In a preview of Wednesday’s Piers Morgan Tonight, former President Jimmy Carter surprised host Piers Morgan with his somewhat blunt (by mainstream media standards) assessment of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Speaking of Gingrich’s standing ovation moment at Monday night’s debate, President Carter told Morgan “I think (Gingrich) has that subtlety of racism that I know quite well, that Gingrich knows quite well, that appeals to some people in Georgia.”
“Really?” Morgan exclaimed as Carter spoke, later adding, “That’s a pretty serious charge to level at Newt Gingrich, that he’s being racist.”
“I’m not saying he’s racist, but he knows the subtle words to use to appeal to a racist group,” Carter responded.
“Same thing, isn’t it?” Morgan interjected.
“Not quite,” President Carter replied, adding “Newt Gingrich is probably as enlightened as I am about being gratified that we’re in the desegregation years in the South,” but “when you emphasize, over and over, welfare, food stamps, and ‘why don’t the black people get jobs,’ and if I’m president, I’ll make sure they turn toward a work ethic, rather than an ethic of welfare and food stamps, that’s appealing to the wrong element in South Carolina.”
Given the South Carolina debate crowd’s reaction to Gingrich, they may be, as Carter says, the “wrong crowd,” but they’re a big one.
You can see the rest of Piers Morgan’s interview with former President Jimmy Carter tonight at 9pm, on CNN.
Here’s the clip, from CNN:
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