Former US President Jimmy Carter has hit out at long-time critic and Republican senator John McCain, suggesting he’d rather be a bad leader than a “warmonger.”
The comments came after McCain used the 39th president’s foreign policy legacy as an example of bad leadership in a criticism of President Barack Obama.
Speaking to a radio station in Phoenix, Mr McCain said: “I have never seen anything like this in my life. I thought Jimmy Carter was bad, but he pales in comparison to this president in my opinion.”
Carter, a Democrat who was elected President in 1977, had McCain’s comments put to him during an MSNBC interview at the John F Kennedy library in Boston.
“That’s a compliment to be coming from a warmonger,” Carter said – prompting applause from the audience.
“I have great admiration for him – Senator McCain was a hero in the navy as I was and suffered terribly as a prisoner of war – but in almost every debate in the Senate and public TV he always makes the choice of the most violent response to any challenge to our nation.
“He wants to go to war in this country and that country, and when President Obama refrains from taking the most extreme military action that’s when John McCain compares him to me.
“I was lucky enough, when I was president, to keep our country at peace and provide peace for others. I was lucky enough to go through my four years – we never dropped a bomb, never fired a missile, we never shot a bullet.”
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