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Clinton gives Bush a big boost by Bill O'Reilly


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Thursday, July 24, 2003

By Bill O'Reilly

To watch "The Talking Points Memo" in the Screening Room click here.

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.

Bill Clinton gives President Bush a big boost and some Democrats are running for cover. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.

We were pleased to see Mr. Bush address the American people today. He provided a brief update on the progress in Iraq saying the USA working hard to normalize things. -- Predictable, but at least he's talking to us, as we suggested he might.

Far more important to this debate, however, were Bill Clinton's comments on CNN. The left-wing of the Democratic party has been accusing Mr. Bush of lying about weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Clinton's best friend, DNC chief, Terry McAuliffe (search) even okayed an advertisement that accuses the president of fraud. But stunningly, Mr. Clinton is backing Mr. Bush on WMDs and the war in general.


BILL CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: Let me tell you what I know. When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it we might have none of it. But we didn't know.

So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don't cooperate the penalty could be a regime change, not just continued sanctions.

But this State of the Union deal they decided to use the British intelligence. The president said it was British intelligence. Then they said on balance they shouldn't have done it. You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president. I mean, you can't make as many calls as you have to make without messing up once in awhile.


O'REILLY: Wow. Well, you have to give Mr. Clinton credit. He is refuting the charge that Bush intentionally lied. And the former president gives credence to the WMD threat.

Now the ardent left has used those two issues to demonize the president. And now Bill Clinton has silenced them, at least for the moment.

Talking Points called [Massachusetts Senator] Ted Kennedy, no comment. [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi (search), no comment. [Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate] John Kerry, no comment. [Former Vermont Governor and Democratic Presidential Candidate] Howard Dean, no comment. On the journalistic side, the two big bomb throwers, Robert Shearer of The L.A. Times and Paul Krugman (search) of The New York Times, -- both unavailable for comment. You get the picture here?

Talking Points has warned the Democratic party that embracing the lie theory would be bad for it. First of all, WMDs might actually turn up. And secondly, you don't make those kinds of accusations against a sitting president or anybody else without absolute proof.

Finally, I gained a measure of respect for Bill Clinton (search) today. He did the honest thing and will take heat for it. The truth is that no one except President Bush really knows what he believed in his heart to be true. And it's grossly unfair to label him dishonest at this point.

The fact that the "lie choir" is now hiding under their desks really says a lot. All Americans should remember this.

Now that's The Memo.

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