All Time Famous Jimmy Carter Quotes

Jimmy Carter Quotes

James Earl “Jimmy” Carter Jr. was born on October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. A former peanut farmer and naval officer, Carter served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. Elected in 1976, he emphasized human rights in his foreign policy and brokered the Camp David Accords, securing peace between Israel and Egypt. Carter faced challenges, including the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis. Post-presidency, he became known for humanitarian work and conflict resolution. Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his efforts. His legacy includes the Carter Center, promoting democracy and global health. Despite mixed reviews of his presidency, Carter remains an influential figure in American politics and diplomacy.

Jimmy Carter Quotes

1. “We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.”
— Jimmy Carter

2. “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”
— Jimmy Carter

3. “Let us learn together and laugh together and work together and pray together, confident that in the end we will triumph together in the right.”
— Jimmy Carter

4. “You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can.”
— Jimmy Carter

5. “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.”
— Jimmy Carter

6. “We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.”
— Jimmy Carter

7. “Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”
— Jimmy Carter

8. “We’ve got to stop crying and start sweating, stop talking and start walking, stop cursing and start praying. The strength we need will not come from the White House, but from every house in America.”
— Jimmy Carter

9. “Whether the borders that divide us are picket fences or national boundaries, we are all neighbors in a global community.”
— Jimmy Carter

10. “Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”
— Jimmy Carter

11. “The bond of our common humanity is stronger than the divisiveness of our fears and prejudices.”
— Jimmy Carter

12. “I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”
— Jimmy Carter

13. “Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but rather by what one owns.”
— Jimmy Carter

14. “Everyone has a right to peaceful coexistence, the basic personal freedoms, the alleviation of suffering, and the opportunity to lead a productive life…”
— Jimmy Carter

15. “I will never lie to you.”
— Jimmy Carter

16. “The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.”
— Jimmy Carter

17. “To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others.”
— Jimmy Carter

18. “Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent.”
— Jimmy Carter

19. “God always answers prayers. Sometimes it’s ‘yes.’ Sometimes the answer is ‘no.’ Sometimes it’s ’you gotta be kidding.”
— Jimmy Carter

20. “Life is just too short to go quail hunting with the wrong people.”
— Jimmy Carter

21. “We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences don’t make us weak. They’re the source of our strength.”
— Jimmy Carter

22. “You always get back much more than you give.”
— Jimmy Carter

23. “I am no big shot. I am not anybody’s boss. I want to be everybody’s servant.”
— Jimmy Carter

24. “We have a tendency to condemn people who are different from us, to define their sins as paramount and our own sinfulness as being insignificant.”
— Jimmy Carter

25. “We’ll never know whether something new and wonderful is possible unless we try. Let’s scratch our heads, stretch our minds, be adventurous! Serve God with boldness, and who knows what wonders the Lord may work?”
— Jimmy Carter

26. “If you’re totally illiterate and living on one dollar a day, the benefits of globalization never come to you.”
— Jimmy Carter

27. “My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now when people wave at me, they use all their fingers.”
— Jimmy Carter

28. “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying that you want a country based on Christian values. Because you don’t!”
— Jimmy Carter

29. “We know that a peaceful world cannot long exist, one-third rich and two-thirds hungry.”
— Jimmy Carter

30. “To me, Faith is not just a noun but also a verb.”
— Jimmy Carter

31. “Failure is a reality; we all fail at times, and it’s painful when we do. But it’s better to fail while striving for something wonderful, challenging, adventurous, and uncertain than to say, ” I don’t want to try because I may not succeed completely.”
— Jimmy Carter

32. “We must make it clear that a platform of ‘I hate gay men and women’ is not a way to become president of the United States.”
— Jimmy Carter

33. “I’m a peanut farmer at heart, still grow peanuts on my farm in Georgia.”
— Jimmy Carter

34. “The best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation.”
— Jimmy Carter

35. “I’ve never won an argument with my wife, and the only time I thought I had I found out the argument wasn’t over yet.”
— Jimmy Carter

36. “Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”
— Jimmy Carter

37. “America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense human rights invented America.”
— Jimmy Carter

38. “I believe that we are saved by the grace of God because he loves us provided that we have faith in Jesus Christ.”
— Jimmy Carter

39. “Whatever starts in California unfortunately has an inclination to spread.”
— Jimmy Carter

40. “In many courts, plea bargaining serves the convenience of the judge and the lawyers, not the ends of justice, because the courts simply lack the time to give everyone a fair trial.”
— Jimmy Carter

41. “It’s clear that the true problems of our Nation are much deeper – deeper than gasoline lines of energy shortages, deeper even than inflation or recession. And I realize more than ever that as President I need your help. So, I decided to reach out and listen to the voices of America.”
— Jimmy Carter

42. “God wisely designed the human body so that we can neither pat our own backs nor kick ourselves too easily.”
— Jimmy Carter

43. “Jerry Falwell can go straight to hell – and I mean that in a Christian way.”
— Jimmy Carter

44. “I let God be the judge and I believe that we worship a just and fair God who won’t punish innocent people unnecessarily.”
— Jimmy Carter

45. “Too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption.”
— Jimmy Carter

46. “Because we are free, we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere.”
— Jimmy Carter

47. “I have never been happier, more exhilarated, at peace, rested, inspired, and aware of the grandeur of the universe and the greatness of God than when I find myself in a natural setting not much changed from the way He made it.”
— Jimmy Carter

48. “Iran is an island of stability in a turbulent corner of the world.”
— Jimmy Carter

49. “If you fear making anyone mad, then you ultimately probe for the lowest common denominator of human achievement.”
— Jimmy Carter

50. “Today, in directly harnessing the power of the Sun, we’re taking the energy that God gave us, the most renewable energy that we will ever see, and using it to replace our dwindling supplies of fossil fuels.”
— Jimmy Carter

51. “Human rights is the soul of our foreign policy because human rights is the very soul of our sense of nationhood.”
— Jimmy Carter

52. “Our Income Tax System is a disgrace to the human race.”
— Jimmy Carter

53. “When combined, the small individual contributors of caring, friendship, forgiveness, and love, each of us different from our next-door neighbors, can form a phalanx, an army, with great capability.”
— Jimmy Carter

54. “In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption .”
— Jimmy Carter

55. “We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now we can control our future instead of letting the future control us.”
— Jimmy Carter

56. “It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature’s gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever.”
— Jimmy Carter

57. “This intolerable dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic independence and the very security of our nation. The energy crisis is real. It is worldwide. It is a clear and present danger to our nation. These are facts and we simply must face them.”
— Jimmy Carter

58. “The abuse of women and girls is the most pervasive and unaddressed human right violation on earth.”
— Jimmy Carter

59. “But I am not discouraged. I do not despair for our country. I believe tonight, as I always have, that the essential decency, compassion and common sense of the American people will prevail.”
— Jimmy Carter

60. “The experience of democracy is like the experience of life itself always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested by adversity.”
— Jimmy Carter

61. “I am pro-Israeli, not because of political expediency, but because I believe Israel is the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.”
— Jimmy Carter

62. “The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.”
— Jimmy Carter

63. “Ours is the most wasteful nation on Earth. We waste more energy than we import. With about the same standard of living, we use twice as much energy per person as do other countries like Germany, Japan, and Sweden.”
— Jimmy Carter

64. “I’ve committed adultery in my heart.”
— Jimmy Carter

65. “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.”
— Jimmy Carter

66. “Everyone who has run knows that its most important value is in removing tension and allowing a release from whatever other cares the day may bring.”
— Jimmy Carter

67. “It’s a terrible and tragic and counterproductive policy to avoid communicating with people who disagree with us.”
— Jimmy Carter

68. “Our values are not luxuries, but necessities. They are not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself.”
— Jimmy Carter

69. “I am not here as a public official, but as a citizen of a troubled world who finds hope in a growing consensus that the generally accepted goals of society are peace, freedom, human rights, environmental quality, the alleviation of suffering, and the rule of law.”
— Jimmy Carter

70. “I have a very real political awareness that at least on a transient basis the more drastic action taken by the president, the more popular it is.”
— Jimmy Carter

71. “The pre-eminent obstacle to peace is Israel’s colonization of Palestine.”
— Jimmy Carter

72. “There was promulgation of false propaganda by the administration about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There was promulgation of false propaganda about Iraq as a base for Al Qaeda.”
— Jimmy Carter

73. “You just have to have a simple faith.”
— Jimmy Carter

74. “We cannot change the history of the past.”
— Jimmy Carter

75. “It’s not necessary to fear the prospect of failure but to be determined not to fail.”
— Jimmy Carter

76. “Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”
— Jimmy Carter

77. “I remember the last three days that I was president, I never went to bed at all. I never went to bed until we had negotiated the final release of the hostages.”
— Jimmy Carter

78. “Nearly all inmates are drawn from the ranks of the powerless and the poor. A child of privilege frequently receives the benefit of the doubt; a child of poverty seldom does.”
— Jimmy Carter

79. “This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe.”
— Jimmy Carter

80. “I say to you quite frankly that the time for racial discrimination is over.”
— Jimmy Carter

81. “Wherever life takes us, there are always moments of wonder.”
— Jimmy Carter

82. “I look forward to these confrontations with the press to kind of balance up the nice and pleasant things that come to me as president.”
— Jimmy Carter

83. “People make a big fuss over you when you’re President. But I’m very serious about doing everything I can to make sure that it doesn’t go to my head.”
— Jimmy Carter

84. “I think there ought to be a strict separation or wall built between our religious faith and our practice of political authority in office. I don’t think the President of the United States should extoll Christianity if he happens to be a Christian at the expense of Judaism, Islam or other faiths.”
— Jimmy Carter

85. “Throughout my life, I’ve seen the difference that volunteering efforts can make in people’s lives. I know the personal value of service as a local volunteer.”
— Jimmy Carter

86. “Many of the most highly publicized events of my presidency are not nearly as memorable or significant in my life as fishing with my daddy.”
— Jimmy Carter

87. “No matter where you go in the world in any country in Africa or Latin America and other place, you will find that China is very deeply involved in the affairs of that country.”
— Jimmy Carter

88. “Hubert Horatio Hornblower…”
— Jimmy Carter

89. “I have often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can’t get my wife to go swimming.”
— Jimmy Carter

90. “Our individual fates are linked our futures intertwined.”
— Jimmy Carter

91. “For the first time in the history of our country the majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years.”
— Jimmy Carter

92. “History teaches, perhaps, very few clear lessons. But surely one such lesson learned by the world at great cost is that aggression, unopposed, becomes a contagious disease.”
— Jimmy Carter

93. “When I was in the White House, I was confronted with the challenge of the Cold War. Both the Soviet Union and I had 30,000 nuclear weapons that could destroy the entire earth and I had to maintain the peace.”
— Jimmy Carter

94. “Spirit is like the wind, in that we can’t see it but can see its effects, which are profound.”
— Jimmy Carter

95. “I’ll never tell a lie. I’ll never make a misleading statement. I’ll never betray the confidence that any of you had in me. And I’ll never avoid a controversial issue.”
— Jimmy Carter

96. “Two centuries ago our nation’s birth was a milestone in the long quest for freedom, but the bold and brilliant dream which excited the founders of our nation still awaits its consummation. I have no new dream to set forth today, but rather urge a fresh faith in the old dream.”
— Jimmy Carter

97. “We should live our lives as though Christ was coming this afternoon.”
— Jimmy Carter

98. “In this great country of ours, it is inexcusable that so many children grow up in poverty and despair. The well-being of our children must be the national priority and the responsibility of every individual…”
— Jimmy Carter

99. “My proudest accomplishment was that I never dropped a bomb, fired a bullet, or shot a missile.”
— Jimmy Carter

100. “A joyous occasion is never quite as wonderful as when it becomes a memory.”
— Jimmy Carter

101. “There should be an honest attempt at the reconciliation of differences before resorting to combat.”
— Jimmy Carter

102. “We simply must have faith in each other, faith in our ability to govern ourselves, and faith in the future of this Nation. Restoring that faith and that confidence to America is now the most important task we face.”
— Jimmy Carter

103. “In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect.”
— Jimmy Carter

104. “Habitat has opened up unprecedented opportunities for me to cross the chasm that separates those of us who are free, safe, financially secure, well fed and housed, and influential enough to shape our own destiny from our neighbors who enjoy few, if any, of these advantages of life.”
— Jimmy Carter

105. “If I become President, I’ll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public, and the scientists. I am convinced that UFOs exist because I’ve seen one…”
— Jimmy Carter

106. “Being president is as difficult as writing the perfect poem. And being president is as effortless as writing the perfect poem. Always a Reckoning, my first collection of poetry, was described by Booklist as ‘keenly evocative.’”
— Jimmy Carter

107. “We have a special relationship with Israel. It’s absolutely crucial that no one in our country or around the world ever doubt that our number one commitment in the Middle East is to protect the right of Israel to exist, to exist permanently, and to exist in peace. It’s a special relationship.”
— Jimmy Carter

108. “It is difficult for the common good to prevail against the intense concentration of those who have a special interest, especially if the decisions are made behind locked doors.”
— Jimmy Carter

109. “I just look at death as not a threat. It’s inevitable, and I have an assurance of eternal life.”
— Jimmy Carter

110. “Later, when Bob Hope came to visit us, he made a wisecrack about being a Republican and I announced that he would be moving from the Lincoln Bedroom to sleep in Amy’s tree house.”
— Jimmy Carter

111. “I’ve looked on many women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me.”
— Jimmy Carter

112. “Habitat gives us an opportunity which is very difficult to find: to reach out and work side by side with those who never have had a decent home but work with them on a completely equal basis. It’s not a big-shot, little-shot relationship. It’s a sense of equality.”
— Jimmy Carter

113. “We believe in separation of church and state, that there should be no unwarranted influence on the church or religion by the state, and vice versa.”
— Jimmy Carter

114. “The awareness that health is dependent upon habits that we control makes us the first generation in history that to a large extent determines its own destiny.”
— Jimmy Carter

115. “We can choose to alleviate suffering. We can choose to work together for peace. We can make these changes – and we must.”
— Jimmy Carter

116. “But love must be aggressively translated into simple justice.”
— Jimmy Carter

117. “A country will have authority and influence because of moral factors, not its military strength; because it can be humble and not blatant and arrogant; because our people want to serve others and not dominate others. And a nation without morality will soon lose its influence around the world.”
— Jimmy Carter

118. “The first time I ever saw snow skis was when I was 62 years old and that was 19 years ago and I’m still skiing. So, we’ll be skiing with some very close friends of the Carter Center letting them know what the Carter Center is doing around the world. We have programs in over 65 countries.”
— Jimmy Carter

119. “Our American values are not luxuries but necessities, not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself. Our common vision of a free and just society is our greatest source of cohesion at home and strength abroad, greater than the bounty of our material blessings.”
— Jimmy Carter

120. “No poor, rural, weak, or black person should ever again have to bear the additional burden of being deprived of the opportunity for an education, a job, or simple justice.”
— Jimmy Carter

121. “I would describe fundamentalism as, first of all, a movement led almost invariably by authoritarian males who consider themselves to be superior to others and who have an overwhelming commitment to subjugate women and to dominate their fellow believers.”
— Jimmy Carter

122. “You can not divorce religious belief and public service. I’ve never detected any conflict between God’s will and my political duty. If you violate one, you violate the other.”
— Jimmy Carter

123. “In the bible, homosexuality is condemned, but along with divorce and greed and callousness toward poor people. So its elevation to a highest priority among some religious groups has been very disturbing to me.”
— Jimmy Carter

124. “Being confident of our own future, we are now free of that inordinate fear of communism which once led us to embrace any dictator who joined us in that fear. I’m glad that that’s being changed.”
— Jimmy Carter

125. “The test of a government is not how popular it is with the powerful and privileged few but how honestly and fairly it deals with the many who must depend on it.”
— Jimmy Carter

126. “There’s no doubt that the Christian right has gone to bed with the more conservative elements of the Republican Party. And there’s been a melding in their goals when it comes to the separation of church and state. I’ve always believed in the separation of church and state.”
— Jimmy Carter

127. “The drug culture has shaped at least one major change since the Sixties; It became the basis for overloading our prisons.”
— Jimmy Carter

128. “We cannot be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of the weapons of war.”
— Jimmy Carter

129. “Aggression unopposed becomes a contagious disease.”
— Jimmy Carter

130. “When I was elected President nobody asked me to negotiate between Israel and Egypt. It was not even a question raised in my campaign. But I felt that one of the reasons that I was elected President was to try to bring peace to the Holy Land.”
— Jimmy Carter

131. “America has no functioning democracy at this moment.”
— Jimmy Carter

132. “When people are intimidated about having their own opinions, oppression is at hand.”
— Jimmy Carter

133. “Because I know about the Holy Land, I’ve taught lessons about the Holy Land all my life, and – but you can’t bring peace to Israel without giving the Palestinian also peace. And Lebanon and Jordan and Syria as well.”
— Jimmy Carter

134. “Republicans are men of narrow vision, who are afraid of the future.”
— Jimmy Carter

135. “Last night when I was commenting on the FBI and the CIA, the sound went off for 27 minutes. I should have known better.”
— Jimmy Carter

136. “My decision to register women confirms what is already obvious throughout our society-that women are now providing all types of skills in every profession. The military should be no exception.”
— Jimmy Carter

137. “Thoughtful criticism and close scrutiny of all government officials by the press and the public are an important part of our democratic society.”
— Jimmy Carter

138. “Testing oneself is best when done alone.”
— Jimmy Carter

139. “Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the President and the Congress to govern this Nation. This difficult effort will be the moral equivalent of war, except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not to destroy.”
— Jimmy Carter

140. “Americans long thought that nature could take care of itself or that if it did not, the consequences were someone else’s problem. As we know now, that assumption was wrong; none of us is a stranger to environmental problems.”
— Jimmy Carter

141. “It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine, to suggest that Israel comply with international law or to speak in defense of justice or human rights for Palestinians. If they did so, they couldn’t be reelected.”
— Jimmy Carter

142. “I can’t deny I’m a better ex-president than I was a president.”
— Jimmy Carter

143. “I don’t think that the total creation took place in six days as we now measure time. If we can confirm, say, the Big Bang theory, that doesn’t at all cause me to question my faith that God created the Big Bang.”
— Jimmy Carter

144. “I don’t laugh at people anymore when they say they’ve seen UFOs. I’ve seen one myself!”
— Jimmy Carter

145. “We have no desire to be the world’s policeman. But America does want to be the world’s peacemaker.”
— Jimmy Carter

146. “America has always been a country of innovation and dynamism, entrepreneurship. And I think that one of the things that has made our country great too is its heterogeneous population where people come here from all over the world.”
— Jimmy Carter

147. “We’ve become increasingly addicted to consumption of goods that we don’t produce ourselves, and a lot of the manufacturing has gone overseas.”
— Jimmy Carter

148. “The heart and mind of every Muslim is affected by whether or not the Israel-Palestine issue is dealt with fairly.”
— Jimmy Carter

149. “There was never any question about the morality of hunting, but neither was there any acceptance of killing for the sake of a trophy.”
— Jimmy Carter

150. “We cannot resort to simplistic or extreme solutions which substitute myths for common sense.”
— Jimmy Carter

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