Noted political writer Edward Klein claims in his latest book that former President Bill Clinton dismissed President Obama as inept and incapable of performing the duties of the White House — but that he formed a secret deal to give him an endorsement for office anyway.
Mr. Klein's book is called "The Amateur," and it's published by Regnery.
The deal was this: Mr. Clinton would endorse Mr. Obama for the White House in 2012 if Mr. Obama would endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton for president in 2016, the book claimed.
At the same time, Mr. Clinton wasn't completely happy about the deal — he would have preferred his wife challenge Mr. Obama for the White House in 2012, Mr. Klein's book claimed.
Bluntly, Mr. Clinton thought Mr. Obama wasn't up to the job, Mr. Klein wrote.
In the book, Mr. Klein writes that several sources attributed Mr. Clinton as saying: "I've heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I've heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever. Obama doesn't know how to be president. He doesn't know how the world works. He's incompetent. He's an amateur."
Nonetheless, Mr. Clinton ultimately endorsed Mr. Obama for a second term — at the pushing of political adviser David Axelrod, who was watching Republican challenger Mitt Romney's rising poll numbers with alarm, Mr. Klein said in his book.
White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed the report of Mr. Obama's agreeing to endorse Mrs. Clinton.
"I can assure you the president is not thinking about the next presidential election, having just recently won the last one," he said.
Mr. Klein previously penned books about Mrs. Clinton and the Kennedys and is a former foreign editor at Newsweek.
• Dave Boyer contributed to this article.
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