Former President Clinton said Sunday the Bush administration's "enormous penchant for secrecy" sparked the strong reaction to Vice President Dick Cheney's shooting mishap.
"We have people quite often who are shot in quail incidents, so I didn't feel the need to get into the pile-on," Clinton said Sunday on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Cheney has been criticized for not disclosing the shooting on Feb. 11 of Texas lawyer Harry Whittington until the following day.
"I think the White House should have said something about it sooner," Clinton said. "I think that it's gotten a little more light than it would have because the administration has an enormous penchant for secrecy for not telling anybody anything about anything."
The shooting had little impact on public opinion about the job done by Cheney, which was already low. A Time magazine poll found 29 percent of those surveyed approve of the job done by Cheney, close to the 32 percent approval for the vice president in November.
President Bush said last week that Cheney had handled the situation "just fine."
Bush also said critics were drawing "the wrong conclusion about a tragic accident" by saying it depicted the White House as overly secretive.