President Jimmy Carter interviewed by Reuters at our New York HQ
Reuters Editor-at-Large Sir Harold Evans recently interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for Reuters TV at our headquarters in New York City. Carter, whose latest book “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety” was released this week, gave a wide-ranging interview on his life from his childhood on a Georgia peanut farm to his presidency and beyond. Carter served as president from 1977-1981, and is a recipient of the Nobel Peace prize for helping broker the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel. He turned 90 last October. Speaking with Sir Harry, Carter recalled growing up in a home without running water or electricity, at a time when he said the daily wage was $1 for a man, 75 cents for a woman, and a loaf of bread cost 5 cents.
He said the civil rights movement led to important progress towards racial equality in the United States, but added, “I think we overly relaxed after then and took for granted that this feeling of racism or superiority of white people was ended. And we’ve come to realize … that there’s still a great prejudice in police forces against black people and obviously some remnants of extreme racism, as exhibited with the horrible event in Charleston.”
Here are some other highlights of the interview:
- Asked whether he would trust Iran to comply with the terms of any nuclear deal reached in the current negotiations, Carter said, “My hope and prayer and current expectation is that we will have an agreement with the Iranians.” He added, “I think we have to certify that they are complying. My understanding is that the lifting of the sanctions that we now have imposed on them will be announced to be relieved at the time of the agreement but will actually be relieved only as the Iranians comply with the agreements step by step, and that is the compromise that has been worked out, the way I understand (it) from the news media.”
- Carter called U.S. Secretary John Kerry “one of my heroes.”
- Carter criticized the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, which cleared the way for unlimited independent spending by corporations and labor unions in federal elections. “The Supreme Court made, in my opinion, the most stupid decision in history when they passed the Citizens United decision,” he said.
- Carter said he thought the “opportunity for any progress for peace in Israel and the Palestinians is gone, at least for the time being. The United States has got practically no relationship or influence in Jerusalem or in Ramallah and the United States has basically withdrawn and the Europeans have not filled that vacuum.”