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Bill Clinton Scandal in Office - DOC by dbk15520

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Art Ellis
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Daneil Mazone
215-351-3316                                                                 June 23, 2004

            FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON SAYS: IN INTERVIEW
                FOR FRESH AIR, THURSDAY, JUNE 24 ON NPR


       PHILADELPHIA -- Former President Bill Clinton said in an interview recorded today
for FRESH AIR WITH TERRY GROSS that he… Clinton talks about the current U.S. economy,
the personal attacks and impeachment proceedings made against him while he was president, and
the War in Iraq. The interview is scheduled for broadcast on Thursday, June 24 on NPR.
Discussing his memoir “My Life,” released June 22, 2004.
      On today’s U.S. economy and recent tax cuts: Clinton talks about how he is
       disappointed that the budget surplus that he had amassed by the time he left office has
       now turned into a deficit. “What I tried to do was to leave my generation with the security
       of knowing that their children were not going to have to provide from them instead of
       their grandchildren,” said Clinton. He also stated that he hoped that the surplus would act
       as a cushion during a possible recession, to help pay down the national debt, as well as be
       placed in the social security trust fund. Clinton states that he strongly disagrees with
       President Bush’s tax cuts for high economic people calling them “selfish and wrong.” “I
       don’t know anybody in my income range who wouldn’t be happy to have a smaller tax
       cut, or none at all, to keep kids in after school programs and cops on the street.”
      On his attempts to fight terrorism during his presidency: Clinton states that terrorism
       was a priority early in his first term as President and that he knew Bin Laden was the
       most formidable force in the world and that he tried to get others interested in the issue of
       terrorism. “I was ready to take military action against Afghanistan and Bin Laden after
       Cole,” stated Clinton in reference to the attack on the USS Cole in the harbor at Aden,
       Yemen in 200. He then explains that the FBI and the CIA did could not formally agree
       Bin Laden was responsible for the attack while he was in office.
      On the war in Iraq: “I never liked Saddam, but he was no where near the threat to our
       security than Bin Laden and Al Qaeda,” states Clinton. When the war in Iraq began he
       believes that it diverted attention away from Afghanistan and the Al Qaeda network, but
       now feels the U.S. is making some progress now. “I think over the long run, it might turn
       into a functioning and peaceful place.”
      On how the institution of the presidency would have been effected if he was
       successfully impeached: “I think it would have been forever weakened,” says Clinton. If
       he was impeached, Clinton believes that it would have meant that there was no real
       definition of impeachment and that it would have become just a political process utilized
       by members of congress when they wanted to impeach someone and had enough votes to
       do so. “I certainly think that what I did was wrong. It gave ammunition to my enemies
       and hurt the presidency and my country,” expresses Clinton. He also talks about how he
       has been meeting thousands of Americans on his recent book tour and that many feel that
       he made a mistake, but that it was a private one, and should have never been made public.
       On how the scandal affected him as a person: Clinton believes “there is something
       liberating about being publicly humiliated.” He goes on to talk about that part of
       becoming a whole person is not “giving people permission to humiliate you.” “I decided
       that whatever was wrong with me, I was glad I would never to what Ken Star did. I was
       glad I never wanted to hurt anybody like that.”


       Fresh Air, produced by WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and distributed by NPR (National
Public Radio) is heard by some 4.4 million people each week on 440 stations. Host Terry Gross
is often cited as one of the best broadcast interviewers in the nation.
       The Peabody Award-winning program is distributed to stations at noon Eastern Daylight
Time. Visit www.npr.org/wheretohear to find local station listings and times. The interview may
also be heard beginning Thursday afternoon at the FRESH AIR Web site, www.freshair.com.
                                                 ###

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