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Romney to GOP: Don't use Clinton sex scandal against Hillary

Feb. 17, 2014 at 2:02 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Bill Clinton's sex scandal "embarrassed the nation," but Republicans shouldn't use it against Hillary Clinton if she runs for U.S. president, Mitt Romney said.

"I don't think Bill Clinton is as relevant as Hillary Clinton, if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president," the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee told NBC's "Meet the Press."

"And in her case, I think people will look at her record as the secretary of state and say, during that period of time did our relations with nations around the world elevate America and elevate our interests or were they receding? And I think her record is what will be judged upon, not the record of her husband," Romney said.

The GOP has begun hitting Hillary Clinton on her ties to her former president husband, painting the two as a pair who want to retake control of the White House.

In addition, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has expressed interest in being the Republican candidate in 2016, has recently called Bill Clinton a "sexual predator" for his sexual relationship that emerged in 1998 with Monica Lewinsky, who was a 22-year-old White House intern at the time.

The news of the extramarital affair that year and a resulting investigation led to Clinton's impeachment by the House and his subsequent acquittal on all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a 21-day Senate trial.

"I think Hillary Clinton, if she becomes the nominee, will have plenty to discuss about her own record," Romney said. "I don't imagine that Bill Clinton is going to be a big part of it.

"That being said, the times when he was president were by and large positive economic times for the country. On the other hand, he embarrassed the nation. He breached his responsibility, I think, as an adult and as a leader in his relationship. And I think that's very unfortunate.

"But I don't think that's Hillary Clinton's to explain," Romney said. "She has her own record, her own vision for where she would take the country. And I think that's something which [should be] debated extensively during the 2016 campaign."

Romney said he was not interested in running in 2016 himself.

"I'm not running for president," he said. "I think, by and large, people who lose a presidential race, well, they step aside."

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