Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that "you shouldn't be able to insult your way to the White House" and that he hoped that the race for the Republican presidential nomination would become "more serious" as more candidates drop out.
"I think they believe that authenticity is created by making your campaign look as much like a reality TV show as possible," the two-term Democratic president said in an interview with Erin Burnett on CNN.
She had asked about the current bashing between GOP front-runner Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
"You can't and you shouldn't be able to insult your way to the White House — or use enough politically correct phrases to get your way to the White House on either side," he said. "We live in a challenging time.
"I think as the field whittles down, I hope it will get more serious," Clinton later added. "The American people deserve some sense of what the heck you're going to do if you get the job."
Burnett played interview footage of Trump attacking former first lady Hillary Clinton, in which the billionaire businessman said she was "perhaps the worst secretary of state in history."
"Well, the thing about branding is you can be fact-free," the former president said in response to Trump's attack before launching into a defense of his wife's record on her work on Iran, AIDS prevention and nuclear proliferation.
He added that if Trump won the Republican presidential nomination, "he'll have to sort of hone his criticisms a little more finely because the facts will be easy to marshal."
Clinton also ruled out any opportunity of serving as vice president, saying that it "violates the spirit of the 22nd Amendment," which limits presidents to two terms.
"You don't want the person who is first in line for the presidency to be somebody who can't serve," he told Burnett, noting that in such a situation, next in line would be the Speaker of the House.
"Let's say if the Democrats win the White House, then the next person really in line to be president would be the Republican Speaker of the House, which would undermine the intent of the government, the public and the election.
"It's a nice thing to talk about, but it's not going to happen — and it shouldn't."
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