Sunday, February 12, 2006

Laura Bush calls Hillary Clinton "out of bounds"

Laura Bush calls Hillary Clinton "out of bounds"

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - U.S. first lady Laura Bush called New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "out of bounds" on Saturday for a recent attack on her husband, U.S. President George W. Bush, but chalked it up to politics.

Sen. Clinton, pondering a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, has begun to intensify her criticism of the Bush administration, recently saying it could go down in history as among the worst ever.

"Of course I think it's out of bounds," Mrs. Bush told ABC News from Turin, where she attended opening events at the Winter Olympics. "But I think it's politics, it's certainly politics."

The Bush and Clinton families have a complicated relationship. President Bush and his father, the former president, both Republicans, get on well with former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, but the Bush family does not want to see Clinton's wife, the former first lady, win the presidency in 2008.

A rich political tapestry was evident at the funeral last week in Atlanta for Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, with the Bush and Clinton families gathered along with former President Jimmy Carter.

At that event, former President Clinton gave a hint of his thinking about who should win in 2008. He noted that former presidents were present, as was the current president, and then he gestured to his wife to suggest she was the future president.

Mrs. Bush said the two Bush presidents and Clinton "are in a club together and really I think wives of the presidents are in a club, as well."

"We know what it's like to live in that house. We certainly know what it's like to have your husband criticized. So I think there's a certain empathy that we might have for each other that we wouldn't have maybe for somebody else who said something like that," she said.

In an example of the way Republicans are dealing with Sen. Clinton's attacks, Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has said Sen. Clinton's attack was an example of anger and that Americans do not like to elect angry candidates.