A Republican lawmaker disputed former President Jimmy Carter's recent claim that racism is behind much of the criticism of President Barack Obama.

"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," Carter told NBC in an interview Tuesday.

"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 toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans," he added.

Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) tweeted in response on Wednesday:

Pres Carter is wrong again by making opposition to Pres Obamas policies a racial issue. People can disagree w/out everything being "racial".

Wamp is planning to leave the House and run for governor of Tennessee in 2010.