Bill Clinton gave his first national television interview since Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 candidacy, and Mark Halperin has no clue what good he’s doing.
During Monday’s program, Halperin, the co-host of Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect” openly questioned Clinton’s comments to the “Today” show, telling fellow co-host John Heilemann, “I can’t understand the things he said.”
During the interview with NBC’s Cynthia McFadden, the former president said his wife told him that “no one has tried to influence me by helping you.” He added that he will continue to give paid speeches, telling McFadden “I gotta pay our bills.”
“I gotta say, he can’t help himself,” Heilemann said. “He goes on this Africa tour — you remember back in 2008, he gave a controversial interview on his tour in the summer of 2008 where he trashed Barack Obama right before Barack Obama was going to be the Democratic nominee. He seems to let loose on that continent.”
“Just all of these things — you think that it’s Hillary Clinton who is tone deaf when she says we were dead broke when we came out of the White House. This is the same thing,” Heilemann said. “It’s like up in Chappaqua — the gas bills, the electric bills…this is why I have to give a half-million dollar speech. It’s ridiculous.”
“This is going to revive the group of conspiracy theorists who say Bill Clinton doesn’t want his wife to be elected president, and he’s going to subtly sabotage it,” Halperin started. “To me what it says is he’s tired and distracted and, as he said in 2008, he’s rusty. And he thinks he can go out with Cynthia McFadden…and say whatever he wants.”
“That interview — I don’t believe advanced Hillary Clinton’s chances of being president,” Halperin said. “He’s still the best in the game, and I can’t understand the things he said — complaining about paying the bills is the last thing his wife needs.
“When he is on his game, he’s the best in the business. But when he is in settings like this — and I do think the Africa thing plays into it. He’s over there. He’s far away. He just — he kind of just starts to free form, and when he starts to form, he gets in trouble.”
“He’s got the Tanzania blues,” Halperin added.