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RUSH: Back to Fox News Sunday. Chris Wallace says, “Mr. President, you seem upset. All I can say is I’m asking all this in good faith because it’s on people’s minds, sir.”
CLINTON: There’s a reason it’s on people’s minds because there’s been a serious disinformation campaign to create that impression. The people on my political right who say I didn’t do enough spent the whole time I was president saying, ‘Why is he so obsessed with bin Laden?’ [sic] —
RUSH: Stop the tape! Stop the tape. Stop the tape. We have nuked that one, folks, blown it out of the water. If you’ve missed it, it will be on the website, RushLimbaugh.com, when we update later this afternoon and on our podcasts, for those of you that get them. They are free to members of Rush 24/7. We’ve gone line by line in this appearance yesterday and nuked the whole thing and blown it to smithereens. Let’s finish this bite here.
CLINTON: That was wag the dog, when you tried to kill him, and you guys try to create the opposite impression when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s findings, and you know it’s not true! It’s just not true. And all this business about Somalia? The same people that criticized me about Somalia were demanding I leave the next day, the same exact crowd. So, if you’re going to do this, for God’s sakes, follow the same standards for everybody —
WALLACE: I think we do, sir.
CLINTON: — and be flat and fair.
WALLACE: I think we do.
RUSH: And we’ve documented that, the tough questions that have been asked the various administration officials about the war on terror by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. A couple Richard Clarke bites here. This is early August of 2002. Richard Clarke spoke to reporters, and in the conversation he describes the hand-over of intelligence from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration. Clarke says, “I’ve got about seven points. The first point, I think the overall point is there was no plan on Al-Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.” Here is Clarke laying out point #5.
CLARKE: — first week in February, uh, decided in principle, uh in the spring to add to the existing Clinton strategy and to increase CIA resources — for example, for covert action, five-fold — to go after Al Qaeda.
RUSH: Remember, Clarke says, “The overall point, there was no plan in Al-Qaeda that was passed from Clinton to Bush,” and Clarke next says…
CLARKE: [The Bush administration] hanged the strategy from one of rollback with Al Qaeda over the course [of] five years, which it had been, to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of al Qaeda.
RUSH: That was Richard Clarke in early 2002 saying that Bush “changed strategy from a roll back of Al-Qaeda to elimination of Al-Qaeda.” I just wanted to set all this straight because Clinton is citing Richard Clarke in his book as the world’s foremost authority on all of this. What we had was classic Clinton. I mean, there was nothing new here in terms of Clinton, his personality, his character, lying prevarication all of that that went on for eight whole years, and I think one of the things this is going to do is make the country say, “Do we want all this if Hillary is elected? Do we want to go through this every day, all of this, all over again?” She’s not doing well in Iowa. We’ve got a story here in the stack, David Yepsen at the Des Moines Register. Her polling data is horrible, and so is Vilsack’s, the governor out there.

They’re both plummeting in polls in which they’re matched up against a variety of Republican nominees. Now, one of thing, just to wrap this up. This is from a Byron York story, National Review, December 17th of 2001, about three months after 9/11. ‘In early August 1996, a few weeks after the Khobar Towers bombing, Clinton had a long conversation with Dick Morris about his place in history,’ his legacy. ‘Morris divided presidents into four categories: first tier, second tier, third tier, and the rest. Twenty-two presidents who presided over uneventful administrations fell into the last category. Just five — Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt — made Morris’s first tier. Clinton asked Morris where he stood.

”I said that at the moment he was at the top of the unrated category,’ Morris recalls. Morris says he told the president that one surprising thing about the ratings was that a president’s standing had little to do with the performance of the economy during his time in office. ‘Yeah,’ Clinton responded, ‘It has so much to do with whether you get re-elected or not, but history kind of forgets it.’ Clinton then asked, ‘What do I need to do to be first tier?’ ‘I said, ‘You can’t,” Morris remembers. ”You have to win a war.” Clinton then asked what he needed to do to make the second or third tier, and Morris outlined three goals. The first was successful welfare reform,’ a Republican idea.

‘The second was balancing the budget,’ a Republican idea. ‘And the third was an effective battle against terrorism. ‘I said the only one of the major goals he had not achieved was a war on terrorism,”’ Morris says. (This is not a recent recollection; Morris also described the conversation in his 1997 book, Behind the Oval Office.)’ Now, I’m reading to you from a story in December 2001. ‘…Clinton never began, much less finished, a war on terrorism. Even though Morris’s polling showed the poll-sensitive president that the American people supported tough action, Clinton demurred. Why?’ ”He had almost an allergy to using people in uniform,’ Morris explains. ‘He was terrified of incurring casualties; the lessons of Vietnam were ingrained far too deeply in him. He lacked a faith that it would work, and I think he was constantly fearful of reprisals.’

‘But there was more to it than that. ‘On another level, I just don’t think it was his thing,’ Morris says. ‘You could talk to him about income redistribution and he would talk to you for hours and hours. Talk to him about terrorism, and all you’d get was a series of grunts,” and Morris has been consistent about this, by the way, since 2001, saying all these things: that Clinton never really cared about it, didn’t want to deal with it. ‘And that is the key to understanding Bill Clinton’s handling of the terrorist threat that grew throughout his two terms in the White House: It just wasn’t his thing. Clinton was right when he said history might care little about the prosperity of his era. Now, as he tries to defend his record on terrorism, he appears to sense that he will be judged harshly on an issue that is far more important than the Nasdaq or 401(k) balances. He’s right about that, too.’

This is from five years ago. Byron York, National Review.


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