Former President Clinton told NBC in an interview aired Sunday that if there’s a Republican candidate who can beat his wife, he’s not going to name names.
“Why would I encourage him?” Clinton quipped. “Unless I thought it would cause that person to lose the nomination, then I would announce it in a heartbeat.”
He insisted that he’s just a bit player in whether or not Hillary Clinton takes a stab at the nomination. “That’s exactly what I am. I’m a foot soldier in an army. I will do what I am instructed to do,” he said.
“You reach our age, you just look at it differently. We have had wonderful lives. We have been incredibly blessed and we’re looking forward to being grandparents,” Clinton continued.
“And I’m for — you know I’ve said, I said in 2008, I have said it every chance anybody has given me, of all the people I’ve ever worked with, I think she’s got — she’s the most gifted public servant I have ever worked with, even if we are married. That’s what I believe. And I believed it when we were going out together. And I believe it when I asked her to marry me and she said no. Nothing’s changed my opinion in more than 40 years. But it’s — has to be her decision.”
Clinton continued to defend his wife against her comments about being broke when they emerged from the White House.
“You have to live in the moment, not with memory. It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt. Everybody now assumes that what happened in the intervening years was automatic. I’m shocked that it’s happened. I’m shocked that people still want me to come give talks. And so I’m grateful,” he said.
“But she’s not out of touch. And she advocated and worked as a senator for things that were good for ordinary people. And before that, all her life. And the people asking her questions should put this into some sort of context… so I think if you don’t give the most adept answer to a question because you immediately remember what you felt like the day we left, as opposed to what it looks like to everybody else now who’s having trouble, you can say, ‘OK, I’ve got to clean that up,’ which she did.”
Clinton also dismissed the assertion that Benghazi could negatively affect Hillary’s campaign.
“When 10 different instances occurred when President Bush was in office where American diplomatic personnel were killed in around the world, how many outraged Republican members of Congress were there?” he said. “Zero.”