Former US President Jimmy Carter tonight told the UK Parliament he wants Donald Trump to land the Republican nomination ahead of frontrunner Ted Cruz .
Speaking on a visit to Britain, the 91-year-old Democrat warned Mr Cruz is committed to “Far Right-wing politics” which he would pursue “aggressively” if he makes it to the White House.
By contrast, Carter said, outspoken billionaire Mr Trump has no fixed views at all.
“If I had a choice of Republican nominees, between Cruz and Trump, I think I would choose. Trump – which may surprise some of you,” he told an audience in the House of Lords.
“The reason is, Trump has proven already that he is completely malleable.
“I don’t think he has any fixed opinion that he would fight for.
“On the other hand Ted Cruz is not malleable. He has far right-wing politics, in my opinion, that would be pursued aggressively if he wins.”
Texas senator Mr Cruz is opposed to abortion and gay marriage; denies climate change exists and has called for parts of Iraq and Syria to be “carpet-bombed”.
He won the first Republican caucus in Iowa last week, beating Mr Trump into a distant second place.
Carter, who was US President from 1976-1980, said the race to be the Republican candidate for this November’s election is “almost completely unpredictable” – but that he ultimately expects former frontrunner Mr Trump to “fade away”.
“When people actually put on the ballot ‘this is the person I want to lead me for the next four years’, I think they’re going to have a little bit of a different opinion,” Carter said.
For his own Democrat Party, Carter said he believed it “very likely” that Hilary Clinton will ultimately land the nomination despite the surprisingly strong showing from veteran left-wing rival Bernie Sanders in Iowa.
“My own personal opinion is that it’s very likely that Hilary Clinton will still prevail for the Democratic Party,” he said.
“And of course I’ll be supporting the Democratic nominee. Bernie Sanders though has had a remarkable showing, particularly among young people.”
Speaking afterwards to the Mirror, Carter said he had “huge admiration” for 74-year-old Mr Sanders, saying the Vermont senator’s views “have hardly changed” since he ran to be a city Mayor in 1981.
“But you know, I’ve never actually met him!” Carter added with a rueful smile.