Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday he believes a second term for Donald Trump would be a “disaster” for the country, while former first lady Rosalynn Carter added the current commander in chief “encourages racism.”
The 39th president’s critique of Trump came during an event at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
“I don’t know who I will vote for, but I will vote for one of them,” Carter said. “I voted for [Vermont Sen.] Bernie [Sanders] the last time.”
“But one of the major factors I have in my mind is who can beat Trump,” he continued. “Because I think it would be a disaster to have four more years of Trump.”
His wife Rosalynn alleged that the president is at least partially responsible for the current racial climate in the country.
“I am so disturbed about white power,” she said. “[Trump] says he is not a racist and maybe he is not. But some of the things he says encourages racism.”
Jimmy Carter — who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts” — offered some praise for Trump over his reluctance to take the U.S. to war.
“Which is something I like about him,” Carter said. “Don’t ask me what else I like.”
The former chief executive expressed hope the current conflict between Iran and American ally Saudi Arabia can be settled peacefully.
“I think we can resolve the issue diplomatically and that is what the president is inclined to do,” Carter said. “Find someone to talk to Iran with mutual respect. But I don’t have a clear answer on what side we should choose.”
The 94-year-old also discussed the issue of age and the presidency.
“You know, if I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties that I experienced when I was president,” Carter said.
“For one thing, you had to be very flexible with your mind,” he added.
“You had to be able to go from one subject to another and concentrate on each one adequately and then put them all together in a comprehensive way.”
Both former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, and Sanders, 78, would turn 80 in office, if they were to be elected president in 2020.
Trump, 73, was the oldest person ever to be elected president for a first term during the last election, surpassing a mark set by Ronald Reagan in 1980 by a few months.
Reagan was re-elected four years later at the age of 73.
In June, Carter claimed that Trump is an “illegitimate president” because a full investigation would show Russian interference in 2016 swung the election in the Republican’s favor.
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