ORANGEBURG, South Carolina - Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president - Bush's son, George W. Bush.
"Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again," Clinton said in response to a question from a supporter about what his wife's "number one priority" would be as president.
A spokesman for the George H.W. Bush was not immediately available to comment on whether the former president would chip in some diplomatic help after his son leaves office next year.
Clinton and the elder Bush, rivals in the 1992 presidential election, have grown chummy in recent years, often traveling and appearing at public events together. In 2005, they started a charity to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.
UPDATE: The Republican National Committee issued this statement in response to Clinton's comments:
"In 2009, a Republican president will be working with our friends and allies abroad to continue to keep our nation safe," said RNC spokesman Danny Diaz. "The American people expect our leaders - both current and former - to present serious solutions to the very real challenges confronting our nation."
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