Former President Jimmy Carter is calling republican Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst to President Obama an act "based on racism".

Wilson shouted "you lie!" during Mr. Obama's speech to congress last week on health care.

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a "resolution of disapproval" for Wilson's actions.

The former president says that the heightened climate of racial and other hate speech seen since president Obama's election was based on a widespread belief among some whites that African-Americans aren't qualified to rule the country.

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward president Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American. I live in the south, and i've seen the south come a long way and I've seen the rest of the country that shared the south's attitude towards minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans. That racism in connection still exists, and I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the south but around the country, that African Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance and grieves me and concerns me very deeply."

Former President Jimmy Carter is calling republican Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst to President Obama an act "based on racism".