Bernstein: Clinton Has Become ‘A Kind of Specialist’ at ‘Fudging’

Journalist, author, and CNN Political Commentator Carl Bernstein said that Hillary Clinton has “become a kind of specialist” at “fudging” on Wednesday’s “New Day” on CNN.

Bernstein said that what Clinton blames Republicans for her poll numbers, “she’s half right. I think — Hillary Clinton, as I say, in ‘A Woman in Charge,’ and happily I think at this point, it’s the definitive biography, and because it reflects the complexity of the woman and her situation. And her situation is that she has had difficult relationship to the truth, as the book says in its closing pages, since the Arkansas years. But there are reasons for this, ‘difficult relationship to the truth,’ which have to do, partly, with these attacks. She is at the heart of the cultural warfare in this country over the last 30 years. The demographics today reflect that she is on the right side of this cultural warfare and on the issues that she keeps going back to, she has an awful lot of support, as do the Democrats.”

He added, “I think, first of all, I think we’ve got to look at what politicians do generally in terms of fudging. It’s endemic in the profession, but she has become a kind of specialist at it. How has — why has she become a kind of specialist? It has to do, I think, partly, with the peculiarity of the Clinton situations. It has partly to do with the history of Bill Clinton and women, in which she’s had to defend him. And it’s been very difficult to do with the whole truth and all the truth and nothing but the truth. She’s been in a difficult position. I think, if you read the book, if you really understand her life, her great strengths and her weaknesses, you begin to understand the complexity. Look, she’s the most famous woman in the world. … We’ve never had a candidate in our history, all over the world this morning, people are having the discussion we’re having at their breakfast tables. It’s remarkable, this phenomenon. So we have to look at this election in a little bit different terms, and her in a little bit different terms than anybody else.”

Bernstein also said of Bernie Sanders, “I think that anyone who galvanizes the opposition within the party to Hillary Clinton is going to get some traction. She’s still the overwhelming favorite, but her strategy, right now, is to win New Hampshire and Iowa, that’s what she needs to do. Then, she can move on, and, you know, you get into the general election, and the themes that she is hitting on, they play into her strengths and into the Democrats’ strengths. So, the strategy is there. We’ve just heard very wisely, by our correspondent, that she wants to get out there in a way that she’s visible, and at the same time, do the limbo with the press. The press, through this whole campaign is going to be her tormentor. She knows it, the Democrats know it. There are a lot of reporters out there that really want to trip her up, that do not like her, actually. But, they also see a great story, which she is. And they’re going to continue to challenge her. So, she has to stay on message, but one of the problems that we see in this interview yesterday is that she’s not spontaneous. And Bill Clinton is spontaneous, and in private, she’s wonderfully spontaneous. … And you see a little of it in there, but she’s really on talking points. And it’s a problem, I think. But that’s partly theatrics, but it also goes to how a candidate is perceived.”

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