NYT: White House Says Carter Criticism of Bush Is Sad
May 21, 2007
White House Says Carter Criticism of Bush Is `Sad'
By JIM RUTENBERG
CRAWFORD, Tex., May 20 It is a relatively genteel club, with a
membership that has dwindled to four in number: Those who know,
firsthand, the pressures and challenges of being the leader of the
That shared knowledge has traditionally transcended politics to bring
together such diverse political figures as President Bush and his
predecessor, Bill Clinton; Mr. Clinton and the first President Bush;
and Jimmy Carter and the late Gerald Ford.
But, in a break with this norm, Mr. Carter delivered a blistering
critique of President Bush in two interviews released Saturday. And,
on Sunday, the White House responded in kind, calling his comments
"sad" and Mr. Carter himself "irrelevant."
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation that was
broadcast on Saturday, Mr. Carter talked about Tony Blair, the
outgoing British prime minister, and his relationship with Mr. Bush,
calling it "loyal, blind, apparently subservient."
In a telephone interview with The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published
on Saturday, Mr. Carter said, "I think as far as the adverse impact on
the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in
The deputy White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, responded Sunday while
speaking with reporters in a middle school gymnasium near Mr. Bush's
"I think it's sad that President Carter's reckless and personal
criticism is out there," Mr. Fratto said. "I think it's unfortunate,
and I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these
kinds of comments."
Mr. Fratto said he could not say whether the president knew about Mr.