Carter said the administration was waging a misguided campaign against terror, and he criticized President Bush's call to spend $200 billion rebuilding the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast without a tax increase or major spending cuts.
"How can anybody do that and not pay for doing it?" he asked. "To me, that was just irresponsible.
"I think the most significant issue right now is this concept of responsibility in government. It's not a matter of being conservative or liberal. Government needs to do the job and we've gotten away from that aspect."
He also said he doesn't think revelations about past drug use would hurt his chances; he has admitted he was discharged from the Navy 35 years ago for smoking marijuana.