Jimmy Carter Blames Ted Kennedy For Killing Earlier Health Overhaul

Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010. Erik S. Lesser/Associated Press hide caption

itoggle caption Erik S. Lesser/Associated Press

Remember that ancient Latin line that in translation means "Speak no ill of the dead?" Well, former President Jimmy Carter is having none of it, especially when it comes to his departed, one-time political nemesis, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Carter told CBS News' Lesley Stahl in a 60 Minutes interview scheduled for broadcast Sunday that Kennedy did what he could to derail his health care overhaul plan because the late senator wanted to deny Carter that victory.

CBS News is promoting the segment by releasing some juicy tidbits. An excerpt from the CBS News web site:

"The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy's deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed," he tells Stahl. "It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill," says Carter. And Kennedy, who then ran against the president for the democratic presidential nomination, did it out of spite says Carter. "He did not want to see me have a major success in that realm of life," he tells Stahl.

When the former president says "we would have had comprehensive health care now," but for what he describes as Kennedy's effort to scuttle the White House effort, is he implying that the legislation passed earlier this year wasn't comprehensive.

Or was it a case of the former president making the same point he has made numerous times over the years and failing to reframe it in light of the reality of the new health-care law?

It's unclear if during the course of his interview with Stahl, Carter mentioned that Kennedy said his greatest regret of his Senate career was not agreeing to another president's proposed health overhaul, that of Jimmy Carter.

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