Chris Wallace Talks About His Upcoming Interview With Bill Clinton

September 24th, 2006 12:57 AM

As reported by NewsBusters here, Bill Clinton recorded a rather heated segment with Chris Wallace to be aired on the upcoming “Fox News Sunday.” FNC's Jim Angle interviewed Wallace on Saturday to discuss the fireworks that ensued. Wallace claimed:

I've been in the business a long time and I've never seen anything quite like this. Certainly not involving a president or former president.

For those that are interested, the video of Angle's interview with Wallace is available here. What follows is a rough transcript of this entire segment.

ANGLE: Finger wagging from Bill Clinton. The likes of which we have not seen in years. It occurred during Mr. Wallace's interview with Clinton in New York, yesterday. An interview that will be seen tomorrow in its entirety. Things got just a little heated.


CLINTON: ...but at least I tried. That's the difference between me and some -- including all the right-wingers that are attacking me now. They ridicule me for trying. They had 8 months to try. They did not try. I tried. So, I tried and failed.


ANGLE: There's the former president talking about Bin Laden and his attempts to get him when he was president. Chris joins me here now on set to talk about this. Wow. I have heard from people who were there in the room that this is quite the interview.

WALLACE: It... I've never... I've been in the business a long time and I've never seen anything quite like this. Certainly not involving a president or former president. Quickly, the venue was the Clinton Global Initiative. He has this quite extraordinary program where he gets people from around the world, raises money to deal with problems in the developing world. Poverty, health, climate change. He raised $7 billion. And he agreed -- and is doesn't usually agree -- to appear on Fox News. First time he's ever done a one on one interview on Fox News Sunday. 2 ground rules -- 15 minutes have to be on the Clinton Global Initiative and the other half on anything we wanted to talk about. So, we started off fine. We were talking about the initiative, his efforts. And then I said, because I'd gotten a lot of email, "people want to know why didn't you do more to bring Bin Laden to justice? Why, during your 8 years, didn't you go after Al Qaeda?" And I've got to say, Brian... you know, you figure he would be prepared to deal with that. He went off. He just... he started talking. He wanted to go back to Somalia in '93 and the USS Cole. He says that this is all basically and effort by right-wing critics to diminish his administration and that George W. Bush isn't held to same account. That he did a heck of a lot better job 2-3 months after the Cole than George Bush did in the 8 months that he had after the Cole as president before 9/11 happened. The interesting thing was, I was mindful of the 15 minutes and the 50/50 rule so I kept on trying to bring him back. He wanted to go into it and we ended up doing an interview that lasted, I think, 22 minutes.

HOST: Wow. And we're going to see all of that on Fox News Sunday?

WALLACE: Complete. Unedited. Full. You'll see the good, the bad, and the ugly. And there's a little bit of all.

HOST: I have to say that when I saw the little clip that you out out, I was taken back to 1998 and the finger wagging event that occurred in the oval office. That's the last time we've seen him so animated and so agitated.

WALLACE: The interesting thing is -- because you'll see in the interview -- I was just simple asking, "People want to know. Why didn't you do more." It wasn't baiting. It wasn't, I think, even antagonistic. And he just seemed set off. I don't know whether it's the docudrama -- You can take the look in his eye -- whether it was the docudrama that ABC did and the criticism he got from that but he just feels [inaudible] on the issue of what he did to deal with the war on terror and he lets it all spill out on Fox News Sunday. I tell ya. You've seen Bill Clinton -- whether you like him or you hate him -- you will have never seen Bill Clinton like this when you see the interview on Fox News Sunday.

(Transcript from Raw Story)