Former President Jimmy Carter addressed the Democratic National Convention via video on Tuesday, speaking to the delegates gathered at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. from a massive screen above the podium.
The 39th president delivered taped remarks praising President Barack Obama's first term progress on issues such as health care reform, drawing down combat engagements in Iraq, and pro-middle class economic policies, all despite "bitter, unyielding, in fact unprecedented partisan opposition."
Carter also urged viewers to not be swayed by more-moneyed interests -- perhaps a dig at the Citizens United ruling, which is expected to grant pro-Mitt Romney forces a significant cash advantage -- and examine the issues.
Romney's camp wasted no time jumping on Carter's appearance, blasting out a press release arguing that Obama's record was weaker than Carter's, claim made by vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan earlier in the day
“When President Obama chose President Carter for the opening night of his convention, he chose a fitting surrogate," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said. "From stagnant unemployment to a broken deficit pledge, both presidents left the country worse off than it was before they took office. As president, Mitt Romney will deliver a new direction by implementing pro-growth policies that create 12 million new jobs and deliver relief to struggling middle-class families.”
Last month, Los Angeles Mayor and Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa lauded Carter in a release announcing his participation in the convention.
“President Carter is one of the greatest humanitarian leaders of our time and a champion of democracy around the globe," he said.
Carter expressed regrets at not being able to attend the DNC in person, but he did clarify that he and his wife, Rosalynn, "remain steadfast in our support for President Obama and the progress he will make in the next four years."