In a provocative interview today on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” David Gregory, the host, asked former presidential candidate and governor, Mitt Romney, about Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016. Gregory brought up the fact that the GOP establishment is making mileage out of Bill Clinton’s bad conduct when he was president, and using it to paint Hillary as a bad choice for president.
Romney said he believes former President Bill Clinton “embarrassed the nation” with the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but doesn’t think it will be a factor in 2016 if Hillary Clinton runs for president.
It seemed that Gregory was trying to pull Romney into denouncing either or both of the Clintons, but Romney has more class than that, and deflected the attempts.
Romney said, “I think Hillary Clinton, if she becomes a nominee, will have plenty to discuss about her own record. I don’t imagine that Bill Clinton is going to be a big part of it.”
David Gregory pressed Romney about a “Clinton resurrection.”
In reply, Romney said said he didn’t believe that Bill Clinton’s performance would reflect on Hillary, and Hillary would make her own points. In Romney’s own words, “He (President Clinton) embarrassed the nation. He breached his responsibility, I think, as an adult and as a leader in his relationship. And I think that’s very unfortunate. But I don’t think that’s Hillary Clinton’s to explain. She has her own record, her own vision for where she would take the country. And I think that’s something which will be debated extensively during the 2016 campaign.”
President Clinton’s liaison with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, almost brought the downfall of his presidency in 1998, pulling him into an impeachment process because of the way that he lied and covered up the affair.
Romney was the second Republican to revisit the sordid affair 16 years ago, but it wasn’t of his choosing. It is highly unlikely the classy Romney would have even mentioned it if Gregory had not pushed that line. Senator Rand Paul (KY), while lashing out at Democrats for their “false issue of the ‘war on women’ called Bill Clinton’s behavior a “predatory” affair.
There has been no comment yet from either of the Clintons, and unless pushed, there probably will not be one forthcoming.