Jimmy Carter and Bernie Sanders met Monday night for a conversation centering on human rights at the Carter Center in Georgia. The two discussed a number of important topics and at one point, Jimmy Carter casually revealed to the world that he voted for Sanders in the primary, according to the Daily Beast.
Bernie Sanders answered a question about how we can revitalize democracy in the United States and start to achieve voting levels equal to those seen in Sunday’s election in France, where upwards of 75 percent of the French citizenry cast their votes.
“I don’t think the real change that we need will take place in the U.S. Senate or in Washington,” Sanders said. “It’s going to take place at the grassroots level from one end of this country to the other. In many ways, Donald Trump did not win the election. The Democratic Party lost the election. That means we have got to revitalize the Democratic Party and make it a grassroots party and bring together black workers, and white workers, and Latino workers, and Asian-American and Native American workers.”
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) May 8, 2017
Sanders then went on to express the need to reach out to Americans in all 50 states rather than stick to the typical Democratic Party strategy of campaigning in only traditional liberal and swing states.
“I have spent a lot of my time recently not going just to ‘blue states,’ but going to conservative states,” Sanders said. “If you go to states like Kansas, or you go to states like Nebraska, which are both strongly Republican states, and you ask people ‘do you believe that it makes sense to give tax breaks to billionaires and cut back on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,’ people look at you like you’re crazy.”
After Sanders finished detailing his view that the Democratic Party needs to reach out to Americans across the country with a strong progressive agenda focused on helping the middle class and working Americans rather than serving the interests of corporations and the wealthy, Jimmy Carter for the first time revealed that he voted for Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Party primary.
Jimmy Carter asked the crowd, “can y’all see why I voted for him?”
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) May 9, 2017
According to the Hill, Jimmy Carter endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, though his words at the time seemed to express that he might have preferred another candidate.
“It’s been an exciting and unprecedented kind of campaign this year, and unfortunately, the way it’s turned out, both choices in the major parties are quite unpopular,” Carter said last August. “But I don’t have any doubt that one of the candidates is better qualified than the other. Everybody knows I’m Democratic, and I’ll be voting Democratic.”
Bernie Sanders and Jimmy Carter met at the Carter Center to discuss human rights and spoke for about 40 minutes about the state of the country and the world. Among the topics discussed were war, the United States criminal justice system, income inequality, healthcare, the growing oligarchy in the United States, and a number of other topics.
After the discussion, Bernie Sanders answered some questions from the audience concerning topics related to human rights, such as a letter Bernie Sanders recently signed concerning an alleged anti-Israel bias in the United Nations. Sanders has been criticized by some human rights activists for signing the letter, which some see as a call to stop criticism of Israel. Sanders stated that he signed the letter not to prevent criticism of Israel but to highlight what he sees as unfair treatment of Israel in the United Nations.
The conversation between Jimmy Carter and Bernie Sanders is the first time the two have held such a joint event.
[Featured Image by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images]