Carter Calls Bush Administration “The Worst in History”

By most measures, Jimmy Carter was a fairly mediocre President, somewhere around the same level as Gerald Ford and not that far above George H. W. Bush. It must feel good to have been a tremendous success by the standards of the current office holder. Carter made his views on George Bush clear today–and he is quite right about this:

Former President Carter says President Bush’s administration is “the worst in history” in international relations, taking aim at the White House’s policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy.

The criticism from Carter, which a biographer says is unprecedented for the 39th president, also took aim at Bush’s environmental policies and the administration’s “quite disturbing” faith-based initiative funding.

“I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history,” Carter told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a story that appeared in the newspaper’s Saturday editions. “The overt reversal of America’s basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me.”

The Iraq war was one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in history, and Carter was highly critical of this and other poor mistakes:

“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” he said. “But that’s been a radical departure from all previous administration policies.”

Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized Bush for having “zero peace talks” in Israel. Carter also said the administration “abandoned or directly refuted” every negotiated nuclear arms agreement, as well as environmental efforts by other presidents.

Carter also offered a harsh assessment for the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which helped religious charities receive $2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone.

“The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion,” Carter said. “As a traditional Baptist, I’ve always believed in separation of church and state and honored that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one.”

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  1. 1
    citizen says:

    every time carter says somthing like that it reminds us how awful he was as president. bush could beet carter in a race right now. please

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    If you look at the recent polls, Bush would have a hard time beating anybody. Carter was far from the greatest President, but was much better than Bush (not that this is saying much).

  3. 3
    citizen says:

    it would be close with a horrible turn out.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Carter is far more popular as an ex-President than Bush is right now. Carter would win big, but lack of entheusiasm with the choice very will might result in a horrible turn out. It is also possible there would be a huge turn out for any chance to vote against Bush.

  5. 5
    citizen says:

    i was joking but if u put carter against anyone in his low time he couldnt beat anyone either.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, we saw that happen.

  7. 7
    battlebob says:

    Let’s take a quick look at the Carter presidency.
    1 – He tried to be a moral leader and not bend to the need to support repressive regimes whose only claim to fame is they supported us and not the Russians. This really worried Europe who accused Carter of not being realistic. They wanted us to support anyone who opposed the USSR; like all the other regimes did. Since then the USSR is gone and people who supported our actions are against them.
    2 – He tended to let himself be overcome by events. The hostage crisis is a case-in-point. He knew before hand that the embassy would be overun if he took in the Shah who was dieing of cancer. He took in the Shah which was a moral act of kindness but did not properly prepare or evacuate the embassy before hand. Our people were held captive and important records were not destroyed.
    3 – He was rolled by Volker – the head of the Federal Reserve. Carter wanted a soft landing to not shock the economy. Volker had other ideas and the result was high inflation, high interest rates and zero economic growth. Add in the oil problems and Carter was screwed.
    4 – There are stories floating around the blogsphere about meetings held between Reaganites and Ayatolla Khomani about detaining the hostages until after the election. It would be nice to be able to sustantiate them one way or another.

    For the record, I am a Reagan Democrat who joined the Republican Party after Carter and worked very hard to defeat Democrats until BushII cam a long. I went back to the Democratic Party in 2000 because the current Republican Party is a horrible caricature of the party of Goldwater or even Reagan.

  8. 8
    citizen says:

    its not reagan thats 4 sure but look at the alternative. nancey pelosi harry reid john kerry, al gore hillary clinton,john murtha,ted kennedy, the leadership of the democratic party is a bunch of socialists,not even close to a john kennedy or fdr or any of there great leaders.bush is no reagan but better than any of those week go with the political tide dems i just named. the dems are a reactionary form of politics right now. anything bush says, say oppisite. no real vision how to keep our country the world economic and military power 4 generations 2 come. without that we couldnt just sit on blogs and do what we want.and live how we live.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:


    Socialists? It just shows you have absolutely no idea what the other party supports, which leads to why the Republican Party has been abandoned by its former supporters.

    Before you make these inane comments about what Democrats support you should pay a bit of attention. Repeating these BS right wing talking points is rather tiresome and really just demonstrates that you have no understanding of the political divisions or isxsues of the day.

    You really think people like BabbleBob or myself are going to vote Republican again any time soon? You have totally missed how the GOP has fallen under the control of extremists and screwed up the country, forcing most reasonable Republicans into the Democratic Party.

  10. 10
    citizen says:

    universal health care is socialist. if bush is a facist neocon,all those people are socialists, noteven close to a capitalist nation.we would be france if dems keep going far off the deep and get elected.20%unemployment with massive debt, but at least everyone would have average health care.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    “universal health care is socialist”

    First of all, not all Democrats advocate universal health care. Secondly,universal health care means everyone has access to care. It says nothing about the mechanism. There are forms of universal health care which are socialist, and others which which are totally free market oriented.

    Lumping all forms of health care reform as “socialized medicine” is just one way in which the right over simplifies the issues and avoids real consideration of them.

  12. 12
    battlebob says:

    I worked hard for Gore and harder for Kerry.
    If Gore were president, 9/11 would probably not happen because Gore would listen to Clarke and others and deal with bin Laden more forcefully. It was the Repub Congress that hamstrung Clinton trying to get bin Laden. Remember the “Wag the Tail” slams? It was BushII who ignored the advice that was freely given to him and let the attack occur.

    If Kerry were President, the debacle that is Iraq would be over by now. Bush has even been saying Kerryec things like success will be a moderate level of violence which Kerry said over 10 years ago in his book about terrorism.

    The simple truth is Bush is the worst President in history because Conservatism in it’s present form is a failed political and values system.

  13. 13
    citizen says:

    to be honest everyone has free health care now.anyone can go to an emergency room and connot be turned away.the reason ours is the best is it is competitive. if kids in egypt are born connected. and need surgary,they dont send them to france or canada they come here.capitalist great nation

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:


    That’s a very poor way to provide medical care. People get care in an emergency, but many don’t have access to long term treatment of chronic diseases or preventative care. This is also a leading cause of bankruptcy among the middle class in this country.

    Expanding access to health care does not mean it will necessarily be any less competitive. The US probably has the best health care in the world for subspecialty care, but we lag behind much of the industrialized world in providing more basic health care.

  15. 15
    Ron Lohan says:

    It seems everyone has forgotten how bad Jimmy Carter (Sorry, I would puke to call this man ‘Mr. President’) left the middle east – in shambles!!! Most of all he turned is back on others in the middle east to protect his A–! This man is totally brain-dead, his liberal policy left everyone hating him – from Iran-Contra scandal to his famous luxury tax on Yachts, Airplanes, etc. I really think getting older has its positive side and he is suffering from CRS – Cannot Remember S—!!!! Someone needs to disengage his mouth, he has been sitting on his brain too long.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, Carter was a mediocre president as I said in the post. It doesn’t say much for Bush that even Jimmy Carter ranks far ahead of him as a president.

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