A few Harry Truman quotations:
“A President cannot always be popular.”
“A president either is constantly on top of events or, if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him. I never felt that I could let up for a moment. ”
“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
“The buck stops here!“
Now, I will answer all those things on the merits, but first I want to talk about the context in which this arises.
I’m being asked this on the FOX network. ABC just had a right- wing conservative run in their little “Pathway to 9/11,” falsely claiming it was based on the 9/11 Commission report, with three things asserted against me directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report.
And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neo-cons thought I was too obsessed with bin Laden. They had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after I left office. All the right-wingers who now say I didn’t do enough said I did too much — same people.
Or how about this one:
The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify. So that meant I would’ve had to send a few hundred Special Forces in helicopters and refuel at night.
Even the 9/11 Commission didn’t do that. Now, the 9/11 Commission was a political document, too.
And then there’s this one:
CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried.
So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted.
So you did Fox’s bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. What I want to know is …
WALLACE: Well, wait a minute, sir.
CLINTON: No, wait. No, no …
WALLACE: I want to ask a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?
CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question, but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of.
Wow! It’s like watching Darwinian regression in action.