Former President Bill Clinton said the first “canceling” he ever experienced came from Republicans, as he weighed in on cancel culture during an interview with British media this week.
The Democrat appeared on ITV‘s “Lorraine” alongside author James Patterson to promote their new thriller novel, “The President’s Daughter,” when host Ross King asked how he would have dealt with “cancel culture” and the impact of social media during his presidency.
“Look, I think part of this is a problem of cloudy definitions,” Mr. Clinton responded. “That is, the first canceling I ever lived with throughout my life was the canceling that people on the right tried to do to people who weren’t.
“Then it became tempting when the demographics changed to go the other way,” he continued. “But I think if you listen to our book, criticism works better than canceling — that is, I always listen to my critics.
“Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Our critics are our friends, they show us our faults,’” he added. “You can’t keep a country going unless you can argue back and forth.”
Mr. Clinton didn’t go into detail about his supposed “canceling,” but he was impeached by a Republican-controlled House in 1998 after lying about having an extramarital affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He was later acquitted by the Senate and was able to complete his second term in office.
Ms. Lewinsky, who was 22 at the time of the affair, spoke out against the former president during the #MeToo movement in 2018 and said their relationship constituted an “abuse of power.”