Former President Jimmy Carter backed off Monday from harshly critical comments he made of President Bush over the weekend after the White House offered a biting rebuke to the former president by calling him "increasingly irrelevant."
"My remarks were maybe careless or misinterpreted but I wasn't comparing the overall administration and certainly not talking about anyone personally," Carter said in an interview Monday when asked to explain.
The comments "were interpreted as comparing this whole administration to all other administrations when what I was actually doing was responding to a question about foreign policy between [President Richard] Nixon and this administration, and I think that this administration's foreign policy compared to Nixon's was much worse. ... I wasn't comparing this administration with other administrations throughout history but just with President Nixon's," he told NBC's "The Today Show."
Carter, whose administration was plagued by sky-high inflation and a 444-day American hostage crisis in Iran, was filling in a quote Saturday in which he said, "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."
The Georgia Democrat said Bush had overseen an "overt reversal of America's basic values" as expressed by previous administrations, including that of his own farther, former President George H.W. Bush.
Including the rabbit may seem a bit random, so if you don't know the story, click here. From the site:
The entire episode became a symbol of Carter's floundering presidency. ... Carter biographer Douglas Brinkley says, "It just played up the Carter flake factor.... I mean, he had to deal with Russia and the Ayatollah and here he was supposedly fighting off a rabbit."
UPDATE -- May 22: From IBD Editorials: Look Who's Talking. (hat tip Jeff H.)
Apparently the man whose idea of leadership was to sit in front of a fireplace and blame everything on America's "malaise" does not consider Islamofascists turning passenger jets into manned cruise missiles and flying them into skyscrapers a direct threat.
Nor does he consider himself responsible for the chain of events that gave us not only 9/11, but al-Qaida, the Taliban, Hezbollah and a nuclear Iran and North Korea.
Posted by Forkum at May 21, 2007 02:49 PM