Carter Sanders Georgia
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Former President Jimmy Carter discuss human rights during the Human Rights Defenders Forum in Atlanta, Ga., on May 8, 2017. Curtis Compton—AP

Jimmy Carter Reveals He Voted for Bernie Sanders in the Primary

Updated: May 09, 2017 9:45 AM ET

If former President Jimmy Carter had it his way, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would have been the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

The 39th president said he voted for Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary. Carter revealed his choice during a discussion with Sanders at the Carter Center in Atlanta on Monday evening.

"If we had 80% of people voting in this country, the Republican Party would be a significant minority," Sanders, referring to high voter turnout for the French presidential election this year, said in a video published by the Washington Post. "So we have got to get people involved. And you do that by being honest about the real problems they face and come up with real solutions."

Pausing for a moment, Carter asked the audience: "Can y'all see why I voted for him?"

The Carter Center did not immediately comment Tuesday morning. The 92-year-old Democrat endorsed Clinton in July 2016 after Sanders conceded. At an August event in Memphis, Carter called both Clinton and then-GOP nominee Donald Trump "unpopular," but made clear his preference for Clinton.

"It's been an exciting and unprecedented kind of campaign this year, and unfortunately, the way it's turned out, both choices in the major parties are quite unpopular," Carter said. "But I don't have any doubt that one of the candidates is better qualified than the other."

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