Unprecedented Presidential criticism

President Carter says President Bush’s administration is ‘the worst in history’.

“I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history,” Carter told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Listen to a clip from the interview
Copyright 2007, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc., by Frank Lockwood

During a telephone interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette from the Carter Center in Atlanta, the ex-president also accused the current White House occupant of eliminating the line between church and state and of abandoning “America’s basic values.”

“The overt reversal of America’s basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me.”

The 39th president said that during Bush’s two terms in office, he has radically departed from every other U.S. president.

Frank Lockwood conducted the interview May 18.
For more from this interview, visit Lockwood’s Blog at biblebeltblog.com

A story summary is at Interest Alert

In a separate BBC interview, Carter also denounced the close relationship between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

“Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient,” Carter said when asked how he would characterize Blair’s relationship with Bush.

“I think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world.” [Washington Post]

As if bloggers are journalists and should watch their ethics and errors, I’m posting text from a TV interview where Jimmy Carter is clarifying his statements, narrowing his criticism:

MS. VIEIRA: I was saying, you said your remarks might have been careless. Are you saying now that you believe they were careless or reckless?

PRESIDENT CARTER: Well, I think they were, yes, because they were interpreted as comparing this whole administration to all other administrations, when what I was actually doing was responding to a question about foreign policy between Richard Nixon and this administration. And I think that this administration’s foreign policy, compared to President Nixon’s, was much worse.

MS. VIEIRA: But not the worst in U.S. history?

PRESIDENT CARTER: No, that’s not what I wanted to say. I wasn’t comparing this administration with other administrations back through history, but just with President Nixon’s.

But there’s always a but:

AP writes: “In audio posted Saturday on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Web site, an interviewer asked Carter “which president was worse, George W. Bush or Richard Nixon?” In his response, Carter gave the broader answer, calling the Bush administration ‘the worst in history.’

Frank Fellone, deputy editor at the Democrat-Gazette, said Carter knew the telephone interview was recorded. He described the newspaper’s story as ‘accurate and also contextual.'” [link to Frank Lockwood’s blog]