News Flash For Sean Hannity And Newt Gingrich: Clinton's Been Out Of Office For Almost Five Years. Time To Get Over It!
Reported by Ellen - October 7, 2005
With the Bush Administration up to its eyeballs in political hot water, Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich thought the most noteworthy political news of the day yesterday was Louis Freeh's (former FBI director) new book alleging that President Bill Clinton sought foreign contributions for his Arkansas library. Hannity and Gingrich were almost giddy in their condemnations. But Alan Colmes argued vehemently that whatever Clinton did to seek contributions for his library pales in comparison to the breaches of security going on now in the Bush White House. Gingrich was obviously caught off guard and his smugness quickly disappeared. At the end of the discussion, Gingrich had to agree with Colmes that what's going on now is serious.
With self-righteous disapproval, Gingrich told Hannity that what Clinton did "has to be a criminal offense of the first order. How can you have an American president asking for money from foreign leaders? ...I think this is one of the most disturbing revelations we've ever had about an American president because it would indicate a total absence of judgement that really, I think, puts the nation in substantial danger."
With barely hidden glee, Hannity read a passage from Freeh's book saying that Clinton's closet "was full of skeletons just waiting to burst out." Then, adding a little more indignation, "We now see on a daily basis Bill Clinton undermining George W. Bush any way he can. Do we need to have a full and complete investigation into whether or not this obsession with his scandals and his peccadillos here literally put us in a more vulnerable position as it led up to 9/11?"
Gingrich said, "Let me go back and repeat what I said a minute ago because this is so profound." He repeated that asking foreign leaders for money is "a criminal offense of the first order and threatens the very nature of the American system." He continued, "I never have understood why the 9/11 Commission refused to look at the stunning, unbelievable failures of the Clinton years... Why was the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen not pursued better?"
Then it was Colmes' turn. He started by saying that the reason Clinton didn't pursue the USS Cole bombing is because it happened in November, 2000 and he wanted to turn the matter over to the new administration in its entirety. Next, Colmes cracked a joke about repealing the 22nd Amendment so that Clinton could be elected and impeached all over again. I thought that signalled that Colmes was going to go easy on Newt but I was wrong.
Colmes said, "You know what bothers me more? Whether or not a member of the White House leaked the identity of a CIA agent and now we have Karl Rove who is going to be testifying, it seems, once AGAIN (his emphasis). And is he doing so to cover his posterior? And what do you make of that?"
Gingrich agreed Rove should testify but said he wanted to go back "because I can't quite believe you're trying to compare these two."
"Oh, absolutely! I think it's absolutely much more dangerous to have a White House leaking the identity of an undercover CIA agent... And also we saw a security breach at the White House just today as we found out that a member of the FBI possibly was in the White House for three years and leaked classified information. I find that a lot more disturbing... I think we have more serious breaches possibly in the White House right now that are much more dangerous to this country than what you're talking about Clinton may have done eight or nine years ago."
Gingrich, a bit flummoxed, accused Colmes of finding it acceptable for Clinton to have asked a foreign government for money. Colmes said that wasn't it, but that "the kind of breaches we are now discussing, I think are much more dangerous to this country than the allegations that are not proven about what Bill Clinton may have done five or six years ago."
Gingrich really had no rebuttal for that other than to admit that if it turned out someone inside the White House is leaking secrets to the enemy, he should go to jail. (Comment: Did he mean Rove, too?)
Hannity, who must have realized his side had just lost the argument, had to get in a swipe. "See what I have to put up with every night?"
Crooks and Liars has the video. It's worth watching just to see Colmes shut up Newt.