Clinton ‘absolutely’ plans to hug Obama

 

Hillary Clinton "absolutely" plans to hug it out with President Obama at a party they're attending Wednesday night in Martha's Vineyard, the former secretary of State told reporters.

"We're looking forward to it, gonna be there tonight," Clinton said during a book signing on the tony Massachusetts island earlier Wednesday.

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Clinton, the runaway favorite for the 2016 presidential nomination, has come under fire after she criticized the president's foreign policy in an interview with The Atlantic published last weekend.

"We have disagreements as any partners and friends, as we are, might very well have," Clinton told reporters on Wednesday. ''But I'm proud that I served with him and for him, and I'm looking forward to seeing him tonight."

In the interview, Clinton suggested Obama’s restrained approach to the civil war in Syria had created a vacuum that enabled the rise of Sunni extremists now targeting minorities in Iraq.

She also criticized the president's frequently cited foreign policy mantra of "don't do stupid stuff," saying the motto was not “an organizing principle” worthy of “great nations.”

That inspired former Obama aide David Axelrod to swipe back, tweeting that “ 'don’t do stupid stuff' means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.” Clinton voted to authorize the Iraq war, which then-Illinois Sen. Obama opposed.

Both Clinton and the White House, though, have looked to downplay the controversy. On Tuesday, Clinton called Obama to insist the comments were not intended as an attack.

Asked by reporters if it was a "hard choice" to make that phone call — a reference to the title of her recently published memoir — Clinton laughed and said no.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the administration was "looking onwards and upwards" after the flap.

"The president appreciates her counsel and advice, but more importantly he appreciates her friendship," Schultz said. "And that's why he’s looking forward to seeing her this evening."