TIME 2016 Election

Bill Clinton Defends Hillary On Benghazi, Rove Attacks

Former President Bill Clinton gestures during an onstage interview at the 2014 Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit in Washington May 14, 2014.
Former President Bill Clinton gestures during an onstage interview at the 2014 Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit in Washington May 14, 2014. Jonathan Ernst—Reuters

Former President BIll Clinton said at the Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit on Wednesday that his wife handled the attack in Libya appropriately and that he was "dumbfounded" by Karl Rove's suggestion she suffered brain damage from a fall in 2012

Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday defended his wife Hillary’s handling of the 2012 attack on an American consulate in Libya, just as congressional Republicans are launching another investigation of the attack and its aftermath.

“In my opinion, Hillary did what she should have done,” Clinton said Wednesday at the Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit, saying she formed a high-level panel to investigate the attack in Benghazi and ways it could have been prevented. “Secretaries of State never were involved directly in these security decisions.”

Clinton said he did not want to be drawn into a political fight, but he asserted that “most Americans don’t even know how many American diplomatic personnel were killed while President Bush was president.”

Clinton also responded to GOP operative Karl Rove, who reportedly suggested recently that the former secretary of state sustained “brain damage” in a 2012 fall. Rove denies he used that phrase, but has said it’s legitimate to raise questions about Clinton’s health as the former secretary of state eyes a possible 2016 presidential bid.

“First they said she faked her concussion and now they say she is auditioning for her part on the Walking Dead,” Clinton told PBS’s Gwen Ifill. “If she does, I must be in really tough shape because she is still quicker than I am.”

Clinton said he was “dumbfounded” by Rove’s comments, which even many Republicans criticized, but that the GOP would surely continue to raise questions about her age.

“They’ll get better at it,” Clinton said. “I’m still waiting for them to admit there was nothing to Whitewater,” he added.

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