NBC's Chuck Todd to Hillary Clinton: Are Any GOP Candidates 'Ready to Answer the 3 a.m. Phone Call?'

In a portion of a softball interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton aired on Friday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd invited her to bash the Republican field of 2012 candidates as he skeptically wondered: "Any of these Republican presidential candidates ready to answer the 3:00 a.m. phone call?" [Audio available here]

Clinton dodged the question by simply claiming: "Well, you know, I'm out of politics, happy to be out of politics." However, she did use the opportunity to puff up President Obama: "But I am very proud of the leadership that President Obama has shown. He's demonstrated unequivocally that he's ready, willing and able to do whatever is necessary for our country." [View video after the jump]

Todd of course was referring to Clinton's 3 a.m. phone call ad from the 2008 presidential campaign, which was a criticism directed at then-Senator Barack Obama.

On October 20, Today touted "an unusual exchange" between Clinton and Afghan President Hamid Karzai in which the two mocked Herman Cain's foreign policy credentials.

On Friday, the other highlight featured from Todd's interview with Clinton was the two of them chatting about Chelsea Clinton become an NBC News contributor. Todd gushed: "I've got to ask about my new colleague. What – what did you think when she said, 'I want to become a member of the fourth estate,' this side of the line here?" Clinton replied: "Well, I was a little surprised. But, you know, she – she decided to go for it, and I'm very excited for her."

Here is a transcript of Todd's November 18 exchange with Clinton:

8:04AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Bali, Indonesia this morning and NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd spoke to her about, among other things, the 2012 race for the White House.

CHUCK TODD: Any of these Republican presidential candidates ready to answer the 3:00 a.m. phone call?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, you know, I'm out of politics, happy to be out of politics. But I am very proud of the leadership that President Obama has shown. He's demonstrated unequivocally that he's ready, willing and able to do whatever is necessary for our country.

TODD: I've got to ask about my new colleague.

CLINTON: Yes.

TODD: What – what did you think when she said, 'I want to become a member of the fourth estate,' this side of the line here?

CLINTON: Well, I was a little surprised. But, you know, she – she decided to go for it, and I'm very excited for her.

GUTHRIE: Well, just moments before talking to NBC, President Obama announced that Secretary Clinton will make a historic visit to Myanmar, the first trip of its kind in 50 years.       

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is the Senior News Analyst for MRC