MSNBC's Chris Jansing on Wednesday didn't exactly press Jimmy Carter as
she interviewed the ex-President, wondering if Mitt Romney has "gone
too far" with conservatism "to be trusted."
Carter appeared to disagree with his former presidential speechwriter, Chris Matthews, who smeared the former Massachusetts governor as a KKK "Grand Wizard" on Monday. Carter asserted he'd be "comfortable" with a "moderate" like Romney. Not seeming to accept this, Jansing pressed, "Do you think that he has gone too far into the conservative positions and do you think that that makes him difficult to be trusted?"
Jansing offered this softball about the 2012 race and negative
campaigning: "Do you think that we say every year that the election has
never been this negative, the tone has never been this divisive, but is
Carter piously asserted, "We didn't dream of running a negative commercial on television that would destroy the character of our opponent."
Of course, Carter's people did do exactly that. During the 1980 campaign, a Carter aide trashed the Reagan campaign as racist:
The Reagan speech was the application of what was euphemistically dubbed the Republicans’ “Southern strategy” to crack the Democrats’ 120-year-long hold on America south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Carter aide Andrew Young, himself a former civil rights worker (and future mayor of Atlanta), would have none of it.
He called out Reagan’s camp.
“If he had gone to Biloxi, and talked about state’s rights, if he had gone to New Orleans, or Birmingham, I would not have gotten upset,” Young told the press.
“But when you go to Philadelphia, Mississippi, where James Chaney, Andy Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were killed — murdered — by the sheriff and the deputy sheriff and a government posse protecting state’s rights, and you go down there and start talking about state’s rights, that looks like a code word to me that it’s going to be all right to kill niggers when he’s President.”
A transcript of the April 25, 2012 segment can be found below: