April 11th, 2008
11:37 AM ET
6 years ago

Bill Clinton says media overreacted to Bosnia flap

Bill Clinton is defending his wife's Bosnia claims.
Bill Clinton is defending his wife's Bosnia claims.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton strongly defended his wife Thursday over the recent coverage surrounding her 1996 Bosnia trip claims, saying the media acted as if she'd "robbed a bank."

"I got tickled the other day, a lot of the way this whole campaign has been covered has amused me, but there was a lot of fulminating because Hillary, one time late at night when she was exhausted, misstated and immediately apologized for it, what happened to her in Bosnia in 1995. Did y'all see all that? Oh, they blew it up," the former president said at a campaign event in Boonville, Indiana Thursday afternoon.

"You would have thought, you know, that she'd robbed a bank the way they carried on about this," he added. "And some of them when they're 60 they'll forget something when they're tired at 11 at night, too."

Controversy surrounded Clinton after video footage showed she did not land "under sniper fire" during her 1996 trip to Bosnia, despite making that claim on several occasions - most recently during a mid-morning address on March 17. Clinton later said she "misspoke" about the trip, and attributed the exaggerations to exhaustion.

"I have been in the public eye for many, many years, and this is something that I think happens to anybody," Clinton also said if the exaggeration which served to raise questions anew about her candor.

But speaking Thursday, Bill Clinton said his wife was justified in characterizing the landing as dangerous.

"Let me just tell you, the president of Bosnia and General Wesley Clark - who was there making peace where we'd lost three peacekeepers who had to ride on a dangerous mountain road because it was too dangerous to go the regular, safe way - both defended her because they pointed out that when her plane landed in Bosnia, she had to go up to the bulletproof part of the plane, in the front," the former President added Thursday.

"Everybody else had to put their flak jackets underneath the seat in case they got shot at. And everywhere they went they were covered by Apache helicopters. So they just abbreviated the arrival ceremony. "

Responding to the former president's comments, Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer said, "Senator Clinton appreciates her husband standing up for her, but this was her mistake and she takes responsibility for it."


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (358 Responses)
  1. Jeff, Boston MA

    I just cannot stand these two anymore! They make me sick. They have no morals or ethics. They simply desire power. They are the King and Queen of manipulating discussions.

    "And some of them when they're 60 they'll forget something when they're tired at 11 at night, too"

    The key word here is "forget". She did not "forget" something, she lied and made something up. If you have ever been shot at, you do not forget that, and you certainly can't make it up, and actually believe it.

    What baffles me most, that there are some people out there that still plan on voting for her. She is a pathological LIAR. She doesn't care about the people And she doesn't have squat for expereience. Being the wife of a civil engineer doesn't enable you to build bridges!!

    I will have a perma-smile on my face when she announces her resignation. Hopefully the people of New York will wake up and boot her butt out of the Senate as well!

    April 11, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Alex H

    No no no no no... she's been repeating that story for months! Who are you trying to fool?

    "And some of them when they're 60 they'll forget something when they're tired at 11 at night, too"

    She didn't forget something, she MADE UP something! Sounds like she's got a vivid imagination, not a failing memory. The pilot of that airplane said he's never had anyone sit on their flak jackets. Hillary is running on an experience-platform and uses stories to portray that, so when she is busted in lying about her stories, we have to question her experience. We have, and I don't buy it.

    However, good for her for saying that it's her responsibility for this incident. I just wish she would do that with every mistake she makes.

    April 11, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. alice2

    Bill Clinton said Hillary was 60 yrs. old and tired – If she's OLD and TIRED, she should get out of the race!!!!!! – I don't think she's up to 3:00 AM phone calls, or she's TOO TIRED!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Nick

    It wasn't one slip at 11pm. She said it a few times in multiple places. Kind of the same way she mentioned the woman without insurance multiple times.

    Hillary has lied her lead away in Pennsylvania.

    April 11, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Danielle, TX

    Oh, Bill, that's soooo not right!! First of all, it was 1996. Second of all, she didn't say it late at night. Third, she didn't only say it one time (I believe she said it THREE times). Nice try. If she "misspeaks" late at night, what will she say on that 3am phone call?

    That said, while I'm an Obama supporter, I will still support Hillary if she becomes the nominee and I will hope most democrats will still support whoever the democratic nominee (Obama or Clinton). Can any of us stand 4 more years of this mess?

    April 11, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Tom A

    That's right. She was tired and "misspoke" about it in March...

    ...and February...

    and December before the Iowa Caucuses...

    and...aww forget it. I guess "misspeaking" is a habit of the Hill-Billy.

    April 11, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Dem

    Trustworthy?

    April 11, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Coy

    Just a minute Mr. Clinton:

    1. Your wife misstated more than "once" about the Bosnia trip. She did so at least three times .
    2. Your wife was not speaking "late at night," on every occasion.
    3. it was 1996 not "1995."

    More tales from the Clintons.

    April 11, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Camille

    "And some of them when they're 60 they'll forget something when they're tired at 11 at night, too."

    LOL...so basically he is saying Hillary has a touch of senility......

    April 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Phil VA

    You have got to be kidding me!? "Wild" Bill has lost his mind too! Nevermind the fact that she "misspoke" the same story not one, not two, but three times.....Brilliant

    Well folks, this just goes to show you that it is time to wrap this thing up and get ready for McSame!

    GOBAMA 08!

    April 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Arin

    Cut Granny Clampett er I mean Clinton some slack. Sometimes when that rheumatism acts up, you can't remember what you were saying!

    April 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. shamous mc

    It's not a mis-speak if you believe it...as said on Sienfeld.

    April 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. CB

    This is why she have no business answering that 3:00am phone call.

    April 11, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. ObamaSupporter from Washington

    If she's so exhausted at 11:00pm, how can we trust her to answer the phone at 3am?

    April 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. vic nashville,Tn

    He is absolutely right
    Media covering 83% of their time talking positive about Obama
    Now they are taking one step ahead saying Obama voted against Iraq war
    Please give us a break
    Hillary holding 9 points margin lead in Pennsylvania this local reporter are saying
    What CNN saying only 4 points lead

    April 11, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. James Edward of LA

    People, there are alot of issues to talk about, I am about to loose my job in 2 weeks & all the media talk about is Bosnia! Judge HILLARY on her programs to solve this economic mess we have, not if she was sniffered in Bosnia! Shallow people! Be intelligent for once!

    April 11, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Rosalynd

    Overreacted, is he kidding! Senator Clinton recounted that Bosnia lie many times over so many days. That 11 PM garbage is so bogus. Geez!

    April 11, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. Ed from PA

    I think the media under-reacted by not calling her "flap" a bold-faced lie.

    April 11, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. gerald strother

    THEY HAVE NO SHAME

    April 11, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Dee from Texas

    Isn't Bill and Hillary Clinton disgusting. Everytimes these two people talk – it's a lie! I hope that the news media keep showing this so that the American people will realize that all the two of them tell us is lies.

    April 11, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Steel

    What a bonafide loser. The clintons deserve each other. Both liars!

    April 11, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. spyturtle

    Will Hillary be too tired at 3:00am?

    April 11, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Herman LA, CA

    I hope you just laugh your way right off into retirement.

    Obama 08!!

    April 11, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Chris Banner

    Come on Bill!!!
    Overreacted? They surely overeact to anything that's related to Hillary
    Give it a break Bill, let Hillary run the race on her own

    April 11, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. DBN

    Excuse me, but I think she told the story at least on 3 separate occasions. They have an excuse for everything, I'm just glad that I'm intelligent enough not to fall for their lies.

    April 11, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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