Former President Jimmy Carter weighed in on the Secret Service scandal Wednesday, saying any agent would have to be “completely out of his mind” to betray any information about the president’s movements to a prostitute.
Carter told MSNBC’s “Jansing & Co.” that he felt nothing but trust and admiration for the scores of agents who had protected him over the years.
“I have had more than 200 Secret Services agents work with me before, during and after I was president, and I would say that there's no other single group of public servants that I've ever known that would equal their standards of morality and proper activity and proper service and dedication to their very dangerous and difficult job,” he said.
Carter said he thinks it’s possible the agents accused of taking Colombian prostitutes back to their hotel as they were supposed to be preparing for President Barack Obama’s arrival in Cartagena were “intoxicated,” but he definitely believes it was an isolated incident.
“I would have to guess a Secret Service agent would have to be almost completely out of his mind or her mind to tell a prostitute, or as they call themselves, a female escort, anything about the movements of the president,” Carter said.
“That’s their life – their total dedication – is to protect the one who is assigned them, whether it is an incumbent American president or the president’s family,” he said.
As for the November elections, Carter said he thinks Obama will be re- elected, but he won’t mind if presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney ends up in the White House.
“I’d rather have a Democrat but I would be comfortable – I think Romney has shown in the past, in his previous years as a moderate or progressive, that he was fairly competent as a governor and also running the Olympics,” Carter told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing.
Carter said Romney has adopted some extreme positions in order to win conservatives’ votes, but he believes the former Massachusetts governor will swing back toward the center.
“He’s gone to the extreme right-wing positions on some very important issues in order to get the nomination. What he’ll do in the general election, what he’ll do as president, I think is different,” Carter said.
The former president said that in his day, candidates didn’t take money from corporations or special interest groups, and he thinks it was much better that way.
“I think the massive infusion of money in the political arena ahs been a major cause of spending a lot of it on negative advertising,” Carter said.
He also took issue with the “stupid” Supreme Court ruling in January 2010 that allowed super PACs to receive unlimited, anonymous donations from corporations, unions and individuals.
“Saying corporations are people has exacerbated or made much worse an already existing bad situation,” Carter said.
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