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Bill Clinton rips GOP with memories of 'swift boat' campaign
David Edwards and Greg Wasserstrom
Published: Wednesday September 26, 2007

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Former president Bill Clinton passionately shared his thoughts on the House vote to condemn progressive group MoveOn.org (More at this link) over a controversial newspaper ad on CNN's Situation Room.

"There was something completely disingenuous about the feigned outrage of the Republicans and the White House and then the Congress about this. This was classic bait and switch," Clinton said, later adding, "focus on that as opposed to focusing on what's happened [in Iraq]."

Clinton's charges of political posturing reached a high level of specificity in his discussion of the elections in 2002 and 2004. Both years saw the Republicans expand their majorities in Congress and then the re-election of President Bush.

"These are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with [former Senator] Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam, in the same ad with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. That's what the Republicans did, Clinton said. "And the person that rode to the senate on that ad was there voting to condemn the Democrats over the Petraeus ad. I mean, these are the people that funded the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."

Clinton pointed out that "the President appointed one of the principal funders of the Swift Boat ads to be an ambassador."

"But they’re really upset about Petraeus," Clinton added. "But it was ok to question John Kerry’s patriotism on the blatantly dishonest claims by people that didn’t what they were talking about."

The following video is from CNN's Situation Room, broadcast on September 26.