Bush on Carter: ‘Increasingly irrelevant’

In a biting rebuke, the White House on Sunday dismissed former President Jimmy Carter as "increasingly irrelevant" after his harsh criticism of President Bush.

Carter was quoted Saturday as saying "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.

"I think it's sad that President Carter's reckless personal criticism is out there," White House spokesman Tony Fratto responded Sunday from Crawford, where Bush spent the weekend.

"I think it's unfortunate," Fratto said. "And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments."

Carter made the comments to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a story that appeared in the newspaper's Saturday editions.

Carter spokeswoman Deanna Congileo confirmed his comments to The Associated Press on Saturday and declined to elaborate.


  1. SEAL

    You guys are a tough act to follow. I’m just a country boy that worked his way up through the ranks to Captain and never had the educational advantage of the Naval Academy. All of my knowledge of history has been learned as you go. But, being the working stiff they always called upon when there was a mission that absolutely had to be accomplished, I developed a real pride and love for my country and those who actually did what had to be done to make it great.

    Jimmy Carter would always serve as a symbol of the true American for me. Giving of himself for the betterment of others. One of the larger cogs in the wheel. Irrelevant is never a word that could be applied to him. I can’t match the preceeding comments of you posters but I view that the reply from the White House is especially ludicrous coming from an administration that more closely resembles the GONG show than anything else. In fact, it’s difficult for me not to take it personally from the military perspective knowing for a fact that George W. Bush deserted his Air National Guard post in time of war while I and the others had our lives on the line.

    I’m well aware of Mr. Carter’s military service. It was exceptional. For a deserter to call him irrelevant is beyond words to describe and a slap in the face of every person who put on the uniform and served this nation and makes George W. Bush the lowest form of being ever to occupy the White House as a President of the United States of America. Through this expression he has clearly defined why he is the most incompetent Commander In Chief in history. Obviously, he doesn’t understand relevence.

  2. Elmo

    Snow — who is the pot that calls the kettle black — and his Bushmaster have never done anything useful. Carter fights river blindness, Guinea Worm, poverty, unfair election officials, and helps to build houses. Bush clears brush and rides his bike. Let history determine who is irrelevant.

  3. marta

    While Carter has done a lot of good since he left office, let us not forget how he was a proponent of supporting the Contras in Central America.

    As far as Carter’s irrelevancy: Unless a person can CHANGE things, he/she IS irrelevant.
    Unfortunately, Bush’s war machine has made all peace initiatives completely irrelevant. Unless enough people in government stop him soon, Bush will bring us into World War III

    Just last night I read this headline:

  4. Joe Sedlak

    White House Spokesman Fratto dismissed Pres Carter’s assessment of Pres Bush with the comment that Carter is irrelevant! Right! So are the majority of Americans! And so are an increasing number of neo-con republicans who are tired of supporting a failing administration.

    I differentiate between republicans and neo-con republicans of the kind (ilk) that surround this administration and never even attempted to check its excesses! Real republicans are tired of being tarred with the same brush as those associated with this administration.

    Pres Carter’s demonization by the neo-con republicans is rejected by most of the world – and he is indeed a man for the world!

  5. Lizkin

    The accusation of irrelevancy is ludicrous, coming as it does from a White House that would itself be characterized as irrelevant were it not for the unfortunate position at the top of the heap of the person who currently occupies the office of the presidency. President Carter has, since his own term in office, gained the respect of most of the world and much of the country because of his efforts for peace, stabilization and humanitarian concerns around the globe. Those efforts have been an outgrowth of the character and integrity he brought with him to the White House and on the actions that won him the Nobel Peace Prize.

    The fact that George W. Bush and his handlers will go down in history as comprising the worst presidency since the country was founded is not a conclusion reached by President Carter alone. Rather it is shared by most historians of stature, much of the American public now, and certainly by regimes and publics throughout the world. Even the overwhelming arsenal that the USofA holds over the heads of so-called evil empires no longer gives this country the diplomatic credibility that is so badly needed if any of our international problems are to have a glimmer of a solution.

  6. adamrussell

    While I dont agree that Carter is irrelevant, that is completely beside the point. The truth is the truth no matter who says it.

  7. Steve Horn

    I can see how the current administration would find J. Carter irrelevant. Carter was and is a man of integrity and intellect, he is a Christian in the very best definition of the word, giving of himself to better others.

    In a world driven by fear and greed, I suppose someone like Carter could be considered irrelevant – as are, I suppose, most good men and women who try to leave this world a better place than they found it.

    I wonder, after he’s left office, how many good works like Habitat for Humanity George W. Bush will involve himself with? How many homes will he build? How many international elections will he monitor? How freely will he give of himself?

    If integrity, honesty and true personal beliefs no longer hold sway over self promotion, greed and power mongering then I suppose that Carter, and many of the rest of us who care, are irrelevant.

    Sad state of affairs, isn’t it?

    Steve Horn

  8. Bill Jonke

    That will get tender loving care after Bush leaves office and goes back to Crawford Ranch is W, Crawford Ranch, and Mommy Babs, in that order.

    Bill Jonke

  9. JudyB

    To a nation that has become used to the endless lies flowing from a presidents mouth, the comments emminating from Carters’ were refreshingly honest and shamefully the truth. Carter may not go down in history as having been a great President but he will go down as having been a great American. I say Cudos to James Earl Carter for his refreshing honesty! To me, honesty will never be irreverant.

  10. Joe Lawrence

    Will everyone who would pay serious, serious money to sit in the audience of such a debate – sans ‘moderators’ – please raise your hands?

    It could be made the more contemporary by requiring the loser to wear a cheerleader’s cute little outfit for the remainder of his term, while making cameo appearances on, say, “American Idol,’ or some other very important show.

    Joe Lawrence

  11. Steve Horn

    Well, not sure about paying money to hear Carter debate Bush (it’d be akin to having Einstein debate a shoe …) – in fact I really cannot imagine paying to see Bush at any function ….

  12. Stavo

    President Carter had one of the toughest jobs in the history of America. What with the failure of the republican administration of Nixon in Vietnam and resignation of Nixon and then the bumbling of the Ford administration to get a handle on the economy and the chaos it created on the American economy….and the goofy Bush administration says Carter is irrelevant? Bush had a land of milk and honey handed to him, after he was illegally selected by the supreme court and what does that monster do with it….? He has squandered away the monetary surplus Clinton left him, he has literally trashed all of the good will and friendships that America had created throughout history….and has put America on the same path that Nazi germany took and the defeat of America that is about to be handed to him.
    Never mind, at no time in the course of America history, have so many military generals resigned, retired early or sought other endeavors, to escape having to serve Bush and his insanity. When his top generals say he is pushing the envelope to either world war or the the destruction of a nation…..and then are admonished or fired for their truth? Those people have given their lives for America and it’s well being and then along comes Bush and crew, destroying everything so many veterans died to achieve. President Carter is irrelevant….huh?
    At least Carter wore a military uniform, commanded nuclear submarines and believed in America and it’s values, where-as…..Bush, managed to jump ahead of hundreds of other national guardsmen, to escape going to Vietnam, and still couldn’t do the job required of him. Now that was a waste of taxpayers money. As for the national guard and the army reserves going to Vietnam, that was not an option at that time. One couldn’t get into those organizations, with out a little help from the top, at least at that time. I know personally. You had to either enlist in the military….or be drafted. I gambled on the latter and lost.
    President Carter irrelevant? I think not…especially with the hostages and Iran in the late 70’s. Carter implemented a covert action to gain back those hotages and like a lot of things in life….it didn’t work, so back to the drawing board. Then along comes that blow hard Reagon and the trading of illegal arms for the hostages safety and a shue in for the presidency. Goes to show what republicans think of America and her people. I could go on and on…but Bush is wrong on all counts and we the American people are going to have to pay for that evil mans arrogance and stupidity.

  13. Janten

    Jimmy Carter IS irrelevant, just as most of US citizens are, and just as most of the world is. We’re all irrelevant to the decision making process of the Great Decider. He has made that quite clear many times over, including during his takeover of the office of President.

    The trouble is that too many of us have agreed (by default) for too long that his declaration of our irrelevance takes precedence over all other measures of relevance just because he took over as President.

    The only way out of this mess is for us to declare our standards of relevance, and to establish and assert our national and world relevance by removing Bush, Cheney and company from their assumed positions of power. If we don’t, then we’re simply continuing to agree with their standards of relevance and thereby making ourselves irrelevant in the eyes of the world.

  14. Carl Nemo

    President Carter’s certified, “disclosed” I.Q. is 176, he’s a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, a “nuclear engineer” and an ex-submariner…! He’s also a good human being who does alot for people and humanity in general. To put it simply…I like the guy!

    President Bush has a questionable I.Q. of 91 and other than being a slam-dunk Yaley grad courtesy of family connections, his only claim to fame is that he was a “cheer leader”. Yeah he has an MBA, but I have my doubts concerning it’s “gravitas”. It’s surely not from the Wharton School of Business… :)) Bush has the most horrible track record of any president in U.S. history. He’s a nation-wrecker par excellence! I doubt that I’ll have many folks arguing the point and if you do, I’ll use dubya’s infamous comment to a citizen/reporter on his first campaign trail who asked him some questions that evidently dubya didn’t like…”who cares what you think” is what he replied to the man. Once he found out he was a reporter, he then quipped…”just get it right”…!


    If “we the people” survive the Bushistas, then all live long enough, and the dirt drops out of the National Security Archives concerning these mattoids’ activities in the mid 20th and early 21st century, we’ll all be ashamed for being being less than discriminating of whom we select for the Presidency of the United States of America. Beware of all the “silver-tongued-devils running in the 2008 elections.

    I’ll provide some useful links so people can have a “Consumers Reports” level guide at hand as to how these presidential hopefuls operate in both the past and present. The second link lists Brownback as first on the list, but it will allow voters to study how these people really legislate or stand on issues. Enjoy and beware…!