Bill Clinton’s ‘Squinting Two-Minutes Hate’ on CNN

A preview of an interview of impeached former president Bill Clinton ran on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room," in which Clinton blasted "disingenuous" Republicans for their "feigned outrage" over MoveOn.org’s ad attacking General David Petraeus. Clinton put on his best "angry face" during the clip. "This was classic bait-and-switch.... These Republicans that are all upset about Petraeus - this is one newspaper ad. These are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam – in the same ad, with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. That’s what the Republicans did."

Clinton also brought up the "Swift Boat" attack on John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign. "These are the people that funded the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. And the President appointed one of the principal funders of the Swift Boat ads to be an ambassador. But they’re really upset about Petraeus. But it was ok to question John Kerry’s patriotism on the blatantly dishonest claims by people that [sic] didn’t what they were talking about."

The clip, which lasted less than two minutes, aired during the last 15 minutes of the 5 pm hour of "The Situation Room." Host Wolf Blitzer played the clip at the beginning of a segment with CNN chief national correspondent John King and new senior political analyst Gloria Borger. The full interview will air on Wednesday’s "Anderson Cooper 360." Host Anderson Cooper was the one who interviewed Clinton

The full transcript of the clip:

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that there was something completely disingenuous about the feigned outrage of the Republicans in the White House and in the Congress about this. This was classic bait-and-switch.

ANDERSON COOPER: "Focused on that as opposed to focusing on what’s really happening?"

(CROSSTALK)

CLINTON: Oh yeah. That’s right. I don’t have to deal with Iraq. I don’t have to tell anybody what I’m going to do. Everything we do in Iraq is obviously right because they said this about Petraeus, as if it were the only issue in the wide world. Come on, these Republicans that are all upset about Petraeus - this is one newspaper ad. These are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam – in the same ad, with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. That’s what the Republicans did. And the person that [sic] rode to the Senate on that ad was there voting to condemn the Democrats over the Petraeus ad. I mean, these are the people that funded the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. And the President appointed one of the principal funders of the Swift Boat ads to be an ambassador. But they’re really upset about Petraeus. But it was ok to question John Kerry’s patriotism on the blatantly dishonest claims by people that [sic] didn’t what they were talking about. So, it was just bait-and-switch. It was just, ‘Oh, thank goodness! I can take this little word here, and ignore what we’ve done in Iraq, and what we’re going to do, and the outrageous way we gained political power by smearing John Kerry.'

WOLF BLITZER: Wow. You can watch the entire interview with Anderson Cooper later tonight on ‘Anderson Cooper: 360, ' right here on CNN. 10 pm Eastern. What an interview.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Clay Waters of our TimesWatch project explored "The Myth of Max Cleland" back in 2004, including video of the Saxby Chambliss commercial against Cleland. It in no way suggests that Cleland is like Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.  Over a montage of four photographs, one each of bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, two others of the U.S. military, a narrator reads: "As America faces terrorists and extremist dictators, Max Cleland runs television ads claiming he has the courage to lead," but he voted 11 times against Bush's homeland security measures. The page includes a video link.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center