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Jimmy Carter Tells CNBC He Would Have Been Re-Elected If He Had Just Been More Manly

Jimmy Carter turned 90 today. To help celebrate, London-based CNBC interviewed the former President and human rights activist about his life and legacy.

In the exclusive interview, Tanya Bryer asked Carter about the Iran Hostage crisis and how it impacted his re-election bid.

Carter candidly replied that he thought if he had only been more ‘manly’ about the whole thing, he might have served four more years in the White House, although he stood by his choice and his actions.

“I could’ve been re-elected if I’d taken military action against Iran, shown that I was strong and resolute and manly and so forth. But I think I could have wiped Iran off the map with the weapons that we had, but in the process a lot of innocent people would have been killed, probably including the hostages and so I stood up against all that advice, and then eventually my prayers were answered and every hostage came home safe and free,” Carter explained. “And so I think I made the right decision in retrospect, but it was not easy at the time.”

When asked about how he wanted to be remembered, Carter also said it was his human rights advocacy work, undertaken with his wife of 68-years Rosalynn at his side, that he hopes that history will recall when speaking about him and his impact on the world.

“I’d like to be remembered as a champion of peace and human rights,” the founder of the international humanitarian organization the Carter Center said.  “Those are the two things that I’ve found as kind of a guide for my life. I’ve done the best I could with those, not always successful of course, but I’d say peace and human rights.”

The full interview is available here (after October 1 at 7:00 pm EDT)

Photo Credit: Jimmy Carter/Public Domain

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Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.