CNN Touts Carville and Begala Gushing Over ‘Impressive’ Hillary's ‘92 Role

Who better than James Carville and Paul Begala to weigh in on the 1992 presidential race and just how “impressive” and “strong” Hillary Clinton was in defense of her husband? Apparently, that was the thinking of the CNN producers behindthe Race for the White House series. 

The sixth episode of the series featured Begala gushing at the couple appearing on 60 Minutes to salvage a campaign threatened by one of Bill Clinton’s many infidelities: “We thought if somebody this impressive is in love with him, and going to stick with him and can stick with him, maybe I can stick with him.” 

Begala added, “She was so strong, she was so steady, she was so able. And that sent a big message to a lot of voters.” The episode even included the Clinton operative whining that 60 Minutes wasn’t even more favorable. During the interview, a light on the set fell over: 

[Set light falls over.]

BEGALA: One of this lights fell. Huge, hot light. And he scooped Hillary off that sofa and pulled her over and she just clung to him. I mean, it could have knocked her block off. And that was the authentic moment. 

HILLARY CLINTON: I'm all right. 

BEGALA: Somehow 60 Minutes never put that on the air. 

Still, narrator Kevin Spacey happily noted, “Even without the authentic moment, the interview has worked. In an ABC News poll, four out of five Americans say Clinton should stay in the race.” 

Several of the Race for the White House episodes have been remarkably fair. The 1960 Kennedy vs. Nixon episode exposed the press’s love affair with JFK. The 1988 edition highlighted Dan Rather’s famous “assault” on George H.W. Bush. 

Yet, with Hillary Clinton running for President in 2016, CNN chose to offer a favorable spin for her 1992 role. 

A partial transcript is below: 

Race for the White House: Clinton vs. Bush
4/10/16
9:15

SPACEY: Carville and Begala write a memo outlining a strategy for the 60 Minutes interview. Critical to Clinton's defense is his wife, Hillary. 

JAMES CARVILLE [Reading from his memo]: January 24th, 1992. Hillary, she's our ace in the hole. Like you, she needs to be calm, confident, unlike you, she can leap to your defense. 

PAUL BEGALA: We thought if somebody this impressive is in love with him, and going to stick with him and can stick with him, maybe I can stick with him. 

STEVE KROFT: Tonight Democratic presidential hopeful Governor Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, talk about their life, their marriage and the allegations that have all but stalled his presidential campaign. 

BEGALA: Carville and I were in the adjacent room watching on monitors. And as is my habit, I took furious notes. Just to keep myself occupied. 

STEVE KROFT:  Are you prepared tonight to say that you've never had an extra marital affair? 

CLINTON: I'm not prepared tonight to say that any married couple should ever discuss that with anyone but themselves. You know, I have acknowledged wrongdoing. I have acknowledged causing pain in my marriage. 

KROFT: I think most Americans would agree that it's very admirable that you have stayed together that you work your problems out. That you seem to have reached some sort of an understanding and an arrangement. 

CLINTON: Wait a minute, wait a minute —  wait a minute. You're looking at two people who love each other. This is not an arrangement or an understanding. This is a marriage. That's a very different thing. 

HILLARY CLINTON: You know, I'm not sitting here some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette. I'm sitting here because I love him and I respect him and I honor what he's been through and what we've been through together. And you know, if that's not enough for people, then heck, don't vote for him. 

BEGALA: She was so strong, she was so steady, she was so able. And that sent a big message to a lot of voters. 

[Set light falls over.]

BEGALA: One of this lights fell. Huge, hot light. And he scooped Hillary off that sofa and pulled her over and she just clung to him. I mean, it could have knocked her block off. And that was the authentic moment. 

HILLARY CLINTON: I'm all right. 

BEGALA: Somehow 60 Minutes never put that on the air. 

SPACEY: Even without the authentic moment, the interview has worked. In an ABC News poll, four out of five Americans say Clinton should stay in the race. 

CARVILLE: Once we did "60 Minutes," then that allowed us to say look, I've dealt with that. Now let's don't deal with my problems, let's deal with your problems. Let's have an election about you, and not an election about me. 

Tell the Truth 2016

Tell the Truth 2016 NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential CNN Video James Carville Paul Begala Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Kevin Spacey
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