Bill Clinton Nerved Out on Fox News Sunday

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Not good for Hillary.

I just saw a portion of Bill Clinton being interviewed by Chris Wallace and all I can say is our former president is losing it. Does this topic touch a nerve or what!

The overall impression is of someone who cannot discuss the issue rationally and all the elements are there: Defensiveness, ad hominem attacks, deflecting blame, changing the subject.

Now that the transcript is out, this will get some traction.


CLINTON: But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried.

So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted.

So you did Fox's bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. What I want to know is ...

WALLACE: Well, wait a minute, sir.

CLINTON: No, wait. No, no ...

WALLACE: I want to ask a question. You don't think that's a legitimate question?

CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question, but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of.

I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, "Why didn't you do anything about the Cole?"

I want to know how many you asked, "Why did you fire Dick Clarke?"


"They had eight months" probably is not a compelling argument, because "you had eight years" is the rebuttal that will come into everyone's mind.

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19 Comments

Had Enough said:

I have mixed feelings about anything he says. How can a man that spent so much time doing other things, such as hiding in closets soiling dresses, playing with cigars and being impeached have such clear recollections of so many details.

I always thought Hilary was running the show all along anyway. That may be another reason he had so much time to play.

zimzo said:

Gee, I wonder why Clinton would be upset by a concerted right-wing campaign in an election year to blame him for 9/11 and deflect attention away from the failure and incompetence of the Bush administration in the years since then? Losing it? Watch the whole interview, Joe. Haven't you ever heard of YouTube?

Jack said:

Clinton is a convicted liar, and the only president legitimately impeached. (And if the Senate knew its job, he would have been convicted.)

There is no reason to take his word for anything.

What, does the YouTube version have a soft lense effect like those Elizabeth Taylor commercials? Or does it show Chris Wallace slapping Clinton's face with a hair brush prior to the interview starting?

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

in the weekly standard, bill kristol said,

"Can we debate which party--based on their practice when in power--can better deal with the jihadist/terror threat?"

who's ready?

To be honest, Stay Puft, we could, but right now it's not the biggest problem facing our country. I think the leadership of both parties is in a state of flux on this issue becaause no one has figured out the solution. I think Clinton's touchiness is VERY telling, along with the factual record of his two terms as U.S. president. My view that Bush was much better than any alternative won't change because I was actually awake the past 15 years.

But as you noted elsewhere, the Dems don't get much of a chance to prove what they would do because they are not in power. My immediate response is they'd do what Clinton did, and treat the enemy like a criminal problem. But I also think they are not stupid and do not all believe "there is no terrorist threat."

My fear would be they believe that we can ameliorate said threat by appeasement. That's why I'll probably be beating the drums to get Republicans elected this year and for the foreseeable future.

I say "probably" because I may find my time to limited, because the issue that really has me concerned is this one:

http://www.cis.org/articles/2006/back706.html

After reading this I have to say I'm ready to get my pitchfork out. Maybe ALL the bastards need to be voted out of office and maybe it is about time for impeachment.

BigAl said:

Clinton's lack of honesty and claim to be a victim of some conspiracy are two traits that will never excape him.

Is it me or do the Clintonites always seem to create some GOP boogeyman that everyone should fear. First it was Newt Gingrich, then Tom Delay, then Dick Cheney, now it's Karl Rove and Don Rumsfeld. Not an interview goes by without the liberals bashing Rove or Rumsfeld. Yet they claim it's Republicans that wage the politics of personal destruction. What are they going to do when the don't have Rove to kick around anymore? Without a doubt, they'll find someone else.

I'm older than you so I can say first it was Reagan. At my college they wore black armbands in January of 1981. I'm guessing they'll have Newt to kick around again (though I sort of hope it is Pat Buchanan).

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

you could make the same argument against the 'other side' Isn't the C-man himself the conservative's boogy man, complete with wife of boogy man? what about nancy palosi, barbra boxer, and howard dean? You've never seen these guys demonized by right-wing pundits? I know I have.

Yes but demonization is not the point, deflection is the point.

Side note: Fox News is getting an enormous amount of play out of this. Ohmigod. The Big He should have picked a time when there was some major legal conundrum going on for his tantrum. As it stands, he's the story. Legacy time.

Right is Right said:

I never thought I'd do this but here's something from the LA Times that hits the nail on the head on Slick Willie's tantrum.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-klavan26sep26,0,3802300.story?coll=la-opinion-center

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

my comment re: demonization was in response to big al's, "the Clintonites always seem to create some GOP boogeyman"

explain, "deflection." Do you mean the GOP attempt to deflect the blame for their piss-poor performance onto the previous administration?

I also disagree with the use of the word "tantrum." If that was a tantrum, than Bush slipped into a persistent vegetative state upon being told that the nation was under attack on 9/11/01.

Right - That LA Times column says it better than I could. Thanks.

Puft - I agree there needs to be a statute of limitations on blaming the previous administration. Bush himself has been pretty civil on this front.

BigAl said:

Beg to differ SPMM. Listen or look at the interview. Clinton threw a tantrum when asked tough questions. Imagine the response to GOP leaders calling a hatchet job when badgered by Chris Matthews or Tim Russert. Politics is a contact sport and when Clinton got hit with tough questions, he resorted to the usual attack the messenger. It's straight out of the Democratic playbook on how to respond to something that is indefensible.

zimzo said:

"Bush himself has been pretty civil on this front."

Because he always lets others do his dirty work. He didn't personally say that John McCain had a black child before the South Carolina primary...

Clinton was also civil on this front. He repeatedly refused to criticize Bush personally or his administration's conduct of the war on terror until this right-wing meme blaming him for 9/11 began.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

He was obviously angry. I don't think he "threw a tantrum" You didn't recognize any undertones in the question? The question was meant to get under his skin, and it did. Once again Clinton demonstrates to the nation that he is, in fact, a human being. What a jerk, huh?

Joe;
I don't think any serious politician is going to treat terrorism as a 'criminal problem' for a long time. Americans love security, no one's going to risk being seen as, "soft on terrorism"

I went back and watched part of this interview again and all I can say is Clinton's an idiot. What a self-absorbed, thin-skinned moron. He didn't need to go ballistic - there were a hundred ways he could have answered Chris Wallace's questions without taking them personally.

Chris Wallace isn't even particularly "conservative" so he's the last guy at Fox that Clinton should have been insulting. Tim Russert could have asked the exact same questions.

Clinton was (and I use the past tense intentionally) the quintessential examplar of the maxim that there are different types of intelligence. However the hell he was smart, he sure was stupid in a lot of other ways.

Let's just say Bill Clinton was a clever boy, able to talk his way out of most of his predicaments.

This interview was so revealing and it serves as the appropriate capstone to Clinton's public career.

There has been some suggestion this blow up was part of a grand strategy by Bill Clinton to fine tune his legacy. BS. He's just a n idiot and that will be his legacy. So who were our last two Democratic presidents? Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. There's your Republican campaign poster for the next century.

I agree with you on no politician wanting to be seen as soft on terrorism. I hope it's true. What I'm afraid of is if the Democrats take the House they will make it difficult to fight the Muslim extremists. But they have not held the purse strings since this war began, and there is no reason to assume they would not want to do everything possible to keep this country safe.

No Relation said:

All I have to say it that I found it extremely self-centered of Clinton to point a finger at Bush. How many times has Bush pointed a finger at Clinton? None that I know of. Correct me if I am wrong.

It is true that "right-wing-hit-jobbers", and wannabes like myself, will continue to blame Clinton for the expansion of terrorism in the world, but why blame Bush? Doesn't seem like a smart move to me.

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