NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday his wife Hillary took six months to recover from a 2012 concussion, adding she is now “stronger than I am” as he dismissed GOP strategist Karl Rove’s comments about her health.
“I got to give him credit, you know, that embodies that old saying that ‘consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,”’ Bill Clinton said at a Washington conference. “First they said she faked her concussion. And now they say she’s auditioning for a part on ‘The Walking Dead.”’
The former secretary of state fell ill with a stomach bug in December 2012 after returning from a trip to Europe, leaving her severely dehydrated. While at home, she fainted and fell, suffering a concussion. The illness forced her to reschedule her testimony to Congress about the deadly attack months earlier in Benghazi, Libya.
Rove has come under fire for a remark he made about Clinton having brain damage from a 2012 blood clot, 1010 WINS reported.
Rove has since told the Washington Post “of course she doesn’t have brain damage,” but that he thinks she needs to be more forthcoming about the events in Benghazi.
“I didn’t say she had brain damage. She had a serious health episode,” Rove told the Fox News Channel. “My point is that Hillary Clinton wants to run for president, but she would not be human if this didn’t enter in as a consideration. And my other point is this will be an issue in the 2016 race whether she likes it or not.”
Clinton allies and the White House pushed back on Rove’s comments, and Bill Clinton said he was “sort of dumbfounded” by the remarks.
“Look, she works out every week, she is strong, she’s doing great. As far as I can tell, she’s in better shape than I am,” the former president said.
After Hillary Clinton‘s concussion, doctors discovered a blood clot in a vein that runs between the skull and the brain behind her right ear and she was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for treatment with blood thinners. She was released after a brief hospitalization.
Bill Clinton said it was serious and took her six months to recover.
The former president also defended his wife’s response to the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
His comments came as the House pushes ahead with a special select committee to investigate the attacks, U.S. security at the diplomatic mission, the military’s response and the Obama administration’s explanation of what happened.
Hillary Clinton is certain to be asked to testify by the GOP-led panel.
“In my opinion, Hillary did what she should have done, she impaneled a very high-level review committee,” Bill Clinton said.
He was referring to the Accountability Review Board investigation by former diplomat Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“They looked into what was wrong, they gave 29 recommendations, she took them and started implementing them,” Bill Clinton added.
House Speaker John Boehner has appointed seven Republicans to serve on the panel. Democrats are weighing whether to participate in an inquiry that many in the party have described as a political stunt, pointing to the multiple independent and bipartisan investigations that have already been conducted.
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