You have to admire the sheer efficiency of a Republican nominee who can let Hillary Clinton off the hook for her Iraq vote and attack the last Republican president for having “lied” in the span of a single sentence.
Here’s why it’s so hard to stomach the pro-Trump argument that Hillary would be a disaster for the country. Between this and the many other flattering things he’s said about her over the years, starting with the claim that she’d make a great president, Trump himself obviously doesn’t agree.
The comments came in an interview with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times titled “Trump Fired Up,” in which Trump also said the then-New York senator might be the next president
“He thinks John McCain has lost the 2008 election by pushing to send more troops to Iraq but that Hillary should be forgiven for her ‘horrendous’ vote to authorize the war. ‘Don’t forget that decision was based on lies given to her,’ he says. “She’s very smart and has a major chance to be our next president.'”
Her Iraq vote is the linchpin of his argument to come, echoing Bernie Sanders, that her judgment is too poor for voters to trust her with the presidency. It’s the single most effective pander he has to anti-Hillary Democrats, notwithstanding his own pro-war comments in the first years after the invasion. What’s left of that now? He went on to say in the same interview with Dowd, “Bush will go down as the worst and by far the dumbest president in history.” That won’t hurt him (much) with Republicans but it’s more ammo for Clinton to say that Bush bears the blame for her Iraq vote, not her, and the Republicans’ own nominee agrees. This is what happens when your judgment of people turns entirely on whether they’re personally cordial to you or hostile. You’re apt to say all sorts of things in their defense during the cordial periods that you might think better of later.
Here he is in early 2012, three years into her tenure as Secretary of State and more than a year after the disastrous Libya intervention she championed, reminding everyone how terrific she is. You’re apt to see this in an ad or two before November.