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Bill Clinton Takes On Fox News

 
 
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 08:56 am
FULL TRANSCRIPT: Clinton Takes On Fox News
Today, President Bill Clinton taped an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace, which is scheduled to be aired Sunday. He was told the interview would focus on his nonpartisan efforts to raise over $7 billion to combat the world's biggest problems.

Early in the interview, Wallace attempted to smear Clinton with the same kind of misinformation contained in ABC's Path to 9/11. Clinton was having none of it.

ThinkProgress has obtained a transcript of the interview. Here are some highlights -

Wallace repeats Path to 9/11 misinformation, Clinton fights back:

WALLACE: When we announced that you were going to be on Fox News Sunday, I got a lot of email from viewers, and I got to say I was surprised most of them wanted me to ask you this question. Why didn't you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President? There's a new book out which I suspect you've read called the Looming Tower. And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, Bin Laden said "I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of US troops." Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole.

CLINTON: OK..

WALLACE: …may I just finish the question sir. And after the attack, the book says, Bin Laden separated his leaders because he expected an attack and there was no response. I understand that hindsight is 20/20.

CLINTON: No let's talk about…

WALLACE: …but the question is why didn't you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?

CLINTON: OK, let's talk about it. I will answer all of those things on the merits but I want to talk about the context of which this arises. I'm being asked this on the FOX network…ABC just had a right wing conservative on the Path to 9/11 falsely claim that it was based on the 9/11 Commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report. I think it's very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn't do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bush's neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn't have a single meeting about Bin Laden for the nine months after I left office. All the right wingers who now say that I didn't do enough said that I did too much. Same people.

Clinton takes on Fox News bias:

WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?

CLINTON: No, because I didn't get him.

WALLACE: Right…

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 and they didn't…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… So you did FOX's bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me. But what I want to know..

WALLACE: Now wait a minute sir…

CLINTON:…

WALLACE: I asked 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? I want to know…

WALLACE: We asked…

CLINTON:…

WALLACE: Do you ever watch Fox News Sunday sir?

CLINTON: I don't believe you ask them that.

WALLACE: We ask plenty of questions of…

CLINTON: You didn't ask that did you? Tell the truth.

WALLACE: About the USS Cole?

CLINTON: Tell the truth.

WALLACE: I…with Iraq and Afghanistan there's plenty of stuff to ask.

CLINTON: Did you ever ask that? You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch is going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers for supporting my work on climate change. And you came here under false pretenses and said that you'd spend half the time talking about…

WALLACE: [laughs]

CLINTON: You said you'd spend half the time talking about what we did out there to raise $7 billion dollars plus over three days from 215 different commitments. And you don't care.

Clinton on his priorities and the Bush administration priorities:

CLINTON: What did I do? I worked hard to try and kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president we'd have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. Now I never criticized President Bush and I don't think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that thinks Afghanistan is 1/7 as important as Iraq. And you ask me about terror and Al Qaeda with that sort of dismissive theme when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke's book to look at what we did in a comprehensive systematic way to try to protect the country against terror. And you've got that little smirk on your face. It looks like you're so clever…

WALLACE: [Laughs]

CLINTON: I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried and I failed to get Bin Laden. I regret it but I did try. And I did everything I thought I responsibly could. The entire military was against sending special forces into Afghanistan and refueling by helicopter and no one thought we could do it otherwise…We could not get the CIA and the FBI to certify that Al Qaeda was responsible while I was President. Until I left office. And yet I get asked about this all the time and they had three times as much time to get him as I did and no one ever asks them about this. I think that's strange.

The full transcript here: http://thinkprogress.org/clinton-interview
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 16,310 • Replies: 467
No top replies

 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 09:12 am
Good for him.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 10:25 am
I can see which members of the lunatic fringe will be on this thread. Puh-leeze, do not spell Clinton with a K when you respond.
0 Replies
 
xingu
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 05:33 am
I find it funny that the first nine months of Bush's presidency he did nothing about Osama bin Laden. Then suddenly, after 9/11, it's all Clinton's fault for not getting him.
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 06:01 am
Cool. When does it air?
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 06:05 am
plainoldme wrote:
I can see which members of the lunatic fringe will be on this thread. Puh-leeze, do not spell Clinton with a K when you respond.
You ask too much of them...
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 06:14 am
Re: Bill Clinton Takes On Fox News
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:


CLINTON: Tell the truth.

I have a hard time not laughing when I hear Clinton say these words...(or is that Klinton?)


BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

Well that answers everything on one sided slants that I'd ever want to know.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 06:57 am
<sigh>

Can't you guys just amend the constitution and re-elect Clinton again? Please? Pretty please? It was so nice when America still had a president.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 07:36 am
bm
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 07:41 am
Seems now to be a couple of decades ago that Clinton was in office...
0 Replies
 
Atavistic
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 08:04 am
Clinton's a schmuck, Bush is a schmuck. End of story.
0 Replies
 
cyphercat
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 11:12 am
ossobuco wrote:
Seems now to be a couple of decades ago that Clinton was in office...


Ain't that the truth? I have to remind myself that he was there just before Bush Jr...It's difficult for me to reconcile that just ten years ago the country was willing to re-elect Clinton, and now seems to lean so frighteningly towards the religious right. Wha' happened?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 11:40 am
Good on him
0 Replies
 
Atavistic
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 12:05 pm
What is it about Clinton that has you people swooning??? I must have missed whatever he did that was so great.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 02:54 pm
Atavistic wrote:
What is it about Clinton that has you people swooning??? I must have missed whatever he did that was so great.

He got off on sex instead of killing people....
0 Replies
 
echi
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 03:10 pm
Classic case of "Don't know what you got till it's gone."




But, yeah... they're both schmucks.
0 Replies
 
sumac
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 03:20 pm
I don't need the transcript from any source. I watched the interview at 9 am, and then watched Tim Russert interview him at 1 pm special time for "Meet the Press" becauses of the golf.

Like night and day - the two interviews, how the interviewers conducted themselves and the kind of questions they asked, and the kind of responses they got.

Wallace was rude, disrespectful and clearly, Fox like, trying to bash Clinton to satisfy typical Fox viewers. Clinton wasn't about to be played and manipulated in that fashion, and said so, and said some other truths that Wallace clearly didn't want to hear.

He spoke out, loud and clear.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 03:32 pm
I wish Bush Sr et al had plugged Katie Couric and the other partisan newsies who did the same thing to Republicans.
0 Replies
 
sumac
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 03:37 pm
Stay on your mountain in Georgia, Lash. I saw the Katie Couric interview with Bush Sr. too and you are out of your f**king mind if you think that is an apt comparison to what I witnessed this morning.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 03:37 pm
DrewDad wrote:
Atavistic wrote:
What is it about Clinton that has you people swooning??? I must have missed whatever he did that was so great.

He got off on sex instead of killing people....


Right on, DD. Who cares if the president gets a bj in the Oval Office? It doesn't affect the economic conditions of the country, not does it send US military personnel into the jaws of hell on what amounts to no more than a whim.
0 Replies
 
 

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