Democratic strategist and longtime Clinton surrogate James Carville took no prisoners during a testy exchange with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell over Hillary’s private e-mails, lashing out repeatedly at the press and accusing Mitchell of taking “cockamamie . . . right-wing talking points.”
“Good morning!” Mitchell began. “Well, first of all, isn’t it time for Hillary Clinton to speak out? If you were advising her, should she address these issues?”
And Carville was off. “It was legal, it wasn’t against regulations, Colin Powell and Jeb Bush did the same thing, but ‘Oh my God!’ Do you remember Whitewater, do you remember Foulgate, do you remember Travelgate, do you remember Pardongate, do you remember Benghazi? All of this is just the same cockamamie stuff that we go through.”
“The Times gets something from some right-wing talking points, they print the story, they gotta walk the story back,” he continued. “And everybody, the chin-scratchers go ‘Oh my God, the story’s not right but it says something larger about the Clintons.’ This is never gonna end. We’ve lived with this for 20 year. We’ll live with it the rest of the campaign. It’s all. About. Nothing. That’s my view of the whole thing.”
Carville went on to compare the Times use of “right-wing talking points” to the media’s use of Bush administration intelligence suggesting Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had weapons of mass destruction — causing Mitchell to try, in vain, to steer the Democratic strategist back on track.
“If I were a member of the press, and I realized right-wing talking points helped get us into a war, I would probably rethink the way I get my information,” he said.
He also dismissed Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D, C.A.) request that Hillary address the e-mail controversy. “You can find a Democrat that says anything,” he snapped, again comparing the move to former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
It wasn’t until the end of the interview that Mitchell was able to make a salient point. “Why should she be the person deciding, or her circle, decide which e-mails to turn over?” she asked. “Isn’t that the problem with a private e-mail system that isn’t government archived?”
“Are you saying that she’s a crook?” Carville asked. “Because if she does not turn over relevant stuff, that’s against the law. So is that what we’re really gonna say here? I don’t think we really want to say that.”
“All of the out-of-breath, all of the coverage, all of the ‘worried Democrats,’ all of the other stuff that we’re hearing, every one of these things – it is always the same, Andrea,” he said. “It’s never gonna change. We go through the same stuff 20 times.”