NEWTON, Iowa -- The question to Bill Clinton was a good one: What decisions that you made as president did Hillary Clinton disagree with?
At first, the former president, stumping for his wife before several hundred people at a YMCA here today, talked about things he had done wrong on health care and briefly discussed welfare reform. And then, using a more somber tone, he explained that she had wanted the United States to intervene in Rwanda in 1994, when hundreds of thousands of people died in a genocide that lasted just a few months.
Clinton has often said that not acting in Rwanda was one of his biggest regrets. It's a decision, he said, for which he continues to try to make amends. Had he listened to his wife, Clinton said, things might have been different.
"I believe if I had moved we might have saved at least a third of those lives," he said. "I think she clearly would have done that."
He went on to explain how America, which did intervene in the former Yugoslavia, could only take on so much at once. But not acting in Rwanda, he suggested, was a mistake his wife wouldn't make.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.