Hillary Clinton, infamous for her refusal to face tough media interviewers, is boycotting the news program hosted by the toughest questioner of all: NBC's Tim Russert.
In a panel discussion with political consultant Mike Murphy during Sunday's "Meet The Press," Russert revealed that Clinton is ducking an appearance on his show.
Said Russert: "Last week we had Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee on 'Meet the Press.' This week we had John McCain. We invited Senator Clinton, she declined our invitation. Doing very few media interviews. I am told she might be doing 'Access Hollywood' on Monday."
Murphy commented: "Yeah, I don’t understand it, because if she doesn’t grab this thing fast — and it’s not her fault, she’s just not what they’re looking for, but she’s making it worse with this kind of campaigning—she’s going to turn into Ed Muskie in a pantsuit ..."
Clinton's reluctance to expose herself to Russert's hard-nosed cross-examination-style questioning could be the result of a misstep she made during a debate in Philadelphia on Oct. 30 moderated by Russert.
In what was called the worst trouble she had yet stumbled into, she approved New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's scheme to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens.
Russert reminded Clinton that she said of Spitzer's plan, “You told the Nashua, N.H., editorial board it makes a lot of sense,'' he said. “Why does it make a lot of sense to give an illegal immigrant a driver's license?''
Said Clinton: “Well, what Gov. Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform,'' she said. “We know in New York we have several million at any one time who are in New York illegally. They are undocumented workers.
“They are driving on our roads,'' she said. “The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds. It's probability. So what Gov. Spitzer is trying to do is to fill the vacuum."
The reaction from both her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination and Republicans was swift and harsh and she was later forced to renounce the plan which Spitzer himself abandoned after a firestorm of protest.
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