Bill Clinton: 'Paranoid' hecklers 'come and scream at me everywhere'
Campaigning for his wife in Erie, Pennsylvania, Bill Clinton returned fire at a heckler who began shouting about the former president's attendance at a 1991 invitation-only conference of wealthy powerbrokers -- "1991 Bilderberg" -- implying that discussion there led to unfair trade policy such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
As the audience booed, Clinton replied: “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait… This is the deal folks. All these folks that are paranoid at the world folks, come and scream at me everywhere. You said you would go if I answered the question, right? You said you would go if I answered the question…"
"All right, here’s the answer. I happened to be in Europe then on my way to Russia I was invited to go to Bilderberg by Vernon Jordan, a friend of mine and a genuine hero of the civil rights movement. And to the best of my knowledge NAFTA was not discussed by anybody in my presence. I happened to be on my way to Europe where people do not give a rip about NAFTA.
"Number two, okay. Number two. I tried to get labor and environmental standards in the agreement but I couldn’t because it was all negotiated when I got there.
"Number three. When I was president, we enforced our trade laws five times as much as the Bush Administration did… Family incomes went up $7,500 a year when I was president, they’re down $1,000 now. So I was not… I had a very good time talking to those Europeans about European affairs and what was going to happen to Russia but I was not somehow polluted by it into sacrificing America’s economic interests. America did a lot better when I was president than they did in this decade. And that’s the truth. Now. Goodbye. Thank you."
This video is from ABCNews.com, broadcast March 12, 2008.