Contact: Art Ellis 215-351-1262 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. ### WHYY is what a diverse community has in common. WHYY, through television, radio and other communications services, makes our region a better place, connecting each of us to the world’s richest ideas and all of us to each other.
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