President Jimmy Carter - The Colbert Interviews

  • Aired:  03/25/14
  •  | Views: 13,362

Stephen examines the life of Jimmy Carter, from his upbringing in Georgia to his post-presidential humanitarian work. (5:44)

FIRST, A LITTLE BACKGROUND ONTHE MAN YOU'VE NAMED YOUR

BUILDING AFTER.

JIM?

>> STEPHEN COLBERT PRESENTS --[ MUSIC ]

-- PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER.

THE COLBERT INTERVIEW.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>> Stephen: WELCOME TO THE

STEPHEN T. COLBERT NATIONALMUSEUM OF

JIMMY CARTER-ING.

JAMES EARL JONES CARTER, JR. WASBORN OCTOBER 1, 1924 IN PLAINS,

GEORGIA, THE ELDEST OF FOURCHILDREN TO BESSIE LILLIAN GORDY

AND JAMES EARL CARTER, APROMINENT PEANUT FARMER, WHICH

IS WHY TO THIS DAYCARTER MUST WEAR A LABEL

READING:"WARNING: MANUFACTURED IN A

FACILITY THATPROCESSES PEANUTS."

AFTER GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL,CARTER ATTENDED THE U.S. NAVAL

ACADEMY AND APPLIED TO WORK ONTHE FLEDGLING NUCLEAR SUBMARINE

PROGRAM.

IN 1952, HE DASHED INTO AMALFUNCTIONING NUCLEAR

REACTOR TO HELP SHUT IT DOWN.

AFTERWARDS, HE CELEBRATED HISSUCCESS BY DESTROYING TOKYO.

AFTER HIS FATHER PASSED AWAY IN1953, CARTER RETURNED HOME TO

RUN THE FAMILY BUSINESS, ENDINGA PROMISING NAVAL CAREER.

SADLY, HE NEVER ROSE ABOVE THERANK OF "COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF."

CARTER'S FAMILY THEN FELL ONHARD TIMES AND BRIEFLY LIVED IN

A GEORGIA HOUSING PROJECT,MAKING HIM THE ONLY PRESIDENT TO

HAVE "LIVED" IN PUBLICHOUSING...

OTHER THAN ALL OF THEM.

IN 1970, CARTER WAS ELECTEDGOVERNOR OF GEORGIA.

DID SOME STUFF, PROBABLY.

THEN, IN 1976, CARTER BECAME THEFIRST PRESIDENT SINCE ZACHARY

TAYLOR ELECTED FROM THE DEEPSOUTH.

NATURALLY, HE WAS SWORN IN ON ACHICKEN-FRIED BIBLE.

IN 1977, CARTER GAVE AWAY "OUR"CANAL TO SOME PLACE CALLED

PANAMA, ENRAGING A MAN I LIKE TOCALL RONALD REAGAN.

RONALD WILSON REAGAN WAS BORN IN19 --

WHAT'S THAT?

WRONG LIBRARY?

OKAY.

I'M SORRY.

LET'S GET HIM ON.

OKAY.

IN 1979, PRESIDENT CARTERNEGOTIATED THE

CAMP DAVID ACCORDS, WHICHBROUGHT PEACE BETWEEN EGYPT AND

ISRAEL, MARKING A PERIOD OFTRANQUILITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

THAT LASTED ALMOST 20 MINUTES.

DURING THE OIL CRISIS, CARTERSET AN ENERGY CONSERVATION

EXAMPLE AT THE WHITE HOUSE,WHERE HE TURNED DOWN THE

THERMOSTATSWORE SWEATERS TO KEEP WARM,

INSTALLED SOLAR PANELS ON THEROOF AND ATTACHED A

WINDMILL TO WALTER MONDALE.

1979 ALSO MARKED THE BEGINNINGOF THE IRAN HOSTAGE CRISIS, WHEN

OUR TEHRAN EMBASSY WAS STORMED,AND 52 AMERICANS WERE HELD

HOSTAGE, RESULTING IN A LOWAPPROVAL RATING FOR CARTER, AND

AN EVEN LOWER TRIP ADVISORRATING FOR THE IRANIAN EMBASSY.

RESCUE ATTEMPTS FAILED, BECAUSE,SADLY, AT THE TIME, BEN AFFLECK

WAS ONLY SEVEN YEARS OLD.

[ LAUGHTER ]ON JULY 15TH 1979, JIMMY CARTER

GAVE HISINFAMOUS "MALAISE" SPEECH,

WHICH, INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH,DIDN'T

ACTUALLY CONTAIN THE WORD"MALAISE."

JUST LIKE HOW DURING F.D.R.'SFIRESIDE CHATS, HE WASN'T

ACTUALLY ON FIRE.

NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW THAT.

IN 1980, CARTER DEFEATED TEDKENNEDY IN A HARD-FOUGHT

PRIMARY, AND WENT ON TO WIN THEGREATEST TITLE OF ALL, THE MAN

WHO LOST TO RONALD REAGAN.

RONALD WILSON REAGAN WAS BORN INTAMPICO, ILLINOIS --

WHAT?

STILL NOT DOING REAGAN?

FINE.

DEAL'S A DEAL.

AFTER HIS LOSS TO REAGAN,PRESIDENT CARTER BECAME "FORMER"

PRESIDENT CARTER, A TITLE HE HASSUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED FOR 33

YEARS, INCLUDING A 1987 SPLITDECISION AGAINST HECTOR "MACHO"

CAMACHO.

I LOST A "LOT" OF MONEY ON THAT.

WITHIN YEARS OF LEAVING OFFICE,JIMMY CARTER FOUNDED THE CARTER

CENTER, A HUMANITARIANORGANIZATION WHICH HAS FOUGHT

FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DISEASEPREVENTION.

AND FOR THREE DECADES, HE HASWORKED WITH HABITAT FOR

HUMANITY, BUILDING HOUSES FORTHE POOR ALL OVER THE WORLD --

IN AN OBVIOUS ATTEMPT TO LAUNCHHIS HGTV SHOW, "NAIL TO THE

CHIEF."

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]IN 2002, JIMMY CARTER WAS

AWARDED THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE,MAKING HIM THE ONLY NATIVE

GEORGIAN BESIDES MARTIN LUTHERKING TO HAVE WON THE

AWARD.

BUT GOOD LUCK NEXT YEAR.

HULK HOGAN.

IN SUMMATION, WHEN TALKING ABOUTOUR NATION'S PRESIDENTS, HISTORY

WILL RECOGNIZE JIMMY CARTER WASONE OF THEM.

CONGRATULATIONS, SIR.

BACK TO YOU, STEPHEN.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]THANK YOU, STEPHEN.

WHEN WE RETURN, I WILL SIT DOWNWITH THE 39TH PRESIDENT OF THE

UNITED STATES.

WHO'S THAT?

YOU'LL HAVE TO STICK AROUND TOFIND OUT.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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