Hillary Clinton called Obama to say she wasn’t attacking his policies

(AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images)

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton called President Obama earlier Tuesday to tell him that him that her recent comments about foreign policy were not meant as a slight against him, a Clinton spokesman said.

"Earlier today, the Secretary called President Obama to make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him, his policies, or his leadership," said Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill in a statement. "Secretary Clinton has at every step of the way touted the significant achievements of his Presidency, which she is honored to have been part of as his Secretary of State."

In a recent interview with The Atlantic, Clinton said, “Great nations need organizing principles — and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” Her comments were reference to Obama's approach of exercising caution before getting involved in conflicts overseas.

That prompted former top Obama adviser David Axelrod to tweet a rebuttal that included what sounded like an implicit dig at Clinton's vote for the Iraq war.

Merill said Clinton meant no disrespect and that the rift has been over-hyped.

"While they've had honest differences on some issues, including aspects of the wicked challenge Syria presents, she has explained those differences in her book and at many points since then. Some are now choosing to hype those differences but they do not eclipse their broad agreement on most issues," he said.

Clinton and Obama are slated to meet Wednesday night on Martha's Vineyard during a party at the home of former Bill Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan.

"Like any two friends who have to deal with the public eye, she looks forward to hugging it out when she they [sic] see each other tomorrow night," said Merrill.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



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Sean Sullivan · August 12, 2014