WASHINGTON — Bill Clinton offered his armchair assessment of this year’s Arkansas Razorback football woes on Tuesday, putting the blame on the offensive and defensive lines.
"It doesn’t look like they have much of a line on either side of the ball," Clinton said during an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Clinton sat down with MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in New York City where his Clinton Global initiative was under way with speeches Tuesday from President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Scarborough, an alumnus of the University of Alabama, opened the 20-minute interview saying the most pressing issue on Clinton’s mind had to be the state of affairs in Fayetteville.
"You’ve got to go down there and coach," Scarborough said, noting that he had expected Arkansas to challenge top-ranked Alabama but instead the team was blown out, 52-0.
Arkansas has dropped three games since winning its opener against Jacksonville State on Sept. 1. The team lost the following week to Louisiana-Monroe, then to Alabama and on Saturday to Rutgers.
Clinton seemed surprised by Scarborough’s opening question but after a little prodding offered his assessment of the team’s performance.
"They’ve got a great quarterback and three receivers and nobody else is playing really well. They have two great, really good, running backs and they are not doing so great this year. So, it looks like — to me — like a line problem," he said.
Scarborough also asked him about the controversial ending to Monday Night’s NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. The game ended with Seattle scoring a touchdown on a Hail Mary pass that appeared to many to have been intercepted by Green Bay. The replacement referees, however, saw it differently.
"I would not have called the last play the way they did," Clinton said.
On his return to the White House, Obama offered a more blunt response to a question posed by ABC’s Devon Dwyer as he walked off Marine One.
"Terrible," he said of the game, and then paused for a second before continuing. "I’ve been saying for months, we’ve gotta get our refs back."
At the Clinton Global Initiative, Obama spoke about the injustice of human trafficking — calling it "modern slavery" that has no place in a civilized world.
The president renewed his commitment at home and abroad for reducing human trafficking, unveiling several initiatives to go after traffickers as well as assist the victims.
"Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it," Obama said.
Romney delivered an address at the Clinton Global Initiative that broadly supported foreign assistance, particularly aid that focuses on free enterprise.
"Work. That must be at the heart of our effort to help people build economies that can create jobs for people, young and old alike," he said. "Work builds self-esteem. It transforms minds from fantasy and fanaticism to reality and grounding. Work will not long tolerate corruption nor quietly endure the brazen theft by government of the product of hard-working men and women."