CBS News political director John Dickerson told Stephen Colbert that part of a journalist's job when it comes to covering Bill and Hillary Clinton is to steer conversations away from their pasts.
This stunning admission came Wednesday night in New York City in a live interview that took audience questions. A question surfaced about Bill Clinton's past and how that could affect Hillary's chances in the presidential election.
Colbert reiterated the question and added his own tag: "Can Bill Clinton’s past take down Hillary Clinton’s future? I will also say, add Hillary Clinton’s past in there. Can things from the ‘90s count now?”
"Well it’s ah...so it feels like this campaign’s going to be a lot about Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton’s past and Donald Trump’s past. Elections are supposed to be about the future. And it feels like we are not, um, we’re not having that conversation. Although we’ve tried it. Actually, you know, one of our jobs is to try to take the conversation and make it about the future and people’s lives, not about adjudicating the past."
Dickerson did say an exception could be made if that "past goes to character and temperament which is crucial because we’re not going to be there when the big decisions are made and you need people who have the character and the temperament for the job."
The Clintons would seem to qualify for his exception, yet Dickerson said, "So, um, I don't know."
Colbert noted that an e-mail from the Donald Trump campaign was accidentally sent to a journalist at Politico that stated an internal plan to start bringing up the Clinton Whitewater scandal from the '90s.
"Which just proves that Hillary Clinton is the second worst at using e-mail," he quipped.
Dickerson laughed and added, "Although you could argue that she's very good at using e-mail."
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