Clinton Reminds Viewers: Journalist Was Once on Her Side

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

INDIANAPOLIS -- Hillary Clinton appeared on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" this morning in an interview filled with awkward moments and strange interactions between the two former colleagues (Stephanopoulos worked under President Bill Clinton for 4 years.)

The interview was billed as a "town hall" where Indiana voters would get a chance to ask Clinton questions. Minutes into the interview, Clinton decided to ditch her chair, preferring to stand and address the audience. What ensued was an awkward interaction between Clinton and Stephanopoulos when the ABC host was forced to ask a few questions from his chair while Clinton loomed over him. (In fairness to Stephanopoulos, oftentimes in seated interview settings the journalist and/or the guest have their microphone cord taped to the chair, restricting one's movement.)

Stephanopoulos tried to recover by standing alongside Clinton, but was forced to stand in a strange position as he remained tied to his chair.

After the first commercial break, the two were seated again, but within seconds Clinton decided she had had enough, forcing Stephanopoulos to stand, again.

The interview took another unpleasant turn when Stephanopoulos tried to pin down Clinton over her position on NAFTA, a trade program introduced by her husband during his presidency. Clinton has come out against the plan saying it was not good for American workers. Stephanopoulos said, "The Clinton administration didn't do enough to address the downside of globalization and therefore failed the workers in Indiana and the workers of the West?"

Clinton clearly took offense to the tone of the question and while answering, decided to take a jab at the host.

"Well I believe, George, in the 1990s we had a booming economy that created nearly 23 million new jobs, more people were lifted out of poverty in any time in our near history. It was an economy that worked for everyone, not just the rich, the wealthy and the well connected, but there were underlying issues that we didn't understan fully. Now, you remember this, because George did work in that '92 campaign - George and I actually were against NAFTA - I'm talking about him in his previous life, before he was an objective journalist," Clinton said to a visibly annoyed Stephanopoulos.

Some have speculated that Clinton prefers appearing on Stephanopoulos' show because she can often turn a question around to include him as a former staffer for her husband.

Just four days before the Iowa Caucuses in late December Clinton appeared on "This Week" and implemented a similar strategy. When Stephanopoulos asked Clinton what qualified her to be commander-in-chief when reports indicated that she had never sat in on a national security meeting taking place at the White House Clinton responded, "You know, I can imagine what the stories would have been had I attended a National Security Council meeting. You were there. I think you can vouch for that."

The remainder of the program consisted of a variety of quesitons on gas prices, foreign poliy and the economy. There were also a group of North Carolina voters being piped in via satelite who were also able to ask questions of Clinton.

Clinton's interview on "This Week," comes as her opponent Barack Obama appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" this morning.
  • Fernando Suarez

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