Former President Jimmy Carter brought back old memories for many Americans this week with his off-handed remarks in an interview on MSNBC’s “Jansings and Co.”
Carter didn’t actually find the hot water mark in the first few minutes of the interview weighing in on the Secret Service scandal. Carter said of any agent involved, “… completely out their mind.” He couldn’t end it there. And like the old days felt it important to cover his tracks.
He furthered expressed his admiration for the scores of agents assigned to protect him over the years. Good thinking with that follow-up.
“I have had more than 200 Secret Service Agents work with me before, during and after I was president, and I would say that there’s no other single group of public servants that I’ve ever known that would equal their standards of morality and proper activity and proper service and dedication to their very dangerous and difficult job,” Carter added.
Nice recovery considering agents still guard the president in the obscure, off-the-map duty they provide him in Plains, GA at taxpayer expense.
But Chris Jansings, sensing a candid moment emerging from the former president, pressed on with his questioning to the 2012 presidential election. His efforts were rewarded with this Carter assessment of the race:
Carter Likes Romney
“I’d rather have a Democrat but I would be comfortable – I think Romney has shown in the past, in his previous years as a moderate or progressive, that he was fairly competent as a governor and also running the Olympics,” Carter surmised.
He went on to say Romney has adopted some extreme right-wing positions to win the nomination of his party, but believes the former Massachusetts governor will wing back toward the center in the general election.
A nod to the “etch-a-sketch” talking points interpreted from a high-ranking Romney strategist earlier this month by Democratic handlers of Obama’s re-election efforts. One could construe that Carter is smoking the symbolic peace pipe with his fellow president with this comment.
Carter lambasted the new high stakes campaign dollars now involved in a presidential election. “I think the massive infusion of money in the political arena has been a major cause of spending a lot of it on negative advertising.”
Perhaps a reflective statement dating back to his ill-fated run for re-election against Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Carter Gets In A Jab
In the final part of the brief interview, Carter got in one last jab to save face from his previous ‘Romney could be president’ comment. He labeled the Supreme Court’s ruling in January, 2010 that allowed super PACs to receive unlimited, anonymous donations from corporations, unions and individuals as “stupid.”
To parrot Obama’s 2010 State of the Union comments, directed at the Supreme Court Justices sitting in the front row that night, Carter added, “Saying corporations are people has exasperated or made much worse an already existing bad situation.”
A nice try at recovering from the ‘Romney could be president’ comments, but quotes that will be lost in the translation of his opening comments by re-election staff for the president.
Not since Dwight Eisenhower refused to endorse his vice-president, Richard Nixon in the 1960 election has a former president ventured out on the proverbial limb as Jimmy Carter did in his MSNBC interview.
One can only speculate on his motives.