Falwell distorted 1969 Bill Clinton letter, suggested that Clintons "abhor the military"


On the November 14 edition of C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Reverend Jerry Falwell, national chairman of the Faith and Values Coalition and Moral Majority founder, distorted a letter that a 23-year-old Bill Clinton wrote to Colonel Eugene Holmes, former commander of the University of Arkansas ROTC unit, concerning the draft and the Vietnam War to support Falwell's claim that former President Clinton and his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), have a "distaste" for the military. Falwell claimed that Bill Clinton said, "I abhor the military." Asked about the presidential prospects of Hillary Clinton, Falwell also said that, unlike Bill Clinton who has "no values system," Hillary Clinton is "clearly a socialist" who would "ruin America."

From the November 14 edition of C-SPAN's Washington Journal:

FALWELL: Hillary is committed, clearly, she has a distaste for, she and her husband, at one point said, he did, we, I abhor the military. And I -- you know, Bill Clinton could have been as conservative as Ronald Reagan. I don't think he has an ideology. I think he's an opportunist, and a great leader and a great politician, but no real values system. Not so with Hillary. She is clearly an ideologue, she is clearly a socialist, she is clearly to the left even of John Kerry, and that's bad. And very frankly, I think she'd ruin America.

Clinton never said, "I abhor the military." Here's what he did write in a December 3, 1969, letter to Holmes:

I am writing too in the hope that my telling this one story will help you to understand more clearly how so many fine people have come to find themselves still loving their country but loathing the military, to which you and other good men have devoted years, lifetimes, of the best service you could give.

Falwell further distorted the quote by falsely implying that Bill Clinton was speaking for Hillary Clinton as well as himself. In fact, Clinton wrote the letter from Oxford University in England, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and had not yet met his future spouse.

Attacks on Bill Clinton, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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