Former President Bill Clinton has been largely absent from the campaign trail since he first stood side by side with his wife, Hillary, during her campaign launch on Roosevelt Island.
Eight years ago, the former president was gearing up for his wife’s first White House run, but he has had a relatively quiet summer this year, his campaign citing the president’s focus on his foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, which is currently taking place in New York City to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly.
The annual meeting is President Clinton’s springboard into a busy political fall, according to a staffer. This week will be jam packed for Mr. Clinton. His October calendar is populating with fundraisers in Atlanta and Kansas City in the days following the annual meeting, which concludes Tuesday, and he is to headline the West Virginia Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson Dinner on Friday. The evening will be Clinton’s most high-profile event after the annual meeting, after which he will hit the trail and fundraise in Michigan on Oct. 7.
While at the CGI annual meeting, Clinton has played guard dog in recent cable news interviews, comparing his wife's email controversy to Whitewater. Telling CNBC anchor, Becky Quick, “It really is similar to the strategy the Republicans employed against me with Whitewater,” Clinton said. “They look at the field and they say, who do we not want to run against? And then they dribble out stuff, and they attack.”
Mr. Clinton's words were similar to Hillary Clinton’s comments on NBC News' "Meet The Press."
“It’s like a drip, drip, drip, and that’s why I said that there’s only so much that I can control,” Mrs. Clinton said. “I can’t predict to you what the Republicans will come up with, what kind of charges or claims they might make.”
Mr. Clinton went on to say he was happy the email drop is making headlines this year instead of during the tough campaign battles awaiting presidential hopefuls in 2016. “A few months ago, she was still the most admired person in public life in America,” Clinton said. “Why? Because she was covered because of the work she did. She'd been around a long time.”
President Clinton said he is confident that the tone of Hillary Clinton’s campaign will change and that the email controversy will blow over. He said that voters will understand Republicans are afraid to run against Hillary Clinton. “We don’t want to run against this woman!” Mr. Clinton sarcastically exclaimed when referring to Republicans. “Just give us somebody else, please,” to which the Clinton Global Initiative audience erupted into laughter.
According to Clinton Foundation officials, Chelsea Clinton is poised to take on a more vital role in the Clinton Foundation, should Hillary Clinton become the next president. Bill Clinton promised that his work with the foundation would continue with or without him.
"Ten years from now somebody will be here,” Clinton said at the annual meeting. “I'd like it if I could outlive every man in my family and be one of them, but we'll see."