BILL Clinton thought so little of US President Barack Obama that he pressed his wife to quit her job as secretary of state and challenge him in the primaries, a new book claims.
“The country needs you!” the former president told Hillary Clinton, urging her to run this year, according to accounts of the conversation included in Edward Klein’s new biography of Mr Obama.
The title of Klein’s explosive, unauthorised bio, The Amateur, was taken directly from Bill Clinton’s bombshell criticism of the President, the author said.
“Barack Obama,” Bill Clinton said, according to book excerpts, “is an amateur.”
The withering criticism is incredible, given the fact that Bill Clinton is actively campaigning for Mr Obama’s re-election.
But according to the book, he unloaded on Mr Obama and pressed his wife to run against her boss during a gathering in the ex-president’s home office in Chappaqua, New York, last August that included longtime friends, Klein said.
…”The economy’s a mess, it’s dead flat. America has lost its Triple-A rating … You know better than Obama does,” Bill Clinton reportedly said, adding that Mr Obama “doesn’t know how to be president” and is “incompetent”.
“Why risk everything now?” a skeptical Hillary Clinton was said to have told her husband, emphasising that she wanted to leave a legacy as secretary of state.
“I want my term (at the State Department) to be an important one, and running away from it now would leave it as a footnote.”
The book’s explosive claims were shot down late Thursday by spokesmen for the White House and the Clintons, who closed ranks.
Bill Clinton’s spokesman Matt McKenna said the excerpts were “totally and completely false” and called Klein “a known liar”.
Philippe Reines, a spokesman for the secretary of state, noted that Hillary Clinton challenged the veracity of an earlier book Klein wrote about her, The Truth About Hillary.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz accused Klein of making up facts to sell books.
Klein, a former editor of The New York Times Magazine and Newsweek, defended both books, saying they are factually sound