Hillary Clinton defends Obama against conservative barbs
July 27th, 2014
02:09 PM ET
9 years ago

Hillary Clinton defends Obama against conservative barbs

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."

Watch Fareed Zakaria GPS Sundays at 10am and 1pm ET. For the latest from Fareed Zakaria GPS click here.

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Whatever intellectual equals,Krauthammer and Michele Bachmann say, no matter how far from the truth, we know it is said to fire up the moronic republican base.

    July 27, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. 2_indy1600

    "Clinton was unequivocal."
    No, actually she equivicates as long as it takes for her to appear unequivocal. It's her secret weapon.

    July 27, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Aristotles

    Well, at least she can't say he didn't inhale...

    July 27, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. rick

    Does the constant fluffing of hillarys feathers by you guys ever end???

    July 27, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. MaryM

    When all you guys can do is call people names, why should anyone put any merit in your opinion. Children call people names and children are not prepared to know what is best our country.

    July 27, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. rla

    Obama is the root of his problems or should I say his progressive socialist policies

    July 27, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Chris..E.al

    56 % disapprove of 0bamas handiwork around the world ?

    July 27, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. just asking

    Hillary Clinton defends Obama against conservative barbs

    what about democrat barbs? many are out there distancing themselves from obama, criticizing him, california democrat diane feinstein for one. nobody wants him to show up for campaign photo ops. he is persona non grata for every democrat running for re-election.

    i don't understand why he isn't out there campaigning with them and restating his chant for the first four years of his presidency, "if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan, period!", "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period!", "if you like your hospital, you can keep your hospital, period!". oh yeah, they all turned out to be lies to the entire country, which is why he was 2013 liar of the year.

    July 27, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Gunderson

    When you are running here and you are running there on a constant campaign you leave no time to do the job you ran for. The Criticism is more than valid. The Liberal's have been a glaring failure for over 100 years. No amount of lies will cover that up.Of course this is another glimpse of how Hillary will be if she (Heaven Forbid) becomes President. Obama has Passed the Buck every way possible. Hillary wants to get even with all her adversaries. Meantime the country will be slipping further into Obilivion.

    July 27, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Donna

    "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."

    Well, when you add in all the campaign fund raising (60% of his time), vacations, campaign events, celebrity events, TV late night appearances with the golfing, then that would have probably been a different answer. I wonder why Zakaria didn't paint a totally accurate picture of Obama's non-working schedule? Answer, it would have not allowed Clinton to cover Obama's backside without looking like a total fool.

    July 27, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Chris..E.al

    H Clinton is associated with 0bamas failed foreign policy and is guilty by association like all democrats are what do we expect Clinton to say ? The truth ? I dont think so she has to own she has to sorry charlie .

    July 27, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. freedom

    At her own peril – and of the country.

    July 27, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. truth hurts but reality bites

    "He's very tough. He's a very arrogant person to deal with, which I think is a combination of this vision of Russia and some fundamental insecurity, because when you are dealing with him, he often acts as though he could care less," Clinton said.

    Except for the tough part, I think the very same things are true of Obama. Putin is playing off of the weakness Obama demonstrated in Syria. He Obama followed through on his red line threat, I doubt Putin would be doing what he is doing now in Ukraine. When Obama pulls the USA back and out of the world, the vacuum is filled by the wolves of the world, Putin, Assad, ISIS, Iran, AQ, etc. Obama's belief that the USA has not been a force for good around the globe is dangerous as the bad actor's around the globe see that statement as a green light to do as they wish.

    Teddy Roosevelt said "speak softly but carry a big stick".

    Obama speaks too often, weakly and says he won't pick up a stick, let alone use it.

    July 27, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    HILLARY, the NEXT democrat president of the United States , KNOWS what she's talking about unlike the CLUELESS GOP wants ta bees!!!!

    July 27, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    We all KNOW that Obama is doing NOTHING about world, nor domestic affairs. He is simply having one great party, on the taxpayer's dime.

    July 27, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Thomas

    I believe she will be a better leader then her husband Bill.

    Bill was more a product of cause and effect of a time in history , he really was look see show , didn't do much other then say he could feel your pain .

    July 27, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Afraid Zakaria

    Hillary Clinton says in that she believes Putin bears responsibility for the downing of MH 17. What does this mean? The world still has no evidence as to who shot down the plane. What does she mean? If evidence turns out that it was a BUK missile system, does Putin still bear responsibility? Could it have been the Ukrainians? They are after all led by thuggish oligarchs. Could it have been the Ukranian separatist that are being armed by Russia? Perhaps, lets see what the evidence says. But to preordain the outcome of that investigation betrays her real intention. She and the neocons want to arm the Ukraine and poke a Putin. As a bankrupt country, do we really want to spend more money on this affair?

    July 27, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Republicans will not be happy until they've push started WW3. Having spent nearly 6 years hoping against hope that Obama would fall for their tactics and start one more war, their frustration is starting to boil over, encouraging other countries to stand up and take notice by cheering on this country or that country to throw the first pitch.

    July 27, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. tomdavie

    I think she tries to spin as hard as she can for the President. He does care deeply. I believe the actual sausage making of governing the country does not come as easily to him as campaigning did.

    July 27, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Glad to see the usual mouth breathers are on here today. Rick McDaniel. Freedom, Chris E.al, Fake accent Gundy, Just Askin and of course, everyones favorite hate spewer...Donna. Hope your heads don't explode when Ms. Clinton wins the next Presidential Election. Actually, who care if they do? Not me!

    July 27, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. okiejoe

    A President on the golf course is never more than a minute or two from a "branch" White House situation room. He doesn't have to be in the White House to be in the center of things, after all, Johnson went to his ranch in Texas a lot, Nixon was in Florida or California, Reagan was at his ranch for weeks at a time and Bush 2 was at his Texas ranch for many weeks every year. Let the man have a little exercise in the fresh air, he has a tough job.

    July 27, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Thomas

    @Afraid Zakaria
    Hillary Clinton says in that she believes Putin bears responsibility for the downing of MH 17. What does this mean? The world still has no evidence as to who shot down the plane.


    And the pro Russian thugs smoking cigarets, and wearing masks ,with new AK 74's, obstructing officials from recovering victims and evidence were paid actors from Hollywood ?

    good luck defending your case in court

    July 27, 2014 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Max Conrad

    A power-mad patholigical liar sticking up for an incompetent, lawbreaking pathological liar. CNN is an expert at polishing turds but they still smell like what they are.

    July 27, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Thomas

    @Afraid Zakaria today

    Vladimir Antyufeyev was named "deputy prime minister" by Borodai on July 10, one of several native Russians to have taken charge of the separatist rebellion in Ukraine's eastern regions.

    Joining Borodai and rebel commander Igor Strelkov, Antyufeyev's arrival underlines a change at the top of the separatist movement, highlighting Moscow's involvement in the conflict

    July 27, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. jdk47

    Of course, to CNN the problem is "Republican barbs", not Obama's incompetence.

    July 27, 2014 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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