Former President Jimmy Carter isn't known to jump to public criticism. The retired peanut farmer has mostly focused on working with Habitat for Humanity and enjoying retirement.
However, in a recent interview with The Washington Post, Carter didn't mince words when discussing the current president:
I think he’s a disaster In human rights and taking care of people and treating people equal.
His wife, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, concurred:
The worst is that he is not telling the truth, and that just hurts everything.
The Post article highlighted the differences in lifestyle between the two presidents, noting the stark contrast of Carter's modest ranch to Donald Trump's infamous gold-plated properties which, to many, invoke King Midas more than a president. Carter alluded to this as well when discussing the current emphasis on wealth overtaking American culture, lamenting that "Money is now preeminent. I mean, it’s just gone to hell now."
Many on Twitter noted Carter's usual hesitation to criticize so publicly.
@EdKrassen @CHEF_JD81 Dude, when a man of grace like President Carter calls you a disaster...... that pretty bad! #VoteCoyote2020!!!— Laughing Coyote Quilts (@Laughing Coyote Quilts) 1535126811.0
@ASE He has honor, compassion, and I agree that I don't think he has ever criticised someone or at least publicly.… https://t.co/ycfASjUcy4— Psylocke, PhD, MPH, MSW (@Psylocke, PhD, MPH, MSW) 1535024734.0
@realDonaldTrump You're fucking crazy. The nicest man in the world, Jimmy Carter, said today that you're a disaster as president.— AbbyNormalSomeone (@AbbyNormalSomeone) 1534818021.0
They also noted Carter's reputation for decency as a whole--another difference between him and the current president.
Jimmy Carter is everything that can be good in America, @realDonaldTrump is everything that is bad in America— Al Barney (@Al Barney) 1534857028.0
@janeosanders Jimmy Carter practices Jesus Christs teaching, sooo much better then, Gay-bashing, Gun-celebrating… https://t.co/E3tUTmIYnH— Mikael Stenlund (@Mikael Stenlund) 1534527985.0
@JoeNBC @detroit_rachel Jimmy Carter is the antithesis of Donald Trump.— Dave's Not Here (@Dave's Not Here) 1534729913.0
@JohnDingell Donald Trump's should dream of ever being half the man Jimmy Carter is.— Carolyn Phillips (@Carolyn Phillips) 1534724040.0
While Carter's statements in The Washington Post represent his most direct criticisms of the president, they're not his first.
Carter's previous criticisms of Trump as a candidate and a president have been far more muted.
In March, he took to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where Colbert asked him the quality every president should have. Carter alluded to Trump, replying “I used to think it was to tell the truth, but I’ve changed my mind lately."
However, in a true display of upstanding moral character, Carter did wish for Trump's success:
I pray that he’ll be a good president, And that he’ll keep our country at peace and that he’ll refrain from using nuclear weapons and that he will promote human rights.
Enough time has passed that Americans, including Carter himself, believe that the president has no intention to follow Carter's advice on human rights.
@JerryFalwellJr @realDonaldTrump Harry Truman acted like us. Jimmy Carter acted better than us. Donald Trump acts… https://t.co/LavFVJZMPS— Linda Whitaker (@Linda Whitaker) 1534546276.0
@realDonaldTrump You are running the most corrupt administration in the history of the Unites States. You are a stain on our flag.— Maine Mom (@Maine Mom) 1535117206.0
Perhaps we should not be surprised that Donald Trump entertains the views of the Afriforum ethnic nationalists. His… https://t.co/ZyFm0IGz77— Terry Bell (@Terry Bell) 1535039413.0
@nytimes This is a human rights atrocity. Committed by the United States government and Donald Trump. Shame on us.— Andrea Junker (@Andrea Junker) 1535109431.0
CNN report says Pres Obama blocked the sale of U.S. made laser precision bombs to Saudis due to human rights concer… https://t.co/aedPy2SnLp— #ImpeachCorruptTrump (@#ImpeachCorruptTrump) 1534579989.0
While the state of the union may seem grim, Carter's words for many have resound with a reason to hope that the character of the United States will be restored.