Video: Clinton vs. Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” Update: Wallace asked Rumsfeld same question in ’04

posted at 12:17 pm on September 24, 2006 by Allahpundit

I tried to cut all the best parts but you’re well advised to read the transcript. Righties are going to have a field day fact-checking him. Points to take away:

1. He showed leadership by not pulling out of Somalia while the bodies were still warm.

2. Contrary to Chris Wallace’s assertion, Bin Laden wasn’t involved in Mogadishu. Which, actually, wasn’t Chris Wallace’s assertion.

3. He was all set to do exactly what Bush ended up doing after 9/11 except that he couldn’t get basing rights in Uzbekistan and the CIA and FBI wouldn’t “certify” that Bin Laden was responsible for the embassy bombings. Really? I’d be curious to know what Michael Scheuer has to say about that. I’d also be curious to know why, if the FBI refused to certify, Osama’s been on their Ten Most Wanted list for his role in the embassy bombings since June 1999.

4. He had eight years to confront Islamic extremism, four years to address Bin Laden’s declaration of war on the U.S., and two and a half years to respond to the embassy bombings, yet somehow Republicans had “three times” as long as Clinton did to get him.

5. Despite the fact that it’s central to a debate that’s been raging for weeks, Wallace’s question about whether he did enough to eliminate Bin Laden is a “conservative hit job” designed to appease Fox’s right-wing viewers, who’ll all be very, very sore when they find out Rupert Murdoch is working with Clinton on climate change. Presumably Wallace should have stuck to the script followed by Meredith “Giggles” Vieira, CNN schlockmeister Larry King, who bombarded Clinton with tough questions like “How’s your health?” and “Have you seen Gore’s movie?”, and of course Keith Olbermann, who played his part perfectly except for the lack of a blue dress.

6. The “entire military” was against using special forces to go in and get Bin Laden, thereby rendering Clinton powerless under the “Entire Military” exception to the Constitution’s commander-in-chief clause.

7. John Warner, Lindsey Graham, and the rest of the McCain anti-belly slap contingent are proof that some Republicans still believe in the Constitution.

8. Republicans will do well in November if terrorism is the central issue because Americans know the multicultural left is hopelessly ideologically compromised on Islamic extremism. Which is to say, because Americans will be “scared.”

Enough blather. Here’s the video.

Update: Jim Pinkerton thinks Clinton was looking for an opening to bash Fox.

Update: Byron York takes Clinton’s advice and reads Richard Clarke’s book. Money:

[I]t’s not quite accurate to say that Clinton tried to kill bin Laden. Rather, he tried to convince — as opposed to, say, order — U.S. military and intelligence agencies to kill bin Laden. And when, on a number of occasions, those agencies refused to act, Clinton, the commander-in-chief, gave up.

Clinton did not give up in the sense of an executive who gives an order and then moves on to other things, thinking the order is being carried out when in fact it is being ignored. Instead, Clinton knew at the time that his top military and intelligence officials were dragging their feet on going after bin Laden and al Qaeda. He gave up rather than use his authority to force them into action.

Update: Dorkafork says I missed the biggest fact-check of all: “I remember a lot of criticisms of Clinton, but the criticism that he was ‘too obsessed’ with bin Laden isn’t one of them.”

Update: “Touch it.”

Update: Wallace says he’s surprised at Clinton’s nutrootsy “conspiratorial view.” He also wants to know, as I do, why he was the only one on Clinton’s media tour to put this rather pertinent question to him.

Update: I caught Chris Muir with his pants down. Last night his Day By Day strip had Clinton saying, “Touch it.” This morning he has him saying, “Help me with my pants.” Chicken.

Update: Jonah Goldberg points to NR’s editorial after the cruise missile strike in ’98 as proof that plenty of conservatives were happy to see Billy Jeff take a shot at Osama.

Update: Fact-checkmania!

Update: Patterico discovers, contrary to Clinton’s belief, that Chris Wallace has asked these questions of Bush administration officials. So “conservative hit job” really is Clintonspeak for “tough but fair.” Surprise.

Update: Billy Jeff says Osama had absolutely positively nothing to do with Mogadishu. His own Department of Justice said otherwise. Go read the 1998 grand jury indictment at Tammy Bruce’s site.

I said we’d have a field day fact-checking him. This is just the beginning.

Update: Now we’re really rolling: Jake Tapper of ABC News googled around and discovered that there were indeed people speculating about a “wag the dog” scenario in 1998. But they weren’t Republicans.

Update: Clinton — who’s adamantly anti-torture and very pro-Constitution, says he ordered the CIA to kill Bin Laden. There’s just one small problem with that.

Update (Ian): Chris Wallace comments:

The President was clearly stung by any suggestion that he had not done everything he could to get bin Laden. He attacked right-wingers–accused me of a “conservative hit job”–and even spun a theory I still don’t understand that somehow Fox was trying to cover up the fact that NewsCorp. chief Rupert Murdoch was supporting his Global Initiative. I still have no idea what set him off.

Former President Clinton is a very big man. As he leaned forward–wagging his finger in my face–and then poking the notes I was holding–I felt as if a mountain was coming down in front of me.

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You must see this if you’re following this story… the behind the scenes truth about the confrontation between these two men.

Whether you’re left, right, or Lieberal, this is what you’ve got to see to believe:

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on September 24, 2006 at 9:32 PM

Clinton — who’s adamantly anti-torture and very pro-Constitution, says he ordered the CIA to kill Bin Laden.

It depends on your definition of is “kill”…

tdau1997 on September 24, 2006 at 9:51 PM

I can’t WAIT to see what the clintoon spinmeisters do – clinton is up to his ears in doo doo with this interview. should be a VERY interesting week…

pullingmyhairout on September 24, 2006 at 10:15 PM

From August 21, 1998 WaPo article

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), who in recent days has been very critical of Clinton on the Lewinsky matter, also supported the bombing raids, noting, “In the past I was worried that this administration didn’t take this threat seriously enough, and didn’t take Osama bin Laden seriously enough; I’m going to support him, wish him well and back him up.”

Yeah, Orrin Hatch felt Clinton was a little too obsessed with UBL.


BlueStateBlues on September 24, 2006 at 10:29 PM

Did anyone notice his comment about how he enjoyed ‘being the President’?

That just jumped off the screen at me. He spent his entire presidency trying to ‘enjoy’ every speck of it…and now he’s trying to ‘enjoy’ his own imagining of it and resents any and all who don’t remember it the way he does.

This brings to mind the puff pieces about how he was up late at night and early in the morning in his last months in office, trying to squeeze every minute he could out of being President….while his brother(in-law?) was busy scarfing down whole chickens in the basement.

Too bad he couldn’t have found a couple minutes for other things.

Wasn’t there a report somewhere that he never once met with his CIA director the last year he was in office?

91Veteran on September 24, 2006 at 11:20 PM

OOOOOooooh, I can’t wait to hear what Rush has to say tomorrow….complete with audio clips. He could do almost an entire show on this alone.

91Veteran on September 24, 2006 at 11:39 PM

Yet another “Rather” swarm that the blogosphere excels at is upon us.Billy Jeff suffers from the liars problem of keeping all of the facts straight all of the time.Sure he can be a smoothy when talking from the hip, but start fact-checking his ass and the whole house comes tumbling down.

bbz123 on September 25, 2006 at 12:04 AM

I just read something really really nasty that is supposed to be in the Oz Newton Memoirs of working with Clinton .I will research further and find some linkage but it is perhaps too foul for the “Boss” to even go there.

bbz123 on September 25, 2006 at 12:47 AM

Everytime Clinton points, you know there are one of two things going on:

he’s either having sex with that woman, or not getting Bin Laden.

digitalintrigue on September 25, 2006 at 12:53 AM

I don’t know how to go about finding it at the moment, but Bush has been asked that same question before as well. Rather than getting angry and agressive about it, he simply said something along the lines of “Of course we didn’t do enough. 9/11 happened, didn’t it?”

I won’t be able to look for that until tomorrow night, though.

DaveS on September 25, 2006 at 12:53 AM

Who did that interview on a train… I think that might have been the one..

DaveS on September 25, 2006 at 12:57 AM

I just wish to express my gratitude to Alla, and others here for posting such relevant links. I do appreciate those.

Keep up the great work, folks.

DannoJyd on September 25, 2006 at 2:32 AM

When William Jefferson Clinton became unravaled,
he showed the true Slick Willy…unmasked!

But come on folks, at least this time
Slick had his fly zipped up.
What a presidential guy, huh.

byteshredder on September 25, 2006 at 3:46 AM

After is’t all done I guess I’m not shocked about Clinton’s behavior here. He’s never really been questioned by anyone in the media. He’s actually used to the reporters leaving the interview with DNA dribbling from their chins.

madmonaco on September 25, 2006 at 12:58 PM

Poor Chris Wallace! Having Billy Jeff’s stink finger waved under his nose must have made him want to blow chunks.

SicSemperTyrannus on September 25, 2006 at 1:43 PM

Wow. A little guilty maybe?

High Desert Wanderer on September 25, 2006 at 3:46 PM

Is Clinton still angling to become the next head of the UN when Kofi leaves at the end of this year? I wonder if he thought this behavior would play well in Europe…

kemphd on September 25, 2006 at 5:46 PM

The man is an utter disgrace. He demeaned America while President and continues to do so now. If it wasn’t obvious before it is certainly clear now that he places personal concern for his legacy far above the best interests of the country.

PS: Best line ever!!

…and of course Keith Olbermann, who played his part perfectly except for the lack of a blue dress.

Ann on September 25, 2006 at 6:02 PM

Who’s excited for tonight’s special comment!

I am! I am!

World B. Free on September 25, 2006 at 6:08 PM

Plenty people have speculated that Clinton suffers from “Pump Head” — i.e., loss or degradation of cognitive skills, often 20IQ points or more, which can happen following coronary bypass surgery.

His performance on Fox News Sunday tends to support this, especially his getting Clarke’s book so wrong.

wordwarp on September 25, 2006 at 6:26 PM

the slurring, too, could be a sign of a minor stroke.

wordwarp on September 25, 2006 at 6:30 PM

Forgotten in all the hubbub surrounding Clinton’s tirade on Fox News Sunday, was Clinton’s ’92 Inaugural Day parade outburst.
As Bill and Hillary walked the last stretch of Pennsylvania Ave. a man in the crowd lining the streets shouted out something about abortion. Clinton immediately went over to him, and proceeded to wag that now infamous finger in the guy’s startled face, while laying into him.
I remember thinking,”This guy (Clinton) is a nut,” even though I’d voted for him (because I was so peeved at Bush Sr. for extending most favored nation status to China, even after the Tianamen Square massacre).
I’m I the only one who saw this, and remembers it?

Indy Mark on September 26, 2006 at 12:06 PM