tv Larry King Live CNN September 21, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT
>> larry: tonight, jimmy carter, the former president opens his white house diary. >> on the inaugural platform, my feelings were of regret i had lost the election but a sense of relief to be free of the responsibilities. >> larry: revealing bitter feelings about the late ted keedy,nnis take on barack obama and the hostage crisis in iran that probably cost him a second term. when's changed in the 30 years since he left office?
jimmy carter in his last hour-long interview with me next on "larry king live." >> larry: good evening. we're in new york with jimmy carter, the 39th president of the united states. the nobel prize laureate and co-founder of the carter center. best-selling author and new book, "white house diary." an extraordinary collection published. you kept a diary and now you're revealing it? >> well, i thought i'd wait 30 years and do it. >> larry: why wait? why wait? >> well, it was highly personal when i wrote it i never thought i would let it be published but i re-read it a few years ago and saw there were so many things that were pertinent today, the same issues i face are what
president obama is facing today. and also i thought it was good to have some where on the historical record that the actual day by day thoughts and dreams and ideas and failures and successes and impressions of other people that are still quite fresh in people's minds so those are the main things i wanted to point out. >> larry: were you before the presidency a diary keeper? >> no, i never did. as a matter of fact, the first time i thought about doing a diary is when i was governor and went up to the white house and met richard nixon, the first president i ever met standing there with billy graham and richard nixon, he kind of ignored me and he reached over and shook my wife's hand and said, young lady, are you keeping a diary? she said, no i don't. he said you ought to keep a diary. we talked about it. so when i became president, i said, why don't i keep a diary? it was really richard nixon who talked me into keeping a diary. >> larry: great story. did you just write it in pen? >> no. i dictated it. i had a small, hand held
dictaphone and i when i finished a tape, i never looked at it again. i put a new tape in and six or seven times every day i would dictate my latest thoughts about what i was planning, what i had succeeded in doing. and what my impressions were of people who just left the office so i tried to put down in my diary things that wouldn't come out in the public print. you know, every friday there's published every word a president says, every question he answers, every statement that he -- >> larry: in public, right? >> in public. so i try to put in my diary things that weren't going to be in the public diary so when i got home, i never looked at it again but when i got home i had 5,000 pages of diary notes that had been typed up. i still have those. two copies. one at home in my room in the study and one at the carter presidential library. this is about 20% of the total words in my original diary. >> larry: can you read it all if you go to the center?
>> after a year, i think when the paperback of this book comes back, i'll make it available to scholars and news reporters to go to the presidential library and read the original taped original. >> larry: i'm told if you're a diarist, that's what they call them, you must write every day no matter how bad the day. >> i did that. >> larry: you did that? >> yeah. i probably wrote more in the bad days than the good days because that was more memorable, more emotional for me and i wanted to get down how i felt about things and issues and people more than i did what i actually, you know, what i actually did and activities. >> larry: we'll have you read a couple of excerpts from the book but this is from the inauguration day, january 20th, 1977. we printed it out to make it easier. >> good. i think the inauguration speech itself, that's one of the briefest on record for the first inauguration for president. was quite compatible with my announcement speech of 1974 and also with my acceptance speech at the democratic convention. it accurately expressed some of
the major themes of my administration even though i had been preparing to be president, i was genuinely surprised when the benediction by the bishop of minnesota referred to blessings on president carter. just a phrase, president carter, was startling to me. well, you know, i had been a peanut farmer. you know who the first president, democratic president i ever met? bill clinton. >> larry: no kidding. >> no kidding. i was just out of the peanut fields. i met nixon, president nixon after i became governor so i was new at the presidential level and i was kind of startling to me to be called president. >> larry: how long does it take to get into the job? >> well, i had to get into that first day because i had a lot to do when i came off the reviewing stand. you know, immediately to make -- >> larry: i remember you walked. >> make official things that i had decided to do. one of the things i did was
among the most controversial i ever did and that was to pardon the so-called draft dodgers who escaped into canada. and i did that before i ever began to walk down toward the oval office. >> larry: wow. did that come up in the campaign, that issue? >> no, it never did. no. >> larry: but you knew you were going to do it? >> yes, i knew i was going to do it. a lot of people that were families of those men and a few women, i think, who went to canada and they were -- they wanted to come back home so i issued a blanket pardon for them. i got some criticism, obviously. a lot of folks thought they should be executed for treason and to forth. >> larry: it's funny -- not funny but that you are here on the opening day of the u.n. opening and your book is published at the same time and that iran is in the news. we'll be talking to president ahmadinejad on wednesday. >> all right. >> larry: and now we have this
lady held more than a year on spying charges and iran says they want eight arrested iranians released. what do you make of all of this? >> well, first of all, i think we ought to keep maximum communication with leaders and their nations with whom we disagree. and i know that president obama promised he was going to do that when he went into office. but i think that's important. and i don't know -- i don't know what charges are against the eight iranians. i understand they violated the sanction against iran somehow or another but i hope the two still remaining over there, her friend, would be released. i got back from north korea, i went over there to get a young man from boston, elijah gomes who walked across a frozen river from china to north korea and arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison and fined a $700,000. so i just got him out. but he made a mistake and he admitted it, he shouldn't have
gone into north korea so she -- they say that they didn't know they were crossing the border. >> larry: we have the one woman out. would you go there to try to get the other two? if they asked you? >> if i was asked to go, i would. but, you know, i'm not the most popular still in iran. although as soon as the shaw fell, left iran against my wishes, i immediately established diplomatic relations under the ayatollah khomeini and we had full communications. those were my diplomats under the revolutionary government captured. >> larry: we can never go a time without president carter making news and he has harsh words for ted kennedy about health care. very surprising. we'll talk about it ahead. don't go away.
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statement. i'll never betray the confidence that any of you had in me and i'll never avoid a controversial issue. >> larry: the book is "white house diary." jimmy carter. great cover. already making news. when's your read on ahmadinejad? we have interviewed him twice. this will be number three. >> well, i think he's deliberately trying to be provocative, say whatever he can to attract attention to himself. i think within certain bounds he stays within -- within the wishes of the religious figures, leaders, actually superior beings politically speaking in iran. he makes political statements sometimes maybe just to be controversial. i think he is very doubtful that he actually won the last election. although --
>> larry: do we take his seriously or not? >> i think you have to take his seriously because within as i said within bounds he speaks for the ultimate authorities in iran. when he says something. he couldn't get too far removed from what they want him to say. >> larry: all right. do you think iran today more or less a threat? >> i think -- >> larry: are you concerned about them? >> i am. yes, i am. because they feel isolated from the western world. first of all. and we make constant threats that we are going to bomb them as you know if they don't comply with our wishes on the nuclear proposals. i think they -- my own belief is they are planning to make a nuclear weapon. a nuclear explosive. they claim they are not. so that's of great concern to me because it will disturb the status quo in the middle east region. >> larry: so what do we do though? >> i would like to see us have more easy communication with them. to negotiate directly with them, talk to them. that's what obama promised before he was president.
so far we haven't been able to do that effectively. and they haven't responded favor ably either. i think communicate with them and stop threatening that we're going to attack them because if they're moderate i would say ultimate leaders and religious circles of iran who are doubtful about whether or not to have a nuclear weapon, the more we threaten them and isolate them from us the more likely they are to go with a nuclear weapon. >> larry: we have a new health care bill. >> yes. >> larry: first one in passed 75 years and in your book ted kennedy is perceived as the creator of this or inspired it. >> of course. >> larry: you say in your book the late senator killed health care refork back in 1978 and you describe him of having an irresponsible and abusive attitude, essentially accusing him of blocking health care out of personal spite. >> well, you know, let me point out once more that that actually was written 31 years ago and kennedy -- >> larry: that was your feelings at that time. >> he was running against me as
president. i was holding office. he was trying to take my office away from me and he and five other chairmen of the key committees dealing with health care worked with me preparing the poem i put forward and so the other five leaders stayed with me but at the last minute ted kennedy withdrew his support for what he had helped to draft and killed it in effect because he was a powerful and influential senator of that time and he was, i think, he had two motivations, i am guessing now. he didn't want to give me a great success and secondly i think he saw if he could kill my bill then maybe later on when he became president which he hoped to do in 1981 then he could put his own bill forward as a much more complete bill. >> larry: actually, that was written as you said 31 years ago but his former chief of staff called the criticism that you did in the book sad, classless, clearly embittered. you could have chosen to leave
that out. >> well, you know, i didn't leave out anything that i thought was pertinent. even though it was very frank and although i had great admiration for senator kennedy as one of the most wonderful and successful senators we ever had and i would say that after i left office, he and i became adequately reconciled. he worked closely with my wife on health legislation and we were basically friends after i left office. >> larry: it's an honest, that's what it was? >> that's what it was and i actually quote the laws that i put forward that would have given catastrophic coverage to everybody in america, add 16 million people that would have complete health insurance and in four years it would have given comprehensive health coverage to every person in america and it was killed. >> larry: our guest, former president jimmy carter. we have a lot to talk about. tea party, sarah palin, current state of politics and this incredible book. don't go away.
>> larry: back with president jimmy carter. "the white house diary" just published. this is its opening day, in a sense. obama signed the health care bill six months ago. what did you think of it and why are you -- are you surprised more americans oppose it than favor it? >> well, i was delighted when it passed. it thought it possibly could have been much more aggressive with a single pay simple system. that's what i personally preferred and he did the best he could under extremely difficult circumstances with no republicans helping him. and i think the negative aspect to it is because of a total distortion of the news that fox broadcasting has perpetrated on the american people when they hammer away day after day after day that his health program will kill old people and things of
that kind. a lot of gullible folks in the united states actually believe what fox puts forward as facts when most of it is just complete distortions and attempted to twist around what his religious faith is and whether or not he's an american and so forth so i think that's the new version of cable news that was not there thank goodness when i was there. but i would attribute most of the negative attitude, not to the facts, but to the distorted facts that comes out of the fox. >> larry: what do make of all this? tea party, fox, the glenn becks of the world. the phenomenon in a sense. what do you make of it? >> i'm disturbed about it. i can't criticize the tea party people because i came into the white house pretty much on a same basis that they have become popular. that is, dissatisfaction with the way things are going in washington and discouragement about the government, but that's what happened before i ran for president.
had it not been for that feeling in the country, i would not have been elected. for instance, we were just out of the embarrassment of watergate and the defeat in vietnam and the fact that a lot of people lied about what was going on in vietnam. the assassination of martin luther king jr. and both of the kennedy brothers. and the revelation by frank church committee that the american government and cia and some presidents perpetrated murder in other countries. all of that had brought about a feeling among the people that something was wrong in our government. and i think that's what's being utilized by the tea party people to arouses animosity. >> larry: are you saying all's fair? >> well, it is fair. my guess is that the tea party will be very influential in the upcoming election, in the midterm election, this coming november. my guess is that they'll soon be absorbed in each other will absorb the republican party and
the tea party movement so a couple of years from now maybe in 2012 when the president's elections come on i think the tea party will be not a unique, startling newcomer on the political scene but all hat stuff. >> larry: bill clinton called it a general revolt against bigness. >> i think it is a general revolt against something that many of them don't like, yes. >> larry: how much of it do you think is racist? we have a black president. >> i don't think the tea party people are racist. except maybe a tiny portion of them but there's been a deliberate effort, again, referring to fox broadcasting to inject the race issue into it. they have called obama a racist on television. and when they say, like, some of the leaders of the republican party have said that he's epitomizing the tribal influence of his father from kenya, you know, that obviously has
political connotations so i think -- i mean, racist connotations so i think some of it is racist but i don't blame the tea party movement for -- >> larry: what about gingrich -- and his recent suggestions. the anti-colonial -- >> i was talking about gingrich. i think that gingrich five years ago would be embarrassed of what gingrich is saying and doing today. >> larry: why isn't it embarrassing today? >> i think he has ambitions to be a presidential candidate and he thinks that to go hard right and to appeal to the extreme even tea party movement members may be beneficial to him politically. >> larry: all right. what is your read on obama? >> i think he's a good, solid, intelligent man who is suffering from perhaps the worst washington environment of any president in history and i would even include abraham lincoln as we led up to the woverton estates. no other president has faced
such a polarized congress where he can hardly get one or two votes, you know, out of hundreds who are republicans in the house and the senate. so he has had to overcome that and i think he's had remarkable success in light of that handicap. >> larry: president jimmy carter's our guest. the book is "white house diary." we'll be right back. d it too. saved ourselves the hassle. i'm not too sure about this. look at this. [ security agent ] right. you never kick off with sales figures. kicking off with sales figures! i'm yawning. i'm yawning some more. aaaaaaaand... [ snores ] i see your point. yeah. [ snores ] [ male announcer ] we understand.® you need a partner who delivers convenience. next time use fedex office.
nations of the world might say we have built a lasting peace based not on weapons of war but on international policies which reflect our own most precious values. >> larry: back with former president jimmy carter. the occasion is the publication of -- this is book number what? >> 26. >> larry: 26th book, "white house diary." and extraordinary account of his years in the presidency in which he kept a daily diary dictating every day, sometimes three, four times a day. all right. you write extensively, of course, about the mideast. i remember great interviews we did about -- >> i remember. >> larry: -- the summit of camp david and everything but most particularly about camp david and your reference then. you got a peace treaty that still exists. >> that's right.
not a word has been violated in 31 years. >> larry: amazing. >> larry: what are your expectations of this next go around? >> i think if anybody can be successful, hillary clinton is a right one to be a chief negotiator. she's competent. she knows her background. she's -- i think, very forceful. and she is determined to prevail and if she can get any sort of glimmer of accommodation by both sides at the same time i think she'll be successful but i wouldn't bet on it because i know that it's intransigence involved in. >> larry: how frustrating is it to be a deal maker there? >> well, it's very frustrating. as i wrote in my diary every day, i mean, i had probably 50 entries, what israel has wanted is to keep the west bank. and that's a main thing they haven't yielded on in 30 years. they gave up the sinai.
didn't want gaza strip ever. but they've always wanted to keep the west bank. so they've got now control over probably more than 50% of the west bank. including all of the jordan river valley and multiple settlements, as you know, between jerusalem and the jordan river so i think that's basically the cause of the problem. and if they would -- >> larry: israel's the cause by keeping it? >> well, there's faults on both sides but that's the thing that has not changed. of course, the palestinian issue has changed a lot. they have three elections. the carter center and i have been there for every election but obviously the unwillingness of the palestinians to make concessions and to agree to accept israel's existence and right to live in peace is a major factor as well and violence on both sides has been a major factor but the unchanging issue is israel's desire to keep the west bank. >> larry: when prime minister netanyahu was here a little while ago, he said he was open
to anything, just let's sit and talk. >> i pray that that's the case. >> larry: you don't believe it? >> i don't know. we'll have to see. i don't know. but i think hillary will give them every chance to make the right concessions to move forward. >> larry: you're impressed with her? >> yes, i am. i met with her the other day when i came back from north korea with messages from them leading toward denuclearization of the peninsula and peace. i enjoyed meeting with her. she was very open minded, inquisitive, knowledgeable. i know that she is a competent person who would do the best she can and i think that she sees the chance to do something that others haven't been able to do. >> larry: what about those on the far left of the extremists on both sides who hinder this process? >> that's -- >> larry: bombers, you know, the suicides. >> i know. that's a case on both sides as you say.
i would say web when he left camp david, he had made a much more courageous decision than sadat made or i. and that was a major step forward. and, of course, it led to a complete treaty of peace between israel and the other arab countries that threaten them, you know, militarily with whom they had been at war four times in a 25 years before i became president but israel didn't carry out the commitments that they made to me and president sadat and no more settlements and the west bank turned over to the palestinians but i have always admired begin because of that. >> larry: do you think you get a bad wrap over the israeli/palestinian issue from the israeli side? >> well, i lost a major portion of the israeli political support in 1980.
not all of it. i mean, but compared to what i had done in 1976 and what other democratic presidents have done and a lot of them felt that i took an even-handed stance between israel and the palestinians and even-handed is not acceptable to many people. and also, i have had severe criticisms from netanyahu and a few others because i gave away the sinai desert from israel back to egypt. so, that's comprehensible. i'm not complaining about it because i can see how people who are completely committed to israel won't have israel prevail on every issue. >> larry: we're talking about islamic center and ground zero next.
>> larry: we're back with former president jim any carter. the book is "white house diary." the obamas went to church yesterday. some said only because he's not basically a churchgoer and he was back in chicago and since it's because he's being tagged as non-christian. what do you make of that? >> well, i'm glad he went to church. and i don't think it was just that. i think he is a deeply religious person and obviously a christian and many presidents have not been to church. reagan didn't go to church. while he was president or before or after as a regular thing although i don't doubt his christianity. but different people have different approaches. i went to the first baptist church every sunday if i was at
camp david we had church -- >> larry: still a lay preacher? >> i teach the bible every sunday i'm home. >> larry: you went. you've always gone? >> yes, i have. >> larry: what do you make of obama going at this particular time? >> i'm glad he went. i think maybe i don't know his motivations. maybe he wanted to worship or let people be reminded accurately he is a devout christian and a prerogative of any human being including presidents. >> larry: what keeps your faith? with all you see around you. >> it's a -- it's a basic premise of my moral and practical life. i've been a christian all my life since i was 3 years old and was going to church. my father was a sunday schoolteacher like i am now. and it's been a great solace to me in times of trial and disappointment or sorrow or failure. or disillusionment. i pray more when -- the last
year i was in office than i ever have before or since while the hostages were being held. my prayer was never that i would prevail or win or anything but every hostage would come home safe and free and my prayers were answered as you know. and so i've been basically at ease with my faith. and i enjoy each sunday that i'm home about 35 times a year teaching the bible. i teach half the time in hebrew text, old testament and half the time in the new testament. >> larry: what do you make of the islamic center controversy here just a couple miles away from where we are? >> they ought to build it. they have a right to build it. this is a part of our nation's premise, freedom of religion and equality among religions as far as the preference of worshippers is concerned. i think it's gotten a little bit false to say they have a constitutional right to do it and they can't do it. i think they ought to go ahead and build it.
>> larry: you understand the unrest, though? >> i do. let them -- let there be some unrest. it's two complete blocks away from so-called holy ground of the disaster in 9/11. and it's not an intrusion on any other beliefs. and also, it's surrounded by i understand strip joints and commercial establishments and so forth. it's just a contrivance by people that want to arouse anti-islamic feelings. >> larry: what do you make of the president's handling so far of afghanistan? >> well, he inherited afghanistan problem. i was involved in the afghan problem from the beginning. on christmas day of 1979, the soviets began to haul in about 12,000 troops and they invaded afghanistan. that was a beginning of the problem. they stayed there about eight
years until gorbachev finally decided to bring them out and in that time i gave the afghan freedom fighters we called them every possible support i could in a clandestine or secret ways. in fact, all the weapons i gave them soviet weapons that we got from egypt and from saudi arabia and from pakistan. we didn't use american weapons. and eventually the freedom fighters prevailed. when the soviets did withdraw, gorbachev did it, i think if we had gone in there and spent a tenth as much as we're spending now on weapons and fighting and rebuilt afghanistan, it never would have been an opening for al qaeda to go in so i hope we'll get out of afghanistan as soon as is possible and maybe work with a moderate members of a taliban and there are many of them and try to have some accommodations with them. >> larry: all right. back with president carter after this. when you're trading a stock, every penny counts. i hate when the trade is done and you find out you paid more than the quote price.
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needs to be like a razor blade and go after the employment issue. be more forceful. >> yeah. well, i don't think there's any doubt that he sapped away a lot of his political popularity concentrating so heavily on getting the health bill passed and i think a lot of people feel, maybe legitimately, that if he had concentrated more on jobs, jobs, jobs instead of anything else he would be more politically popular now. but that was a great achievement for health care and i think in the long run it is very good for our country, but i believe that what colin said was accurate. i don't blame president obama for making that choice. >> larry: it is still a ways away but is he in political trouble? in 2012? >> i think the situation politically is going to be quite different in 2012 from what it is this time. i think in 2010 midterm elections, the democrats are
going to be faced with some pretty heavy defeats. i think that he's got plenty of time to repair any political damage. my hope is that we'll see some improvement made in employment and in the economy and so i believe he's got a good chance not only to be the nominee which i had to fight for which i don't think he'll have to fight for but to be re-elected. >> larry: you don't think any democrat would challenge him? >> i can't imagine that again. >> larry: is there any republican on the horizon you as a democrat worry about? >> well, i worry about whichever one they might choose because it's obviously going to be a tough campaign. and i would hate to see the republicans take over the white house and the house and maybe even the senate. i think our country would be put back there if that should happen economically and in every other way. so, i can't pick out one republican to concern me more than others. >> larry: what do you make of former governor palin?
>> i think she's a vivid, political person that has made a major impact on the consciousness of the america, both whether you like her or don't like her. i think she's extremely eloquent. she knows how to appeal to whatever audience is front of her and she has tremendous influence as she demonstrated for instance just recently in delaware and endorsed an unknown woman that prevailed in the republican primary. i think that even the republicans from what polls i have seen don't see her as a potential president. but they look on her with admiration. >> larry: do you see her as a potential president? >> i hope not, no. i don't see her as a potential president. >> larry: do you see her as a candidate? >> i think she'll be very shrewd
in miking a decision about whether or not to run for president depending on the polls showing her as being acceptable among republicans. if she sees she can get the republican nomination she'll go for it but so far according to the polls i'm completely outside of it. >> larry: have you ever seen this country as divided as it is? >> it's never been this divided. i don't think it was this divided even in the time of abraham lincoln. in the civil war, war between the states it was divided severely but no, it's not been this divided. you know, i had superb bipartisan support when i was president. as the years went by of my own presidency, and clinton -- i mean, excuse me, senator kennedy made more and more strong challenge to me, he accepted away the liberal democrats of the party and i turned to the moderate democrats and also to the republicans. but i had congressman michael in the house and baker in the senate. howard baker who really helped
me in -- on key votes so i got support of republicans and democrats. >> larry: no one like that around. >> no. there's no one like that around and now they have a solemn oath they take. if you're a republican, don't vote for obama no matter what he proposes. even if it's good stuff. >> larry: "white house diary." we'll be right back. ♪ when it's planes in the sky ♪ ♪ for a chain of supply, that's logistics ♪ ♪ when the parts for the line ♪ ♪ come precisely on time ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ a continuous link, that is always in sync ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ there will be no more stress ♪ ♪ cause you've called ups, that's logistics ♪ calcium plus vitamin d caltrate delivers 1200 mg to help reduce your risk of osteoporosis. it's never too late for caltrate. and now big news -- the same caltrate
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the threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. it is a crisis that strikes at the very hearlt and soul and spirit. we can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our lives and the loss of unity of purpose for your nation. . >> larry: we're going have the president read another except of the day he leaves office.
>> i had a sense of relief to be free of responsibilities for awhile. and persistent was my concern at the last minute the tajs might not be released. i watched as a spectator without emotional feelings. i thought it was nothing sfwhu just a collection of company material. i was glancing back at the secret service agent when the announcer said, would the president and first lady come forward? i had an inclination to stand up but realized he was talking about the regaagans and i realid they were in the plane. >> larry: you are critical of the press corps. does that stand?
>> yeah, i was critical of them. and. >> andrea: personality counts? >> i does a lot. and to be part of the environment. and you are part of the vimt too. and lyndon johnson had a halftime with the press corps. >> what do you make of jon stewart and -- i know you are a jon stewart fan. will you be on his show later today. what happen do you make of his rally? >> i think it's courageous. >> to restore senators. >> and prezefsh fear. it will be an interesting vent. it will a large turnout. it will a lot of humor and it will be interesting to see how
they avail any alignment to a liberal followsty and stay out of politics and retain their role as humorous. >> larry: it's a retaliation to the tea party and the glenn beck rally. >> that is what i sur mice. i don't think jon stewart told his viewers what his motivations are. but to bring rationality to thedy discussion. >> larry: jimmy carter is going to be 86. what he does have planned next? we'll be right back. ♪ [ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise,
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>> larry: we're back with president carter, the book "white house diary." what's next? you're not going to stop. >> no i just got back from north korea and china and we stay in touch with about 70 countries around the world. so i'll continue to do that work. most of our effort in the carter center is in diseases, curing
and preventing and eradicating terrible diseases that afflict the poorest and most helpless and needy people on earth so i'll stay involved in the carter center as long as i'm physically and mentally able. i'm still a professor at emory university. this is my 29th year as a professor and i'll still write a book every now and then. >> larry: i know that. many people you write about. ted kennedy, ronald reagan, jerry ford, anwar sadat, scoop jackson, robert byrd, they're all gone. does that give you pause? >> it does. >> larry: do you think about mortality? >> well, the book is dedicated to hamilton and powell, who are just about my own sons and helped me become president and governor. so it was with a great deal of emotion that i dedicated this book to them. but, yes, times change and people go on. and i think one thing i would like to remind the readers of this book, although there's some very controversial and sometimes critical comments in there about me and them, is that the book was written 30 years ago. and times have changed. and i changed my opinion about a
lot of people but -- >> larry: so read it with that? >> it's an absolutely frank, honest, undisturbed, unmodified -- i didn't change a single sentence. meaning in the book about what it means to be president and to point out 30 or 40 things in the book, really, that i had to address, they were very serious to me, that obama is having to address today. >> larry: frank sinatra told me the sad thing about aging is your friends are gone. >> that's exactly right. that's true. >> larry: same with you? >> it's sad. of course. and every year it seems like more and more of them pass away. some of those, much earlier than they should have like jody and hamilton who were a generation behind me. >> larry: and your brother? >> my brother billy who was 13 years younger than i was. so we have to be prepared for that. >> larry: how's your health? >> my heals