Here's the transcript of Bill Clinton's brief exchange with a CNN reporter about the Trent Lott business ...
CNN: Do you have a comment on Senator Lott?Couldn't have said it better myself.
Clinton: No, other than....I think that -- obviously -- I don't agree with him.
But I think there is something a bit hypocritical about the way Republicans are jumping all over him. I think what they really are upset about is he made public their strategy.
The whole Republican apparatus supported campaigns in Georgia and South Carolina on the Confederate flag. There is no action coming out of the Justice Department against all those people, Republicans, who suppressed black voters in the South, in Arkansas and Louisiana, and lots of other places. Telephone operations telling people in Florida they didn't have to vote on Election Day, that they could vote on Saturday but not if they had parking tickets. I mean, this is their policy.
So I think the way that the Republicans treated Senator Lott is a pretty hypocritical since right now, their policy is in my view inimical to everything this country stands for. They tried to suppress black voting, they ran on the Conferederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina and from top to bottom Republicans supported them. So I don't see what they're jumping on Trent Lott about.
I think the Democrats can say we disagree with what he said and we don't think its right but that's the Republican policy. How do you think they got a majority in the South anyway?
CNN: So he should step down as majority leader?
Clinton: I think that's up to them. But I think that they can't say it with a straight face. How can they jump all over him when they're out there repressing and trying to run black voters away from polls and to run on the Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina. Look at their whole record. The others, how can they attack him? He just embarrassed them by saying in Washington what they do on the back roads every day.