They watch the show every night, Carter told “NewsHour” host Judy Woodruff as he described the couple’s news consumption. “We watch MSNBC and CNN pretty regularly,” he added.
They “don’t watch Fox presentations very much,” Carter said, nor do they “really become involved” in social media. “So we have a fairly good balance of the news coverage.”
Carter, 96, and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, 93, spoke to Woodruff from their home in Plains, Georgia, for a wide-ranging interview as they prepare to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary on July 7. Carter is now the longest-living president in US history.
In addition to their news habits, the couple discussed unfounded claims made by President Donald Trump and his supporters that he won the 2020 presidential election.
“It’s known, quite accurately, as the big lie,” Carter said. “And how he – how Trump – gets away with it is hard to comprehend.”
It’s “hard for me to know what was happening and then to hear what was being said about it,” Rosalynn Carter said.
Asked whether she ever thought that the Carter Center would be involved in monitoring elections in her home state, she said, “No, I never thought we’d have to monitor elections in Georgia. I just assumed elections were accurate. I trusted our officials.”
On July 7, former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary, where they will reflect on a remarkable life has taken them from rural Georgia and locales across the globe as a Naval family to the Governor’s Mansion and ultimately the White House.
Despite the whirlwind of their nearly eight decade long marriage, some things remain the same.
Former President Carter, 96, and the former first lady, 93, still live in Plains, the small southwestern Georgia city where they were both born. And they often give each other the kind of loving gaze that so many spend years trying to find.
“It’s a full partnership,” the 39th president told The Associated Press during a joint interview ahead of the couple’s anniversary date.
When Carter was a young midshipman in the US Naval Academy, spending some time at home from the venerable institution, a first date with Rosalynn set the spark that blossomed into a lifetime of memories.
In his interview, Carter said that the most important decision that he’s ever made wasn’t as the leader of the free world or even as the executive officer of a nuclear submarine early in the Cold War – it was his courtship of Eleanor Rosalynn Smith, which began in 1945 and led to their marriage the next year.
“My biggest secret is to marry the right person if you want to have a long-lasting marriage,” the former president told The Associated Press.
The first couple offered advice in how to maintain a lasting bond.
“Every day there needs to be reconciliation and communication between the two spouses,” the former president said, explaining that the deeply religious couple reads the Bible together each night. “We don’t go to sleep with some remaining differences between us.
Rosalynn Carter said that finding common interests is key – with some boundaries in mind.
“Jimmy and I are always looking for things to do together,” she told The Associated Press. “Each (person) should have some space. That’s really important.”
During her days in the White House, the former first lady was a reliable support system for her husband, while also engaging in her own causes, which included health care and mental health awareness.
The couple plans to mark their milestone a few days after the anniversary with a party in their hometown.
Rosalynn Carter joked about the size of the crowd that was slated to attend the event.
“We have too many people invited,” she said laughingly. “I’m actually praying for some turndowns and regrets.”
The internet was set ablaze Monday evening after former President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter’s nonprofit, the Carter Center, shared a curious-looking photo of President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden posing with the former first couple last week in Georgia.
Like something out of a house of oddities, both Bidens appear to tower considerably over the Carters, who look like miniature figures seated in their chairs.
The photo seems to suggest that the Bidens are twice as large as the nonagenarian couple.
Jimmy Carter’s height is listed as 5′ 10″ while Biden is two inches taller. Rosalynn Carter, meanwhile, measures up at 5′ 5″, about one inch shorter than Jill Biden, who is 5′ 6″.
So, if the Bidens aren’t giants and the Carters aren’t tiny, what accounts for the bizarre photo?
A specific photography method and the framing of the photo are likely responsible for the illusion, according to The Washington Post and BBC News.
The photographer’s use of a wide-angle lens caused the Bidens, who are situated close to the edge, to appear enlarged. Meanwhile, the Carters, seated in the middle of the frame, look “pushed back,” BBC picture editor Phil Coomes told the outlet.
Marlena Sloss, a freelance photographer, told The Post that a strong flash also contributed to the effect. The flash reduces shadows, which play a role in giving photographed objects depth.
The Carters are both leaned back in their chairs, while the Bidens appear to be kneeling forward, giving the illusion that the two pairs are side-by-side and on the same plane, Sloss told the outlet.
The Bidens met with the Carters at their home in Plains, Georgia, during a trip to the state last week. It was the first time the two Democrats, who have a decades-long bond, had met in person since Biden’s inauguration.
The meeting was held in private, according to Yahoo News, as Jimmy Carter, 96, suffers from health problems that have impacted his ability to hear and speak.
The Carters are set to celebrate 75 years of marriage later this year.
“Today, I mourn the passing of my dear friend Walter Mondale, who I consider the best vice president in our country’s history,” Carter wrote in a statement.
On Sunday, Mondale got in touch with Carter, former president Bill Clinton, and President Joe Biden to let them know his death was near, Axios reported.
Carter commended Mondale, whose nickname is Fritz, for his political career and his commitment to the role of vice president when they served together.
“Fritz used his political skill and personal integrity to transform the vice presidency into a dynamic policy-driving force that had never been seen before and still exists today,” Carter said.
Mondale served as a US Senator from Minnesota prior to working with Carter. The pair lost their bid for a second term in office in 1980 but Mondale ran for president in 1984 and chose New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, the first female running mate on a general election ticket.
The former vice president also once served as a lawyer, Minnesota’s attorney general, and as an ambassador to Japan under Clinton.
“He was an invaluable partner and an able servant of the people of Minnesota, the United States, and the world. Fritz Mondale provided us all with a model for public service and private behavior,” Carter said.
According to Axios, Mondale contacted Presidents Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter on Sunday to let them know his death was near. Mondale passed away in Minneapolis, according to his family.
Biden long admired Mondale, whose nickname was “Fritz.” At an event honoring Mondale in 2015, Biden said, “I took Fritz’s roadmap. He actually gave me a memo, classic Fritz, gave me a memo, as to what I should be looking for and what kind of commitments I should get to be able to do the job the way Fritz thought it should be done.”
Mondale’s political life spanned decades, starting with his career as a lawyer and serving as Minnesota’s attorney general, and including a later stint as an ambassador to Japan under President Clinton.
Before serving as Carter’s vice president, Mondale served as a US Senator from Minnesota and wrote a book in 1975, titled, “The Accountability of Power: Toward a More Responsible Presidency.”
After their term together, on November 4, 1980, Carter and Mondale lost their reelection campaign to former President Ronald Reagan and then running-mate George H.W. Bush.
In 1984, Mondale would run again, this time securing the Democratic nomination for president and choosing the first female running mate on a general election ticket, New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro. Mondale and Ferraro were defeated by Reagan and Bush in 1984. They won only one state, Mondale’s home state, and the District of Columbia. It was the most lopsided general election defeat in US history, and when Mondale at the 1984 Democratic convention, Mondale said, “Let’s tell the truth… Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you, I just did.” The line infamously helped cement the eventual election defeat.
With a staunch commitment to liberal politics and deep involvement with Carter’s decision-making domestically and internationally, Mondale is considered to have transformed the role of the vice presidency.
After news of Mondale’s passing broke on Monday, Carter issued a statement calling Mondale, “the best vice president in our country’s history.”
Every living former US president has appeared in an ad campaign telling Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, apart from Donald Trump, who has instead released a statement demanding credit for the vaccine.
On Thursday, the nonprofit Ad Council released a public service advertisement starring Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter.
“This vaccine means hope,” Obama said in the video. “It will protect you and those you love from this dangerous and deadly disease.”
Trump was noticeably absent, though it’s not clear if he was asked to join the campaign.
Hours before the campaign went live, however, Trump’s personal office in Florida released a statement in which he claimed responsibility for the vaccines’ existence.
“I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) vaccine, that if I wasn’t president, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all. I hope everyone remembers!” he said, using a derogatory term for the novel coronavirus, which was first found in China.
When asked by Insider whether it had asked Trump to join the PSA, an Ad Council said the project with the former presidents started last December. The spokesperson did not say whether the Ad Council had approached Trump, who at the time was an outgoing president.
Members of the Biden administration has said that they inherited no coronavirus vaccine distribution plan from Trump White House, with a source telling CNN they had to “build everything from scratch.”
Days before Biden’s inauguration, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that Operation Warp Speed would continue in the Biden administration, but that there was an “urgent need to address the failures of the Trump team approach to vaccine distribution.”
Biden later called the vaccine rollout under Trump “a dismal failure.”
Repeat after me: The last three Republican presidencies ended in economic turmoil. And their Democratic successors had to clean up the mess. Voters need to be reminded – again and again – that putting Republicans in the White House puts our country in recession.
It seems quaint compared to 2008 or our current crisis, but President George H. W. Bush ended his one term in office in recession. After what was then the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in US history, in July 1990 the country entered a recession that saw unemployment rise to a peak of 7.8% in June 1992.
His challenger Bill Clinton made the economic pain that families were feeling the mantra of his campaign and handily beat Bush, who came across as out of touch with working Americans.
One of Clinton’s first legislative achievements was an economic recovery bill that, among other things, put a greater tax burden on the wealthy and increased tax credits and wage subsidies for the working poor. As a result, during his eight years in office, Clinton oversaw economic growth that averaged 3.5% annual GDP growth but topped 4% throughout his second term. Unemployment fell from 7.4% to 3.9%, and the labor market added an average of 2.9 million jobs per year.
The Great Recession was man-made, caused by reckless lending by financial institutions – not the result of the natural cycles of our economy. The devastation was – and continues to be – enormous, with America more unequal, less productive, and poorer because of the severity of the crisis.
President Barack Obama came to office needing to help bail out entire industries that our country runs on. The depth of the decline was the worst in 80 years, and the recovery Obama initiated was slow – but effective.
After taking over in early 2017, former-President Donald Trump maintained the Obama recovery in some ways – but in other ways economic disparity grew deeper. Then, he treated the pandemic more like a political issue than a health issue, and the economy went into freefall on every metric. Millions of jobs were lost – some for good. Unemployment still sits at 6.7% despite some improvement in recent months, with communities of color hit hardest.
Now, as part of the promise of President Joe Biden, we will get through the pandemic and renew our economic strength in turn: another Democrat fixing a Republican mess.
Older voters will recall that President Jimmy Carter became the favorite Republican punching bag after his four years in office ended in economic calamity. So many negatives for the economy became associated with Carter – malaise, stagflation, the misery index – that Republicans held onto the White House for 12 years straight, the longest continuous streak in nearly 70 years. The fear of going back to the Carter years kept voters on edge and Republicans in power.
But it’s been almost 50 years since Carter took office, and despite their superior record Democrats have failed to capitalize sufficiently on the economic strength they repeatedly ushered in and make it synonymous with their brand.
Much like the GOP did with Carter, Democrats need to make the Bushes and particularly Trump their punching bag for the next generation. The Democrats need to make it clear that they are the stewards of steady, strong economic growth and are always cleaning up after the GOP.
In most election years, voters think first about the economy and their own pocketbooks. That is the primary driver of most elections at most levels. Every Democrat needs to make the contrast in economic success their mantra – for the sake of the party and the country.
Repeat after me: The last three Republican presidencies ended in economic turmoil.