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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Well he has competition now! Will zero surpass him in being the worst president? I guess time will tell.

Brat4life on September 18, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Go away John McCain. Please stop trying to score cheap political points with conservatives by stating the obvious.

tyrfing on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

We all know it to be true. That dodering old man has been able to not have the truth told aboiut his presidency for too long out of respect I gues but the goodwill of the office he once held is long gone…

Theworldisnotenough on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Woodrow Wilson was. Carter’s screwups were pretty much reversible. The significance of your screwups and “successes” should be taken into account.

LevStrauss on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Well, it’s not as if this is a particularly controversial point.

I’d actually go with FDR, on the basis of damage done, but I do acknowledge the point that Carter was given less time.

Count to 10 on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Brat4life on September 18, 2009 at 2:20 PM

He said 20th century. According to my calender, this is the 21st century. Obama would be in a league of his own.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

The current one is trying his best to take that title from Jimmy Carter.

FireBlogger on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Well Duh…he screwed up everything he touched

JIMV on September 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

20th Century, probably, though there’s a few stiff competitors. Of all time, though, he’s running into some particularly stiff competition at the moment…

Blacklake on September 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Spawn McCain: My Dad Is A H8ter!!!!!!

Blake on September 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

McCain sucks.

moonbatkiller on September 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

McCain had an allergic reaction.

Ugly on September 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

McCain must be looking at his own reelection poll numbers.

noblejones on September 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

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 …

Actually, Obama fits into several of those categories.

Didn’t kiss a totalitarian on the cheek, but he did bow to one. Which in many ways, is worse.
He hasn’t said that our fears of communism are overblown, but he has been doing his best to force it on us.

MarkTheGreat on September 18, 2009 at 2:24 PM

McCain will backtrack… I’ve come to expect that every time he says anything I remotely agree with.

mankai on September 18, 2009 at 2:24 PM

It’s time for Carter to join Ted Kennedy.

parteagirl on September 18, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Come on Mac, you told everyone to lay-off Ogabe during the campaign, one that was awfully similar to that which Carter ran, and only Sarah Palin saved you from being completely irrelevant.

Bishop on September 18, 2009 at 2:24 PM

me thinks McCains remarks could be racist.

SHARPTOOTH on September 18, 2009 at 2:24 PM

I watched a some of the Reagan v Carter debates again last night. It’s left me in a pretty good mood.

jhffmn on September 18, 2009 at 2:24 PM

McCain said Joe Wilson was the liar

PrezHussein on September 18, 2009 at 2:25 PM

No disagreement from me, I’ve been making that same claim about Carter for years. Obama will easily take the 21st. century, since he is beginning to make Carter look like a statesman.

Webrider on September 18, 2009 at 2:25 PM

When the Left has lost John McCain…

faraway on September 18, 2009 at 2:25 PM

“Worthless” is spelled incorrectly.

Everything else is PURE GOLD!!!

omnipotent on September 18, 2009 at 2:25 PM

why so bitter, john?

sesquipedalian on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Oh jeesh. Let the old man alone. Seriously.

I have never even really like Carter, although I voted for him.

But you guys are going to turn me into some kind of idiotic defender here!

HE’S AN OLD MAN.

AnninCA on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

OT: I really hope Ed, AP, and Michelle yank LGF’s link in the sidebar after the horrendous behavior they accosted this website with last night.

Enoxo on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Well he has competition now!”

Both are digging the hole of “worst president in history” ever deeper… McCain is right to note it!

IntheNet on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

. . . The significance of your screwups and “successes” should be taken into account.

LevStrauss on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Somehow, I don’t think we’d be too worried about the Shah developing nukes. (Well, not as worried, anyway.)

Bobbertsan on September 18, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Zing.

the_nile on September 18, 2009 at 2:28 PM

He’s certainly the worst former president we’ve ever had.

Chris_Balsz on September 18, 2009 at 2:28 PM

I’d actually go with FDR, on the basis of damage done, but I do acknowledge the point that Carter was given less time.

Count to 10 on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Problem with FDR is that the voters aided and abetted. At least the country had the good sense to dump Carter when he strutted his stuff.

Obama may not be in the 20th Century – but he’s good competition for “Worst EVER”.

ManUFan on September 18, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Three letters for your consideration – FDR.

Though I would barely slot the Peanut Farmer ahead of LBJ for 2nd-worst of the 20th Century.

steveegg on September 18, 2009 at 2:28 PM

I don’t know… tough one…

Taft, Wilson… pretty much changed the organizational structure of our Society… Fed Res Bank and Income Tax…

Because of the old rule… he who has the Gold, makes the Rules…

Romeo13 on September 18, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Come on Mac, you told everyone to lay-off Ogabe during the campaign, one that was awfully similar to that which Carter ran, and only Sarah Palin saved you from being completely irrelevant.

Bishop on September 18, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Better late than never, your holiness. :-) No argument that McCain was his own worst enemy, and not exactly a friend to the right. But if McCain can be saved, there is hope for everyone to the right of Dianne Feinstein. And we need all the help we can get right now.

HobbesDFW on September 18, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Nothing you can say will ever make me like you John.

I’m just not into you or anything else you have to say.

Knucklehead on September 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

We woke up to Carter pretty fast, and that would be the only thing that Carter would have going in his favor. McCain makes the right point, and takes advantage of the opportunity Carter leaves whenever he talks.

The comparisons between Carter and Obama are going to catch on. Independents over 40 remember how bad Carter was. They’ll be able to see the parallels. Carter is probably even worse as an ex-President. He can keep talking. He’s leaving low hanging fruit for the republicans to pick. My goodness, even McCain’s vulturing in on this and, as we all know, he’s got a reputation for whiffing on some softball opportunities from time to time.

Let’s keep Jimmy Carter in the news as long as we can.

stldave on September 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

I think Obama is going for all time hall of famer on this one!

capejasmine on September 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Unfortunately at least one generation has grown up with no firsthand memory of Carter and his depredations, from profoundly bad policies to a vicious personal pettiness that in fact began the politics of personal destruction. My father and consequently our family lost our small business under Carter. Also, as a cub reporter, I covered his reelection campaign through New England. I’ll never forget.

rrpjr on September 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

But you guys are going to turn me into some kind of idiotic defender here!

AnninCA on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Ann, have you ever tried seeking out positive attention? It might be more fulfilling that what you get from us.

Chuck Schick on September 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Ronnie’s EPIC PWNAGE of Jimmuh.

This is how it’s done, folks.

Christien on September 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Didn’t he essentially give away our ownership of the Panama Canal all over the guilt that we’re the USA and Panama was a hell hole? That is a huge piece of strategic territory. I had an ancestor that ran away from home at sixteen, joined the Navy (lied about his age) and helped build the canal. It was American technology and funds that created that system. Someday Americans will most likely die having to take back control of that piece of real estate.

How about the gas lines and rationing during his presidency?

Hening on September 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

For the record… Wilson was a racist like Carter.

mankai on September 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

What about Harding?

ninjapirate on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Enoxo on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Agreed. LGF is a conspiracy-nutter house, Charles is a dictator douche-bag.

Kilgore Trout Guppie is dumber than Wolf Blitzer.

omnipotent on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Boom goes the dynamite.

lorien1973 on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

…some news flash…kinda like the pot calling the kettle black…not a very good senator…or conservative for that matter…and would have been like ‘Carter Part-Du’. This guy just needs to go home to AZ and be quiet.

PhreeMan on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Go away John McCain. Please stop trying to score cheap political points with conservatives by stating the obvious.

tyrfing on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Yes.

conservative pilgrim on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Oh jeesh. Let the old man alone. Seriously.

I have never even really like Carter, although I voted for him.

But you guys are going to turn me into some kind of idiotic defender here!

HE’S AN OLD MAN.

AnninCA on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

you vote for an idiot and then admit it,you have issues ann,
you need to seek out some real help, i recomend rush, mark levin, ann coulter, the list goes on and on.

SHARPTOOTH on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

There may be competition for worst in American history from the 19th century — Franklin Pierce comes to mind.

Really? My first thought was Buchanan. Kicked an already unstable country right between the Civil War goalposts.

MadisonConservative on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

There may be competition for worst in American history from the 19th century — Franklin Pierce comes to mind…

I don’t know, Captain – Pierce gets some really strong competition from Buchanan.

HobbesDFW on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Nixon, anyone?

crr6 on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

I think Carter thought his record as worst president was in jeopardy lately, watching Obama trip all over himself, spend money like a madman, systematically surrender our country to each one of our known enemies and stare at himself in the mirror.

With his title in jeopardy Carter came out of the woodwork and proclaimed everyone on the right to be a crazy Obama-hating racist, thereby assuring his title would not be lost.

For now.

fogw on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

FDR won WW2. Out-right, smackdown win. He probably should not have run in ’44 and that might have avoided some serious problems. But still, that puts him ahead of Wilson, Harding, Nixon, and maybe LBJ.

Oh jeesh. Let the old man alone. Seriously….HE’S AN OLD MAN.
AnninCA on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

I bet you will not find a post about Carter for a year or so, here. If Carter could just stop vomiting bile, maybe we could go back to forgetting him. I’m willing to try.

Chris_Balsz on September 18, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Would someone please throw that man, and Carter too, a Keystone Light?

kirkill on September 18, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Agreed. LGF is a conspiracy-nutter house, Charles is a dictator douche-bag.

Kilgore Trout Guppie is dumber than Wolf Blitzer.

omnipotent on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Don’t forget Sharmuta (or is that one of Chuckie’s sox?).

ManUFan on September 18, 2009 at 2:33 PM

When one contemplates Carter, one is torn between the joy that the good Lord will soon take him from us, thus ending his insufferably annoying and dangerous intrusions onto the political scene, and the sorrow that the good Lord will take him from us, ending the ceaseless comedy that is caused by this drooling, politically inept whack-a-mole.

May he speed to his reward at 55 MPH.

VoyskaPVO on September 18, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Did you suspend some campaign or something else important to go do this interview to tell us this little piece of info that we couldn’t already figure out for ourselves?

Shut your daughter up and keep her off HotAir

ted c on September 18, 2009 at 2:33 PM

At least Carter won a Presidential election, John. How many times have you tried and failed?

cornfedbubba on September 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Carter’s screwups were pretty much reversible.
LevStrauss on September 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Tell that to the Panama Canal.

MechEng5by5 on September 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Nixon, anyone?

crr6 on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Well, he was a bit too liberal.

mankai on September 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

What about Harding?

ninjapirate on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Kerrigan still won a medal, Harding did not.

SouthernGent on September 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Wasn’t Bush? Surprised to hear that from the RINO POS.

angryed on September 18, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Well, he was a bit too liberal.

mankai on September 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

+1

ManUFan on September 18, 2009 at 2:35 PM

my two favorite Carter moments where:

1. using a boat oar to bash the skull of a harmless bunny rabbit that was harmlessly swimming past his rowboat.

2. his ‘firside’ chats that lit up suicide hotlines across the nation. his burly 70′s sweaters were hideous.

DrW on September 18, 2009 at 2:35 PM

you vote for an idiot and then admit it,you have issues ann,
you need to seek out some real help, i recomend rush, mark levin, ann coulter, the list goes on and on.

SHARPTOOTH on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

I recommend a psychiatrist.

angryed on September 18, 2009 at 2:36 PM

I don’t know, Captain – Pierce gets some really strong competition from Buchanan.

HobbesDFW on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Great minds.

MadisonConservative on September 18, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Hey, Obama has hope. It’s now the 21st century.

faraway on September 18, 2009 at 2:36 PM

McCain surprises me sometimes.

t.ferg on September 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM

I led Students for Carter in my grade school… 4 years later I was cheering on Reagan… 4 years after that I was running to the polls with the other College Republicans to vote for him.

mankai on September 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Nixon, anyone?

crr6 on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Diplomatic efforts with China during presidency and, despite resigning, was a good statesman in his later years. Did some good apres-presidency; nowhere near the damage that the Peanut Farmer has done.

VoyskaPVO on September 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM

When will John McCain stop beating around the bush LOL!

Dr Evil on September 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM

you vote for an idiot and then admit it,you have issues ann,
you need to seek out some real help, i recomend rush, mark levin, ann coulter, the list goes on and on.

SHARPTOOTH on September 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

I recommend a psychiatrist.

angryed on September 18, 2009 at 2:36 PM

I recommend context.

mankai on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

When does HA delink from LGF and the nutters? According to Charles, HA is racist as are the members.

Knucklehead on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Call me when McCain’s disdain of Carter finally reaches the Marge Simpson level.

jon1979 on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

FDR blows away Carter and anyone else for that matter in every category. No man in the history of this nation approaches the deceit and damage done by that a-hole. Even as the jag-off was checking out, some of his final advice to Churchill and Truman was to take it easy on Uncle Joe (Stalin) !!!

cjk on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Nixon, anyone?

crr343 on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Yeah, Nixon ended the Vietnam war, created the EPA and opened the door to China. Worst President EVAH.

Actually, I was thinking about Nixon’x predecessor. Definitely one of the worst.

Del Dolemonte on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

crr6 on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Explain how carter was better than nixon.

lorien1973 on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

He better be glad GWB was elected in 2000. He barely held on to the 20th century title!

dcwvu on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

JIMV,
“Well Duh…he screwed up everything he touched”

I think it’s called the Minus Touch.

exhelodrvr on September 18, 2009 at 2:39 PM

At least Carter won a Presidential election, John. How many times have you tried and failed?

cornfedbubba on September 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

So? It would have been immeasurably better for the country if Carter had lost, except in that his colossal failures made the country hungry for Reagan.

MadisonConservative on September 18, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Even a blind hog like John McCain could get it right in regards to Jimmuh Carter. Not sure about Meggy though. She’d probably vote for Reagan.

Percy_Peabody on September 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM

When does HA delink from LGF and the nutters? According to Charles, HA is racist as are the members.

Knucklehead on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

The comments over there are ridiculous these days. Lots of deletions over anything CJ doesn’t like and fawning from the dozen or so regulars he hasn’t purged.

BadgerHawk on September 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM

McCain should know, he was close personal friends with every president since Grover Cleveland.

portlandon on September 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Oh jeesh. Let the old man alone. Seriously.

I have never even really like Carter, although I voted for him.

But you guys are going to turn me into some kind of idiotic defender here!

HE’S AN OLD MAN.

AnninCA on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

You have no problem with Carter declaring that opposition to Obama is based on race?

You have no problem with Carter’s embracing every American hating dictator he can find?

You have no problem with Carter’s utter incompetence while in office?

MarkTheGreat on September 18, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Chris_Balsz on September 18, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Let’s see:

- Works Progress Administratoin
- Civilian Conservation Corps
- Social Security
- Seizure of all private gold holdings of 1 pound or over
- Bank “holiday”
- Extending the Great Depression through WWII
- Giving over the half of Poland that the Soviets seized at the start of WWII (European theater) to the Soviets

Need I go on?

steveegg on September 18, 2009 at 2:42 PM

I think CJ was on here last night using a sockpuppet

faraway on September 18, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Enoxo on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Which thread?

rukiddingme on September 18, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Nixon, anyone?

crr6 on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Nixon opened up relations with China, and Carter destroyed them with Iran. Nixon implemented the EPA(which I disagree with personally), and Carter established the Superfund.

Your comparison shows a serious ignorance of history.

MadisonConservative on September 18, 2009 at 2:43 PM

When Carter switched from suit jackets to cardigan sweaters, a SNL skit (I think) changed “Hail to the Chief” to “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”.

parteagirl on September 18, 2009 at 2:43 PM

He better be glad GWB was elected in 2000. He barely held on to the 20th century title!

dcwvu on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

This is pure, unadulterated crap. Bush did make mistakes and so did the Republicans, but he kept us safe and kept the economy going after 9/11 — until Pelosi and Reid and the other clowns screwed things up.

Naw, mate, Carter got the lock on last century and teh cuttent Pantload-in-Chief’s got this one locked down.

VoyskaPVO on September 18, 2009 at 2:43 PM

There’s a village in Georgia that’s missing its idiot.

Jimmy?

wildweasel on September 18, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Nixon, anyone?

crr6 on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

One scandal does not equal 4 years of continuously bad policy. I haven’t seen one liberal who’s willing to use that logic on Clinton.

Scrappy on September 18, 2009 at 2:45 PM

MarkTheGreat on September 18, 2009 at 2:41 PM

She had no problem with Clinton, and no problem with Obama…she is a liberal democrat on here to disrupt the thread…she is a troll. This is a gal who tries to claim that the boy scouts are a worthless group of pedophile men.

right2bright on September 18, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Nixon, anyone?

crr6 on September 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Nixon was more middle of the pack. His economic policies were pretty bad. Price controls etc.

His foreign policy was pretty good.

His major problem was that he was afflicted with a congress that was willing to destroy the country, if it hurried their return to power.

MarkTheGreat on September 18, 2009 at 2:45 PM

One scandal does not equal 4 years of continuously bad policy. I haven’t seen one liberal who’s willing to use that logic on Clinton.

Scrappy on September 18, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Nixon would probably slot in at #5 (price controls, the aforementioned EPA)

steveegg on September 18, 2009 at 2:46 PM

I have never even really like Carter, although I voted for him.
But you guys are going to turn me into some kind of idiotic defender here!
HE’S AN OLD MAN.
AnninCA on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

That makes sense, voting for someone you don’t like; a lot of things just got explained with that comment.

Bernie Madoff is an old man too, you should step up to the plate and defend him, though I’m not exactly sure why age, exclusive of some sort of incapacitating mental illness, qualifies as a defense.

Bishop on September 18, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Naw, mate, Carter got the lock on last century and teh cuttent Pantload-in-Chief’s got this one locked down.

VoyskaPVO on September 18, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Keep telling yourself that, champ. GWB had the 21st century title wrapped up by 2002 haha. Obama has the huge fortune of following the biggest disaster of a Presidency we’ve ever seen. He could gas a few billion people, and historians would still shrug and say “Hey, at least he isn’t Bush!”. Georgie is the gift that continually is giving!

dcwvu on September 18, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Nixon opened up relations with China, and Carter destroyed them with Iran. Nixon implemented the EPA(which I disagree with personally), and Carter established the Superfund.

Your comparison shows a serious ignorance of history.

MadisonConservative on September 18, 2009 at 2:43 PM

I think every president does good. And maybe bad.

I agree with you.

AnninCA on September 18, 2009 at 2:47 PM

He better be glad GWB was elected in 2000. He barely held on to the 20th century title!

dcwvu on September 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

And you know nothing about Carter then…You can’t even find someone who has admitted to voting for him
He is the opposite of MLK, every politician protested with MLK, and no politician ever supported Carter.

right2bright on September 18, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Oh jeesh. Let the old man alone. Seriously.

I have never even really like Carter, although I voted for him.

But you guys are going to turn me into some kind of idiotic defender here!

HE’S AN OLD MAN.

AnninCA on September 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Who can’t stop himself from pushing his nose into national and international matters where he doesn’t belong. He deserves every slapdown he gets.

ProfessorMiao on September 18, 2009 at 2:47 PM

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