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Classic Scheer-Carter Interview From ‘Playing President’

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Posted on Jun 22, 2006
Jimmy Carter and Robert Scheer
Courtesy Playboy and Akashic Books

Robert Scheer interviews then presidential candidate Jimmy Carter in Plains, Ga., in 1976.

During a 1976 interview for Playboy magazine that would produce one of the most famous remarks by a presidential candidate in modern times, Jimmy Carter told Robert Scheer, “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.”

Check out an excerpt of that exchange (below), along with many more in Scheer’s new book, “Playing President.”


Excerpt from Playboy, November 1976

Scheer: Do you feel you?ve reassured people with this interview, people who are uneasy about your religious beliefs, who wonder if you?re going to make a rigid, unbending President?

Carter: I don?t know if you?ve been to Sunday school here yet?But we had a good class last Sunday. It?s a good way to learn what I believe and what the Baptists believe?What Christ taught about most was pride, that one person should never think he was any better than anybody else?The thing that?s drummed into us all the time is not to be proud, not to be better than anyone else, not to look down on people, but to make ourselves acceptable in God?s eyes through our own actions and recognize the simple truth that we?re saved by grace?I?m not trying to commit a deliberate sin. I recognize that I?m going to do it anyhow, because I?m human and I?m tempted. And Christ set some almost impossible standards for us. Christ said, ?I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery.? I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. This is something that God recognizes I will do—and I have done it—and God forgives me for it.


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By Bill, June 26, 2006 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s not correct, Colonel.  If you open the book to the same page as the Sunday School teacher you’ll see he was right.  Jesus’ standard is higher than we can live up to.  (Matthew 5:28)

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By Mace Price, June 23, 2006 at 2:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look how Jimma was dressed, look’t them boots, you’d think Jimma’d jest come offin’ the tractor after he plowed the north forty. He’s jest folks. Folks that attended meetings of the TriLateral Commission and was Admiral Hyman Rickover’s protege. Look at his face, ya can’t say Jimma didn’t take himself very very serious. Better nuclear engineer than politician in the end. Too full of original sin. Conversely if Bullshit Bill had borrowed the right amount of that, and had had another wife, then voted against NAFTA things might have come out somewhat different for him.

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By Colonel, June 22, 2006 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look, but don’t touch, Jimmy, and you’ll be all right here and in the hereafter.

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