On Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” on Tuesday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer called former President Bill Clinton a “double agent,” saying that Clinton is not doing President Barack Obama any favors.
During the “All-Star Panel” segment, Krauthammer said Clinton’s recent remarks praising former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s business record were contradictory to the Obama re-election campaign’s strategy.
“Well, I think he really is now a bull in a china shop,” Krauthammer said. “And there’s a lot of crockery being destroyed. It’s very clear. When he said the thing about ‘the sterling business record,’ that was extremely undermining because, of course, it contradicted the whole roll-out strategy of the Obama campaign, which was to portray Romney as vulture capitalist.”
“So it undoes that, but I think it had broader implications,” he continued. “I think what was overlooked is the fact Romney met the threshold for the presidency. That’s extremely important in a re-election campaign.”
Krauthammer likened the scenario to former incumbent President Jimmy Carter’s effort to disparage the credibility of his challenger Ronald Reagan, which fell short after the debates during the 1980 presidential election.
“A re-election campaign is a referendum on the president, unless there are questions about the challenger,” he continued. “In 1980, a pure referendum on the [Jimmy] Carter record would have had Carter losing by a lot. But Carter was actually ahead until very late in the race. And the reason was people had painted Reagan as an extremist, a looney, a guy who didn’t know much and who could start nuclear war. Then you had Reagan in the debates — this sort of ‘aw, shucks,’ he was congenial guy and the election was over. Once Reagan met the threshold for being presidential, it was all about a referendum on Carter and Carter lost.”
“And here is Clinton — the biggest surrogate, the most popular of all Democrats — saying that Romney meets the threshold for presidency, which means the election should be — will be — a referendum on Obama and the record, and it is not a good one,” Krauthammer continued. “I think that was what most deeply undermined Obama.”
Later in the segment, Krauthammer made the point it wasn’t clear whose side Clinton is on.
“Loose cannon? He’s a double agent,” he said. “What is the message? Bill Clinton says elect Obama because, at the end of a second term, you might begin to be getting out of recession? I wouldn’t run on that.”