Jimmy Carter: George W. Bush Didn’t Win in 2000

FILED TO: Politics

Former President Jimmy Carter (D-GA) has been all over the place recently to promote his new book,  A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, and providing memorable guest appearances in the process. He stopped by Thom Hartmann’s radio program last week, and Hartman asked him if he believed there has been a legitimately-elected Republican President since Dwight Eisenhower, considering the allegations and irregularities surrounding the elections of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. Hartmann couldn’t get President Carter to bite on Nixon and Reagan, but he did get him on the record about the 2000 election results.

In the Obama era, questioning the legitimacy of a presidency has been reduced to desperately scrutinizing the pixels on a birth certificate, but as Hartmann laid out to President Carter, there’s a real case to be made that no Republican has been elected president without serious chicanery since The Fonz held court at Arnold’s Drive-In (the real Fonz, not the fictionalized Henry Winkler version).

In 1968, operatives for Richard Nixon attempted to interfere with peace talks between North and South Vietnam in order to prevent a deal prior to the election. In tapes released by the Lyndon Banes Johnson Presidential Library, President Johnson told then-Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) that what Nixon’s operatives were doing was “treason” (Dirksen agreed), but that he wanted to keep the matter out of the campaign.

In 1980, according to then-Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, and others, the Ronald Reagan campaign made a secret deal with Iran to forestall the release of the 52 American hostages who were taken during the overthrow of the Shah of Iran. A deal for the hostages could have made a huge difference in what was actually a close presidential race.

Finally, we all remember the chad-tastrophe that was the 2000 Florida recount.

On The Thom Hartmann Program last week, Hartmann deviated from the book junket format for a moment, and asked President Carter about those bits of electile dysfunction. “About three or four years ago, the LBJ Library released tapes of LBJ working with Everett Dirksen, trying to stop the Nixon campaign in ’68 from blocking LBJ’s peace deal with South Vietnam,” Hartmann said. “They were not successful, and Dirksen called what Nixon did ‘treason,’ and those tapes are now available. President Bani-Sadr has said that something similar happened to you during the Reagan campaign, and George W. Bush was only president because of the intervention of the US Supreme Court, something you’ve commented on in the past. I’m wondering, you know, have we had a legitimately elected Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower?”

Carter laughed nervously, and said “Well, I think so,” adding “I wouldn’t want to, I wouldn’t want to comment on that. That’s pretty, pretty gross.”

“Yeah, I think we’ve had a legitimately elected president,” President Carter continued, but added “I don’t think that George W. Bush won the election in 2000 against Al Gore because I think that he probably lost Florida, and also nationwide. But, you know, when the Supreme Court rules in our country, that’s what we have to accept.”


As if former presidents’ group photos weren’t already awkward enough.

Whatever you think of the various issues that Hartmann raised (most people would concede Bush, and both Nixon and Reagan went on to make the allegations against them seem not all that incredible with their subsequent actions), the current Republican plan is to simply make their dirty tricks legal. Liberals helped them out immeasurably by staying home in 2010, flipping state legislatures just in time to let Republicans draw themselves an ironclad congressional majority. The only thing I can tell you now is, if your 2016 polling place is on the other side of a bridge, maybe you should make other plans now.


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  • Vasya Bricklyn

    And we still can’t get Floridians to learn how to use a voting machine, use turn signals, yield right of way, etc., etc..

  • Donald Schuster

    If the people on this site really believe that the Republicans cheat on elections then get even with them by asking you Democratic friends to pass the voter ID law with everyone in this country getting a federal ID or let’s just do as they do in Iraq and everyone who votes puts the right index finger or left if the right is missing into a jar of permanent ink. Problem solved.

  • Schneibster

    Republicans will, do, and have committed treason, successfully and unsuccessfully, trying to get the Presidency, since the Second World War (see Dewey). This is their primary claim to power.

    Since Obama became President they have not only committed treason but are also racists. It’s time this criminal organization was held to account.

    • Carls Pen

      Republicans have been pissing on the people since the 1920’s & telling us it’s champagne, though I’ve met some very good Repub’s their own party wants to disown them for being progressive. The worst president this country ever had though was a democrat & we are & will pay for his mistakes until we revolt, Woodrow Wilson sold us down the tubes to the Federal Reserve, check out the history & see what I’m talking about

      • Schneibster

        Actually Wilson did a lot of things that were worse than that, but the title for Worst President Evar has to go to Hoover for causing the Great Depression. He sucked so bad they named vacuum cleaners after him.

        You’re wrong about the Federal Reserve system, BTW. But this isn’t the thread; wait until some economics post comes along from our estimable authors and let’s chat about it there.

        • Carls Pen

          He sucked so bad they named vacuum cleaners after him, now that’s funny, I don’t think you can put the blame on the Hoov for the depression but he just sat back & did nothing, the depression was set up by the “Money Masters” who gave us a minor lead up to the great depression in 1910, this was an excuse to sell the Federal Reserve to Wilson & we have been turned into slaves because of it, you’re right Wilson did some very unconstitutional things like locking up dissenters etc. but he did admit before he died that he sold this country down the drain, ya thanks a lot egg head.

          • Schneibster

            My grandfather was a Wobbly and scattered the ashes of Joe Hill sent to Washington State (some of Joe’s ashes were mailed to every state then in the Union to be scattered). So yeah, I know all about Wilson.

          • Carls Pen

            Wow no shit? I heard about the wobblies & their persecution,
            how come that wasn’t in my 7th grade history book huh? And I didn’t mean to come off as condescending if I did I apologize. Now that i think about it, actually Big Dick Chenney was our worst president.

          • Schneibster

            Thanks, I didn’t take anything badly. Do come back and talk about the Fed on a more appropriate thread.

            I was lucky and had a great history teacher and when I brought it up she was delighted, gave me As and was happy to teach it, pointing out the distortions in the book. I got called a “teacher’s pet” by some kids with conservative parents, but they gave it up after I beat a couple peoples’ asses.

  • konnier

    and all of the human suffering that one decision caused will go down in history as the moment the USA started it’s death spiral.

  • Donald Schuster

    Everyone on this site must live in a spider hole in Iraq. How many times does the vote have to be counted before Jimmy (the now second worst president) Carter and the globe warming nuts need before they come out of the spider hole and join the real world.

    • Carl Tardino

      Hey Donny boy, get your facts straight, even under Carter the U.S. economy was better than Nixon, Reagan & both Bushs’ & of course all the pollutants we have dumped into our atmosphere since the industrial revolution got under way has had absolutely no effect on the planet

      • Donald Schuster

        Carl baby, you must have not gotten out of your spider hole under Carter interest rates were about 13% and unemployment was above 10%. Now after you get reeducated, you might learn to use some common sense to understand that the only thing about climate is that it has always been changing and will continue to do so until our sun burns out. Most of industry cannot produce enough pollutants with enough velocity to reach the ozone level and most of the pollutants are to heavy to reach that altitude on their own. But almost every volcano has that force to reach to ozone levels. So your assumption that all republicans have polluted than democratics is silly as the only reason that could happen is because Carter unemployment numbers was worst. When you come up for air again, understand that man cannot cause pollution, in any shape or form that will even come close to a volcano. Fear not the sky is not falling.

        • Carls Pen

          right ding dong keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better but the climate has never changed this fast in the past, climate change is inevitable, & we could be wiped out by many things that we can’t control but the things we can control where our environment is concerned is a concern for all humanity oh & I guess all those nuclear tests of the 50’s & 60’s didn’t have the power of a volcano, even still, ever hear of “acid rain”? no damage to the plant life or our water there right? fluorocarbons were banned in the 70’s because it was proven they were eating the ozone & these were used in aerosol cans as a propellant for anything from paint to hairspray & they sure didn’t have the power of a volcano.

          Carter was handed a recession mainly due to the oil embargo & then the leap in oil prices plus we had to pay for our military action in Vietnam, he was right then for trying to get us off the oil nipple & out from under the thumb of the big rip off oil companies, things were turning around for the better but Reagan came in, put us back on the oil nipple & gave us “trickle down economics” & big tax cuts for the rich, the result? one of the worst recessions this country seen since the great depression unless you or your daddy was rich, that recession lasted till the tech boom of the mid 90’s. Oh yeah the great Republican Party which has been pissing on the middle class & telling us it’s champagne, & you bought it & drink it daily, well enjoy & bottoms up

          • Donald Schuster

            Carl same old crap that I have heard from your side for years. The facts that you profess to know is only part of the story. Where you got derailed on nuclear testing of the 50’s-60’s I don’t know, but it was not good for the world and no one would argue that point, but again that has stopped in this country. Need the environmentalist’s to go to North Korea and Iran an protest this happening if it is to stop. Acid rain are again low hanging elements that are picked up by the wind and rain and returned to earth. This can be harmful to plaint life. This problem has been looked at and most of it taken care of except in all other countries and the jet stream will carry it to us. Where are the environmentalist’s at they should stop this action. Now on the fluorocarbons, it was ban late 70’s early 80’s. Since they banned other studies preformed by government scientists have proven that the fluorocarbons does not come close to the ozone layer. But the EPA refused to put it back on the market. A lot of foreign countries still us it. It would seem that if the environmentalist’s would be protesting in these countries ( India and China) to help their cause that would make sence. Carter and his fellow liberals are what caused the oil embargo by shutting down oil production in this country and not working with the oil companies to get the nation on their track. The dotcom mess was started in the 90’s and ran throughout the Clinton 90’s. And with the problem is I don’t really care for the republicans. Both parties are the governing elite and do not give a shit about any of us they only want our money and control. Global warming is just another way of getting our money. If it is the problem you all believe it to be then get off your soapbox and get to where the real problem is and get i9t stopped. See if you can talk Al Gore and the other global warming folks into leading the charge with boots on the ground in these other countries and at the point their environment is up to our standards then by all means come home and we will help you get the US to a even higher level.

          • Carls Pen

            My side ? You’re only supposing you know what my side is. This isn’t a football game pal, but those in control like to make it one, my team against your team, divide & conquer. Right here in Pennsylvania we had a republican congress man who claims to be a Christian conservative appear on t.v. to promote letting gas companies drill in our national forest (which they openly admit that they will be cutting up the forest in block size tracts) & he said & I quote “What do you want … trees or jobs? ” These are not conservatives but radicals posing as conservatives.
            Acid rain has been taken care of in our country? Wow you are the one with your head buried in the sand. Most of our electricity is still produced by coal fired plants & they don’t want to use scrubbers because it will cut into their profits.
            & that’s what it’s all about right there — Corporate profits & the rest of us be damned, they hire their shills & own scientists to tell us the shit they’re feeding us is so good for us, right, go watch more Fox Snooze, the Fair & balanced outlet for propaganda.
            The area of atmosphere above sea level that all life can exist in is less than 3 miles thick, & look at all the pollutants we dump into that. The nuclear tests, the burning of cities because of war since the Great War of 1914, the burning of the Iraq oil fields in 1991, all the cars, all the methane gas being released by cattle not to mention people ha, & you claim that these man made events have no negative effect on the planets’ ecosystem? Industry used our Great Lakes for a toilet, they’re clearing an area the size of lake Erie in Alberta Can. to get to the tar sands, one of the dirtiest known forms of oil. What man has done to this planet so a few could become rich at the expense of everyone & everything else has been totally irresponsible & those who point this out are painted as a bunch of crackpots. All these pollutants are accumulative & we’re seeing the effects on a global basis, mankind better get it’s act together or our grandchildren won’t have a very bright future.

          • Donald Schuster

            Carl, I am now starting to believe that you are a true hater and would not know how to handle any problems. Scrubber have been a requirement for many years in this country. If you believe that a industry in your area is not conforming to the air standard then please report them to the EPA. But quite crying. If you have a Republician or Democratic lying, then by all means do what you can to remove them from office. Or work within the system to get a ballot issue through a petition for the next election. I still think that until you and yours go after these other countries for what they are doing to the environment you will continue to look like nut cases. But if you all continue to attach only our country (Who is doing anything constructive to solve these issues.) then you are a bunch of nut cases trying to extract money from working people. By the way with the group in Washington now our children and grandchildren are going to be slaves to the polical elite.

          • Carls Pen

            I’m sure you’ll be glad to see this as my last post to you. The whole time you’ve been making comments you’ve made disparaging remarks to everyone, what’s this spider hole in Iraq shit supposed to mean? Come see the scrubbers not in use in Ashtabula Ohio. I’m a true hater? as opposed to what ? a false hater? I solve problems all day long, it’s what I do for a living but I don’t have time to explain that to you. It’s our Corporations all over the world under our flag that are causing environmental damage, when we pass laws here to stop the damage they go to countries that don’t have any laws, have you been to Mexico lately? I have, not a pretty site. I’m not saying we’re the only country in the world doing this, but it would make us proud if we were part of the solution rather than part of the problem. This hate of liberals this hate of conservatives is just what those in real power want, keep ’em busy while we clean up before they even realize what happened.
            Who has really extracted money from all the working people?
            Not the people fighting to make this a better environment.
            Why don’t you try googling Tesla & not the car. We don’t have to burn anything for electricity, the earth has a electromagnetic field that we can tap into for all our energy, but the oil, gas, and coal magnets would hate to see that happen, because they don’t own it … yet.
            So tell me Mr. Problem Solver what are you doing besides trying to aggravate people for your kicks, better yet don’t tell me, goodbye and good luck.

          • Donald Schuster

            Call the EPA. Yes, I been to Mexico many times and that also would be very good place to start a new order of world environmentalist. Good luck with that. Bye.

    • Schneibster

      Wow, a psychotic with frank delusions and stuff.

      • Donald Schuster

        I see another lib that cannot have a normal discussion without trying to put down the messager, so just take your trash and move on back to that spider hole you came out of and leave the problem solving to All Gore and Jimmy Carter.

        • Schneibster

          I can’t have a normal discussion without trying to put down the messenger?

          After you just called us all Saddam Husseins?


          • Donald Schuster

            If you want to take it that way, I won’t try to stop you since you seem to have all the answers. Hope your dark world allows you out every now and then so you will not be so sensitive to this world abundance of sun shine. I’m tired of listening to you and to your junk so this will be goodbye Schneibster.

          • Schneibster

            Sorry you’re so butthurt.

            Bye, nutjob.

        • Lady Willpower

          So “globe warming (sic) nuts” is just your version of friendly conversation?

  • Nicko Thime

    President Carter’s right. SCOTUS, with their decision, negated EVERY single vote cast in not only Florida, but the entire nation.
    SCOTUS stole the election from America. From each and every one of us.

    Now that same SCOTUS, with the additional of corporately owned John Roberts, has declared our government for sale to the highest bidder.
    The right cannot win without cheating and they can’t win when America votes.

  • Chris Herz

    Carter and many other moderate insiders are becoming rather alarmed at the excesses of the Corporate State. Too bad they never had the guts to do something about it while they had the chance.

  • mrbrink

    Hartmann has been making this case triumphantly since the LBJ tapes came out, and even before. And you certainly presented it well, and bravely, I might add. I’m pretty unyielding when it comes to recognizing the legitimacy of any Republican president since Eisenhower. And all Republicans have ever mustered up was ACORN and allegations of ballot stuffing in Chicago in the 1960 election, never mind the fact that the Kennedy/Johnson ticket took Texas. Good summary and breakdown. Having to face these questions and objectively review the facts to come to no other conclusion than Republicans have committed suited treason to commit suited war crimes– with smiles– is like having to convince children that there’s no magic or mystery left in the world. Pretty fucking harsh out there, kids.

  • Emily333

    Yes, Jimmy. He (Dubya) lost Florida. Of COURSE he lost Florida. You know it, we know it, everybody knows it. And that was when the world turned upside down. We’re still working on righting it. Although I couldn’t BELIEVE that happened, I certainly had no idea all the craziness that was to follow. Just think what the world might’ve been if Al Gore had become president. Just think.

    • Cory James Hinman

      Joe Lieberman would have been vice president. On behalf of my fellow Nader 2000 voters as well as myself I would like to say, “You’re welcome.”

      • mrbrink

        Yeah. Thanks for Dick Cheney, assholes.

        • Vasya Bricklyn

          What’s even worse is that they actually had the balls to think that Sarah Palin was a credible successor..

      • Robert Scalzi

        you shit stains on Americas undies effectively gave us Bush and the current supreme court – so thanks for nothing you rat bastard

      • Lady Willpower

        Vice President Joe Lieberman would have been nothing compared to what we did get. Hey, as long as you can sleep at night.

  • dbtheonly

    Hey Tom, just for it, ask the Cherokee if the President needs to follow the rulings of SCOTUS.

  • j hentai

    great article. god, that’s nearly 50 years. no wonder republicans are pushing voter supression.

  • ranger11

    Don’t forget 2014 polling places.


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