Clinton doubts he's 'a drag on the Gore campaign'
October 28, 1999
Web posted at: 9:08 p.m. EDT (0108 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton said Thursday he does not believe
his affair with Monica Lewinsky has hindered Al Gore's presidential campaign.
Fielding questions from reporters at a joint news conference with
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Clinton was asked if the Lewinsky affair
that led to his impeachment "was a drag on the Gore campaign."
"No," Clinton said. "A lot of people who may not like me may hold it
against him. But I don't think you hold him responsible. I don't think mature
people hold one person responsible for another person's conduct, do you?
"I think if there had been some example of official misconduct in office,
which he had been a part of, that would be a different thing."
If American voters were to hold a grudge against Gore for the president's
sexual affair with a former White House intern, Clinton said, then "I hope
they do give him some credit for the longest peacetime expansion in history and
the lowest unemployment rate in 29 years and the lowest welfare rolls in 30
years and the lowest poverty rates in 20 years and the lowest crime rates in 30
years and the first back-to-back budget surpluses in 42 years."
During Wednesday night's Democratic town forum between Gore and former
Sen. Bill Bradley, the vice president told the audience, "I understand the
disappointment and anger that you feel toward President Clinton and I felt it
myself ... I also feel the American people want to move on and turn the page."
In Thursday's news conference, Clinton said, "In terms of what he said,
he hasn't said anything that I haven't said."
He called Gore "the most accomplished vice president in history" and said that
ultimately "the American people will make a decision based on what's in their
"I don't think that they ought to vote for him on the fact that we had a
great record either -- except that the great record is evidence of what he can
do and where he will lead."