A coming-together came years after Clinton left office. Ruddy tells the Erik Wemple Blog that Clinton is right up there with Theodore Roosevelt when it comes to distinguished post-presidencies. “I did notice that he was going around the world defending America, speaking up for America,” says Ruddy, noting, “He’s not Jimmy Carter. … He became essentially a goodwill ambassador for America.”
And the MO of the Clinton Foundation also appealed to Ruddy, a Reagan devotee. “They’re not looking for government handouts. They’re not looking for more foreign aid,” he says, citing the foundation’s work on alleviating poverty and fighting HIV/AIDS overseas. When he first started giving to the foundation, Ruddy says he was asked whether he wanted to keep the donations private; he responded that it would be fine to make them public.
In a phone call with the ex-president last week, Ruddy says he explained, “I’m proud of what you’re doing, and I don’t care what they say on Fox News.” Ruddy told the Wall Street Journal that the donation wasn’t an endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s likely presidential campaign.