Gregory Asks Clinton If 'Vast Right Wing Conspiracy' Now 'Targeting' Obama?

Imagining in 1998 a “vast right wing conspiracy” to impugn and discredit conveyors of accurate information about her husband's activities with an intern was ludicrous enough when Hillary Clinton made up the foil, but eleven-plus years later NBC's David Gregory treated it as a reality, cuing up Bill Clinton in a Meet the Press interview pre-recorded in New York City: “Your wife famously talked about the vast right wing conspiracy targeting you. As you look at this opposition on the right to President Obama, is it still there?” Former President Clinton, naturally, agreed: “Oh, you bet. Sure it is.”  

Gregory also pressed Clinton to assess President Obama from a set of liberal presumptions: “Do you think the President has leveled with the American people on this fact, that Americans are going to have to pay higher taxes if they want health care reform?” And, recalling how “in 1996 you declared the era of big government over,” but now “the era of big government being over appears to be over in and of itself, whether it's the stimulus, whether it's bailouts, financial regulation or this issue of health care,” Gregory wondered: “Do you think the President's done a good enough job selling government as the solution?”

From the Sunday, September 27 Meet the Press:
DAVID GREGORY: Let's talk about some of the big challenges back home for President Obama. And on health care, as this debate rolls through, you remember it well, do you think the President has leveled with the American people on this fact, that Americans are going to have to pay higher taxes if they want health care reform?...

But let me ask you a broader question. In 1996 you declared the era of big government over.  Well, the era of big government being over appears to be over in and of itself, whether it's the stimulus, whether it's bailouts, financial regulation or this issue of health care. Do you think the President's done a good enough job selling government as the solution?...

Your wife famously talked about the vast right wing conspiracy targeting you. As you look at this opposition on the right to President Obama, is it still there?

BILL CLINTON: Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It's not as strong as it was, because America's changed demographically, but it's as virulent as it was. I mean, they're saying things about him – you know, it's like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did. But it's not really good for the Republicans and the country, what's going on now....
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center