Is former President Carter an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign against President Obama?
May 15th, 2012
03:56 PM ET

Is former President Carter an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign against President Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mitt Romney is hoping Jimmy Carter can help him win the White House.

The likely Republican nominee has been comparing President Barack Obama to the former Democratic president on the campaign trail.

For example, when Romney was asked if he would have approved the bin Laden raid, he answered "even Jimmy Carter would have given that order."

And when talking about the economy, Romney described the Obama White House as "the most anti-small business administration... probably since Carter."

For many, the name alone evokes an incompetent, liberal commander-in-chief and a time of recession, inflation, unemployment, high taxes and gas prices, more government and a sort of national malaise..

And, as Politico points out, by framing yourself as Carter's enemy, you can try to make yourself Ronald Reagan. Brilliant. If it works.

Meanwhile Michael Barone suggests in a column on "Real Clear Politics" that the 2012 election could mirror what happened in the 1980 race between Carter and Reagan. There was a late break away from the incumbent that year.

Jimmy Carter actually led Ronald Reagan in the polls for much of the race. His job rating was kept higher by attempts to free the Iran hostages even though voters were unhappy with the economy and other issues.

But during a debate just days before the election, Reagan famously asked: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Suddenly the polls took a 10 point shift in Reagan's favor. He won in a landslide.

Barone suggests that despite economic concerns and opposition to Mr. Obama's policies, voters might be keeping his ratings artificially high for fear of rejecting the first black president. They might change their support to Romney at the last minute.

Here’s my question to you: Is former President Carter an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign against President Obama?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. jk in MN

    I don't think so – not to an educated voter, anyway. Those who only get their information from the polital ads maybe some – but those voters aren't likely to vote for the President anyway.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  2. s in fl

    It's absurd, Jack. It doesn't even make sense. Unless you're smoking a bit too much tea, maybe.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  3. Paul From Round Rock, Texas

    I would say no. I would also say the Carter was and is much farther left than Obama is or ever will be. If Carter is a weapon for Romney then Newt is a weapon for Obama.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  4. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Oh you mean the guy who raised taxes and saved the Nation? Or how about Clinton, who raised taxes and saved the Nation? How many times can Republicans bring us to the brink before you all wake up?

    He's only a weapon with people who are too dense to understand we have bills for things we ALREADY bought, and have to pay them back.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  5. John LaBare, Wantagh, NY

    Sure, niether had republican support to do anything and the number one goal for the republicans was to make Jimmy Carter a one term president. Sound familiar? Jimmy Carter was a man of morals and conviction. He was dealt a tough hand and did the best that he could have done during those times. They both made tough decisions without republican support, one did not get his guy and the other one did.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

    Hi, Jack. I've noticed that President Jimmy Carter's name has been popping up a lot lately. That being said, since people seem to think that President Carter was a horrible president, I suppose that Romney in his limited mind, is trying to connect the two.

    Shows despiration. Maybe we should compare him to George W. Bush, since they are both "Republicans."

    May 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  7. Greg, Ontario

    A guy with a southern US accent talking bad about a black president? What Einstein thought that would be a good idea?

    May 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  8. Dave R

    Not any more than using Richard Nixon would be an effective weapon for Obama. It's a different world today. I think the Republican's main problem is living in the past.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Brad, Portland, OR

    Jimmy Carter is irrelevant. Herbert Hoover will be a more effective weapon in Obama's campaign against Mitt Romney, since Mitt wants to bring back all the conditions that led to the Great Depression and Great Recession.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  10. MNResident

    Maybe. But think about this for a moment, Mr. Cafferty: Jimmy Carter left office in January, 1981, which is THIRTY ONE YEARS ago. No person thirty-five years of age or younger is going to remember the Carter malaise, meaning all of those young folks who voted for Obama in 2008 have NO idea how bad Carter was......

    May 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  11. Julie from Michigan

    President Obama and former President Jimmy Carter are about as far apart as two Democrats can be. Mitt Romney and George Bush however, are about as close economically as two Re[publicans can be. If I'm President Obama, I say lets bring it on. Most people who even remember Jimmy Carter will remember gas lines – no gas lines this time, just a higher price and there's not a dang thing Mitt Romney can do about that.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  12. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Former President Jimmy Carter is as an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign if he clearly understands that the use of Jimmy Carter will certainly open the flood gates for President Obama to use former President Bush as a weapon while the nation is still suffering from the adverse affects of the Bush presidency.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Pete in Florida

    Not for Romney. Will be for Obama, if they handle it correctly. Carter was over 30 years ago, and the only real similarity between Carter and Obama are the military missions – Carter's failed mission to rescue the embassy hostages in Iran, and Obama's successful missions, first to kill pirates and then to kill bin Laden. Carter took a lot of heat for his mission's failures, so Obama is entitled to a lot of credit for his highly succesful ones. Plus, Carter has shown himself to be intelligent, charitable, compassionate, a Christian who lives his faith.....much like President Obama.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  14. DaleW in MA

    PRESIDENT Carter is nobody's weapon. Mitt Romney is a disrespectful, bombastic, egocentric jerk for that remark. President Carter was a much better President than current history gives him credit for. He will stand the test of time while Mitt won't.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  15. Mark in BC NV

    Well Jimmy is glad for Obama, now he won't go down in history as the worse President in America's history.
    Obama makes a lot of them look good or better than they actually were. For the first time in my adult life, I'm ashamed of the American people who voted for this non-vetted egotistical, closet Muslim, Socialist/Progressive, simpleton of a man (boy). And I'm not racist, I just see better than most of you.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  16. Miguel Morris-Texas

    Let's see did Jimmy Carter have any successes?Let me think. Let me think. Let ME THINK!

    May 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  17. Lee from Guernsey, WY

    In a word, NO! No way will you see Jimmy Carter helping Mitt Romney's cause.
    Mr. Carter is a liberal Democrat who is pro-Obama. He's also a nice person who was taking the high road in a political discussion with the media.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  18. JM from DFW

    Romney's comment about Jimmy Carter help me to understand that he is still the same character that harassed a fellow student in High School. It is sad that Mitt shows no respect for a former President that has done an outstanding job through Habitat for Humanity in providing housing for those less fortunate.

    What has Mitt done for those that are less fortunate .... Nothing.

    What are his plans to improve the quality of life for all Americans ... Improve the wealth of the rich and if they don't invest their money in merging markets, they might throw a few bones in America as long as they do not have to share their prosperity that continues to be built on wages for the poor ... fewer jobs for the middle class.

    Why is education important in America ... we have too many fools who do not understand what is best for all.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  19. NurseLisa in CT

    I remember Ronald Reagan, and Mitt Romney is NO Ronald Reagan. Barack Obama is no Carter either and the reference is so dated it may only serve to show younger voters how out of touch the whole GOP platform is with current issues important to the young who, unlike Mitt's kids, don't have multi-million dollar trust funds waiting to prosper them no matter the economic times.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  20. Oliver El Paso, TX

    Mitt Romney better worries about himself he has no massage he has no idea what he going to do as president. Jimmy Carter may not be a sure thing to get to the White house.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  21. adrian m

    Omaha,ne "willard romney and his cronies will do and say anything to get in the house. People will believe what they hear instead of thinking. Fuel prices are drivin.up by speculators and us, prices,went sky high when bush got elected

    May 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  22. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    I think the electorate knows there was a President Carter, but probably don't know what he did or didn't accomplish. If Romney bad mouths Carter, the voters on the right will buy it, just like they accept Reagan, who signed on to trillions in spending, as a great conservative.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  23. Mel - Houston

    The key word in that question is "effective". While Mitt Romney can try to use Jimmy Carter in that respect I think there is little comparison because of the time period. The Republican's are always citing what Ronald Reagan did for this and that, which seems ridiculous to me. The economic times bare no resemblance to the economics of today. The Bin Laden raid I think is fair game, although I see very little comparison again. One was a roaring success and the other was an act of God that caused its failure. We will never know if the tactical planning for that raid was flawed or not.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  24. Rich McKinney, Texas

    While Carter is a classic example for what not to do George Bush was just about as inept. If the comparison is used to show the contrast between what a good president should do and a bad president has done Romney might find it back firing on him. Surely team Obama is going to bring republican George bush up along with all his flaws in retaliation for Romney bringing up Carter. The end result is neither Bush nor Carter are running for president. It is just more smoke and mirrors and when you can't run and win on your own record you must run on someone else's.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  25. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    NO, I only hope that people that care enough about America look into the eyes of Romney and see the soul of the man. Our country will pay deeply if we are stupid enough to elect a person who likes to fire people and who doesn't care about the needy. He only cares about tax cuts for the rich and less regulation. By the way, debt grew by trillions under Reagan.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  26. Mike in Minneapolis

    No. History does not literally repeat itself. While I have no doubt that Mitt still thinks disco is groovy, it is not 1980, and he is certainly no Ronald Regan. I have just started changing the channel when I see his mug. I have heard everything he has to say, which is nothing. Reagan had ideas. Romney does not. He is not interested in a new morning in America. He is interested in a new career goal for Mitt.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  27. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Republicans just can't move themselves out of the Reagan years. Mitt doesn't have the public in his hands the way Reagan did, and since his boss, Mr. Norquist, idol-worships Reagan ad-nauseum, I doubt if we will see a strategy much beyond the plagerisim of the image.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  28. Joe - New York, New York

    If Romney wants to bring up carter, then I don't want to hear him complain about Obama bringing up Bush.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  29. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    No, not effective at all. Carter was president thirty-two years ago, a time that, perhaps, half the voters don't remember too well, if at all. For Romney to yoke Obama to Carter seems a desperate tactic of a man who has run out of ideas before the campaign is officially under way. Besides, I liked Carter.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  30. David, in hot and sunny Tampa

    I would say as effective a weapon as Richard Nixon would be against Romney. Another reason to bestow the Medal of Freedom on the guy that invented the remote control. A quick and easy way not to be forced to listen to more political garbage ads from group A or group B.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  31. Loren, Chicago

    In a way, yes, the economy hasn't improved, but, in a way, no, Carter was actually a better President that Obama has been. Remember that Carter campaigned as an outsider, much as Obama did, but Carter stayed outside, which led to his inability to improve the economy and solve political problems. Obama is the consummate Democratic Party insider, and being practiced in the art of Chicago politics, has made clear to anyone paying attention, that he will do and say anything to get reelected. For all of Jimmy Carter's faults, he was an truly honorable man, the same cannot be said about how President Obama has operated these past three and a half years. But if I'm Romney, the analogy is good.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  32. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack, Romney is no Ronald Reagan. No matter how hard he tries even with comparing Jimmy Carter to Obama will not work. I don't know if Romney pulled this trick out of his's dad's old campaign box he has or not but it will not work. The Republicans keep wanting us to go back in time even on the campaign trail. Maybe Romney cannot help it because the extreme right of the party thinks they have a time machine that they can fit everyone in. Then again this could be an act of a desperate man whose only interest is helping the 1% and is trying to keep from revealing his true feelings. If any comparing should be done it should be Romney and George W because they are like twins.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  33. Bob from Bellmore Long Island, New York

    We can agree or disagree on what he accomplished or where he failed, but Jimmy Carter had more backbone as President than Mitt Romney could ever have.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  34. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    The problem during the Carter years wasn't Carter. It was Congress. Carter was too straight laced to play DC politics, as out of place as a monk in a bordello.

    Romney is too much of a sycophant vote chaser to be compared to anyone with a backbone, never mind Carter, or Obama. It just doesn't fly.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  35. Shirley, Parry Sound, Ontario

    No. It's difficult to get around Carter's Nobel Peace Prize. Do you think Romney could aspire to that height?

    May 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  36. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: I don't think so--desparate people do desparate things--Mitten is going to throw everything he can in order to win--and people who live in glass houses-shouldn't be throwing stones. Careful Mitten, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Remember, you can't take back; the stone, once it is thrown-the word after it has been said; the occassion, after the loss; and the time once it has past!

    May 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  37. Ted

    The best weapons against president Obama are the unions that are squeezing companies out of business, and hollywood and the presidents love of there life style....or is he doing it for the money..Jimmy Carter is a nice guy,what is his take on the gay life style.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  38. Bill of New Mexico

    I have always said that Obama reminded me of Carter.

    I voted for Carter when Carter first ran for President. The same hesitation, same ineffectiveness that I saw in Carter, I see in Obama.

    As I voted for Reagan when Reagan ran against Carter, I will vote for Romney.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  39. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Haa haa haa, hoowee. Are you kidding me? Jimmy Carter is the only president WORSE than Obama. He wrecked the economy in the 70's just as Obama is doing now, ONLY WORSE. I mistakenly voted for Carter, and I am hoping the youth who blindly voted for Obama will see the error of their ways as I did mine. NEVER AGAIN, EVER. NOBAMA 2012

    May 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  40. Brando

    For the SILENT MAJORITY in this nation: YES.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  41. Gary in San Jose, California

    Comparing Carter to Obama is almost as much of stretch as comparing Romney to Reagan. Good luck with that one.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  42. Dave, Orlando, FL

    In the end, if Romney wins, it will be Obama who defeats Obama with his 99% record of broken promises. Getting Osama is the only promise he kept, and while it was a very hard call to make, it was others who did the heavy lifting.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  43. Gigi Oregon

    He might help. But this old, Christian, white, conservative, southern roots, woman won't be helping either Romney or my church. My church for years has taught me about the evils of the non Christian church of Mormonism. Isn't life funny how your churches taught sermons (HA!) can come back and bite (the Church) in the butt when they want (your vote) for a Mormon President. Sorry...I find my self in a place where I don't trust either one... I'll be voting for the one who cares about the sick, the elderly, the stranger in a strange land..you know all the things we are taught as children...from the God we love to Trust...

    May 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  44. Jayne in NH

    Quite the contrary, Jack. President Carter made the statement that he didn't think Romney would be that bad of a president. That would seem to be a strike against Romney as far as Republicans are concerned.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  45. Paul in NC

    No, it's an indicator of the level of deperation In Romney's campaign. I never bought into the "great president" myth about Reagan but Ronnie had far more character than Mitt ever will. Ultimately that, not the economy, is what will decide this race. People are not going to vote for a person they can't trust and Mitt has already amply demonstrated that he can't be trusted.
    And shame on you, Jack, for throwing out that reverse race card about rejecting a black president.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  46. Ralph Nelson

    No. Jimmy Carter was no liberal. He was a conservative Southern Democrat. His economics was Republican and he hired a Republican economics team led by Michael Bloominghal as Treasury Secretary (a Republican). That was always the joke, the Republicans trashed Carter's economic policies for years and in truth they were Republican policies. Jimmy Carter turned out, over time, to be many many times the man Milt Romney is. Romney's deep cuts in government spending approach well lead to a deep recession as its practice in Europe since 2009 has None other than Ronald Reagan's chairman of economic advisers is very concerned about it and fears a spiraling down recession with cuts followed by more cuts from Romney-economics. .

    May 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  47. TomInRochNY

    If Carter is an effective weapon against president Obama, then George Bush is an exceptional weapon against Romney. Romney is Bush on steroids, without the military experience. He wants more of what Bush did that didn't work (at least not for most of us). And, he'll need a dash of pandering to anyone who will give him money for his campaign. He needs lots of money, of course, it's the only reason he's still in the race. Lock and load.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    May 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  48. Willy in Las Vegas

    I think quite the opposite. the Obama people will tie Romney to "George Bush policies that crashed the economy". the Romney people can try to use Carter BUT, unlike in 1980, the economy and employment is slowly turning around and everyone remembers the last year of "Bush-enomics".

    Oh, and Obama's raid to get bin Laden was a SUCCESS where Carter's Iran hostage rescue attempt was a failure. I doubt the Romney people want to talk about THAT when HE said "it's not worth the time or money"

    May 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  49. Larry in Houston

    Is former President Carter an effective weapon in Mitt Romney's campaign against President Obama?
    Answer : NO – period.
    "Romney described the Obama White House as "the most anti-small business administration... probably since Carter."
    Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. How about Bush ?? (Bush 1 & 2 ) and How about Reagan ? Reagan was definitely NOT the best thing since sliced bread, you know. That's when he started firing the air traffic controlers, and then that's when everything sort of "Dominoed" That's when the Factories s l o w l y moved overseas, one by one, 35 years ago. If Obama is against Small Business, then I guess the Republicans is against BIG Businesses, giving them the "okay" to shut down, & Move OUT, without ANY Penalty.
    Jack – in my opinion, This election is going to be about : voting for "worthless" OR "more worthless" – in other words, I would give Obama a grade "C" & Romney a grade "D – "
    If Obama would have fired Geithner & Holder like he should have, then I would give him a "B +"
    Vote : Democrat – 2012

    May 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  50. barbara in NC

    Well, if he wants to go back that far, then I guess the vicious attacks on other students, the dog on the roof, the closing of businesses and shipping our jobs to china are all OK too.

    Don't forget – Carter put solar panels on the white house to save taxpayers dollars - Reagan tore them off and said "Let the taxpayers foot the billl". Use that one, you old fart.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  51. H.R

    NO, using Carter's name will only help President Obama. I can't believe the Christian Rong would let repubs run down, the best Christian President that ever served.
    PLEASE don't vote Romney in as he will make our country much worse off than when Bush left.
    The Pledge says with Liberty and Justice for ALL. I guess that means to Romney & the repubs that you have to be white, rich, male & straight. Let's me out, 74 yr. old, poor, white, lady, voting for Obama in 2012.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  52. Nora H G Corpus Christi

    First of all and most IMPORTANT MITTENS is no Ronald Reagan!! That strikes me as Funny in your article. I can see a Carter comparison not being good for Obama, call it a weakness if you will. Mitt Romney can bring that up all he wants it will never pan out for him. It worked for Reagan, but again you are talking about Mitt Romney!!

    May 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  53. Ron WPAFB

    That's his plan, really,Jack? If there wasn't a eight hundred pound Gorilla sitting right next to him, it might work. The really real issue you guys won't talk about is that the GOP has for 3 1/2 years voted no repeatedly, filibustered, and just flat refused to pass Jobs Bills/Packages passed by the Dems or presented from President Obama. The GOP controlled House has said no to jobs for their own Constituents, time and time again. ANd then they have denied Health care to Women and promise to deny it to millions if they get re-elected and win the Presidency! There is no other way to look at this, the Republicans are wagging a war on their own people and want them to believe that if we just keep giving subsidies and tax breaks to Big OIl and allow all the Billionaires to keep their money off shore while paying no taxes here, then it's all good.

    And I have to ask, Jack, don't you and wolf see this? Can'y you see the absolute danger in the policies of the GOP, can you? If you can't, you both need new Jobs. Romney wants to compare Carter to Obama, he can, They both won Nobel Peace Prizes, he has only destroyed companies and lives!

    May 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  54. Rose L.

    Why are we so surprised at whatever Romney says? It's the Republican way "Say it even if it's a lie, just so we beat Obama!" I'm a little confused ...The Republicans tried to make Obama a Muslin, but found he was a Christian, but they want to put a non-Christian in the White House. Strange World we live in now...I remember when facts had to be proven?!

    May 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  55. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    President Carter left Office 28 years ago. George W. Bush left not quite 3 1/2 years ago. As far as I know this country is not feeling any sting left over from the Carter Administration and you cannot say that about the Bush Administration. For Romney to mock the former President indicates that he has reached a new low in his campaign.There may have been a national malaise 28 years ago for those old enough to remember, but there certainly isn't national amnesia regarding the Bush Administration. Using President Carter as an effective weapon will not work, unless of course it backfires.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  56. Ann from Charleston SC

    Romney needs every weapon he can find, so Jimmy Carter is as good as any.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  57. Patsy, TX

    No, it is unfair and shows a distinct lack of character and the inability of Romney to speak to his own solutions for America.
    Jimmy Carter's employement record for his fours years averaged a plus of 2.30
    GW Bush's employment record for his first four years averaged a plus of 0.51 and his second four years
    averaged a minus 0.84.
    Jimmy Carter's accomplishments include the Panama Canal Treaty, Camp David Accords, peace treaty
    between Egypt and Israel, Salt II Treaty with Soviet Union, etc.
    As for the failed attempt to rescue the hostages, the ending was tragic, but courageous to even try.
    So, Romney needs to man up and tell us what he would do and quit playing the Tea Party darling that he thinks
    he is. The more he talks, the more desperate and pathetic he sounds.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  58. Mr. D

    Romney should ask: "are you better off than 30 years ago?" It seems like the same problems now as then, less inflation. Obama will fill that one in with his ego. Politics, the ongoing soap opera. What a country.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  59. Joe in Missouri

    No. President Obama is clearly not a Jimmy Carter. Obama got Bin Laden. Obama has taken clear stands on gay rights, tax increases in taxes for the rich and many other things. I wouldn't compare either Romney nor Obama to Carter, but I'd sure say Romney waffles more than either Carter did or Obama does.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  60. Jerry Hurley

    Jerry in Hurricane, West Virginia
    No, President Carter was a caring and empathetic person who was a good president. The fact that he was a Washington outsider with a target on his back was a bit of a problem. Mitt Romney would do well to emulate Mr. Carter's humble manner.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  61. Karl in Flint, MI

    I hope Mitt asks that four year question at a debate. The answer is yes we are better off then when the Bush disaster left town. The economy is recovering with no GOP help what soever, the American auto industry is better then ever despite Mitt's advice to let it die, we have ended the Iraq War which was Bush's "Vanity War" to get his daddies enemy, Saddam Hussein, and we have killed Bin Laden, who killed 3000 Americans along with many of his underlings, for starters. If that isn't better off then four years ago, you have rocks in your head.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  62. Steve

    to quote David Letterman from last week "...Carter graduated from Annapolis Naval College and served on a nuclear submarine with Rickover...Romney owns a yacht and a sailor cap" , so no.


    May 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  63. Jack Dempsey

    Jack,Not if the President is smart. President Carter predicted that we would be held hostage to foreign oil when he was still president. He told us then that Americans would face a lower standard of living if we did not change are ways. President Reagan said that he was unamerican for even suggesting these things. Carter was right ! After 12 years of Reagan/Bush the economy was a mess,it took Clinton 8 yeas to show any improvement and he still did not make the needed changes to prevent the problems we face today. After 8 years of George W. Bush the economy was the worst it had been in 70 years. I hope the Presidents people remember these things! The President was handed a mess that took years to create . President Carter is a wise man and the American people need to remember this and show some respect! Jack from Nice, Ca

    May 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  64. gg canada

    carter was last president you could into any store in america and buy anything from cloths to washing machine the lable would say MADE IN AMERICA the guy that followed him shipped the jobs to mexico.now to fined made in america you have to go to a museum

    May 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  65. curtis in philadelphia

    As long as Romney compares Carters' presidency to Obama's it could work, but on behalf of Carter, he has been one of our truly great ex-presidents with all of his work with Habitat for Humanity and through his writing. Carter is possibly the closest one of our ex-presidents has come to being a saint.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  66. Bert in Los Angeles

    Hi Jack, Romney’s use of Carter’s name proves how out of touch Romney is. Carter won office in 1976. People who voted in 76 are either in their mid-fifties or dead; the anti-Carter group is small with no effect! It is more likely Romney will be hurt using Carter’s name because most of us recall that Obama was the first American President awarded the Nobel Peace Prize since Carter.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  67. Gail, Plano TX.

    All Romney ever does is bash someone. Usually he targets the President, but is no respector of persons as evidenced by the recent barbs attacking President Carter. It is, in his small mind, his pathway to the WH. He & Fox News are bed fellows. He is pathetic!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  68. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Jack, it really disgusts me when people start comparing Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter. Granted, Carter had his flaws, much as Obama has his, but for someone like Romney-who categorically stated that he didn't care about the poor-to try and use the Carter-Obama comparison to scare people in voting him into office is cheap, dirty, and unbecoming a presidential candidate.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  69. Susan-NJ

    Pres. Carter started the laws which led to the banks coming up with CDS for self preservation. That's what led to the '08 financial crisis and the current problen with JPMorgan. Yes it will be effective.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  70. Annie, Atlanta

    For this Georgian, the name Jimmy Carter invokes all that is decent about humanity, or in the wise and wonderful words of Mattie Stepahek, a peacekeeper.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  71. Bob Melbourne, FL

    It's just as affective for Romney as Bush is for Obama. However, reguardless of what they say Romney doesn't need to use anything except Obama's record itself. Thats one disaster you can't sweep under the rug.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  72. Leta

    Romney is running out of negative ads. No respect for the former Pres. Carter, who is a very smart, decent and com-
    passionate, very active in Habitat for Humanity and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Why don't Romney compare himself
    to GWB that way he will be toast this November 2012.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  73. victor

    Mitt better watch out who he is "calling out". Jimmy Carter can defend himself... I think ol Jimmy would have no problem taking the likes of Mitt to the woodshed.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  74. Michael Pacholek, East Brunswick, NJ

    Of course Jimmy Carter "would have made that decision," because he did. It failed, but he made it. George W. Bush didn't make that decision, as he let Osama bin Laden get away both before and after 9/11. Barack Obama made that decision, and it worked. President Carter was also no liberal, he was every bit as conservative as Dwight D. Eisenhower, but that makes you a "socialist" in today's GOP. Carter created more jobs per year than any President since, far ahead of Reagan, even ahead of Clinton. He didn't react well to the malaise but he certainly didn't cause it, you might want to look at a conservative named Richard Nixon. Romney is old enough to know this, but he'd rather cut down a tree and get on the stump and tell a lie than do nothing and tell the truth. If Romney's argument boils down to "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" and four years ago is the autumn of 2008, when we saw the final proof that conservatism doesn't work, then Obama wins in a raging landslide.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  75. Fred

    All you had to be was a 30 year old farmer in the days of Carter to understand how bad he really was with all of his high standard of morals

    May 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  76. Melvin

    Hi Jack,

    This is not 1980 and President Obama is not President Jimmy Carter. Moreover, there are more minority voters today then there were in 1980. This is an illusion that republicans have about this year election but they will be shocked.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  77. sean

    Yes, Carter was a failure. Just like Obama, Carter was not up to the task. This country will benefit from a business savvy entrepreneur like Romney.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  78. joy

    Is it coincidental that Carter and Obama both have a Nobel peace prize? LOL! I was saying Obama is WORSE than Carter long before the Romney campaign figured THAT ONE OUT and I'm no political junkie...it's OBVIOUS!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  79. Matt, Miami

    What recession?.. it's been over for over two years.
    What inflation? home prices and interest rates has never been lower.
    What unemployment? over 4 million jobs were created for the last 26 months!
    What high taxes and gas prices? today's gas prices is lower than a year ago according to AAA.
    More government and a sort of national malaise? if it's about lack of compromise in government then it's the malaise itself.
    Any of these is not much of a problem, it's just too much negative hype about nothing.

    What Romney should be worried about is the image his past projects of him being quite capable of ordering McConnell, Bohner, the RNC, and the Tea Party of holding down the poor, the middle class, and the disadvantaged while he cuts their safety nets if he gets elected.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  80. Yaw

    Carter was the worst... I guess till now! I'm sure all the liberal 'Geobbel propaganda' media will come to Obama's defense though. We are all watching and in November you all will find out if you succeeded in pulling one over our eyes!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  81. Barbara in Sherman Oaks, CA

    Using Carter as a benchmark for comparison with Pres. Obama is not nearly as effective as using Barry Goldwater as some kind of analogous charcter to Mitt Romney. Further, while Carter is a kind man with a good spirit, he never had the charisma that Obama has...as for Mittens, his only weapon is his one-tool widget box: the free market economy...and his so-called "plans" in that regard, aren't much to write home about, either.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  82. Flyingwolf from Manchester, NH

    No, I think Romney's pulling at straws, not to mention a few hayseeds.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  83. Margot in Washington

    It seems to me that if the Republicans want the older demographic-it might help...., Realistically, many voters, my daughter included, were 3-6 years old during that election. I honestly this is a perfect example of how out of touch the Republicans are........My daughter is FORTY years old, and was very little during that election......So, this is a true reality check of what voters Republicans want to appeal to-and they have the Paul Ryan Medicare issue to deal with-so ,not a smart move!!!!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  84. Jim

    Jack, without a doubt connecting President Obama with former President Carter will be very effective. Our small business were paying some 22% on our credit line and fuel to operate our equipment and trucks was based on even and odd numbers on our license plates. And now Pres. Obama supporting same-sex marriage separates Americans again.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  85. David

    Obama has always said things will get worse before they get better. They did and we are now getting better. To believe Romney or any other Republican could have turned this economy completely around as if this recession never occurred is ridiculous and is an insult to America's intelligence.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  86. Cee.La

    Romney can compare Obama to Carter all he wants to..... but I am not buying it......as I do not buy 99.9% of the political rhetoric......splattered all over the airwaves.....its exhausting......and unhealthy....

    May 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  87. Peay

    A large portion of the voting population either wasn't born during Carter's presidency, or too young to care. Sure he might hit a note with the baby boomer conservative crowd, but that's about it. Anybody 40 and younger can agree that Dubya is by far the most incompetent president in the past 50 years, And Romney has some pretty striking similarities to him...

    May 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  88. Chuck Barker Longview, TX

    Carter an effective tool? No. Romney's best tools are to shut his mouth as much as possible, and the race card.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  89. Marilyn, Powell, OH

    In a word, no. However, why do the Republicans keep invoking the name of Ronald Reagan, patron saint of all? He left this country with a terrible deficit and granted amnesty to illegals.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  90. Sandy Capps

    That would only depend on if you did not suffer under Regans politics. Carter did appear to be too much of a nice guy but again, Ronald Regan, a republican, thrived for the rich and we got to where we are now by a republican. A republican went to war and cost us all the billions of dollars that we are spending on war, a republican made many of the decisions that we are being affected by now. And if the republicans would work with Obama instead of fighting him on everything he tries to accomplish maybe things would get done. Thank you Jack 🙂 Have a great day.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  91. Micky from Massapequa, NY

    It's amazing that no one EVER notes that it was the Iranians who effectively elected Ronald Reagan by their absolute refusal to negotiate with Jimmy Carter. The debacle in the desert when he tried to rescue the American hostages was the finishing touch on his image of ineffectiveness. Does anyone remember that the hostages were released them moment Reagan was sworn in?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  92. Ed from Texas

    It could backfire, reminding people that President Obama took a risk ordering the killing of bin Laden. It could have ended in disaster like Carter's failed hostage rescue. If you take the risk and are successful, you deserve the credit. General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  93. Sal from Bellport NY

    Jimmy Carter ??? most young Americans don't even know who he is ??? The voters who are older their voting decisions are clearly defined in these red / blue lines ... not an issue.

    And here is a HUGE question I have for Romney ... what were his feelings or political stance when " his " Republican pals blew up the deficit and created this economic mess we are digging out of ...

    I promise you won't find any clips of Romney bashing Bush and his economic brainiacs ...

    Just sayin '

    May 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  94. Lisa s N.J

    Hi Jack, The only good thing I remember about the Carter Administration is that the banks were giving away gifts for you to buy Certificate of Deposit and the interest rate on the CD's was 16%.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  95. Andre (Lockhart, TX)

    Why don't you feed me hot dogs? Just a plain old frank hold the bun. Perhaps, the Oscar Meyer ones with creamy cheese inside that squirts on the back of my mouth when I tighten my lips around it. In other words, that is precisely how effective a comparison to Carter is. Nobody can possible know how a second term for Carter would have been since it never happened.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  96. King

    What a cheap shot against a former President. At least President Carter made an attempt to free the hostages from the Iranians. Didn't Governor Etch-a-Sketch said that it was not worth time and money chasing after Bin Laden? Didn't Romney also suggest that it was good to let Detroit go bankrupt, but now he is taking credit for the auto industry bailout. We, in Massachusetts know the real Mitt Romney, the rest of the nation will find out soon. Mitt is like the New England weather. If you wait long enough, it will change, so will Mitt.

    Give me a break!


    May 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  97. Jeff Tautges

    I would venture to guess that a very large number of people who will vote in the upcoming general election were not even born or were in diapers when Carter and Regan were Presidents. Indeed, these are just names in the history books to a huge voting block. So, invoking the names of Carter or Regan shows how far out of touch those who try to use them to their advantage are with the present faces of the American voter.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  98. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, one of the problems with living in this 24/7 media world is the constant reminder of things we have said and done. For example, when a major bank comes out with an admission that it lost a "bet" on derivatives, we are reminded which party constantly fought against regulation. When the Republican candidate is called out as a bully againts a gay classmate, we are constantly reminded which party is against gay rights. Comparisons to President Carter may be the only chance Republicans have.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  99. Susan Jennaro

    Mitt Romney is not worthy of uttering Jimmy Carter's name. Jimmy Carter demonstrated the political and personal courage that Mitt Romney is incapable of. Carter's courage resulted in the Camp David Accords, The Panama Canal Treaty and a comprehensive national energy plan. History has forgotten Gerald Ford's "W.I.N" buttons which stood for "Whip Inflation Now" or Richard Nixon's wage and price freezes. Since leaving the presidency, Jimmy Carter has paved the way, showing others what a modern post-presidency should look like. He has become one of the greatest humanitarians of our time. Mitt Romney will never be half the man that Jimmy Carter is.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  100. Melissa Bly

    I think that Romney is his own worst enemy. He is a flip flop and that only shows how he cannot be a dependable president. I do not want someone who changes his views on any issue depending on which group of people he is addressing. We need a president that knows how to stay true to himself and his country. I hope that people agree with that and do not elect Mitt Romney.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  101. Dan Solan

    If you're 45 or older it may help a little, but if you're younger then that, you probably don't remember a thing about what was going on in 1980. Hell, you probably don't even know who Jimmy Carter was or is. If you're part of the Geritol generation (like me) you've probably already made up your mind.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  102. Jerry

    I love Carter, but he was not a great president. His style didn't work in DC, because he was ethically better than DC. Obama claimed to be, but he's Chicago/DC politician through and through. "Lie to once, shame on you..." well you know the rest. For the sake of this nation, I pray that Romney is the next Reagan!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  103. DeWayne

    Hi Jack,
    I answer is no. Tricky Mitt is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the President, even ex-Presidents. The fact is President Carter had the lead on Reagan until the debates, and Pres. Obama will not lose one debate or the election.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  104. Isaac

    This year election will not be the same as 1980, the US electrorate has changed, there are more minorities voting today than in the 80's. Moreover Obama is not Carter and there are lots of minority citizen that are not being polled right now.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  105. Elizabeth in California

    I think a lot of voters will miss the point. 1980 was the first year I could vote. I now have three children of voting age, who don't really know much about Carter. Most of the stories they have heard portray him as a philanthropist and as everyone’s favorite uncle. Carter might have been a poor president, but even my Republican friends think he is a nice person. With people gritting their teeth over both candidates, it won't help Romney to pit himself against a kindly old man.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  106. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Former President Cartier from down here puts his foot in his mouth on a regular basis. Come to think of it President Obama also puts his foot in his mouth on a regular basis. So the comparison is a valad one. How much it will help Romney am not sure. Both Clinton and Carter should get off the stage but who said they were very smart.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  107. Aldo from Clifton, VA

    I'm 43yrs.old, and by far, Carter was the best US President of my times. Unfortunately, it will make a difference since Carter is a total opposite from the Machiavellian and rotten politicians that the greed obsessed voters want to feed them Mo'Money, Mo'Money, Mo'Money NO MATTER HOW.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  108. septembercindy

    Absolutely. Jimmy Carter was a great president and very likable. He will be able to help Romney, although I predict, Romney already won!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  109. Dan in Albuquerque

    In fact, Reagan was not such a hero as the GOP would lead you to believe. He is still #1 in percentage of increased national debt. He also raised taxes 11 times. If he ran on such a platform now, he wouldn't even be nominated. Cater had a degree in nuclear engineering, commanded an atomic sub, and won the Nobel Peace Prize. He also had a very difficult congress to work with, although not as bad as they are now. Romney is a lightweight flip-flopper.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  110. Ankh

    Jack, Jimmy Carter was far better than Ronny Regan as president. I lived through the Regan jobs losses 1981-85. Jimmy predicted Rommey's GOP win and his lost to President Obama. Only trailer trash white folk and one percent will vote GOP. The rest of us know the true about the Regan GOP myth that CNN is putting out.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  111. Chuck - GA

    Yes, because Obama, like Carter has little to nothing to show for his 3 1/2 years. What he did, either did not work, or is hated by most of the general public.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  112. Pam Bignardi

    I would vote for former President Carter a million times if I could. Former Governor Romney, by slandering President Carter in his attempts to slander President Obama, will send him off the deep end, over the cliff and into the water to drown. The Democratic Party loves former President Carter. President Carter is beloved amongst his base; he is seen as not just one of our country's best Statesmen; he is also recognized as one of the greatest peace makers of all time. Romney's attempts at slandering President Obama via former President Carter will backfire on him. His slandering of the former president will fire up the democratic base, as it already has this democrat. I was a lukewarm Obama supporter; however, today, if I could, I would vote to re-elect President Obama a thousand times. Former Governor Romney is absolutely clueless to the popularity former President Carter has among the Democratic Party, not to mention, he is seen as an international peace maker, who has advocated for peace for decades. I'm not surprised; the republicans never know when to stop as was/is evident with former President Clinton. When the country realized the so-called "prosecution" of President Clinton was in fact, a "persecution," BOTH President Clinton's approval and popularity ratings soared. He maintains the highest approval rating of ANY president since WWI. Governor Romney, like all republicans, never realize when they are/have gone too far! President Obama will be re-elected, and we will be THANKING former President Carter!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  113. Reggie

    I think you liberals/democrats are getting very nervous and rightfully so. Obama is going down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Goodbye.... nice knowing you but its time for you to go back to Chicago. Even Jimmy Carter was a better president than Obama so what does that tell you. Obama is a total failure and its time to get America back on the right track without him. November cannot come soon enough!!!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  114. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    Reagan won because he out debated Carter and diminished the negative that he was too old to be elected (even though we now know he was likely in the early stages of Alzheimers). I don't see how Romney is going to be able to outflank Obama in the debates, especially if Obama goes hard at him for being a flip flopper. What does Romney think, that we have Alzheimers?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  115. Mike.......Pa

    In my opinion Carter was the last President that helped the middle class. The working people could get 14% interest on their savings. What can you get today ? Maybe 2% if you are lucky.He didn't start any wars. He was a devout Christian. Look at what he's doing today such as habitat for humaniity. A man of morals. I'd vote for him today, in fact I think I will !!!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  116. Carl in San Diego

    The Democrats should reflect on George W. Bush, asking American's if we want to go back to policies that put this country into two wars, a recession, a near depression, high unemployment, etc. In addition, the Democrats should note this 112th Congress a do-nothing Congress. The Do-Nothing Congress of 1947-48 passed 908 laws. To date, this one has passed 106 public laws. The Republican's have stagnated progress.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  117. Nancy from Maine

    I don't think Romney should waste his time comparing Obama to Carter. Most of the younger voters don't even know who the Speaker of the House is let alone who President Carter was. Romney should continue to point out the failures of Obama and how he has spent more time being the "Comedian-in-Chief" and the "Celebrity-in-Chief" than he has in fixing the country and pointing it in the right direction. Hopefully he can convince the voters that we need someone who is concerned more about the people and less about being a "rock star."

    May 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  118. richard

    President Carter inherited high inflation and energy prices from Nixon/Ford, because of Kissinger's foreign policy blunders. Carter had lower unemployment rates than Ford on one side and Reagan on the other. Reagan cut CETA shortly after taking office and his unemployment rate went higher. Reagan also cut food stamps for the working poor.
    Cater's energy plan would have taken us off of Mid Eastern oil by 2000. Reagan's answer to that was to throw the solar energy panels of of the White House which Carter put up there. Carter chose to turn the other cheek rather than complain about Republican lies about him. Democrats did not defend his record either because Jimmy was not part of the Democrat machine. He finished at the top of his class at annapolis and was hand picked by Admiral Rickover to train the first nuclear submarine crews. He was a good man and history will realize that after they see those who have followed him.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  119. Joan

    Doesn't matter how much Romney does until he produces his past tax returns when we can see how he made all his money. The press should get on to this and hold his feet to the fire. He doesn't care about women or the poor and he just doesn't get it. It is a long way to the election the President will be the winner. By the way Jack it is Mr. Romney and PRESIDENT OBAMA not Mr. Obama. Don't you have any respect? Has anyone asked Romney why any of his five boys have not served in the military. It is a good question when he keeps saying he loves this country. Young men have been fighting and dying for it.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  120. Matt - Somerville, MA

    You know why this is absurd? No one younger than 32 will even have been alive during the Carter Presidency come election day. No one under, say, 38 will have any memory of President Carter whatsoever.

    So an entire 20 year portion of the voting population will have no idea what the Romney campaign is even talking about.

    It will be about as effective as bringing back fear of a Bradley Effect, or the notion that people are saying they support Barack Obama because of his race. Oh wait...

    May 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  121. Dustin

    Perhaps, but Obama should capitalize by pointing out Reagan's policies- extreme deregulation, tax hikes, tax cuts that led to major unemployment, weapon sales to Iran, and a near tripling of the federal budget deficit, and funding to an Afghan resistance to the Soviets which probably ended up in the hands of the terrorists Obama's Administration has worked so hard to get rid of. Does Romney REALLY want to be compared to that?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  122. Cesar Lafaurie

    Are we better off? No. Obama tried his academic approach to the economy and it has not worked…can we afford 4 more years? No. All the power/success of this country, and the survival of our culture is linked to our economic success, and Obama policies will bankrupt this country for sure. A president that has not submitted a budget in 4 years should not be called the leader of the largest economy in the world.

    Cesar Lafaurie
    Sweetwater, TN

    May 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  123. Cesar Lafaurie

    It is the economy stupid…but furthermore, Mitt should also link Obama to Carter as a weak apologetic leader…let’s not forget that Pres. Carter was the first president that failed to protect sovereign US territory, and this failure allow nations to avoid taking responsibility for the actions of its citizens…it was Pres. Carter’s inaction that created the Al Qaedas of the world…the international guerrillas.

    Cesar Lafaurie
    Sweetwater, TN

    May 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm |