03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bill Clinton Blasts Olbermann For Politicizing Health Care Event, Refuses To Go

On Friday, Bill Clinton decided not to attend a health care event organized by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann because Olbermann had "politicized" the event.

He explained his decision to FireDogLake's Eve Gittelso, who ran into Clinton in a gift shop of the Clinton Library in Arkansas:

"Clinton responded that Olbermann was politicizing the clinic, and that it wasn't helpful for Olbermann to do that. He said he did not feel he could show up now, because the event had turned political....Olbermann, who has invited his viewers to contribute to the National Association of Free Clinics in advance of the event, has said on his show that 'I want Sens. (Blanche) Lincoln and (Mark) Pryor to see what health care poverty is really like in Little Rock.' Lincoln has met recently with Joe Biden and President Obama, but has yet to agree to vote for debate on health care to proceed in the Senate."

Mediaite notes that Olbermann began his endorsement of these free clinics on October 8 and that the Arkansas event is just one of six Olbermann had done.

Watch Olbermann's original health care pitch below.

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