24 January, 2017
Former President Jimmy Carter says he wants to have a good relationship with President Donald Trump.
Carter served a single term as president of the United States. The Democratic Party nominated him as its presidential candidate in 1976. He won the election, but lost when he sought reelection four years later.
Carter is one of only two presidents in the past 40 years who has served only one term. The other is George H.W. Bush.
Carter has lived longer after leaving the White House than any other U.S. president. Trump is the sixth president he has seen take office since the swearing-in of Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Carter talks about his Christian beliefs at the Maranatha Baptist Church in the small town of Plains, Georgia, where he lives. On a recent Sunday, Carter said he and his family did not want Donald Trump, a Republican, to become president.
"We have 22 voters in our family. None of our family voted for him."
Some former and current Democratic lawmakers did not attend Trump's swearing-in last Friday. President George H.W. Bush was too sick to attend the ceremony. But all the other former presidents, including Jimmy Carter, came to Washington.
"I was the only former president for a long time that said he was going! But I felt like we needed to get to know the new president. I think we need to give him support."
Carter spoke to VOA reporter Kane Farabaugh at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The former president explained his way of thinking about the country's new leadership.
"We want to be helpful to them when they get in office so we hope that this relationship of supporting President Trump and his new administration will be both beneficial to them, and also to help when they think it's appropriate, us to reach our goals in those particular areas of the world."
Carter says he can help the Trump administration by sharing information gathered at Carter Center events.
"We're preparing a, a brief memorandum from me to the new secretary of state and new secretary of defense, for instance, on our mapping program inside Syria and what we have learned from President Putin and that sort of thing."
When he was president, Carter helped Israel and Egypt agree to end their disputes. The 1978 Camp David Accords were the first permanent peace agreement between the two countries. Carter says he hopes Trump will work to end conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
"We've had a full-time office in Jerusalem and in Ramallah in the West Bank and also in Gaza now for 35 years. And we have a lot of inside information on what's going on inside the boundary of what we call the Holy Land. And I want to share the information with them."
Carter was elected in 1976, a time when the United States was recovering from the scandals of the administration of Richard Nixon. Many Americans were angry with the government -- as they are now. They voted for Carter. Like Trump, he had never served in the federal government. In fact, while Carter served one term as governor of Georgia, Trump had never campaigned for political office until he ran for president.
"He never has been involved in politics before. So he has a lot to learn, he'll learn sometimes the hard way like I did"
I'm Pete Musto.
VOA Correspondent Kane Farabaugh reported this story. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted his report into Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
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Words in This Story
beneficial – adj. producing good or helpful results or effects; producing benefits
appropriate – adj. right or suited for some purpose or situation
particular – adj. used to indicate that one specific person or thing is being referred to and no others
memorandum – n. a usually brief written message or report from one person or department in a company or organization to another
scandal – n. an occurrence in which people are shocked and upset because of behavior that is morally or legally wrong