Former President Bill Clinton says that former Vice President Dick Cheney does not have the purest of motives in suggesting that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mount a primary challenge against President Barack Obama.
Cheney told ABC’s Jonathan Karl earlier this month that a Hillary Clinton 2012 presidential bid was “not a bad idea.”
“Maybe if — the Obama record is bad enough — and these days it’s not very good, given the shape of the economy maybe there will be enough ferment — in the Democratic Party so that there will be a primary on their side,” he said.
CBS’ Bob Schieffer gave President Clinton a chance Sunday “to endorse the vice president’s statement.”
“You know, I’m very proud of her,” Clinton said of his wife. “So I’m always gratified whenever anyone says anything nice about her. I very much agree that she’s done a good job. But I also have a high regard for Vice President Cheney’s political skills. And I think one of those great skills is sowing discord among the opposition.”
“I think that he’s right that she’s done a heck of a good job, but she is a member of this administration and committed to doing it. I think he, by saying something nice about her in the way he did it, knew that it might cause a little trouble. I don’t want to help him succeed in his political strategy, but I admire the fact that he’s still out there hitting the ball.”
Moments later, Cheney denied he was just trying to “stir up trouble.”
“No, I just thought, bob, that the Democrats ought to have as much fun on their side as we’re having on our side in figuring out who is going to run,” Cheney insisted. “So I made the suggestion. I’m glad to see that he thought there was some merit to the idea. He didn’t endorse it obviously but he had to think about it.”
Watch this video from CBS’ Face the Nation, broadcast Sept. 18, 2011.