Many historians view Jimmy Carter as one of the worst presidents in American history, and Republicans are drawing parallels between his reaction to Mideast violence against the United States and President Barack Obama’s.
Just as Obama faces Islamist militants attacking U.S. consular buildings in Libya, Yemen and Egypt, in 1979, Carter faced an Islamic attack against the U.S. embassy in Tehran, in which the radicals took American diplomats as hostages.
Republicans cite weakness in both presidents’ response, Politico reports. “These attacks [in Lybia and Egypt] are sadly reminiscent of the 1979 attack on our embassy in Tehran under Carter’s watch,” Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., wrote in The Hill
He wasn’t the only one to make the comparison. Feisty freshman Florida Rep. Allen West told The Huffington Post: “President Obama has clearly surpassed former President Jimmy Carter and his actions during the Iranian Embassy crisis, as the weakest and most ineffective person to ever occupy the White House.”
Republicans already have painted the stripe of Jimmy Carter on Obama’s economic policy. “Every president since the Great Depression who asked Americans to send them into a second term could say that you are better off today than you were four years ago, except for Jimmy Carter and President Barack Obama,” Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan said shortly after Mitt Romney chose him as a running mate.
In May, Romney himself used the Obama-Carter comparison. “It was the most anti-small business administration I’ve seen probably since Carter,” he said. “Who would’ve guessed we’d look back at the Carter years as the good ol’ days?”
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