Students at Atlanta Metropolitan State College welcomed former President Jimmy Carter to campus on Wednesday as the former leader traveled the state campaigning for his grandson Jason Carter.
The elder Carter took advantage of the location and audience to criticize Georgia’s poor unemployment and high school graduation rankings under the younger Carter’s rival in the gubernatorial race, incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal.
“The key to correcting that is education … which in Georgia is also suffering,” the former president said. “In the last few years under the administration in Atlanta, from the Legislature and the governor’s office, we’ve seen dramatic reductions and attention to education.”
Both the former president and his wife, Rosalynn, have become fixtures on the campaign trail during the final push before Tuesday’s election. The visit to Atlanta Metropolitan follows a similar stop at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton that the former president made Tuesday.
“You have a responsibility as Americans and as citizens of Georgia to change things, and you can do that by voting,” he told the Atlanta students.
In addition to the current election, the former president shared stories of his early years in politics fighting unequal treatment of black and white schools as a Sumter County school board member. He also talked extensively about the international service work done by The Carter Center and his grandson’s early days as a Carter Center volunteer.
Before coming to hear Carter speak, Atlanta Metropolitan student Shinieria Bradley “googled” him. Important to her was the former president’s support of President Barack Obama.
“It’s history, him coming here,” said Bradley, 21. “Not a lot of students get to experience having a leader of his level come to speak to them on their campus.”
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