Election 2020

Bill Clinton: 'People Faint at My Political Rallies All the Time'

Former President Clinton shakes hands while campaigning for his wife Hillary Clinton on Sept. 6, 2016, in the Community Family Life & Recreation Center at Lyon Park, Durham, N.C. (Bernard Thomas/The Herald-Sun via AP)

Former President Bill Clinton told PBS’ Charlie Rose on Monday afternoon that “not frequently, rarely, but on more than one occasion over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing has happened” to Hillary “when she just got severely dehydrated.”

Hillary Clinton left a 9/11 remembrance event Sunday early and was caught on camera collapsing and being assisted into a waiting van. She later emerged outside of her daughter Chelsea’s apartment and declared she was feeling better.

Her campaign first said she was overcome by the heat on the temperate morning, then said she had pneumonia. Campaign manager Robby Mook and spokesman Brian Fallon said they’d caught some sort of bug that was going around the campaign staff.

“She’s doing fine. She was even better last night before she went to sleep. She had a good night’s sleep. She’s doing fine,” Bill Clinton said. “…A friend of ours called and left a message today, and her husband had just actually been hospitalized for pneumonia. Apparently there is a lot of it going around. And a bunch of her staff had gotten sick. But, she’s just doing fine. She just got dehydrated yesterday.”

Rose noted that, looking at the video, “you wonder if it is not more serious than dehydration.”

“She’s been — well, if it is, it’s a mystery to me and all of her doctors,” the former president responded, stating that sort of thing had happened before. “And she has worked like a demon, as you know, as secretary of State, and as a senator, and in the years since… And she’s had two and a half hard days before the day when she got dizzy. But I think she’s fine now. The doctor seems to think so.”

Bill said Hillary “looked like a million bucks” the morning after.

Asked if it’s possible she would be away from the campaign trail for weeks to recover, he replied, “No, not a shot. I’ll be lucky to hold her back another day.”

Asked if the episode was related to her past concussion, President Clinton said, “No.”

“As far as we know, you know, she’s undergone extensive physical exams since the concussion, repeatedly,” he added. “…But she’s fully recovered from that. And, you know, she’s just — some people are more prone, particularly as you get older, to dehydration. People faint at my political rallies all the time. And I’m so old, I’m sure it’s not due to them swooning.”

“And I would say as long as I’m in politics, well over 90 percent of the people I’ve seen collapse in political rallies, usually it’s quite hot. But it’s almost always because of dehydration.”

On Hillary’s health, he said, “Nothing more to know. And I’ve talked to her doctor, who is extremely competent and who’s been in touch with all the people who help her, you know, with all other things over the years. There is just nothing there. She’s — all of her health indicators are good. She’s very strong. She’s exercised a lot. And unlike me, she sleeps well at night. I mean, she sleeps long hours, or by my standards anyway.”

Hillary’s campaign said they will release updated medical records for the candidate. Asked why that wasn’t done before, Bill responded, “I don’t know the answer to that. I’m not involved in it.”

“But, you know, if a Martian came down from outer space and watched America unfold over the last six to eight weeks, it would be hard to see all these earnest pleas for disclosure, which are entirely one-sided. I mean, we also released 40 years of income tax information, almost 40 years,” he said. “…It’d be refreshing if there were just one thing in life where he disclosed more than she has. But, I don’t think there is, so far, not even one.”