Bill Clinton Fires Back at Rachel Maddow Riff Describing Him as 'Best Republican President'

When lefties turn on each other ... never a pretty sight.

Former president Bill Clinton, he of the elephantine memory, still nurses a grudge against MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for a crack she made about him way back in March.

In an appearance with former British prime minister Tony Blair in Philadelphia on Monday, Clinton said that "one of the leading television commentators on one of our liberal cable channels said I was the best Republican president the country ever produced, which would come [as] quite a surprise to the Republicans, half of whom still think I'm a closet communist," according to Politico.

Politico also quoted Clinton as follows --

"What she meant by that was I didn't necessarily follow their 'conventional wisdom'," he said. "I said, 'What do you mean?!' "

"We had 100 times as many people move out of poverty during those eight years [I was president] than the previous 12 years because we had an earned income tax credit, not because we had another traditional anti-poverty program hiring people," he said.

"What gave birth to the Third Way in America was that the Democrats kept getting beat because people saw us as the party of big government, and our own political base very often was more concerned with means than ends," he said. "I think the people on the right that say that, 'government is the enemy, we don't need it,' are wrong, particularly in this economic time. And I think that people on the left that say, 'the only way to deliver services or solve problems is with a bigger state,' are not always right and are more often wrong than not."

While Clinton did not mention Maddow by name, it was apparent from the specifics of his remarks that he was referring to her. According to The Huffington Post, Maddow said this about Clinton on her MSNBC show March 31 --

"What we ended up with is what we ended with, in my opinion, is the two terms of the Clinton administration, which is that Bill Clinton was probably the best Republican president the country ever had, if you look at the policies that he passed."

... a view shared by enough left-wingers in 2000 that they preferred inadvertently helping elect Republican George W. Bush by casting their ballots for purist soulmate Ralph Nader instead of Clinton vice president Al Gore.

The Huffington Post wasn't alone in picking up on Clinton's belated testiness in response to Maddow's arch criticism. So did the satirical World Weekly News site, providing this unique take on what I devoutly hope is a burgeoning feud.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts