Jimmy Carter is miffed that Barack Obama doesn't consult him on world crises. The four men who served between the two – Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and both Bushes – would ask for his advice and help on dealing with "unsavory characters." But not Obama, and Carter says it is because of his persistent criticism of Israel.
Carter feels his harsh criticism of Israel over many years has made him very unpopular in the Jewish community and Obama doesn't want to offend his Jewish supporters.
“I think the problem was that -- in dealing with the issue of peace between Israel and Egypt -- the Carter Center has taken a very strong and public position of equal treatment between the Palestinians and the Israelis. And I think this was a sensitive area in which the president didn't want to be involved,” he told NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press Sunday.
His perceived hostility toward Israel and strong support for the Palestinians was also a factor in his 1980 election defeat, helping Reagan win the largest number of Jewish votes – 39 percent -- of any Republican from 1920 to today.
Obama may not want his advice, but Carter thinks the government wants to know what he is telling people in private. "I have felt that my own communications are probably monitored," he told NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press Sunday. He offered no evidence.
It's no great secret that his fellow former presidents aren't too fond of Jimmy Carter. All you have to do is look at a photo of that little fraternity's latest Oval Office reunion showing Obama, both Bushes and Clinton standing together amiably and there was Ole Jimmy off to the side alone.
Carter, 89, is on tour publicizing his new book "A Call to Action."
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