Administration

Biden says he spoke to Jimmy Carter on eve of inauguration

President Biden said Wednesday that he spoke with former President Carter, the only living Democratic former president to not attend his inauguration, on the eve of his assumption of the presidency.

During his inaugural address, Biden briefly addressed the absence of the 96-year-old former president and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, and thanked the former president for a “lifetime of service.”

“I know the resilience of our Constitution, the strength, the strength of our nation. As does President Carter, who I spoke with last night, who cannot be with us today but whom we salute for a lifetime of service,” Biden said.

The Carters said in early January that they would not attend the inauguration, and while they did not reference the coronavirus pandemic specifically their decision comes as the ongoing pandemic has made travel risky, especially for older Americans.

In a statement played to supporters during the Democratic National Convention last year, the nation’s 39th president touted Biden as both a loyal supporter during the latter’s Senate career as well as a friend.

“Joe Biden was my first and most effective supporter in the Senate. For decades, he’s been my loyal and dedicated friend,” Carter said. “Joe has the experience, character and decency to bring us together.”

Tags COVID-19 Former president Inauguration Jimmy Carter Joe Biden

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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