Bush Critic McClellan Makes the Rounds
NOAH ADAMS, host:
Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan spent much of this day talking with the media about his new book - if not a tell-all, at least a tell-some about what went on inside the Bush White House while he worked there. One of McClellan's first interviews was with MORNING EDITION host Renee Montagne, where he was less hard-hitting about President Bush than he was in the book. Today, McClellan called the president sincere and authentic. He had called the run-up to the Iraq War a propaganda machine, but today he said...
Mr. SCOTT McCLELLAN (Former Press Secretary): We got caught up in this back and forth partisan squabble to see who could win the media narrative. You know, it's not a deliberate effort on the president's part, or many of his advisors, to go out there and be misleading, or engage in spin or anything like that. It's just the way the game's become played in Washington.
ADAMS: Current and former administration officials are blasting the book. Former White House counselor Karl Rove told Fox News.
Mr. KARL ROVE (Former Deputy Chief of Staff): If he had these moral qualms, he should have spoken up about them. And frankly, I don't remember him speaking up about these things. I don't remember a single word.
ADAMS: And that rings a bell. Back in 2004, it was Scott McClellan as press secretary who was asked to respond when a former national security aide Richard Clarke wrote his book criticizing the administration on Iraq.
Mr. McCLELLAN: Why all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now all of a sudden he's raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, he is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book, and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book.
ADAMS: For his part, Richard Clarke told CNN that he thinks McClellan's book comes too late. But he says he knows the wrath of this White House scorned. Quote: "I can show you the tire tracks."
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.