Thursday night former president Bill Clinton was a guest on Piers Morgan Tonight with guest host Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, the well-known Hollywood producer, openly acknowledged that he is a big supporter of both Clinton and Barack Obama, and he was working it for all he could. But it may have backfired. Writing in The Caucus, the politics blog of The New York Times, Michael Barbaro referred to Clinton’s comments as “an unusually open show of defiance against the party’s presidential nominee.”
As Barbaro put it, “On Thursday, former President Bill Clinton become the latest and by far the most prominent Democrat to suggest the strategy of criticizing Mr. Romney’s career in private equity is misguided.”
While stating that he believes Obama’s proposals and record on the economy would be better for the country, Clinton said of Romney that “the man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.” The “sterling business career” he was referring to was Romney’s time at Bain Capital. The problem, said Barbaro, is that this is “a message directly at odds with that of Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign, which has sought to portray the Republican as a rapacious capitalist who is out of touch with ordinary voters.”
Then Weinstein brought up Donald Trump, who he repeatedly called “uncool.” He asked Clinton about Trump’s comments about President Obama’s birth certificate. Clinton’s answer may have surprised him, in that he spoke very highly of Trump. “Donald Trump has been uncommonly nice to Hillary and me. We’re all New Yorkers,” he said. “And I like him,” said Clinton, “and I love playing golf with him. But the evidence is pretty clear that President Obama was born in Hawaii.”
That answer must have caused some consternation among Obama’s supporters in the media who have challenged Romney for his statements that he only “believes” Obama was born in Hawaii. Why won’t he say he knows he was born there? Clinton would only say that it’s “pretty clear,” which might not suggest any real doubt, except for the fact that it comports with other comments he reportedly made. Hillary Clinton famously raised eyebrows when she had this exchange back in 2008 with CBS’s 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft:
STEVE KROFT: You don’t believe that Senator Obama’s a Muslim?
HILLARY CLINTON: Of course not. I mean that’s, you know, that, there is no basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says, and, you know, there isn’t any reason to doubt that.
According to reports a couple months back, a former Hillary Clinton supporter, Bettina Viviano, called the Clintons “the original birthers.” In an article in WorldNetDaily, Viviano, a “successful Hollywood producer who had an insider’s view of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign claims she heard Bill Clinton say that Barack Obama is not eligible to be president.”
She told WorldNetDaily’s Jerome Corsi that “it was common knowledge among delegates committed to Hillary that the Clintons believed Obama was constitutionally ineligible and that Bill Clinton would eventually disclose his belief to the public,” adding, “Everybody who has called this a conspiracy from the Republicans or the tea party, they need to know who started it—the Democrats,” she said.
“Viviano said that she was on a conference phone call during the primary season in the spring of 2008 in which she heard Bill Clinton refer to Obama as ineligible for the presidency,” and as “the non-citizen.”
As popular with the party faithful as Bill Clinton is, with surrogates like this, Obama could be in real trouble.