How ’bout showing some examples of who you consider “slimy”, Griz? Otherwise your opinion is just “hot air”. Pun intended.

Jarhead68 on September 19, 2009 at 3:41 PM

You mean despite what happened on 9/11?

Wolfman Blizter on September 19, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Yeah, we all know that those attacks were conceived of and trained for solely in the 8 months after Chimpy took office.

Sarc off.

In reality, Bush inherited those attacks, as they were supposed to happen on Clinton’s watch. bin Laden himself said so.

But leaving that aside, tell us exactly how you would have had Bush prevent those attacks.

(sound of crickets)

Del Dolemonte on September 19, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Del Dolemonte on September 19, 2009 at 4:29 PM

How about beefing up security at major airports and alerting staff that a hijacking by terrorists was imminent? What should a president do if he gets a memo saying a terrorist hijacking is imminent within 3 months? Do nothing like GW?

Norman Blizter on September 19, 2009 at 4:37 PM

How about beefing up security at major airports and alerting staff that a hijacking by terrorists was imminent? What should a president do if he gets a memo saying a terrorist hijacking is imminent within 3 months? Do nothing like GW?

Norman Blizter on September 19, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Sure, Norm-baby, GWB should have shut all those airports down for three months. Or four. Or whatever. Hell, shut them down for good. Then 9/11 would not have happened.

Tell us, O-Great-One, what would you have done? Sent memos to all security staff at airports telling them to be on the lookout for a bunch of Saudi Islamofacists?

BigAlSouth on September 19, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Sorry, Norman Blitzer re 3:36 PM 9/19 post, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were clearly greater than FDR; and while FDR’s third term and partial fourth term do cause him to be rated high because he was our President during World War II (and knew when to pray publically and fervently), FDR’s first and second terms, if that is all he would have had, would have placed him below the top ten and maybe below the top twenty. His “New Deal” policies failed to get the nation out of the Great Depression, and they set a horrible precedent for the future.

Phil Byler on September 19, 2009 at 5:27 PM

How about beefing up security at major airports and alerting staff that a hijacking by terrorists was imminent? What should a president do if he gets a memo saying a terrorist hijacking is imminent within 3 months? Do nothing like GW?

Wolfman Blizter343 on September 19, 2009 at 4:37 PM

He never got such a memo with a 3 month time frame. He got a briefing saying that al-Qaeda wanted to mount a major attack in the US.

Face it, CNN-boy, the only ways Bush could have prevented those attacks would have been to use methods that the Democrats would impeach him for. Such as warrantless wiretaps and racial profiling.

In fact, the gate agent at the Portland Jetport (in Maine) where Atta and his colleague boarded a connecting flight to Logan was sure they were bad guys, but bowed to PC and let them thru. It’s haunted him ever since.

Del Dolemonte on September 19, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Phil Byler on September 19, 2009 at 5:27 PM

And don’t forget that this “great President” put a bunch of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Del Dolemonte on September 19, 2009 at 5:33 PM

McCain is right. In fairness, give him credit.

Also, give McCain credit for his voting record this year. McCain’s voting record this year is conservative and as good as any.
Phil Byler on September 19, 2009 at 2:35 PM

OK, maybe he got the memo, but he got it too dang late.
I don’t want to wax too philosophic (al??), but I really do think that maybe it is a good thing–in the long run–that McCain didn’t win.
Let the country get the Obama-messiah worship out of it’s system. Keep your pinkies and toes crossed that dems that aren’t part of the left wingnut crowd, force him to reverse course on his maniacal destruction of the MDS, make Holder back off of the CIA investigation and refocus his attention on (ahhemm) ACORN. I could expand this list, but the point is, I think the more temporate members of the democrat party are starting to WTFU: and that is sweet, sweet indeed.

I don’t think that would have happened had McCain been elected. The republicans would have sniped at him constantly (because he would, rightly, have assumed America wanted total bi-partisanship and would have capitulated to the dems 80% of the time.)

The dems would still be shouting “racist,” at the right, Michelle and O’bambi would still be out their prattling on about how “Bush got us in this mess.” The list of what wouldn’t be changed goes on and on.

God is very, very patient. Four years seems an eternity to us, but to Him it is less than a nanosecond. I believe he will keep us (relatively) safe (that does NOT mean that bad chit won’t happen, but if you believe this country was divinely inspired, it won’t completely collapse.)
In the long run, “The truth shall set us free.” We have some very, very painful days ahead, but I choose to believe that there is a purpose to all of this, we just don’t see it yet. Hope ya’ll don’t think that makes me an ostrich.
Now, I shall get down off of my soapbox and go mix a cocktail.

Chewy the Lab on September 19, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Michelle and O’bambi would still be out their prattling on about how “Bush got us in this mess.

(Of course I meant “there.” I’m always on my kids to keep their, there and they’re straight.!)

Chewy the Lab on September 19, 2009 at 5:48 PM

I can’t even talk about Rosalynn’s husband without grinding my teeth to stumps.
His only saving grace is that we had to go over the top of him to get to Ronny Ray-gunn…

TinMan13 on September 19, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Debating a liberal at Hot Air is like fishing with dynamite. The end state is guaranteed and it won’t be pretty.
“Carter IS NOT the worst President Evuh!”
BOOM

Roy Rogers on September 19, 2009 at 7:42 PM

McCain is right of course, but he is also one of the worst senators in history.

echosyst on September 19, 2009 at 8:15 PM

The one nice thing about Obama is that he is going to take away the worst-president-in-history title away from Carter. The downside of this is that millions of Americans must suffer.

Mojave Mark on September 19, 2009 at 8:17 PM

If McCain had won the election, he would have been soooo busy reaching across the aisle that we would still be getting Socialism at a slower pace.

mobydutch on September 19, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Let me quote retired Sgt. Major David C. Carden from his newly released book The Army Insider on Carter:

Circa 1977 to 1981. There are more learned people than me that can write about Jimmy Carter’s presidency. I can only say that from day one, the Military started belt tightening; there was a 444 day black mark painted on the United States of America: eight American Servicemen died attempting to wipe away that black mark: and one payback is still owed.

His final quote is here.

petertheslow on September 19, 2009 at 9:48 PM

Phil Byler on September 19, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Yeah so what! He’ll regain his bearings.
Then he’s back to work his RHINO maverick magic with the President on Health Care, Illegal Alien Legalization Act, Cap and Trade and probably a redo of his wonderful Incumbent Re-Election Finance Act that got shot down by a Fed court yesterday.
Big whoop!

chickasaw42 on September 19, 2009 at 10:29 PM

If McCain had won the election, he would have been soooo busy reaching across the aisle that we would still be getting Socialism sodomized at a slower pace.

mobydutch on September 19, 2009 at 8:55 PM

There. Much better.

Chewy the Lab on September 19, 2009 at 10:55 PM

To mobydutch and Chewy the Lab: I think you are both badly misfocused in your comments.

A McCain Presidency would not have been a path to socialism. He has been a pro-life fiscal conservative, and his voting record this year shows it. There would have been, for example, a federal spending freeze, not the insanity of multi-trillion dollar deficit spending that is,as McCain called it, generational theft. To the extent that McCain reached across the aisle, it would have been in support of a basically conservative agenda, which many blue dog Democrats would have loved to support.

What is more, a McCain Presidency would have shown great competence in foreign policy, military matters and national security. Your apparent appetite for the Obama Presidency overlooks the fact that Obama is an utter incompetent when it comes to the Commander in Chief roles, and that incompetence may get a lot of Americans killed. While I understand well that the nation is receiving some valuable lessons for having elected a smooth talking socialist and appeasement minded demagogue, those lessons are likely to come at a very, very high price.

Phil Byler on September 19, 2009 at 11:49 PM

There is one thing four years of Jimmy Carter gave us that no other could. Eight years of Ronald Reagan.

theoneandonlyfinn on September 20, 2009 at 12:03 AM

As bad as FDR? I thought you liked FDR.

2Brave2Bscared on September 19, 2009 at 1:53 AM

Nope, I have learned a lot more about him and the more I learn the less I like.

lavell12 on September 20, 2009 at 12:51 AM

The main thing I wonder about is how Obama will look after four years. Could he actually finish lower the Carter?

Hard to do, but not impossible is how I’m viewing it.

Servo on September 20, 2009 at 2:01 AM

The… worhtless one?

Reaps on September 20, 2009 at 7:04 AM

To: chickasaw42 on September 19, 2009 at 10:29 PM:

No, John McCain will not do any of what you say.

McCain is flatly opposed to ObamaCare. In his 2008 Presidency campaign, he had the most conservative free market oriented health care approach of anyone, in contrast to Romney’s ObamaCare Light as Massachusetts Governor. Look for McCain to vote “no” to ObamaCare, just as he did to Obama deficit spending, Obama bailouts and Obama radical and ethically suspect nominees. There is no possible bipartisan deal there.

And don’t look for any other “bipartisan” deal with Obama. McCain is also opposed to Obama cap and trade. Since September 2007, McCain has taken the view that law enforcement comes first in immigration, commenting that the failure of the Reagan immigration law was that its law enforcement provisions were not enforced. As for campaign finance, McCain is not looking to overrule the U.S. Supreme Court; but he would like to figure out a solution to corruption money in politics, and he is right to do so. Just think George Soros. Just think Chris Dodd and AIG.

I think a number of conservatives, inclusing Rush, need to get off the McCain bashing. It is not doing any good for the task of stopping Obama’s drive to socialism at home and making America weak abroad, and you are attacking someone in McCain who has been a good conservative this year.

Phil Byler on September 20, 2009 at 8:24 AM

I for sorry for the Secret Services guys that have to be around Jimma and BJ Bill 24/7/365. THAT must be a hell job.
lol God bless ‘em

Rick554 on September 20, 2009 at 8:27 AM

I wish Jimma would just GO AWAY… He’s done enough damage…

Khun Joe on September 20, 2009 at 8:38 AM

McCain is funny when he’s not campaigning.

AnninCA on September 20, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Jimmy Carter couldn’t run a cracker barrel then or now and should go shut up and drink some billy beer.

workingforpigs on September 20, 2009 at 12:28 PM

How can you call Carter the worst when we now have Obama? Carter just went to second place. I really think that his support of Obama was based on wanting to get rid of the “worst” label.

duff65 on September 20, 2009 at 5:57 PM

Carter: History’s greatest monster.

ZK on September 20, 2009 at 10:37 PM

The trouble is that McCain forgot the worst president in history, the fascist FDR. That is if you omit the current disgusting crap-head, BO.

proconstitution on September 20, 2009 at 11:33 PM

Carter is certainly the worst former president the US has ever had.

LarryD on September 21, 2009 at 10:14 AM

The only question of who is the worst president ever has to be Obama or Carter. One is definitely the worst and the other a close runners-up.

volsense on September 21, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Jimmy who….?

DJcool on September 22, 2009 at 6:59 AM

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