Speaking yesterday at the annual Carter Center’s Human Rights Defenders Forum, former U.S presidential candidate Bernie Sanders described President Trump’s inconsistencies when it comes to human rights and noted his frequent factual inaccuracies. Former President Jimmy Carter, meanwhile, made no secret of the fact that he had voted for highly-respected human rights advocate Bernie Sanders at the Democratic primary over Hillary Clinton.
Both Jimmy Carter and Bernie Sanders were vocal about the mutual respect and admiration they shared, with Bernie Sanders opening the forum and paying homage to Mr. Carter and his family.
“Let me express my joy at being here at the Carter Center, with a man who is not only respected by the vast majority of the people of our country, those who agree with him politically and those who disagree, but has lived his life with Mrs. Carter and Amy, with incredible dignity so that we are all so proud of what you have achieved, as president and afterwards.”
Echoing the rallying cry from his campaign speeches, Bernie Sanders blamed low voter turnout for the recent Republican victory, to which President Carter replied, “Y’all see why I voted for him?!”
The media has long speculated that the Clintons and Carters do not share the warmest of relationships. Their long and somewhat fraught connection spans more than three decades, with former President Bill Clinton blaming Mr. Carter for him losing the governorship of Arkansas in 1980. At the time, Clinton’s campaign was dogged by rioting Cuban refugees who had escaped from a local army fort and into the community.
In 1992, when Clinton ran for president, he noted the stark differences between himself and former President Jimmy Carter, claiming, “Jimmy Carter and I are as different as daylight and dark.”
President Carter, for his part, withheld his endorsement of Bill Clinton and sniped that, “People are looking for somebody who is honest and tells the truth.”
At the inauguration of President Barak Obama, the two former presidents failed to acknowledge one other. During Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter described both Clinton and Trump as “quite unpopular.” He did, however, note that one of the candidates is more suitably qualified than the other. It comes as no surprise that former President Carter backed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
The two politicians and human rights advocates discussed the rise of authoritarianism both in the U.S and globally, with each agreeing that the root cause lies with political and economic inequality and income disparity. Former President Carter noted how the prison population had grown seven-fold since his time in office and how hard-working, middle-class Americans are working longer hours than they were 20 years ago, producing more yet earning less.
In the same vein, while speaking to the Guardian in March, Bernie Sanders describes how President Trump is driving America towards a path of authoritarianism. The passionate and often outspoken senator goes further and suggests that Trump is deliberately misleading the American people with the intention of eroding their faith in American democracy.
Branding President Trump a liar, Sanders states, “These are very scary times for the people of the United States, and… for the whole world. We have a president who is a pathological liar. Trump lies all of the time. He lies in order to undermine the foundations of American democracy.”
Speaking at yesterday’s event, Bernie Sanders reiterated that he believes Donald Trump is a liar, claiming he “lies all the time,” adding that President Trump’s views are inconsistent and that his statements are often factually incorrect.
The two senators were in broad agreement about a range of human rights issues at yesterday’s meeting.
[Featured Image by Eddie Mulholland/Getty Images]