Human rights advocate and former President Jimmy Carter revealed Monday evening that in last year's Democratic primary he opted to buck the establishment and vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
During a conversation between the two at Carter's Atlanta-based peace and human rights organization, The Carter Center, the subject of corporate money in politics and low voter turnout spurred a campaign-style riff from Sanders.
"In many ways," he said, "Donald Trump did not win the election, the Democratic Party lost the election. We've got to revitalize the Democratic Party, make it a grassroots party."
"Our job is to bring people together," Sanders went on, "around a progressive agenda which has the courage to do what the Democrats historically have not had the courage to do. Point out: there is Wall Street, there are the insurance companies, there are the drug companies, there is the fossil fuel industry. These are the people who are ripping us off who are donating money to candidates who represent their interests and not the interests of the middle class and working class in this country."
"So we have got to get people involved," he continued. "And you do that by being honest about the real problems they face and come up with real solutions."
At that point, the former president remarked to the audience, "Can y'all see why I voted for him?"
As CNN observed, the comments, "which received light laughter at the event, were apparently the first time he revealed his 2016 Democratic primary choice in public."
At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Carter sent a video message praising both candidates and declaring his support for the nominee Hillary Clinton. Comparing her to then-GOP nominee Donald Trump, he said at the time, "Fortunately, the Democratic nominee we'll soon be choosing offers a stark contrast in both substance and style, and also competence and experience to what the Republicans have chosen."
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However, he also previously acknowledged that both Clinton and Trump were "quite unpopular."
CNN further notes,
Early on in the race for the Democratic nomination, Carter said he believed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton would get the nomination 'because money dominates, and she has an inside track to the massive amounts that are going to pour into the Democratic Party side."
[...] Like Sanders, Carter has long railed against the influence of money in politics. He said in 2015 that the US was essentially no longer democratic in nature.
"Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery," Carter said.
Watch Monday's dialogue between the two below: