- The Washington Times - Friday, December 24, 1999

President Clinton believes the "real problem" with Americans' attitudes toward homosexuality is there are too many heterosexuals who lack "open, personal contact" with homosexuals.
In a taped interview broadcast Thursday night on CNN's "Larry King Live," Mr. Clinton said Americans have "come a long way" in their acceptance of homosexuality since he became president, but problems remain.
"The real problem, I still believe, is the absence of open, personal contact," Mr. Clinton said. "They don't see that there are people who their friends, their sisters, their brothers, their sons, their daughters, their co-workers, and it's not a lifestyle people choose. It is the way people are."
Mr. Clinton said he agrees with a recent Vermont Supreme Court ruling that homosexual couples should receive equal health care and property benefits. But the president said he still does not consider homosexual "marriage" as a legal union.
"Marriage in our culture and to me has a certain connotation… . I think it's basically a union for the purpose of, among other things, having children," Mr. Clinton said.
In the 30-minute interview, Mr. Clinton also:
Referred to rock-throwing protesters at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle as "creeps."
Called his wife's potential election as a U.S. senator "a gift for the people of New York and America."
Said he feels "very badly" for former political adviser Dick Morris because he lies about the Clintons on television to earn a living.
Asked about a comment by Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush that Mr. Clinton didn't strongly condemn WTO protesters, including many union members, the president replied:
"I was surprised the first night at the level of violence. I didn't know that there would be so many, basically, creeps there who would try to … throw rocks there was just a very small percentage of those thousands of people who were doing this… . I attacked those who were violent in no uncertain terms… . The difference between me and most Republicans is that I believe that globalization is inevitable, but people are scared of all this change."
He called Vice President Al Gore "by light years the best vice president this country has ever had." Mr. Bush's father served as vice president to Ronald Reagan before being elected president in 1988.
Mr. Clinton, who got caught in a lie when he told the nation he didn't have sexual relations with a White House intern, said he views the television career of Mr. Morris, who left the administration in 1996 due to his own sex scandal, as "a game."
"When Dick first started going on television … he used to call somebody here in the office and apologize in advance and just say, 'You know, I've got to do this, it's the only way I can get on television,' " Mr. Clinton said. "It's a game. I know that. And so it's hard for me to take it seriously. I think that a lot of the things that he has said he knows downright aren't true, and I feel bad for him because I think you pay a terrible price when you do that over and over and over again."
Asked about his biggest disappointment in office, Mr. Clinton ignored his impeachment of one year ago.
"I don't know what the biggest disappointment is," he told Mr. King. "I'm sorry we were not able to have more progress in health care… . I feel very good about what's happened these last six years."
The president said the Senate candidacy of Mrs. Clinton is a "gift" to New Yorkers and the rest of the country.
"I've never known anybody, ever, who had her combination of intellect and passion and organizing ability, and absolutely consuming devotion to public service," he said.
And he revealed a little secret: Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes once gave him a letter written by an angry President Harry Truman to a critic.
"One of the great little stories of my presidency is Steve Forbes gave me that letter that Truman wrote," Mr. Clinton said. "I've always been grateful to him."

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