Former President Jimmy Carter said in an interview Tuesday that Congressman Joe Wilson's "you lie" outburst to President Obama was "based on racism" and that many of the critiques leveled against the president have been made because of his black heritage.
"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man," Carter said in an sit-down with NBC's Brian Williams.
Carter specifically said that Wilson's comment was "dastardly" and part of an "inherent feeling" held by many Americans -- particularly Southerners -- that African-Americans "are not qualified to lead this great country."
"It's an abominable circumstances and grieves me and concerns me very deeply," Carter said.
Read more: MSNBC