In his interview with Rachel Maddow, former president Jimmy Carter predicted that nobody will beat Obama in 2012, and he backed it up with some sound reasoning to boot.
Earlier in the interview he made it clear that he thought Rick Perry will be the GOP nominee:
MADDOW: As Democrats look ahead to what`s going to be a difficult year, really I think for any incumbent, including the incumbent president running just because of the economy, should they be drawing battle lines over Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and saying “we will protect them and the Republicans shouldn`t be trusted with them”?
CARTER: I think so. Social Security is a treasure for our country, and precious to people like me, whether they are affluent or not. And it`s an inheritance, you know, from back in the New Deal days, 1930s, during the Great Depression.
And I think that one of the serious mistakes Governor Perry has made is ostentatiously condemning in effect the Social Security system. And he`s been jumped on by Romney and others because of that. I think if he is a nominee, and that looks to me like the most likely prospect on the Republican side so far, I think that will really cost him a lot in the general election next year. And I think if the Republican candidates continue to do things like that and appeal to the most conservative elements within the Republican Party, they`re going to lose their support in the general election next year for president among the independents and among even the more moderate and I would say sensible Republicans.
Later in the interview President Carter predicted that no one will beat Obama in 2012:
MADDOW: Do you think that we have progressed far enough as a country in terms of recognizing religion as no barrier to public office, that he could be nominated, he could win as a Mormon?
CARTER: I hope so. I hope he wins — I`m not taking any position. But I would be very pleased to see him win the Republican nomination. I don`t think anybody`s going to beat Obama next year. But my preference obviously would be for his religious faith not to be an adverse factor in the choices made about who should be representing the Republican Party.
The fact that Jimmy Carter would prefer that Mitt Romney be the Republican nominee is probably the last thing that the Romney campaign ever wanted to hear. Romney is struggling with hard core conservatives and tea partiers as it is, Jimmy Carter’s preference for his nomination is certainly not going to help, Mittens’ efforts to join the tin foil hat conservative club to say the least. The likely reason that Carter prefers Romney is because he views Romney as the least dangerous of the 2012 Republicans, but Carter’s larger point was that no one is going to beat Obama.
President Carter clearly laid out the reasoning behind his Obama reelection position. The Obama strategy of fighting the Republicans on jobs is a winner. Rick Perry is the likely Republican nominee, and his position on Social Security will kill him in the General Election against Obama.
History shows that wagering on incumbent presidents to win reelection is usually a safe bet. In the last 100 years, only four presidents who served full terms were denied reelection, Taft (1912), Hoover (1932), Carter (1980), George H.W. Bush (1992). President Carter has a better handle on why Rick Perry is likely to be the GOP nominee than most of the experts and pundits in the media.
Mitt Romney’s electability argument and attacks on Perry for his Ponzi scheme Social Security comments don’t matter to Republican primary voters. A new Gallup poll found that 19% of Republicans are more likely to support Perry because of his position on Social Security. Nineteen percent are less likely to support Perry, and 24% don’t care either way about Rick Perry’s position on Social Security. The 19% of Republicans who are less likely to support Perry don’t mean much in a Republican primary where only the hardest of the hardcore show up to vote, but they will come back to haunt him in a General Election match up against Obama.
None of these Republicans has what it takes to beat Obama. They all lack the ideas, charisma, and ability to inspire voters that is required to knock off an incumbent. It takes a Bill Clinton/Ronald Reagan level challenger to knock off an incumbent president, and the Republican field does not contain that kind of star.
Jimmy Carter thinks nobody will beat Obama, and unless this president does something to beat himself, Barack Obama will probably win a second term.