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

Bill Clinton says media overreacted to Bosnia flap

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/11/art.billclinton.ap.jpg caption="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. J.C.

    Bill Clinton will lie to get what he wants. He wants to be in the White House with his interns and golf course. He is a disgrace and I can't believe all the people he can still scam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Roscoe

    It may be time for someone to ask Hillary when she first starting having these hallucinations...

    April 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. LMAO

    I would remember if bullets were flying my direction. That's not something you misstate. They must think we are really dumb.

    April 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. FH -SC

    Bill Clinto is SO right! The media blows everything way out of
    proportion - especially if it is a negative for Hillary...

    Even Madeline Albright came to her defense. She stated that she's
    flown all over, and YES, you can get mixed up about where things
    happened. It's happened to her.

    April 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Different day Same Ole Spin

    Bill and Hill are the biggest LOSERS!!

    Guess what? Losing gracefully is no longer an option for these two characters.

    Even if she runs in 2012, I wouldn't vote for this lying, manipulative, wayward politician.

    No, Hill, you are not "my girl".

    April 11, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. steven

    Right Bill... "I'm going to say this again; I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Mrs Clinton . . . I never told anybody to lie, not a single time...."!!

    given your record, we are willing to take your word on this!

    April 11, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Rob - WA

    Go away......

    April 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Margo Murphy

    Well Hillary might have mis-spoke, but she didn't maintain a very close relationship with an anti-American, anti-white spiritual leader and mentor for 20 years. Who really lacks the judgement to be president. Go Hilliary – because if it's not Hilliary – I'm voting McCain.

    April 11, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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