Bill Clinton has a response to people who have criticized his wife’s book about the 2016 election — don’t engage with it.
“They don’t have to buy it,” he told TIME in a brief interview at the United Nations Thursday. He did, however, note that the overall reception has been positive. “The people that have read it liked it,” he said.
Clinton was the keynote speaker on a panel Thursday at the United Nations about the importance of ear care and hearing health and the ways it can promote peace and sustainable development. Bill Austin, the founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which has partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative on this issue, was the other keynote speaker, and Barbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, was on the panel as a moderator.
Clinton’s appearance comes just two days after his wife, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, released her memoir What Happened, which chronicles her account of the 2016 election that resulted in her unexpected loss to President Donald Trump. In the book, Clinton cites former FBI Director James Comey’s decision to re-open the investigation into her private e-mail server as a primary reason for her loss, as well as Russian attempts to interfere in the election, although she concedes she is also partially at fault. She also repeatedly criticizes Trump for his behavior during the 2016, at one point describing him as a “creep” who made her skin crawl during the second presidential debate.
Although the book became a bestseller on Amazon the first day it was released, it has encountered its fair share of criticism, both from people who disagree with its content and those reluctant to rehash the 2016 election. Negative reviews were pervasive on Amazon before the book was even came out. Bernie Sanders, himself the target of some of criticism in the book, told The Late Show‘s Stephen Colbert it was “a little bit silly to keep talking about 2016.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders characterized the book as one filled with “false and reckless attacks.” And Trump took to Twitter to express his opinions, although Sanders told reporters she wasn’t sure if the President would read the book. “Crooked Hillary Clinton blames everybody (and every thing) but herself for her election loss. She lost the debates and lost her direction!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “The “deplorables” came back to haunt Hillary.They expressed their feelings loud and clear. She spent big money but, in the end, had no game!”