Hillary and Bill Clinton campaigned in Keene, New Hampshire last week.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton defended his wife’s record on women’s issues Thursday, two days after Elizabeth Edwards contended her husband would be a stronger advocate for women than his Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton.
"If you look at the record on women's issues, I defy you to find anybody who has run for office in recent history whose got a longer history of working for women, for families and children than Hillary does," the former president said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America.
In an interview with the online magazine Salon Tuesday, Edwards said Clinton is “just not as vocal a women’s advocate as I want to see. John is.”
"Keeping that door open to women is actually more a policy of John's than Hillary's," Elizabeth Edwards added, noting that she was “sympathetic” to the fact that “sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues.”
“I don't think she's trying to be a man,” Bill Clinton said Thursday about his wife. “I don't think it's inconsistent with being a woman that you can also be knowledgeable on military and security affairs and be strong when the occasion demands it.
“That's - I don't consider that being manly. I consider that being a leader,” he added.
An Edwards campaign spokesman declined to discuss Elizabeth Edward’s comments directly, but told CNN Tuesday she “believes her husband is the best candidate for president and she thinks that her husband would be the best advocate on healthcare, on education, on women’s issues and the fight to end poverty.”
Both Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards have taken visible roles in the presidential campaigns of their spouses. Bill Clinton recently joined his wife on the campaign trail in Iowa and New Hampshire, while Elizabeth is the star of a new television ad for her husband running in the Granite State.
Programming Note: Elizabeth Edwards joins CNN’s Larry King tonight at 9 p.m. ET to discuss her recent comments about Hillary Clinton, among other topics.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney