Q: But was that experience, do you think, that is -- having a lot of influence with advisers, giving private advice to her husband -- was that experience that has helped prepare her to be commander in chief?
Craig: Oh, I don't doubt that. The point that I am making is that her claims of the nature of that experience are overstated. The fact is she did not sit in on national security meetings. She did not have a security clearance. She did not attend meetings in the situation room. She conducted no negotiations. She did not manage any part of the national security bureaucracy. She did not have her own national security staff. That's the fact. Now the experience that she did have -- watching and sometimes sitting in the room where discussions were going on and also meeting heads of state and foreign ministers -- that is good experience, and it's invaluable to understanding how the world works when it comes to international organizations as well as international negotiations.
The Clinton camp responded quickly, noting a contradiction between this statement and other statements. Only last week Craig claimed:
When your entire campaign is based upon a claim of experience, it is important that you have evidence to support that claim. Hillary Clinton's argument that she has passed "the Commander- in-Chief test" is simply not supported by her record.
The comments by Craig come at a time when the Clinton camp is facing increasing scrutiny over the former First Lady's record.
The Boston Globe reported this morning that Sen. Clinton had less to do with the passage of the SCHIP program in the early 90s, and cites Republican Orrin Hatch who, with Sen. Ted Kennedy, helped spear the legislation:
"The White House wasn't for it. We really roughed them up" in trying to get it approved over the Clinton administration's objections, Hatch said in an interview. "She may have done some advocacy [privately] over at the White House, but I'm not aware of it."
"I do like her," Hatch said of Hillary Clinton. "We all care about children. But does she deserve credit for SCHIP? No - Teddy does, but she doesn't."