Former President Jimmy Carter Blames 'Irresponsible News Media' for Obama’s Low Approval Ratings

If you’re a left-of-center media personality and you use your national TV platform to call a candidate for the United States Senate a “bitch,” how might you be rewarded? Apparently in this day and age, you’re granted an interview with a former sitting president of your political party.

Even though he wasn’t one of the most distinguished presidents of the United States, former President Jimmy Carter appeared on Joy Behar’s HLN program to promote his book, “White House Diary.” During his interview, Behar asked Carter to offer his assessment of Barack Obama’s performance as president.

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“Tell me something, what do you think of Obama?” Behar asked. “What do you think of the job his doing? His approval ratings are not great in terms of the job even though personally people seem to like him very much. What’s your opinion of the job he’s doing?”

Behar was correct to point out that Obama’s approval ratings have suffered over the past 10 months. But according to Carter, despite “an extraordinary job” by Obama, it is the media’s fault his numbers have suffered – not a poor economy or any other lackluster outcomes from the president’s policies.

“I think under the circumstances that I just described, he’s done an extraordinary job,” Carter said. “He’s got some good things done. They’ve been totally twisted around by some of the irresponsible news media to project him as a person that he’s not and as we all know.”

By several metrics, it has been shown that Obama has gotten favorable media coverage – even better than his predecessors in the early days of his presidency according to the Pew Research Center. Still Carter compared his struggles to secure his own party’s nomination while he was president in 1980 to that of the present-day political environment. According to Carter, Obama hasn’t had the aid of the Republican Party that he had, although that same Republican Party later propelled Ronald Reagan to the presidency.

“But I think that under the circumstances, he’s done a fine job,” Carter continued. “Thirty years ago -- 25 years ago, when I was in the White House, I had superb support from the Republicans. In fact, I had an opponent then, Ted Kennedy, who’s running against me in my own party. And he took away a lot of the support among the very liberal Democrats. I had to turn to the conservative and moderate Democrats and Republicans. They turned out in both parties and helped me a lot. That’s something President Obama has not had.”