September 27th, 2009
04:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Bill Clinton: 'Vast right-wing conspiracy' as 'virulent' as ever

In an interview that aired Sunday, former President Clinton said forces once allied against him are now focused on President Obama.
In an interview that aired Sunday, former President Clinton said forces once allied against him are now focused on President Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The "vast right-wing conspiracy" that attacked him during his presidency has been weakened, but continues to operate against President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton said Sunday.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Clinton was asked about the term his wife Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State, famously coined. "Is it still there?" asked host David Gregory.

"Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It's not as strong as it was, because America's changed demographically, but it's as virulent as it was," said the former president.

"I mean, they're saying things about him [Obama] - you know, it's like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did," Clinton said, in an apparent reference to conspiracy theories surrounding the suicide of White House deputy counsel Vince Foster.

He added, "It's not really good for the Republicans and the country, what's going on now. I mean, they may be hurting President Obama. They can take his numbers down, they can run his opposition up. But fundamentally, he and his team have a positive agenda for America."

The nation needs "a credible debate about what's the right balance between continuing to expand the economy through stimulus and beginning to move back to fiscal balance," Clinton said. "We need a credible debate about what's the best way to get to universal [health care] coverage."

Clinton praised Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine as "the one Republican who's come up with a good idea" on health care.

Clinton was asked whether he is concerned that the 2010 midterm elections could resemble those of 1994 - two years into his first term, when Republicans took control of the House and Senate.

"There's no way" that could happen, Clinton said, adding that "the country is more diverse and more interested in positive action." Also, he said, Republicans had control of the White House and the Congress for several years under President Bush, "and they know the results were bad."

And, he said, "the Democrats haven't taken on the gun lobby like I did."

"Whatever happens, it'll be manageable for our president," Clinton said.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • GOP • Hillary Clinton • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. diridi

    just ignore this idiotic Republicans and pass the needed health care with public option...do not nag...brag....barking dogs seldom bite....ignore these idiots...republicans are biggest menace in USA!!!!

    September 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    Bill, the government is trying to run everything; the economy, healthcare, God's green earth, everything. The truth is, the government has never been effectively able to run anything without screwing it up. The people realize this and will act accordingly in 2010.

    September 27, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Ray

    As much as I respect Bill Clinton as a president - he was definitely one of the best of the 20th century if not the entire run of presidents - there's no way a credible debate can be had with the GOP at this time because they keep proving that they don't want to debate. They just want to shout and accuse and lie. However, once the demographics change in the GOP, then it's possible that a new flock of politicians will have the intelligence to sit down and discuss the problems the American people face and find solutions instead of the current GOP member show are part of the problem.

    September 27, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. JP

    "Whatever happens, it'll be manageable for our president," Clinton said. Obama has not stopped lying since he got in office.

    September 27, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Romilio Garcia

    Right wing is as strong as ever because this country is not LEFTIST.

    September 27, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Mike in MN

    It's not a right wing conspiracy to be against out of control growth in government and spending, or deficits that triple those under Bush, or cap and trade that will choke the economy, or a potential health care reform bill that will add even more to the deficit and create a public option that will be the same kind of money pit as Social Security and Medicare. It is not a right wing conspiracy to oppose a stimulus bill that is not stimulating or spending bills filled with wasteful pork. It is not a right wing conspiracy to be concerned that Obama is not willing to support victory in Afganistan.
    These are the major issues that have driven Obama's approval ratings down to somewhere between 50 and 53%. These are the issues that are producing polling numbers that show a majority of independents no longer apporve of Obama's performance. These are the issues that have ignited the grass roots Tea Party movement and angry town halls.
    Right wing conspiracies like the 'Birthers' are not what will bring Obama and the Dems down. Bad policies and change a majority of voters do not want or believe in will.

    September 27, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. steve

    Asking the GOP to have a "credible debate" is like asking a child to stop crying for candy. You tell them they need to act politely (credibly) and they just start crying more.

    Whether the Republicans have any intelligent ideas is completely unknown. They spend all their time throwing mud and telling lies (oh, what out for the "death panels"), that any sign of intelligence is undetectable.

    Let's hope its not the same for the American people.

    September 27, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. jules sand-perkins

    "Virulent."
    Bill Clinton makes the opposition to Obama sound like a strain of HIV.
    Nobody ever said that President Clinton wasn't verbal. His "definition of 'is'" line was masterful.
    Opposition to Obama is based on a reluctance to have the capitalistic economic system that made the USA great and powerful slickly switched to a socialistic economic system.
    Marxism was tried in Russia. It will not function any better here than it did there, but future generations of Americans may have to find that out for themselves if the opposition to Obama does not prevail.

    September 27, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Yeah...

    The numb-wits of the left just don't seem to get it that not everyone agrees with their philosophy. That just can't be true! And since it can't be true, since all the outrage at what is, after all, the only way anyone with any sense could possibly see things, can't possibly be the way a lot of people really feel, it must be a "vast right-wing conspiracy!"

    Ignorance, arrogance, and paranoia, all wrapped up in one neat package.

    Maybe the Libs just don't get it that the spectrum of social proclivity amongst people is wider than they imagine, or even can imagine. Maybe they're just "colourblind" to the notion that some people prefer self-sufficiency to dependency, individual responsibility and endeavors to collective ones.

    It doesn't take a "vast right-wing conspiracy" to object to Liberal collectivism, it just takes a bit of self-respect.

    September 27, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. t22

    Still paranoid after all these years. In fact, Mrs. Clinton was saying that these rumors of her husband's extramarital activities were put forth by that vast right wing conspiracy and we all know how that turned out.

    Please, there is no vast right wing conspiracy, at least that's what they tell us to say in the monthly newsletter!

    September 27, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. WeMadeAmistake

    linton has no relevance. He is a convicted perjuror and wife cheater and liar. He was and is a disgrace to the office of the White House. He also is responsible in large part for the ascendance of Bin Laden and the attack on the World Trade center. During his term, intelligence showed Bin Laden's location and with remote sensing showing his location, it also showed the presence of a c-130 aircraft with a Saudi Prince marking on it. Clinton ordered no strike. Yep, slick willey can be thanked for allowing Bin Laden to do his dirty work on innocent Americans. Look it up on fact check. The guy is a disgrace, yet DEMS invite this piece of doo doo to speak at their conventions. Just shows how liberals ignore any credibility when it comes to integrity and moral standing in making decisions.

    September 27, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. Grrr-awful-o

    LOL! Between jimmy carter's stalker rabbit and the Clinton's vast right wing conspiracy, the democratic leaders have all turned out to be hillaryous (lol) crack pots. And now we have president Gelding leading us through the perils of the world. Since I can't do anything about it, I'll just sit back and laugh at the circus. Where's the little dog on the unicycle? LOL!

    September 27, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    I remember thinking it was nutty when I first heard Hillary Clinton use this phrase. But after seeing how the right wing sustained their attacks against the Clintons, with each accusation getting further and further from any semblance of reality – and then to witness the same level of insane attacks against President Obama – I have to agree that there is a "vast right wing conspiracy."

    Starting with Lee Atwater and continuing with his protoge, Karl Rove, the Republicans have refined the technique of exploiting people's hatreds and fears, to the point of being able to convince usually level-headed people just about anything, regardless of how ridiculous it is. (For example, how could President Obama not be a natural born U.S. citizen, when he was thoroughly vetted by our FBI before he could even run for Illinois state office, let alone president?)

    It's all the more pathetic, since the purveyors of this nonsense (the Republicans and their mouth pieces like Fox, Limbaugh, Hannity, et al) really don't give a rip about their "base" – they just want their votes so they can amass power and money, to the detriment of all but the wealthy and upper echelons of the party.

    September 27, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Aaron Abshire

    Isn't it funny that the Democrats can slap the country in the face and when they attempt to retaliate they are known as a "right wing conspiracy"?
    I could care less what Clinton does behind doors with his interns, but the fact of the matter is, Clinton lied to the American people. Why is it considered a conspiracy when Republicans called him onto the carpet for his actions?
    In Obama's case, there is no need for a conspiracy. He makes virtually no attempt to hide his associations with anti-American radicals in his cabinet and with his czars. It is the right of the American people to know who the president is associating with and what his true agenda is.

    September 27, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    Sad but true. Bill Clinton is correct, the far-right is much more hateful now than in many years. Not since the Civil Rights era, when the far-right was terrified that the African-Americans would take over the country,have they been so full of hate.

    I just do not understand why the GOP leadership do not ask the haters to tone down their hateful rhetoric. With people like Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Savage, Beck, etc., spewing hate and lies everyday in our Country is it any wonder why ONLY ......21% of Americans consider themselves Republicans?

    " I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace of society." - George Washington, First President.

    September 27, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. k

    Bill is right on the money!

    September 27, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Barack reads his lies, Unions Thrive and the Economy dies.

    Not virulent passionate about trying to keep this country great and not allowing this Marxist to ruin it with his Socialist assault against Entrepreneurship.

    September 27, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Bill Clitman

    Hey Bill. You and a whole lot of other folks are in for a rude awakening on Election Day plus one. I predict the outcome will be even more drastice than 1994.

    September 27, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Matt

    Bill shut your pie hole and go hire a new secretary.

    September 27, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. john smith

    Hilary's old lie is made new again by the same old pile of manure Vast right wing conspiriacy. That really is cutting the baloney awfully thin this time.

    Vadt right wing conspiricy means the Democrats have run out of current lies and need something to tide them over. This one is such an old one I'm suprised. This is the lie used when they were caught making a deal on some nuclear secrets while they were in negotions for some cash to run a big Presidental campaigne. Notice I did not say one was for the other. It was merely coincidental or so the Clintons said.

    September 27, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    And to think I actually laughed when Hillary complained about a "right-wing conspiracy". I owe her an apology.

    Then the right wing conspiracy did not have to worry about racism, this time around they have not been so successful.

    September 27, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Liberty Bell

    I do like Clinton alot he was a very good Dem. President. Unlike the socialist president we have now. Mr. clinton, Mr Obama doen't want to have a debate on fiscal balance. Sir he spends money like it's going out of style. He doen't show any concern over it also. We pay intrest rate to other countries that we can't afford. Mr. Clinto the fiscal debate even if we had it know I fear it couldn't save us.

    September 27, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Cysm

    Clinton is still crazy after all these years!

    September 27, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Dave

    Clinton needs to shut up. He's a has been blow-hard and I believe he is losing a little brain matter. Has he not read any of the leftists news outlets and blogs over the past several years. Talk about virulent.

    September 27, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. terry, va

    Bill and Hillary said that the right wing had a conspiracy against them. The answer is....it is the average American person who is fed up with the socialist agenda that Hillary care and Obama care has to offer. Big government get out of our life!!! The deadbeats need to to get a job instead of stealing from us. Clinton was right about one thing. The demographics have changed. Hold your hands out boys; the Dems have your sorry backs.

    September 27, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
1 2 3