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In the Crossfire

Was Albright's slam of Bush policy out of line?

(CNN) -- In a rare move for a former secretary of state, Madeline Albright blasted the Bush administration's foreign policy as inconsistent on a range of global conflicts, including the Middle East.

Hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson step into the "Crossfire" over comments the Clinton administration diplomat made in a Sunday commencement address at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

CARLSON: Now our quote of the day, one that is strikingly devoid of diplomatic niceties. That's odd, considering it was part of a commencement address at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright's speech was a roundhouse swing at the Bush administration's foreign policy.

Among other things, Albright charged the current State Department suffers from a "split personality to those committed to internationalism" and others who she says prefer to go it alone. And then she uncorked this [in a video clip]:

ALBRIGHT: The Bush foreign policy team seems to be suffering from untreated bipolar disorder.

CARLSON: So here you have Madeline Albright, calling for considerable -- well, here you have a woman who worked for an administration that was devoted to what? Human rights in Africa? And yet at the same time allowed a setback as hundreds of thousands of people were chopped up with machetes in Rwanda literally. And you know that's true.

BEGALA: That's Madeline Albright's fault, of course?

CARLSON: I'm not saying it is. I'm just saying ...

BEGALA: She's just selling machetes.

CARLSON: ... for her to get up there in this boorish way and break these poor university graduates, who don't want to listen to her cranky opinions on foreign policy with calls for consistency from the Bush administration, is really a bit much. She ought to just go back to Georgetown. I mean, it's really boorish at best I would think.

BEGALA: Are you finished?

CARLSON: I'm quite finished.

BEGALA: Madeline Albright was a successful diplomat. Gen. [Colin] Powell is doing everything he can, I know, but he is serving an administration that has had an incoherent foreign policy. And it's about time somebody said it. Do you have to always have these diplomatic niceties? No. One of the things that made Madeline successful when she was secretary of state -- she was a straight shooter. I thought that's what the Bush people liked and appreciated.

CARLSON: She was a straight shooter?

BEGALA: This -- Bush on one day ...

CARLSON: How soon they forget.

BEGALA: Bush both on the same day, both endorsed a United Nations resolution condemning the Israeli incursion into the West Bank and stood up and said that he endorsed it. That's incoherent.

CARLSON: Look me right in the eyes and tell me truthfully you're not embarrassed by what you just saw -- Madeline Albright get up there and off the top of her head, rambling on about this administration isn't as great as hers was?

BEGALA: No, I'm embarrassed every time I see our president speaking. And I want to hide under the covers because it's incoherent the way he tries to define how the world works. That's what embarrasses me.




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