TRANSCRIPT: Former President Jimmy Carter

Just -- and I got permission, by the way, from my children and grandchildren, and their spouses, to reveal their intention. I haven't yet revealed what my intention is directly, or my wife.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Speaker Pelosi has said that the superdelegates should not overturn the will of the people, that that's not what they are supposed to do, and that they should basically vote for, or not overturn, the winner of the pledged delegates.

Do you agree with that standard?

CARTER: I basically agree with it. But I think that any superdelegate who wishes to deviate from that opinion should be perfectly free to do so.

As a matter of fact, some of the top superdelegates in Massachusetts, for instance, publicly endorsed Obama, and then their state went for Mrs. Clinton.

My hometown, my county, my state went overwhelmingly for Obama. But if I decided later on to support Mrs. Clinton, I would feel free to do so.

But I think it would be a very serious mistake for the Democratic Party, if, for instance -- I'm not anticipating what's going to happen with the next contest, I think about a dozen of them -- if a candidate had the majority of popular votes, the majority of delegates and a majority of states -- all three -- were the superdelegates to vote contrary to that, I think it would be very difficult to explain.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, on this subject, sir, back in 1980, Senator Kennedy hurt your reelection campaign by fighting all the way to the convention.

I know you're not going to reveal your choice until the convention, but Senator Clinton has said she's prepared to take this all the way to the convention.

Are you worried that will hurt the Democratic Party?

CARTER: No. As a matter of fact, if you remember, 1980 -- you may not be old enough -- but...

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm old enough.

CARTER: ... I didn't gain the support of Senator Kennedy, even after the convention.

The Democratic Party, unfortunately, was split very badly. And maybe it was my fault, because I didn't hold it together while I was president. But you may or may not remember that on the reviewing stand at the convention, after I clearly defeated Senator Kennedy two-to-one, he refused to shake my hand, ostentatiously, and made it clear to his supporters that he was not supporting me.

So, you know, that was a situation that I think, I hope was unique in American Democratic politics.

And I don't have any doubt, at this point, that no matter who wins at the Democratic convention, that the other candidate and all of the Democratic delegates will fully support the one who is finally chosen.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, sir, you began your mission in Africa. And when we spoke last year, you said you hoped to completely eliminate the horrible suffering caused by Guinea worms by 2009.

Will you meet that goal?


STEPHANOPOULOS: Absolutely, it'll be eliminated?

CARTER: Just about. Well, I say just about.

We started out with 3.6 million cases of Guinea worm. All the way through 2007, we had less than 10,000, which is a 99.8 percent reduction. We still had two-tenths of one percent.

In the first months of this year, beginning a new tabulation, we have had over a 75 percent reduction in Sudan, and a 91 percent reduction in Ghana. Those are our two problem countries.

So, we are well on the way, and I think it's entirely feasible, that we would have complete eradication of Guinea worm from the face of the earth -- the second disease this ever happened to -- by the end of 2009. That's my prediction.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, we hope you make it.

President Carter, thank you very much for your time this morning.

CARTER: Thank you, George. I've enjoyed it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Bye-bye. Safe travels, sir.

CARTER: Goodbye. Thanks a lot.


-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4641038.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...