Bill Clinton dismissed questions about his wife's health on Wednesday afternoon, two days after Republican strategist Karl Rove suggested the former secretary of state might be suffering from brain damage following her 2012 concussion.
"Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds," said Clinton, who spoke at the Peterson Foundation's Fiscal Summit in Washington. "First they said she faked her concussion, and now they say she's auditioning for a part in The Walking Dead."
Rove, as reported by the New York Post, said at an event on Monday that Hillary Clinton, who might run for president in 2016, could be suffering from brain damage after a concussion and subsequent blood clot sent her to the hospital almost two years ago. The Republican pundit defended himself on Fox News on Tuesday morning, as Clinton aides dismissed "Dr. Rove" and his remarks as "flagrant and thinly veiled." Hillary, aide Nick Merrill told outlets, "is 100%, period."
Gwen Ifill, reporter at PBS, moderated the lengthy, wide-ranging conversation with Clinton, saving a question about Rove's comments until the end of the forum.
Clinton suggested Republicans would do "whatever it takes" to hurt his wife's political prospects. "Look," he said, "she works out every week. She is strong. She is doing great. As far as I can tell, she's in better shape than I am."
"She certainly seems to have more stamina now," Clinton said, stressing that his wife had done six months of "very serious work" to get over the hurdle of the concussion and blood clot. "She never tried to pretend it didn't happen."
Clinton also suggested that Republicans will continue to focus on his wife's health and her age — she is 66 years old — as the election draws closer. "You can't be too upset about it," he said. "It's just the beginning. They'll get better and better about it."
"It's just part of the deal."
Ruby Cramer is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ruby Cramer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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