Bill Clinton says GOP is guilty of double standard on Benghazi


Former president Bill Clinton said Republicans are targeting the Obama administration over the Benghazi attacks in a way they didn't the Bush administration for similar incidents. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Former president Bill Clinton said in an interview airing Sunday that Republicans have a double standard when it comes to the deaths of U.S. diplomats, saying they are picking on the Obama administration when it comes to the Benghazi attacks but didn't grill the Bush administration over similar instances.

"When 10 different instances occurred when President Bush was in office where American diplomatic personnel were killed, how many outraged Republican members of Congress were there?" Clinton asked in the interview airing on "Meet the Press." He noted: "Zero."

The attack on Benghazi resulted in the deaths of four Americans. While attacks on American diplomatic personnel did happen several times under Bush, the attack on Benghazi included the death of an ambassador, Chris Stevens -- something that hadn't happened since 1979.

It's also worth noting that many of the "American diplomatic personnel" Clinton references were foreign nationals. PolitiFact counts just three U.S. civilians killed under Bush.

In the interview, Clinton also responded to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his comment that Benghazi disqualifies Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

"That's not a serious comment," he said.

Clinton also weighed in on the slow economic recovery. He said that Republicans have failed to work with President Obama but that there is enough blame to go around.

Asked whether House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and GOP leaders are to be faulted, he said, "No."

"I'm not blaming them entirely," Clinton said, citing the lengthy nature of all economic recoveries.

Updated at 12:09 p.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | June 29