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Former president and peanut farmer Jimmy Carter felt the Bern

The former Democratic president also said he'd like to work with Trump on untangling the situation with North Korea.
Jimmy Carter Bernie Sanders North Korea
Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Roselyn went for the insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders instead of the party favorite Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Photo: Reuters

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter felt the Bern during the Democratic primaries. Carter, a Democrat who served one term as president between 1977 and 1981, revealed he voted for Bernie Sanders over party choice Hillary Clinton during a The New York Times interview with his wife Rosalynn. The peace talk mediator said he also wants to help President Donald Trump with North Korea.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter went against party politics and voted for Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary.

Maureen Dowd, an op-ed columnist for the Times, asked Carter if he thought the Russians won the election for President Donald Trump.

“‘Rosie and I have a difference of opinion on that,’ he said.

“She looked over archly. ‘They obviously did,’ she said.

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“He said: ‘I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes.’

“Rosalynn pressed, ‘The drip-drip-drip about Hillary.’

“Carter noted that in the primary, ‘We voted for Sanders.’”

Carter wants to work with Trump in negotiations with North Korea.

Carter flew to Pyongyang in 1994 (against the wishes of then-President Bill Clinton) to negotiate a deal over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program with regime founder Kim Il-sung. He told The New York Times that now the stakes are even higher and the verbal volleying between Trump and “unpredictable” Kim Jong-un engage is not helping.

“I’m afraid, too, of a situation,” Carter said. “I don’t know what they’ll do. Because they want to save their regime. And we greatly overestimate China’s influence on North Korea. Particularly to Kim Jong-un. He’s never, so far as I know, been to China.

“And they have no relationship. Kim Jong-il did go to China and was very close to them.” 

North Korea Jimmy Carter

“I think he’s now got advanced nuclear weaponry that can destroy the Korean Peninsula and Japan, and some of our outlying territories in the Pacific, maybe even our mainland,” Carter added.

"I would go, yes," Carter told the Times when he was asked in an interview at his ranch house in Plains, Georgia whether it was time for another diplomatic mission and whether he would do so for President Trump.

Carter said he had spoken to Trump's National Security Adviser Lt.-Gen. H. R. McMaster, who is a friend, but so far has gotten a negative response.

"I told him that I was available if they ever need me,” Carter told the Times.

Carter didn’t harshly criticize Trump during the interview even though Trump once called Carter one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, Dowd noted.

Carter, who leaped from his peanut farm to the White House, recovered from brain cancer less than two years ago, so maybe he believes in miracles.

“The 93-year-old would like to pull another rabbit out of a hat — just not a killer rabbit — and enter into a productive partnership with Donald Trump over North Korea," Dowd wrote. "When you think about it, though, it makes sense. One of the basic premises of the Carter Center is that you should talk to dictators." 

 
 
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