A new book claims that former U.S. President Bill Clinton was so unimpressed with President Barack Obama, he urged his wife Hillary Clinton to quit her job as U.S. secretary of state and run against him in the primaries last summer -- calling the president amateur and incompetent.
The New York Post published excerpts of best-selling and controversial author Edward Klein's unauthorized biography about Obama coming out Monday, The Amateur, which includes bombshell revelations about the former president's alleged true feelings about Obama.
Reporter Carl Campanile writes that Bill Clinton unloaded on Obama and pressed Hillary to run against her boss during a gathering in the ex-president's home office in Chappaqua last August that included longtime friends, according to Klein.
The economy's a mess, it's dead flat. America has lost its Triple-A rating ... You know better than Obama does, Bill Clinton is quoted as saying in the book.
Bill Clinton reportedly continued to say that he had no relationship with Obama, who doesn't know how to be president and is incompetent.
Klein based the conversation on interviews with two guests that were present for the Chappaqua meeting. According to those two sources, Hillary Clinton resisted her husband's plea. The New York Post writes:
Why risk everything now? a skeptical Hillary told her husband, emphasizing that she wanted to leave a legacy as secretary of state.
Because, Bill replied, his voice rising, the country needs you!
The country needs us! added Bill.
Hillary Clinton also questioned the prospect of loyalty, according to the excerpts:
I'm the highest-ranking member in Obama's Cabinet. I eat breakfast with the guy every Thursday morning. What about loyalty, Bill? What about loyalty? she responded.
Loyalty is a joke,'' Bill shot back. Loyalty doesn't exist in politics.
Bill's verbal battle with Hillary over the presidency, if anything, intensified when daughter Chelsea showed up with her husband, Marc Mezvinsky.
You deserve to be president, Chelsea said.
If true, the story would be particularly shocking considering Bill Clinton has been campaigning on behalf of President Obama these past few months, including a campaign video that praised Obama's handling of the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz told the Post the book was making up the story to sell copies.
Nobody in their right mind would believe the nonsense in this one, especially since both Secretary Clinton and President Clinton have been loyal and supportive of the president at every turn, Schultz said.
Klein, who has also written books about Hillary Clinton and the Kennedys, is a former foreign editor at Newsweek, former editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, and has contributed to Vanity Fair and Parade. He stands by his reporting.
It may be hard for Klein's book to be picked up as the author has been questioned for his credibility in the past. After publishing a book about Hillary Clinton in 2005, critics questioned if he crossed the line by questioning her sexuality, and he was largely ignored by the major news networks.
Read the rest at the New York Post.