Last night, former President Jimmy Carter spoke to NBC News' Brian Williams about Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst during President Barack Obama's health care reform speech last week. And Carter was blunt, saying, "I think it's based on racism. There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president."

Carter also said that the South's inherent racism was also leading some protesters to equate Obama to the Nazis, "Those kind of things are not just casual outcomes of a sincere debate on whether we should have a national program on health care. It's deeper than that."

Politico's Ben Smith writes, "Jimmy Carter tonight becomes the most prominent Democrat to say what very many Democrats are thinking: That there's a large element of ancestral racism in the Southern hostility toward Obama. He's succeeded, now, in making that the nation's central conversation. And regardless of it's merits, it's hard to overstate what bad politics that is for the White House. There's a reason that candidate Obama virtually never cried racism, and it wasn't because he doesn't believe it exists."

The former South Carolina Democratic party leader Dick Harpootlian told the AP, "I think Joe's conduct was asinine, but I think it would be asinine no matter what the color of the president. I don't think Joe's outburst was caused by President Obama being African-American. I think it was caused by no filter being between his brain and his mouth."

As for Wilson, a Republican representing South Carolina who is up for re-election, he was rebuked by the House—in a mostly partisan vote of 240-179—and he reiterated that his remarks were made at the "wrong place, wrong time," but added, "I'm very disappointed because it seems like a double standard. I see, as people — look, I was there on the floor when President Bush was booed and not a word was said. That's a double standard — I’m willing to live with that."