Fox's Carlson aired heavily cropped version of Clinton's comments on Meet the Press, then claimed it "was a major diss against Barack Obama"

››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH

Fox & Friends aired a heavily cropped version of former President Bill Clinton's comments broadcast on the previous day's Meet the Press in which Clinton was asked if Sen. Barack Obama is a "great man." Co-host Gretchen Carlson asserted that the cropped comments were evidence of "a major diss against Barack Obama by Bill Clinton." But Carlson omitted Clinton's assertion in the same interview that he "certainly admire[s] him" and that Obama's "greatness will ... become apparent" when he is elected president.

On the September 29 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson aired a heavily cropped version of former President Bill Clinton's comments broadcast on the previous day's edition of NBC's Meet the Press in which Clinton was asked if Sen. Barack Obama is a "great man." Carlson asserted that the cropped comments were evidence of "a major diss against Barack Obama by Bill Clinton," and added: "I mean, he can't come out and just say he's a great man? He's trying to get him elected, ostensibly, but, not really." However, Carlson omitted Clinton's assertion that he "certainly admire[s] him" and that Obama's "greatness will ... become apparent" when he is elected president.

During the segment, Carlson stated of Clinton: "Asked again yesterday by Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press: 'You called John McCain a great man, what about Barack Obama?' He just couldn't get it out. He just couldn't do it." Carlson then aired a video clip of Clinton's comments during a recent CNBC interview with Maria Bartiromo -- comments that Brokaw read to Clinton during the Meet the Press interview -- in which Clinton said: "And as I said, I've never concealed my admiration and affection for Senator McCain. I think he's a great man." That video clip was immediately followed by video of the following exchange between Clinton and Brokaw on Meet the Press:

BROKAW: Would you use the same words for him that you have used for Senator McCain -- that you admire him, and that you think he's a --

CLINTON: I certainly --

BROKAW: -- and that he's a great man?

CLINTON: Well, I don't -- look, I had my first conversation with him in my entire life in Harlem.

Following the clip, co-host Steve Doocy stated, "OK, so that explains that," and Carlson added: "That's a no." Carlson went on to assert: "I think this is a major diss against Barack Obama by Bill Clinton. ... I mean, he can't come out and just say he's a great man? He's trying to get him elected, ostensibly, but, not really."

But in remarks that Carlson did not air in the segment, Clinton said, "I am developing a really good relationship with Senator Obama and I certainly admire him," and also stated: "When he becomes president, he'll be doing things for the American people and for the world and he is -- and the greatness will then become apparent because of the good he'll do. And I think that's what I very much believe is going to happen."

Carlson also omitted Clinton's response to Brokaw's first question on the subject, in which Brokaw stated: "[L]ast week you said, 'I have never concealed my admiration and affection for Senator McCain. I think he's a great man. But I think on the issues that matter to our future, the Obama- [Sen. Joe] Biden team is more right.' " Clinton responded:

I do believe that. And I think Senator Obama has shown a remarkable ability to learn and grow in this campaign. He always was highly intelligent and always a very good politician. He got the change -- the fundamental change in -- in the calendar of this Democratic primary process, of which we were engaged, his energy program kept getting better through the campaign, his health care program kept getting better. I think what you want in a president at a time like this is somebody with good instincts who generally starts in the right position and then just keeps getting better and that's what he's done.

From the September 28 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:

BROKAW: You know, we like to keep track of records here on Meet the Press, as you're well aware. We looked at this interview that Tim [Russert] did with you a year ago at the Clinton Initiative -- Global Initiative, and at that time, you predicted that John McCain would be the Republican nominee at a time when a lot of people thought he was --

CLINTON: He was dead.

BROKAW: -- toast, in political terms. But you said as well, at that time, "I've disagreed with him, but I have admired him." And then to Maria Bartiromo last week, you said, "I have never concealed my admiration and affection for Senator McCain. I think he's a great man. But I think on the issues that matter to our future, the Obama-Biden team is more right."

CLINTON: I do believe that. And I think Senator Obama has shown a remarkable ability to learn and grow in this campaign. He always was highly intelligent and always a very good politician. He got the change -- the fundamental change in -- in the calendar of this Democratic primary process, of which we were engaged, his energy program kept getting better through the campaign, his health care program kept getting better. I think what you want in a president at a time like this is somebody with good instincts who generally starts in the right position and then just keeps getting better and that's what he's done.

BROKAW: Would you use the same words for him that you have used for Senator McCain -- that you admire him, and that you think he's a --

CLINTON: I certainly --

BROKAW: -- and that he's a great man?

CLINTON: Well, I don't -- look, I had my first conversation with him in my entire life in Harlem.

BROKAW: You had never talked to him before that meeting.

CLINTON: Oh, I'd talked to him, but always in passing. I did a fundraiser for him when he ran for the Senate in 2004. I saw him briefly at Senator Kennedy's 75th birthday party. I had always, you know, I was -- Hillary's the one who told me to go help him. She said, "This guy's got real skills. He's got almost unlimited potential."

And I -- she -- so I did and I've always thought he was a really commanding presence. What I mean by saying that about McCain is, you know, most people would've been broken by what he went through. Oh, we would've been happy just to give him an attaboy and a medal and let him wander through life. I think his greatness is that he keeps trying to come back to service without ever asking people to cut him any slack or feel sorry for him or any of that stuff because he was a POW.

But I -- I genuinely, you know, I am developing a really good relationship with Senator Obama and I certainly admire him. And I know he saw and imagined the way this thing could develop, this political year and this economic situation in a way that is left him in a position of leadership he's in now.

And I think that the rest of us should admire that. That's a big part of leadership: being able to sense, as well as see, the future.

BROKAW: But I get the sense that you think that he has the potential for greatness, but he's not yet arrived at that station.

CLINTON: Well, he would probably agree with that. I mean, he was, you know, until -- he was in the state senate until 2005 and then he began a campaign for president, which is, in all probability, will be successful, and those are very great accomplishments. But they're the personal accomplishments.

When he becomes president, he'll be doing things for the American people and for the world and he is -- and the greatness will then become apparent because of the good he'll do. And I think that's what I very much believe is going to happen.

From the September 29 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: We're going to talk about another guy whose name also starts with "B," just like Brian.

BRIAN KILMEADE [co-host]: Which is?

CARLSON: Bill. Bill Clinton. This is fascinating to me, because yesterday he was asked again -- he's called John McCain a "great man" in several different interviews --

KILMEADE: Good friend.

CARLSON: -- good friend, known him for a long time. Asked again yesterday by Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press: "You called John McCain a great man, what about Barack Obama?" He just couldn't get it out. He just couldn't do it.

[begin video clip]

CLINTON: And, as I said, I've never concealed my admiration and affection for Senator McCain. I think he's a great man.

BROKAW: Would you use the same words for him that you have used for Senator McCain, that you admire him, and that you think he's a --

CLINTON: I certainly --

BROKAW: -- and that he's a great man?

CLINTON: Well, I don't -- look, I had my first conversation with him in my entire life in Harlem.

[end video clip]

DOOCY: OK, so that explains that.

KILMEADE: I didn't know that.

CARLSON: That's a no.

DOOCY: Yeah.

KILMEADE: But I didn't know that. That's -- they only talked one time?

DOOCY: He took a pass.

CARLSON: No, no, no -- where they actually saw each other in person. Remember they went to lunch about a month ago? They had had phone conversations up until that point. But, come on, they've seen each other. I think this is a major diss against Barack Obama by Bill Clinton.

DOOCY: Absolutely.

CARLSON: I mean, he can't come out and just say he's a great man? He's trying to get him elected, ostensibly, but, not really.

DOOCY: PUMA. That's all I'm gonna say. You look it up. PUMA.

KILMEADE: He might be a member.

DOOCY: You know what that stands for.

KILMEADE: Guess who's coming up a little bit later?

CARLSON: Party Unity My --

DOOCY: I'm talking about the shoes.

CARLSON: Yeah.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Gretchen Carlson
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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