Former President Jimmy Carter insisted Thursday that he never said protests against President Barack Obama were driven by racism.
But three weeks ago Carter touched off a huge controversy when he said GOP Rep. Joe Wilson’s“You Lie!” outburst was “based on racism” and that there “is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.”
When asked about the comments Thursday during an interview on CNN however, Carter backed off the characterizations of his earlier remarks.
“By the way, that’s not what I said,” Carter interjected as he was being asked about the comment. “If you read the remarks carefully, you’ll see that’s not what I said.”
“I said those that had a personal attack on President Obama as a person, that was tinged with racism,” Carter explained. “But I recognize that people who disagree with him on health care or the environment, that the vast majority of those are not tinged by racism.”
“I meant exactly what I said,” he continued. “What I actually said, if you look at the transcript, is what I just repeated to you.”
And here are Carter's original comments:
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