September 5th, 2007
06:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Bill Clinton 'pulling' for Craig and family

Watch Bill Clinton discuss Sen. Larry Craig with CNN's Larry King.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Embattled Sen. Larry Craig was one of Bill Clinton's fiercest critics during the Senate’s 1999 impeachment trial, but the former president told CNN's Larry King Wednesday he takes no pleasure in the Idaho Republican's current situation and is "pulling" for Craig and his family.

"Honestly, didn't feel any great joy," Clinton said in an interview to air tonight at 9 p.m. ET. "When it was going on I knew that a lot of them were outed for hypocrisy before this."

Clinton added, "One of the things I did to get through that was to think hard about times in my past when I had judged people too harshly because they had a problem I didn't have. And I promised myself I'd never do that again, and I'm trying to keep that promise."

Craig was arrested in a restroom in June at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on suspicion of making sexual advances to an undercover police officer in the next stall. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in August, but denies he was engaging in lewd behavior. Clinton offered a sympathetic perspective on the situation.

"I just know right now he and his family have got to be hurting and I think the rest of us should just be pulling for their personal lives and the politics of this will play itself out," he added.

Asked what he makes of people who criticize activities they do themselves, the former president said, " I think maybe it's subconscious self hatred, I don't know, maybe it’s a desire to avoid being caught, maybe its just a desire to deal with what they perceive to be the social and political realities they find themselves in."

In the wide ranging interview, Clinton also weighed in on why his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, has relatively high unfavorability ratings. (Related video: Watch Bill Clinton discuss his wife's presidential bid)

"It may be she's a strong woman and the first person in her gender ever to be considered a serious presidential possibility," Clinton said of his wife, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. "But most of it frankly is she took a lot of hits, along with me, beginning in 1992 when we threatened what the wash Republican right wing thought was its permanent hold on the White House.

"From the day I took the oath I never got a honeymoon," he added. "They tried to undermine the legitimacy of my presidency and they took after her too."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Larry Craig
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. James, Minot, ND

    sorry, Mark, but your novel just shows me how uninformed you are. Like the Dem's are any better. get real, these neo-con globalists are in both parties.

    September 6, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Nancy and Byron Nelson Las Vegas, Nevada

    This interview displayed x president Clinton in a very favorable light to me and my husband. He did not malign anyone, everyone he spoke of he had something good to say about them. He talked in an intelligent and open manner about problems in our country. In our opinion, it was so very refreshing to see a politician that was not talking a lot of gobble de gook as most politicians do today. He actually had some definite things to say about the problems we face in Iraq, and what we might think about doing about them.... I was very impressed, as I say, it was a rare treat indeed to see a politician talk some sense.

    September 6, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Eric, THE Republic of Texas

    "Give 'em the old razzle dazzle,
    Razzle Dazzle 'em.
    Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it,
    And the reaction will be passionate."

    "Give 'em the old hocus pocus,
    Bead and feather 'em.
    How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

    What if your hinges all are rusting?
    What if, in fact, you're just disgusting?"

    "Razzle dazzle 'em,
    And they'll never catch wise!"


    From the Broadway musical "Chicago." Come on, Everyone! Sing with me!

    Gotta love ol' Wild Bill. Heck, I'm as conservative as can be, but you can't help but like this ol' shyster. He'll say anything to make you like him. Makes Larry Craig look like the amateur he is. You Go, Wild Bill!

    September 6, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Eduardo, Los Angeles, CA

    All part of the "Billary" Political Agenda....don't trust em...period!

    September 6, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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