Jimmy Carter says attacks on Obama partially based on race

Joe Wilson’s outburst during Barack Obama’s address to the nation over the healthcare debate is the partisan gift that keeps on giving, as Jimmy Carter’s gone stirring the pot again.

Carter, in an interview with NBC, drew on his decades of experience as a southerner and said while the south and the country in general have made great strides regarding race relations, that a lot of the criticism lobbed at President Obama is based in the inability to accept a black man as Commander in Chief. Carter said:

“That racism inclination still exists, and I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people — not just in the South but around the country — that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”

Not everyone agrees, though- Michael Steele, first black chair of the RNC, expressed his displeasure at Carter’s POV in a statement:

“President Carter is flat out wrong. This isn’t about race. It is about policy. This is a pathetic distraction by Democrats to shift attention away from the president’s wildly unpopular government-run health care plan that the American people simply oppose. Injecting race into the debate over critical issues facing American families doesn’t create jobs, reform our health care system or reduce the growing deficit. It only divides Americans rather than uniting us to find solutions to challenges facing our nation.”

Unfortunately for Carter, the remarks seemed to polarize people even further. While the left nodded in agreement about what they perceive as an ongoing effort to delegitimize our first black president, the right bristled at what they see as attempts to silence their opinions with accusations of racism. What do you think? Below is a video of Carter discussing his view of the controversy surrounding President Obama and the healthcare debate.