Sunday, August 17, 2003

The "Hammer" takes a Hammering

Clark was excellent on Late Edition. The man has the fire in his belly and can attack Bush&Co. with a likeable, engaging smile that doesn't turn people off to the message. He seemed extremely confident, while not being smug or cocky. Ripped Delay a new one, and clearly wants some more. Ripped Bush without that being his primary purpose or message.

The GOP has to be shaking in their collective boots about a potential Clark candidacy. Other Democrats can possibly win a close election, but Clark has the potential for an electoral blowout (I'm guessing 350+).

An excerpt below covering Iraq, the economy and one of the most disgusting people on the planet, Tom Delay.
Late Edition, August 17, 2003

BLITZER: What about George W. Bush? How vulnerable is he to defeat next year?

CLARK: Well, I guess the conventional answer is, people would look at polls. But what I look at are the realities. And I think the American people will begin to see the reality.

Number one, Iraq is not -- if it is the centerpiece of the war on terror, it shouldn't be. We went into Iraq under false pretenses. There was, you call it deceptive advertising, you'd be taking him to the Better Business Bureau if you bought a washing machine the way we went into the war in Iraq.

We're there now. We're totally committed to this. We have got more than half the deployable strength of the U.S. Army there. We're taking casualties.

We haven't made America safer by this. We've made America more engaged, more vulnerable, more committed, less able to respond. We've loss a tremendous amount of goodwill around the world by our actions and our continuing refusal to bring in international institutions.

At home, we've got a jobless recovery. We've lost 2.6 million jobs since this administration took office. Just to maintain the same level of employment in America, we have to create about 1.3 million jobs a year, and instead we've lost 2.3 million.

So, the statistical unemployment rate, it doesn't really address what the problem is that Americans are feeling out there. There are millions of people who aren't in the labor force. There are other people who are employed, but they're underemployed in terms of their skills. We've got problems.

BLITZER: General, I want you to listen, during the war, when you were still working for CNN -- and just want to alert our viewers, you're no longer working for CNN as our military analyst.

CLARK: Right.

BLITZER: But during the war, early in April, Tom DeLay, the majority leader in the House, really hammered you directly. I want you to listen to what he told our Judy Woodruff then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: Frankly, what irritates me the most are these blow-dried Napoleons that come on television and, in some cases, have their own agendas.

General Clark is one of them that is running for president, yet he's paid to be an expert on your network. And he's questioning the plan and raising doubts as he becomes this expert.

I think they would serve the nation better if they would just comment on what they see and what they know, rather than putting their own agenda forward as an expert.


BLITZER: Well, pretty strong words from Tom DeLay going after you. What do you say to that criticism?

CLARK: Well, first of all, I'd be happy to compare my hair with Tom DeLay's. We'll see who's got the blow-dried hair.

But beyond that, Wolf, he's got it exactly backward. It's upside down. I am saying what I believe. And I'm being drawn into the political process because of what I believe and what I've said about it.

So it's precisely the opposite of a man like Tom DeLay, who is only motivated by politics and says whatever he needs to say to get the political purpose. And so, you know, it couldn't be more diametrically opposed, and I couldn't be more opposed than I am to Tom DeLay.

You know, Wolf, when our airmen were flying over Kosovo, Tom DeLay led the House Republicans to vote not to support their activities, when American troops were in combat. To me, that's a real indicator of a man who is motivated not by patriotism or support for the troops, but for partisan political purposes.

BLITZER: Well, he was hammering you, and you're hammering right back.

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