Washington (CNN) – If you wanted a friend to defend your reputation against serious sideswipes, who better to do it than one of the most recognizable women in the world, with years of experience beating back barbs?
Enter Hillary Clinton in defense of President Barack Obama. As conservatives throw arrows aimed at the President's handling of multiple world crises, Clinton defended her former adversary-turned-boss-turned-friend.
The former secretary of state – and prospective presidential candidate - sat down with CNN's Fareed Zakaria for a wide-ranging interview taped Friday and aired Sunday on "CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS."
Some conservatives accuse Obama of not being tough enough on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Is the President appropriately handling the Ukranian crisis, Clinton was asked?
"I think that he is facing some of the same challenges that American presidents face when dealing with threats within Europe," Clinton said. "The United States, obviously, has a great interest in helping to maintain peace and security in Europe and we have a formal alliance, NATO, to do so. But much of what we can do and what the President is calling for requires the full participation of our European friends and allies."
Clinton continued: claiming Putin "bears responsibility" for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, calling for more sanctions, urging Europe to "stand up to" Putin despite its reliance on energy from Russia, and stressing the need for Europe and the United States to assist Ukraine.
And she wasn't done offering supportive words for the President.
Later in the hourlong interview, Clinton was asked about one specific criticism.
"Charles Krauthammer, the conservative critic, has said, 'The world is going to hell and President Obama is playing golf,'” Zakaria said. "Is he playing too much golf while all these crises are popping up?"
Clinton was unequivocal.
"No," she said. "I think that's an unfair comment to make."
"I know from my own experience with the President, where we worked so closely together, and as I write in the book, you know, went from being adversaries to partners to friends, that he is constantly working and thinking. But he also wants to do what will make a difference, not just perform. He wants to be sure that we know what the consequences, both intended and unintended, are.
“When it comes to the Middle East, this is always a very difficult issue for any American president," she said.
"I think the President is doing what he can do to try to get a cease-fire and then see whether we can sort out some, you know, longer-term resolution."
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