At a campaign rally in Nevada, Bill Clinton announced that Hillary was feeling fine and added that he didn’t understand what the big deal was over her having the “the flu.” From Politico:
“It’s a crazy time we live in. You know, when people think there’s something unusual about getting the flu,” Bill Clinton said. “Last time I checked, millions of people were getting it every year.”
Hillary Clinton has been off the campaign trail this week as she recovers from pneumonia, which is what a spokesman said Bill Clinton intended to say.
Actually, that’s not quite right. What Bill really said was, “Next time I checked — last time I checked, millions of people were getting it every year.” Next time I checked?
That’s the second time this week Bill has said the opposite of what he meant to say at the start of a sentence. Earlier this week, in an interview with Charlie Rose, Bill said, “Frequently — well not frequently, rarely, on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years…” CBS was kind enough to edit the “frequently — well not frequently” part out when it aired the interview on the Evening News. Here Politico does Bill the same favor.
Putting that verbal flub aside, here’s my take on the flu comment. Bill planned to minimize his wife’s illness with the line about millions of people getting pneumonia every year. But then he just got carried away and took the minimizing a step too far. Suddenly, ‘hey, what’s the big deal’ became ‘hey, it’s just the flu.’
Then again, this being the Clintons, maybe “the flu” was the story the campaign was planning to tell before the publication of that video of Hillary collapsing. They clearly waited until that video had circulated before coming out with the pneumonia diagnosis.