Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton Tuesday defended her husband in an ongoing war of words with conservatives over whether the administration did enough to fight terrorism.
The exchange started during a Sunday TV interview in which President Clinton defended his efforts to track down and kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
"I think my husband did a great job in demonstrating that Democrats are not going to take these attacks," Sen. Clinton said.
"You know, and I'm certain that if my husband and his national security team had been shown a classified report entitled 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States' he would have taken it more seriously than history suggests it was taken by our current president and his national security team."
During his interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday," President Clinton also said he came the closest to killing bin Laden and suggested that his administration took the threat of terrorism more seriously than the Bush administration did before the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Clinton also lashed out against "the right-wingers who are attacking me now," saying the same people had accused him of being "obsessed" with bin Laden.
"They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed," he told Wallace.
He added that he "left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy" for the Bush administration.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has taken on former President Clinton, strongly rejecting that notion. (Your e-mail: The Clinton-Rice war of words)
"What we did in the eight months [between Bush's inauguration and 9/11] was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice told the New York Post in comments published Tuesday.
"The notion that somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false."
But Rice told the Post that "we were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda."
Hot Air has the video and more.
UPDATE -- Sept. 29: From NRO: Did Clinton Really Give Bush A “Comprehensive Anti-Terror Strategy?” The former president says he did. The record says he didn’t by Byron York. (via TIA Daily)
And from the Los Angeles Times: Clinton Doth Protest Too Much; The ex-president's tirade on Fox News reveals a politician insisting on a legacy he doesn't deserve. by Andrew Klavan.
To put it in his own terms, Clinton has never understood what the meaning of "is" is, the fact that some things happened and others didn't, that some things are true and others simply are not. He believes that his legacy will be created in the spin cycle of history rather than in the fitful but persistent human search for history's truth.
Of course he panics and rages like a child when the spin goes the wrong way, when he is given his portion of the blame for encouraging Bin Laden through his military retreat from Somalia or for allowing the terrorist to escape by refusing to put a kill order on him.
He thinks reality itself is being wrestled away from him, that he can wrestle it back and mold it into the shape he wants it to have.
But he's wrong. That's just "is" being is. That's just "truth" bearing away the victory.
Posted by Forkum at September 26, 2006 05:45 PM