Jimmy Carter: Wilson comments 'based on racism'



Carter Claims There Is "Racist" Tone Against ObamaIn an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, former President Jimmy Carter said he has been extremely bothered by the heightened climate of racial and other hate speech since the election of President Barack Obama

AUDIO: Wilson Responds To Carter: "You Need To Get Focused On The Issues"


ATLANTA (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst to President Barack Obama during a speech to Congress last week was an act "based on racism" and rooted in fears of a black president.

"I think it's based on racism," Carter said in response to an audience question at a town hall held at his presidential center in Atlanta. "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president."

The Georgia Democrat said the outburst was a part of a disturbing trend directed at the president that has included demonstrators equating Obama to Nazi leaders.

"Those kind of things are not just casual outcomes of a sincere debate on whether we should have a national program on health care," he said. "It's deeper than that."

Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, was formally rebuked Tuesday in a House vote for shouting "You lie!" during Obama's speech to Congress last Wednesday.

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