by Brendan Smialowski
US President Joe Biden met Thursday with longtime ally and Democratic icon Jimmy Carter as he visited the southern state of Georgia to pitch his huge spending plans.
Biden, accompanied by first lady Jill Biden, held a private meeting with the 39th president and Carter’s wife Rosalynn in their tiny hometown of Plains, Georgia.
It was their first face-to-face encounter since 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,” 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 honored for their friendship.”
At age 96, Jimmy Carter is the longest-living president in American history, while Biden at 78 is the oldest to take the position.
Carter was not visible to reporters during the Bidens’ visit, although Rosalynn Carter, 93 and using a walker, was seen escorting the Bidens out of the house as they departed.
Jimmy Carter endured a series of health issues that led to multiple hospitalizations 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 Center in 1982 after he left office to promote development, health care and conflict resolution around the world.
In 1976 Biden, then a first-term senator from Delaware, was one of the first national lawmakers to endorse 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.