Paul Begala, a CNN political commentator and former adviser to President Bill Clinton, on Thursday rejected the premise that the media and the feminist community was too light on Clinton for his alleged sexual assaults and harassment.
CNN host Jake Tapper brought up the subject by mentioning the deluge of op-eds in the New York Times and other outlets saying that the left should have been more condemning of Clinton's behavior. Despite the fact that Clinton faced no punishment, Begala said he "didn't get away with anything" and called Clinton "a good man."
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"That conversation did occur 20 years ago," Begala responded to Tapper. "It's just a lot of people weren't around when it did."
"That conversation did happen at the time, and he didn't get away with anything," Begala continued. "He was investigated, he was litigated, he was impeached, he had finally, after lying about the affair, admitted it, apologized—multiple times, in a very heartfelt way, privately as well as publicly—and the country forgave him."
Tapper interrupted Begala to remind him that the Monica Lewinsky scandal was not the only sex scandal to hit Clinton during his presidency.
"But that's one of the many allegations against him. There's Paula Jones, there's Jennifer Flowers, there's Juanita Broaddrick, there's Kathleen Willey. There's a bunch," Tapper said as Begala smiled.
"All of which were investigated, litigated, adjudicated," Begala said.
"We gave Ken Starr $70 million and 78 FBI agents in two years, President Clinton is the most investigated person in American history. And people arrived where they arrived. And it was not a close call," Begala continued.
Begala said that Clinton's popularity showed he was forgiven.
"By the overwhelming majority, they thought he was a good man who did a bad thing and should remain as our president because he was doing a great job. He left office after all of that, the most popular president in the history of polling," Begala said.
"He was a good person doing a good job who did a very bad thing and asked for forgiveness. He apologized, he admitted, he confessed, and he begged for forgiveness," Begala added.