(CNN) – Bill Clinton told a group of New Hampshire voters that the "most important" reason to elect his wife Hillary president is that she would be best able to "deal with the unexpected," like another terrorist attack.
“You have to have a leader who is strong and commanding and convincing enough . . . to deal with the unexpected. There is a better than 50 percent chance that sometime in the first year or 18 months of the next presidency, something will happen that is not being discussed in this campaign,” he said at a Saturday campaign event.
“President Bush never talked about Osama bin Laden and didn't foresee Hurricane Katrina. And if you're not ready for that, then everything else you do can be undermined. You need a president that you trust to deal with something that we will not discuss in this campaign. . . . And I think, on this score, she's the best of all,” he said.
A recent memo from John Edwards' campaign predicted the Clinton campaign would try to appeal to voter anxiety over worst-case scenarios. "We know that Senator Clinton will spend the week touting her national security credentials in a move that echoes George Bush's 2004 campaign… We believe Democrats will not be fooled by efforts to play on their fears," wrote Edwards’ deputy campaign manager, Jonathan Prince.
Last week, the former president told another Granite State crowd that his wife was the most qualified to deal with issues like climate change and terrorism, compared to other candidates with less experience. He added that "how we meet those challenges will determine whether our grandchildren will even be here fifty years from now at a meeting like this listening to the next generation's presidential candidates."
–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand