In the exclusive club of former presidents, not often does one declare his superiority to another. Former President Jimmy Carter appeared to do just that on Monday.
“I feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents,” Carter told NBC’s Brian Williams, citing his work on domestic and international issues that “fill vacuums in the world.”
“When the United States won’t deal with troubled areas, we go there and we meet their leaders who can bring an end to a conflict, or an end to human rights abuse, and so forth,” Carter said. “So I feel that have an advantage over many other former presidents in being involved in daily affairs that have shaped the policies of our nation and the world.”
Shortly after portions of his interview aired, the 39th president walked back his comments.
“What I meant was, for 27 years the Carter Center has provided me with superior opportunities to do good,” Carter said in a statement confirmed by CNN.
Carter is far from the only former president to fill humanitarian or charitable roles after their term in office. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush joined together in the wake of January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti to form the Bush Clinton Haiti Fund. George H.W. Bush teamed up with Clinton in 2005 after a tsunami washed ashore in south Asia killing over 200,000 people.
Carter is making the interview rounds to promote his new book written from a lengthy personal diary he kept via Dictaphone as president. He told CNN’s Larry King that his dictations produced 5,000 pages of written material.
“I think when the paperback of this book comes out, I’m going to make it available to scholars and news reporters to go to the presidential library and read the…taped original,” Carter told King Monday night on Larry King Live.