NEW YORK – Determined to sculpt an image of himself that contradicts historical record, former President Jimmy Carter is on a promotional tour for the paperback release of his 2010 book “White House Diary.” Along with defending his self described “superior” role as a former president, Mr. Carter is attempting to dismantle a growing litany of comparisons between President Obama’s diminishing poll numbers and his own lackluster one term presidency. Last night on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, President Carter continued his crusade of overhauling, if not reinventing his historical image. Following is a transcript of that interview.
RACHEL MADDOW: Welcome Mr. President!
JIMMY CARTER: Thank you Rachel, glad to be with you.
RACHEL MADDOW: Let’s jump right into it. You wrote in your book and subsequently told NBC’s Brian Williams that Ted Kennedy blocked national health care during your administration just to spite you?
JIMMY CARTER: Yes, I did say that and it’s true.
RACHEL MADDOW: That’s pretty heavy. I mean, Senator Kennedy’s legacy was his fight for national health-care.
JIMMY CARTER: That’s just the point. It was all about his legacy. When I was ready to implement health care, Teddy’s ego couldn’t take it. He wanted the glory. He wanted the credit. He wanted the parties and the young nubile women.
RACHEL MADDOW: So let me get this straight, Ted Kennedy wanted to pass health-care only if he got credit for it?
JIMMY CARTER: Yes, because he desired young nubile women.
RACHEL MADDOW: I don’t understand the young nubile women part.
JIMMY MADDOW: Everybody is aware of Senator Kennedy’s insatiable longing for the ladies.
RACHEL MADDOW: And you Mr. President? Did you long?
JIMMY CARTER: I used to, but only in my heart. These days I just long for pain-free bowel movements.
RACHEL MADDOW: Let’s switch subjects. You’ve also said that your role as a former president is superior to that of other presidents.
JIMMY CARTER: That is true.
RACHEL MADDOW: Would you care to elaborate?
JIMMY CARTER: I think my record speaks for itself.
RACHEL MADDOW: Could you give our audience an example of your superiority?
JIMMY CARTER: Well, I can bench-press 350 pounds.
RACHEL MADDOW: Oh you cannot!
JIMMY CARTER: Can too!
RACHEL MADDOW: That’s an awful lot of weight, sir.
JIMMY CARTER: Yes it is, and it’s just one of the reasons I’m superior.
RACHEL MADDOW: Can you give us another example of your superiority?
JIMMY CARTER: Sure! (President Carter takes several deep breaths) OK…ready?
RACHEL MADDOW: Uh, sure.
JIMMY CARTER: Two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame-seed-bun!
RACHEL MADDOW: (Wide-eyed) Wasn’t that the old McDonald’s…
JIMMY CARTER: Yep! The McDonalds Big Mac commercial. Can you say it as fast as I just did?
RACHEL MADDOW: Probably not, Mr. President.
JIMMY CARTER: I guarantee you there aren’t any former presidents who could either. And I’d like to see any of them lift 350 pounds.
(President Carter takes two quarters from his pocket and presses them against his forehead)
RACHEL MADDOW: Mr. President?
JIMMY CARTER: (With the quarters stuck on his forehead) How about this Rachel? How many presidents can do this? (President Carter looks behind him) Rosalynn? Honey?
President Carter’s wife Rosalynn walks out with a cup and saucer and places them on the president’s head.
JIMMY CARTER: How about this Rachel? (The President balances the cup and saucer on his head) The cup on my head is filled with piping hot tea….and I’m sure you’ve noticed the quarters haven’t fallen off my face.
RACHEL MADDOW: Yes, I see that, sir.
JIMMY CARTER: How many former presidents can do this, huh Rachel?
RACHEL MADDOW: That is impressive …
JIMMY CARTER: Just you hold on, we’re only getting started. Let’s rock and roll, Rosalynn!
Mrs. Carter strapped a cymbal onto both of President Carter’s knees and then handed him three juggling clubs, lighting the tips of them with a lighter. She then stepped back a few feet and faced her husband.
With two quarters stuck to his face, President Carter balanced the saucer and cup on his head and banged his knees together, creating a resounding rhythm with the cymbals. He then began juggling the flaming clubs as he recited the Big Mac song:
JIMMY CARTER: Two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame-bun! Two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame-bun!
When he finished the Big Mac song, Mrs. Carter tossed a jelly-bean through the air which President Carter caught in his mouth.
RACHEL MADDOW: I’d like to thank President Carter for joining us tonight.
JIMMY CARTER: Are your cameras getting this Rachel?
RACHEL MADDOW: Thank-you Mr. President…
JIMMY CARTER: This is one superior f*cking president you’re lookin’ at, Rachel. Throw me another jelly-bean Rosalynn!