Jimmy Carter celebrated his 90th birthday with the tacit admission that he was less of a man than Ronald Reagan.
The former president analyzed his failure to win re-election against Ronald Reagan in 1980 in an interview Wednesday with CBNC. He said that it was a weak response to the Iran hostage crisis that cost him another four years in office, the Jerusalem Post reports.
“I could’ve been re-elected if I’d taken military action against Iran, shown that I was strong and resolute and, um, manly and so forth,” Carter said.
In 1979, Iranian students supportive of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution occupied the US embassy in Tehran. For 444 days, 52 Americans were held hostage until January 20th, 1981, the day Ronald Reagan took the oath of office. Carter had severed American ties with Iran during the incident.
Carter defended his actions, saying “I could have wiped Iran off the map with the weapons that we had, but in the process a lot of innocent people would have been killed, probably including the hostages and so I stood up against all that advice, and then eventually my prayers were answered and every hostage came home safe and free.”