Garth Brooks doesn’t see politics with Jimmy Carter. Rather, he recognizes the former president’s big, beautiful charitable heart.
So count Brooks as a huge fan of Carter, the former peanut farmer turned politician. And he explains why in a unique documentary that explores how music helped launch Carter to the White House 44 years ago.
Brooks was way too young to campaign for Carter, the Georgia governor who won election in November 1976. Back then, Brooks was in middle school in Oklahoma and likely concerned most by whichever sport was in season.
But Brooks and Carter now work together with Habitat For Humanity, the mostly volunteer non-profit group that builds homes for people in need.
Brooks was one of many singers and musicians interviewed for the documentary “Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President.” The documentary premiered last summer on the movie festival circuit but will be making its television debut this Sunday on CNN. Other country singers featured in the documentary are Willie Nelson, Roseanne Cash, Larry Gaitlin, Jimmy Buffett and Trisha Yearwood, Brooks’ wife. Bono, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon also are in the documentary.
In the movie, Brooks lauds Carter for his heart. He also praised Carter’s wife, Rosalynn.
“His love of music makes all kinds of sense to me because music is the voice of the heart,” Brooks said. “Music is the voice of the soul. When you talk about heart and soul, I think he’s the president of my mind — of my living time — that I can think of that brought it to the office.”
Brooks And Carter Worked Together In Nashville Last Year
Carter and Brooks worked together last year in Nashville with Habitat for Humanity. The goal was to build 21 homes. And the two were hands on with the other construction workers. Carter showed up in Nashville a day after a fall at his home in Plains, Ga. Stitches above his eye and bruises weren’t enough to keep Carter, now 96, from picking up a hammer.
Garth Brooks Likes To Tell Story About How Jimmy Carter Called Him Out For Slacking
Garth Brooks and the former president also worked together to build homes in Haiti. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Brooks described the hot, humid conditions on the island and how he needed a tiny break. But not on Jimmy Carter’s watch.
“We’re in Haiti working on the roof all day long,” Brooks said. “And they’re metal roofs and it’s 115 degrees. When you get a roof on, the great thing is that now the house has a roof — you can go down and stand underneath it and get two seconds of shade.
“My two seconds of shade the president walked in and I’m sitting there and he goes, ‘Do you need something to do, Garth?’ … “I said, ‘No sir!’ and I jumped right back out there. You’re not going to outwork him or Miss Rosalynn. They just keep going.”
Garth Brooks Typically Doesn’t Talk Specifically About Politics
Brooks typically doesn’t tip his hand on his own political leanings. He turned down an invitation to play at Donald Trump’s inauguration four years ago. He also squashed rumors that he’d endorsed Bernie Sanders after he wore a Barry Sanders throw-back jersey. Brooks also said he wasn’t involved with a Trump campaign to “defeat despair” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As for his own political views, Brooks said earlier this year “you walk in with a cowboy hat, and immediately, you’re put in this kind of category that might not be who you are.”
But he doesn’t mind complimenting individual politicians for their good works. He’s always done that with Carter.
“What the Carters stand for is what we should all shoot for as human beings,” Brooks told Yahoo news. “Please forget ‘Republican’ or ‘Democrat.’ What they are standing for is as human beings. If we’re going to get anywhere as a human race, this is the path we want to follow.
“So anything keeping any kind of light on that path and those two people’s dreams, then count us in.”