Mr. Carter followed with a "my bad" moment on NBC's "Today" this morning, saying his remarks were "careless or misinterpreted."
So is Mr. Carter becoming irrelevant? I talked to CBS News consultant and presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who says definitely not.
"He's not only a Nobel Peace Prize winner but he's listened to all over the world," said Brinkley, citing Mr. Carter's efforts around the globe to battle disease, poverty and political corruption through his work with the Carter Center.
"(The administration) may find him annoying ... or say his actions are disparaging to the troops, but irrelevant he is not."
However, Mr. Carter himself may feel otherwise. In his "Today" interview he said, "I don't claim to have any relevancy. I have a completely unofficial capacity."