Today, former President Jimmy Carter tried to backtrack on his comments that political opposition to Barack Obama is based on racism. From Politico (quoted from an interview with CNN), Carter denied his charges saying (emphasis added is mine):
“By the way, that’s not what I said,” Carter interjected as he was being asked about the comment. “If you read the remarks carefully, you’ll see that’s not what I said.”
“I said those that had a personal attack on President Obama as a person, that was tinged with racism,” Carter explained. “But I recognize that people who disagree with him on health care or the environment, that the vast majority of those are not tinged by racism.”
Oh, really? Let’s go back and review what was said.
In the September 15 interview, Mr. Carter tells Brian Williams (emphasis added is mine):
“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American,” Carter said. “I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans”
Continued Carter, who is famously from Georgia: “And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”
So, Mr. Carter, which is it? A “tinge” or an “overwhelming portion?”
Even the White House came out and disagreed with Mr. Carter’s statements. When questioned, Robert Gibbs, White House Spokesman said that President Obama “doesn’t think criticism of his policies is based on the color of his skin.”
Mr. Carter, if you’re wrong, you’re wrong, admit it and move on. But enough of the denials and parsing of words.