Chuck Todd on Clinton Comment: ‘Wait Until Limbaugh Gets a Hold of That One’

Discussing the New Hampshire Democratic race at the top of MSNBC’s 10 a.m. ET hour on Tuesday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd suggested Bill Clinton provided “diminishing returns” on the campaign trail for wife Hillary and “struggles being a surrogate for her on the trail.”

Correspondent Andrea Mitchell agreed: “Exactly. And he said it awkwardly last night at the last event...Because he said, you know, ‘At times I wish I weren't the spouse. That I was just a former president. Then I could say what I think.’ By last night, that had devolved into, ‘I wish I weren't married to her.’”

Todd argued the gaffe was a “moment of clarity” and joked: “What are you saying? Wait until Limbaugh gets a hold of that one or something, jeeze.”

Here is a transcript of the February 9 exchange:

10:05 AM ET

(...)

CHUCK TODD: Andrea, I want to talk about Bill Clinton here. I think there's a point that you wonder, is it diminishing returns with him on the campaign trail? I think he's effective with donors, he’s effective with, you know, general election voters. But he struggles being a surrogate for her on the trail, and it’s because he's a spouse, not a president, perhaps.  

ANDREA MITCHELL: Exactly. And he said it awkwardly last night at the last event.

TODD: But honestly. I mean, I think it was a moment of clarity.

MITCHELL: As transparent as it could be. Because he said, you know, “At times I wish I weren't the spouse. That I was just a former president. Then I could say what I think.” By last night, that had devolved into, “I wish I weren't married to her.” And then he said, “And I don’t mean that negatively.”  

TODD: What are you saying? Wait until Limbaugh gets a hold of that one or something, jeeze.

MITCHELL: He realized – the bottom line is that, as the spouse, you get so – and he's talked about this – you get so protective. All political spouses understand this.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is the Senior News Analyst for MRC