(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said former Vice President Dick Cheney was playing politics when he suggested Secretary of State Hillary Clinton run for president in 2012 against President Barack Obama.
“I'm very proud of her. And so I'm always gratified whenever anyone says anything nice about her. And I very much agree that she's done a good job,” Clinton, a Democrat, said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “But I also have a high regard for Vice President Cheney's political skills. And I think one of those great skills is sowing discord among the opposition.”
Cheney, a Republican, floated the idea during interviews to promote his memoir, “In My Time,” when he praised the former New York senator and encouraged a primary contest on the other side of the aisle.
But Clinton said his wife, who lost the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Obama, is committed to her position in the Obama administration and doing a “heck of a job.”
“I think he, by saying something nice about her and the way he did it, knew that it might cause a little trouble,” Clinton said. “I don’t want to help him succeed in his political strategy, but I admire the fact that he’s still out there hitting the ball.”
Cheney, who appeared on the CBS program after Clinton, said he was not trying to stir discord with his remarks.
“I just thought … that the Democrats ought to have as much fun on their side of the aisle as we’re having on our side in figuring out who is going to run,” Cheney said.
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly shot down speculation that she may run for elected office after four years at the State Department, despite a recent poll showing her as the most popular politician in the United States.
Bill Clinton said the polls are simply an example of the political climate.
“She’d be the first to tell you that, you know, the further you get out of the line of fire, the more popular you’re likely to be,” Clinton said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t think you can take that seriously. She’s secretary of state, she’s not president.”