Private conversations that have recently been released between President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair while the two held office reveal Clinton’s disdain for President George W. Bush and Blair’s love for Clinton’s wife.
Clinton labeled Bush a ‘fraud’ and later said ‘he is not ready to be president’ as he waged his campaign for the White House, while Blair heralded Hillary as ‘fantastic,’ adding ‘she was so strong and brave’ after she was elected to the Senate.
The conversations, 532 pages in all, were released by the Clinton Presidential Library.
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Revealing: Private conversations between Bill Clinton and Tony Blair have been released by the Clinton Presidential Library
Not close: Clinton calls George W. Bush (above in 2005) a ‘fraud’ at one point
Clinton’s first major attack on Bush comes in October 1999, and has to do with how Bush and his team are positioning themselves in the upcoming election.
‘He is making people think he is saving them from the right. But it’s a fraud because he is really for them on everything else,’ said Clinton.
‘I have to figure out how to expose the fraud that Bush is the new Clinton, establishing a new Republican party like I made a new Democratic party.
‘It’s helping Bush but it’s killing Al [Gore].’
Bush is a frequent topic of conversation over the next few months, as is Gore, who at the time was Clinton’s vice president.
It becomes clear that Clinton sees Bush as more and more of a threat as time goes along, saying in early 2000 that he ‘is a skilled politician, but he is not ready to be president – maybe not ever, certainly not now,’ and then just a few weeks later discussing how impressed he is with the man.
‘Bush is really smart. The campaign against McCain was the most vicious in modern memory. He has these right-wing foot soldiers do his dirty work so he can be nice,’ said Clinton.
Best of friends: Blair meanwhile calls Hillary Clinton (above in 2010) ‘fantastic’ saying she ‘was so strong and brave’ after being elected to Senate in 2000
By November of 2000 there is much back and forth between the two men as the election hangs in the balance with Bush having the electoral votes and Gore the popular votes.
On November 10 however it is all good news after Hillary is elected to Senate before the state of New York.
‘Hillary just did brilliantly,’ said Blair, congratulating President Clinton.
He later added; ‘Give her our love. She was just fantastic during the campaign. She was so strong and brave. I just thought she was great.’
Clinton responded to this by saying; ‘Yeah, she was The Little Engine that Could.’
As for the election, which Bush eventually won, Clinton said at one point about the Republicans; ‘They hate us more than we hate them.’
He later added; ‘They don’t care as much about government. They just want the power.’