PLAINS, GEORGIA (AFP) – US President Joe Biden met Thursday (April 29) with longtime ally and Democratic icon Jimmy Carter as he visited the southern state of Georgia to pitch his huge spending plans.
Mr Biden, accompanied by first lady Jill Biden, held a private meeting with the 39th president and Mr Carter’s wife Rosalynn in their tiny hometown of Plains, Georgia.
It was their first face-to-face encounter since Mr Biden won the White House last November.
“They are such a powerful reminder that serving our country isn’t limited to the office you hold,” Dr Jill Biden said afterwards in Duluth, Georgia, before introducing her husband at a rally.
“The Carters continue their work making our country stronger every day, and we are grateful and honoured for their friendship.”
At age 96, Mr Jimmy Carter is the longest-living president in American history, while Mr Biden at 78 is the oldest to take the position.
Mr Carter was not visible to reporters during the Bidens’ visit, although Mrs Rosalynn Carter, 93 and using a walker, was seen escorting the Bidens out of the house as they departed.
Mr Jimmy Carter endured a series of health issues that led to multiple hospitalisations in 2019, including a series of falls and broken bones, a urinary tract infection and a procedure to reduce pressure on his brain.
He founded the Carter Centre in 1982 after he left office to promote development, health care and conflict resolution around the world.
In 1976, Mr Biden, then a first-term senator from Delaware, was one of the first national lawmakers to endorse Mr Carter, a former Southern governor, in his improbable presidential run.
Many of the residents of Plains, population 640, lined the town’s streets to see the Biden motorcade.