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Bill Clinton's gaffes stump Hillary

  • Story Highlights
  • Bill Clinton's gaffes raise eyebrows on the campaign trail
  • Hillary Clinton tells him to let her handle things
  • The former president is a tireless campaigner for his wife
  • Missteps include attack on Obama, Colombia fee and Bosnian snipers
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By Jonathan Mann
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(CNN) -- There are probably days when Hillary Clinton is really grateful to the man she's married and there are days when she couldn't possibly be.

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Bill Clinton campaigns while sometimes getting in Hillary Clinton's way.

Ten years after Bill Clinton was publicly exposed for his extra-marital interest in a White House intern, he's turned into a tireless campaigner in his wife's bid for the presidency.

Trouble is, lately he's been getting in her way, and the strain of it is beginning to show.

Bill admitted to reporters that she talked to him about his latest gaffe on her behalf and said "Let me handle it." His reply? "Yes, ma'am."

When the campaign started, Clinton's role was behind the scenes, but as months passed and the effort faltered he began campaigning widely. Since then, the US has been treated to:

• A comment that enraged many African-Americans. Bill Clinton said that Barack Obama's opposition to the war in Iraq was a "fairy tale." At the time, it was seen as a belittling slight.

• An unexpected conflict-of-interest. Hillary demoted her chief advisor after he admitted that Colombia paid his firm $300,000 to help arrange a trade deal with the U.S. that she campaigned against. It turns out that Bill Clinton was paid $800,000 for work for a Colombia-based group that supports the deal too.

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• A slip resuscitated. Weeks after Hillary Clinton told, and then put to rest, an embarrassingly untrue account of having visited Bosnia under 'sniper fire,' he brought up the story again. He apparently meant to defend her, but unwittingly put her story, plus his own misstatements, back into the news. That was when she told him to back off. She also issued a statement that she "appreciated" her husband's help, but that she would be the one to address what actually happened. Ouch.

"Every time she seems to get some traction, Bill Clinton comes along and says something that throws her off again," says journalist and author Cokie Roberts.

He is hardly going to cost her the election, but once again it makes you wonder what one of America's most public marriages must be like in private. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Hillary ClintonDemocratic Party

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