On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, nationally syndicated conservative radio host Michael Reagan falsely asserted that only Democrats have criticized a U.S. president while he was abroad. In fact, during the 2000 presidential campaign, both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney criticized President Clinton while he was abroad, as did House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on two occasions.
"[T]he Clinton-Gore record cries out for a new sign on the Pentagon that says 'Under new management,'" Bush said on May 30, 2000 [Associated Press, 5/30/00]. Clinton was on a European trip that began in Portugal and included his first summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin on May 30-June 5, 2000 [ABC News, 5/30/00 and 6/5/00].
Vice-presidential candidate Cheney criticized the Clinton administration for "eight years of neglect and misplaced priorities" regarding the military on August 30, 2000 [AP, 8/30/00]. That same day, Clinton was on a one-day trip to Colombia accompanied by a congressional delegation [The Washington Post, 8/31/00].
"[T]he president of the United States and his foreign policy is a total disaster. I mean, look at Russia, Kosovo, Baltic, Haiti, the Sudan, China, Taiwan, anywhere that he's had any influence whatsoever, the outcome has been unfor -- really unfortunate. And it's because this president is -- has a foreign policy that does not stand before -- with American values," DeLay said on March 23, 2000. DeLay further stated: "This president has lost all moral authority, and that's evident when he goes overseas. He's in India right now, and India treats an American president like they did, just shows you the kind of disdain that they feel" [MSNBC, Hardball, 3//23/00]. Clinton was in south Asia on March 19-25, 2000 [Los Angeles TImes, 3/20/00, 3/26/00].
"I'm suggesting that the president of the United States cannot be believed, and I think it's reflective in his foreign policy. The president of the U -- Saddam Hussein knows it, and that's why he jerks his chain all the time," DeLay said on December 13, 1998 [NBC, Meet the Press, 12/13/98]. Clinton was in the Middle East December 12-15, 1998 [AP, 12/12/98 and 12/15/98].
From the May 9 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
REAGAN: And the other side of the coin is, it used to be where this kind of stuff stopped at the water's edge. The president of the United States heads over to Europe to meet with Putin and others over there for this 60th anniversary of V-E Day.
And it used to be that we didn't say things, we didn't have this kind of rhetoric, this kind of talk when the president of the United States was going to a foreign land. It seems since Jimmy Carter's days and Bill Clinton's days, who took it to another level, that in fact they don't mind saying derogatory things about the president of the United States when he is meeting or going to meet with foreign leaders.
That's what's terribly wrong here. And it is only the Democrat Party [sic] that does that, only the Democrat Party [sic].