The Clintons are, if nothing else, predictable when it comes to defending themselves against scandals.
It’s never their fault and the press always blows whatever it is they’ve done way out of proportion.
So is anyone surprised when Bill Clinton blames Republicans and the press for Hillary’s own actions in using a private server to store classified information?
In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to be aired Sunday, Clinton said of the former first lady and Secretary of State, “The other party doesn’t want to run against her. And if they do, they’d like her as mangled up as possible.”
He likened the controversy over Hillary’s Clinton’s State Department emails to the Whitewater scandal that dogged his own campaign in 1992, in an anecdote about how George H.W. Bush officials contacted him saying, “The press has to have someone every election. We’re going to give them you. You better not run.”
But Bill Clinton rejected Zakaria’s suggestion that the interest surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails was a “Republican plot.”
“No, I’m not going there, because that’s what the – it’s not a – a plot makes it sound like it’s a secret,” he said.
Bill Clinton also extended fault to other groups, but was hesitant to give specifics. “There are lots of people who wanted there to be a race for different reasons,” he said.
He did, however, attribute some blame to the press, stating that before the race, Hillary Clinton “was the most admired person in public life. Why? Because she was being covered by people who reported on what she was doing.”
“What happened?” he added. “The presidential campaign happened. And the nature of the coverage shifted from issue-based to political.”
He emphasized his wife’s successes and focus on policy issues, saying, “She’s already put out more positions on more issues and said how she would pay for it than, I think, than all the other [Republicans] combined.”
Despite his critiques, Bill Clinton shied away from portraying his wife as the victim, acknowledging the inevitability of such coverage.
“You can’t complain,” he said. “This is a contact sport. They’re not giving the job away.”
Note that Clinton hints at conspiracy and then says flat out that there isn’t one. Same thing when he portrays his wife as a victim, only to say in the next breath that she isn’t.
We’re so used to this tactic by now that we hardly notice it. Reading the words above leads one to the inescapable conclusion that Bill Clinton believes there is a Republican conspiracy against Hillary and that she is a victim — no matter what he said following.
The Clintons have made a living in a political culture where it is OK to refuse to accept responsibility for your actions while blaming others for your problems. It’s a far cry from Truman’s “The buck stops here.” For them, it’s more like “pin the tail on the elephant.”
When the Bay of Pigs went sideways, Kennedy blamed the CIA in private but stepped forward to take responsibility in public. Similarly, when the Iran hostage rescue failed, President Carter took full responsibility (and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned because he disagreed with the mission). These would be alien concepts to the Clintons, who, when confronted with the choice to do what’s honorable or what’s expedient, inevitably choose the latter.