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Monday, March 29, 2004

I'm surprised that someone this smart was actually in the Bush administration at all
MR. RUSSERT: But if you were willing to go forward, and, as you say, "spin" on behalf of the president, then why shouldn't people now think that this book is also spin? Why should people believe you?

MR. CLARKE: Because I have no obligation anymore to spin. When you're in the White House, you spin. And people have been doing a lot of that against me this week. You know, they're engaged in a campaign. People on the taxpayers' rolls, dozens of people, are engaged in the campaign to destroy me, personally and professionally, because I had the temerity to suggest that the American people should consider whether or not the president had done a good job on the war on terrorism. The issue is not me. The issue is the president's job on the role on terrorism.

Check out the whole Meet The Press transcript.

More excerpts:

MR. RUSSERT: On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate President Bush's performance on the war on terror prior to September 11?

MR. CLARKE: Well, there wasn't any personal performance by the president prior to September 11.
MR. RUSSERT: It sounds like a failing grade.

MR. CLARKE: Well, I think they deserve a failing grade for what they did before because, frankly, they didn't do--they never got around to doing anything. They held interim meetings, but they never actually decided anything before September 11.