President Clinton plans to stay out of the limelight if Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonArmed man arrested at DC pizzeria targeted by conspiracy theory Clinton opponents vow to continue their pursuit ExxonMobil CEO, retired admiral will meet with Trump about State: report MORE launches her expected run for president, he tells Town and Country Magazine in a new interview.
“My role should primarily be as a backstage adviser to her until we get much, much closer to the election,” Clinton said.
President Clinton’s role in Hillary’s 2008 campaign was a source of tensions in the Clinton camp. Many of his political advisers joined her campaign, and some sparred with Hillary Clinton’s staff.
The former president also sparked controversy on the campaign trail, including with remarks about President Obama’s 2008 campaign being a “fairy tale” ahead of the South Carolina primary.
This time around, Hillary Clinton holds an enormous lead over the Democratic field, as well as the top spot in general election polling. But if she decides to run, President Clinton says the couple has agreed that she should run away from the culture of inevitability and embrace the campaign as a fresh start.
"I think it's important, and Hillary does too, that she go out there as if she's never run for anything before and establish her connection with the voters,” President Clinton said, adding that he would continue his work at the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary Clinton has the chance to become the first female president in American history, which would also anoint President Clinton as the first “first man.” As for his potential involvement in his wife’s White House, the former president said he would wait and see.
"First, I would have to assess what she wants me to do,” he said.
"And second, we might have to change the [Clinton Foundation] rules again. But we haven't talked about that yet, and I don't think we should. You can't. It's hard for any party to hang on to the White House for 12 years, and it's a long road. A thousand things could happen."
He also briefly addressed criticism over the foundation’s willingness to accept money from a slew of foreign governments. Critics have suggested the donations may have influenced Clinton while she served as secretary of State, and questioned why the foundation took money from countries with questionable human rights records.
Hillary Clinton defended the foundation during a March press conference, stating that she’s “proud” of its successes.
President Clinton said that the foundation underwent a review last year and has implemented “every single one of” the suggestions given to it.
“So our plan is to spend this whole year working on the foundation, which is, by a good long stretch, the most transparent of all the presidential foundations and more transparent than a lot of other major foundations in the country,” he said.
“It should be, both because I believe in it and because Hillary is in public life, and we'll get criticized, as some people are criticizing me, for taking money from a foreign government.”