Former President Bill Clinton visited The O’Reilly Factor Tuesday night (12/20/11) for a lengthy interview. Bill O’Reilly brought up the subject of Newt Gingrich. “You worked with Newt Gingrich. You respect him?” O’Reilly asked. Clinton refused to say “Yes.”
“I respect his ability to think and do and I eventually hammered out a really productive relationship with him,” Clinton answered.
“You respect him as a man?” O’Reilly pressed.
There was a long pause before Clinton said, carefully, “I don’t disrespect anybody who works with me in good faith. I think he was way more political than I would have been. He’s defended what he calls ‘scorched-earth politics’ and I certainly was the beneficiary of it. But I think that…”
O’Reilly interrupted, “Did he use unfair tactics on you?”
“Not in his mind,” Clinton said pointedly.
“In your mind?” O’Reilly asked.
Clinton didn’t want to go there. “I don’t think about it like that. I either liked it or I didn’t.”
“Was he an enemy of yours while you were in the White House?” O’Reilly pressed again.
Clinton said, “Until he got to be Speaker and until the government shutdown changed the public mood.”
“And then you found détente?” O’Reilly asked.
“Yeah, we worked together for five years,” Clinton said.
After a bit more back and forth, Clinton said, “Let me just say this. When we were working together, I enjoyed it and I think he has a lot of knowledge and I think he comes up with some quite creative ideas.”
Tactful, yes, but far from laudatory. And who can blame him?
You can watch the complete, uncut interview here.
Let’s see, BillO . . . Newt the Toot
- shut down the gov’t because he was butthurt over seating arrangements on AF One
- advocated impeachment of President Clinton for having an extramarital affair — even as he was having one himself
WHADDAYOU THINK, BILLY??!!