Clinton Didn’t Want to Criticize Bush, So CNN Did It For Him

CNN’s Kelly Wallace interviewed former president Bill Clinton for an “American Morning” segment today while he was visiting Hurricane Katrina evacuees.  Although the intention was to discuss the money that Clinton and former president Bush have raised for hurricane relief, as well as how they plan on spending this money, CNN couldn’t help but include a few digs for the current president.

The first came from a New Orleans evacuee sitting in a “roundtable” discussion with Clinton:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was the difference? Why we couldn't get the attention and the help that Texas got, when a whole -- I mean, from the east bank to the west bank was destroyed?

The next shot came from Wallace herself in a voice-over: “Along the way, he steered clear of criticizing the Bush administration's response to Katrina and how he thinks the president should roll back tax cuts for the wealthy to help pay for rebuilding the Gulf Coast.”

What follows is a full-transcript of this report, along with a video link.

WALLACE (voice-over): A former consoler-in-chief consoling once again.

CLINTON: I'm really sorry for what you've been through, and I'm honored to be here.

WALLACE: In his first visit to Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina, former President Clinton huddled first with some of its victims.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was the difference? Why we couldn't get the attention and the help that Texas got, when a whole -- I mean, from the east bank to the west bank was destroyed?

WALLACE: For two hours in Baton Rouge, Mr. Clinton listened to their stories and complaints about a lack of housing and still no money from FEMA.

CLINTON: I try not to forget that what someone like me or former President Bush can do is not just raise money and spend it, but also just to be available to listen. A lot of these people have lost everything.

WALLACE: He said he came to figure out how best to spend the nearly $100 million he raised for Katrina relief with former President Bush, who visits the region next week.

CLINTON: I wish we could of come together, but as I said, I had to come this week, and President Bush couldn't come until next week, and that is on my 30th wedding anniversary, and I want to spend that day with Hillary.

WALLACE (on camera): That would be problematic at home? CLINTON: Yes, as much as I'm devoted to this task, I think I need to be home.

WALLACE (voice-over): We traveled along with the former president as he choppered from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, and as he toured one of the hardest-hit areas, the lower ninth ward.

(on camera): On a personal note, what was it like for you? We drove with you through the Lower Ninth Ward. As someone who loves this city, what was that like?

CLINTON: Well, it was very emotional because I mean, you know, this is the first city I ever visited. My family's I guess only out- of-state vacation my family ever took when I was a boy was here and the Gulfport and Biloxi. Ironically, we went to New Orleans, Gulfport and Biloxi when I was 15. So I've loved this place all my life.

WALLACE (voice-over): And the place he loved gave him a New Orleans welcome. Along the way, he steered clear of criticizing the Bush administration's response to Katrina and how he thinks the president should roll back tax cuts for the wealthy to help pay for rebuilding the Gulf Coast.

(on camera): You have a relationship with former President Bush. Do you ever say to him, here is what I think the president should do? And why not?

CLINTON: No way. He knows what I think. But I've talked to the president about this. I have a good relationship with him, but I don't -- you know, I'm past the point in my life when I'm just always mad at people I disagree with. That's just not -- I just disagree.

WALLACE (voice-over): He says his focus is mainly on what he and former President Bush can do to help New Orleans rebuild.

CLINTON: It's been a great city for a very long time, and I expect it to be a great city for a very long time after I leave this Earth, and I hope I can do a little help.

Video Link

 

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.