WASHINGTON (CNN) - Bill Clinton caused a stir late last week when he seemed to say Barack Obama is too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief, but the former president told CNN Tuesday that's not what he meant to suggest.
“I am trying to say that I agree with what the Des Moines Register said that Hillary has the best record of positive change making in other people’s lives, and I think it is important and I think that this is why they endorsed her,” the former president told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.
“I bragged on all of them," he continued. "Sen. Obama, Sen. Edwards, all of them - I like them, I think she has the best record of making change in other people's lives in the most different circumstances and I think that's very important for the next president.”
On PBS’ The Charlie Rose Show Friday, Clinton emphasized the fact that Obama has only been a senator since 2004, and said the Illinois Democrat has not had enough experiences to make a mistake.
“If you listen to the people who are most strongly for [Obama], they say basically, ‘We have to throw away all these experienced people, because they have been through the wars of the nineties,’” Clinton said in the interview. "'They made enough decisions and enough calls that they made a few mistakes, and what we want is someone who started running for president a year after he became a senator because he's fresh, he's new, he's never made a mistake. And he has massive political skills, and we're willing to risk it.'"
Also during the PBS interview, Clinton compared Obama to himself in 1988, when he was a young governor of Arkansas who decided not to run for president yet.
"Even when I was a governor, and young, and thought I was the best politician in the Democratic Party, I didn't run the first time I could have. I had lots of Democratic governors encouraging me to, but I knew in my bones I shouldn't run, that I was a good enough politician to win, but I didn't think I was ready to be president."
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney