Carter's comments, in an interview on Friday, May 18, 2007, with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette included the following:
"I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."
"The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me."
"We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered," he said. "But that's been a radical departure from all previous administration policies."
It's the second major mea culpa this year from the Georgia Democrat, who in January apologized for what he called a "stupid" passage in his most recent book that many interpreted as a de facto endorsement of Palestinian violence against Israelis.
On May 22, 2007, Mr. Carter told NBC's "Today" program that he meant only to compare the Bush administration to that of former President Nixon's, as the latter has been both praised and panned by historians.
"No, that's not what I wanted to say. I wasn't comparing this administration with other administrations back through history but just with President Nixon."
Mr. Carter added that his comments were not meant as a personal insult to President Bush, stressing that he "certainly was not talking personally about any president."
Carter's lapsus linguae came in an interview published over the weekend in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."