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Journalist Says Bill Clinton Termed Obama ‘Incompetent’

A former NY Times journalist’s new book says Bill Clinton termed Obama “incompetent” last year. Clinton says the journalist is a liar.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/13/2012, 9:51 AM

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
Reuters

A former New York Times journalist writes in a new book that Bill Clinton termed Barack Obama “incompetent” last August and urged his wife Hillary to run against him in Democratic party primaries.

Clinton attacked the journalist as a liar, and he recently praised President Obama for bringing the United States out of a recession.

The former president said that Obama was an amateur who did not know "how to be president,” according to Edward Klein’s new unauthorized biography of Obama. In "The Amateur,” the former editor of The New York Times Magazine and Newsweek wrote that Clinton last August urged his wife Hillary to run against Obama as the Democratic party’s nominee because "the economy’s a mess, it’s dead flat. America has lost its Triple-A rating.” He told his wife, “You know better than Obama does. The country needs you! The country needs us!”

Hillary reportedly responded, "Why risk everything?”I want my term (as Secretary of State) to be an important one, and running away from it now would leave it as a footnote." She added that she could run in 2016 because President Obama, if elected, would not be allowed under law to run for a third consecutive term of office.

Her husband answered that he was more worried about his own age rather than hers. "I know you’re young enough! That’s not what I’m worried about. I’m worried that I’m not young enough,” he said, according to Klein. He also wrote that Hillary countered, “I’m the highest-ranking member in Obama’s Cabinet. I eat breakfast with the guy every Thursday morning. What about loyalty, Bill? What about loyalty?"

U.S. law prohibits a president from running for more than two consecutive terms of office.

Since the harsh exchange between the couple, the former president has backed Obama, praising him for the assassination of  Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Two weeks ago, he told a fundraising event with Obama in Virginia that the president is “beating the clock” on bringing the United States out of a recession. “Look, the man’s not Houdini; all he can do is beat the clock,” Clinton said.

Bill Clinton’s spokesman labeled Klein a "known liar,” and White House spokesman Eric Schultz, said, "Nobody in their right mind would believe the nonsense in this one, especially since both Secretary Clinton and President Clinton have been loyal and supportive of the president at every turn."  

Klein insisted his book is "factually sound."