NEW YORK – Former President Bill Clinton spoke to FOX News' Geraldo Rivera on Aug. 29 about the flap surrounding John Kerry and his Vietnam service. Following is a transcript of their conversation:
RIVERA: Quickly comment on the swift boat controversy's effectiveness and John Kerry in the polls etc.?
CLINTON: Well I think there has been too much controversy or discussion about the politics of it and little about its merits. All the guys that were on the boat with him say he told the truth. The records say he told the truth. There have been no serious disputes about any of the incidents in which he earned his medals. The ad was paid for by a big supporter of the president and the campaign's lawyer and one of the military advisers participate accurately in it and it was wrong. It was false witness.
RIVERA: Appropriate on a Sunday — you're about to give a sermon, but you have been a victim of slings and arrows. They don't necessarily have to be true to be effective.
CLINTON: That's why I think we need to answer back. But I think, I think in the beginning John couldn't believe it. I mean after all the guys that were on the boat with him were up there on stage with him including some that were probably Republicans — they just knew him and if you've never been through this kind of thing before, where people question your integrity and your very core — it's disorienting, but I think he's got a good answer. The facts are on his side and he'll prevail.
RIVERA: But what if it works?
CLINTON: I don't think that it will … there is plenty of time yet (Clinton walks into church).
RIVERA: OK … Have a nice day.