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President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. / Charles Dharapak, AP

Hillary Rodham Clinton called President Obama on Tuesday to try and clear the air over some foreign policy criticism the former secretary of State made in a recent magazine article, aides said.

"Secretary Clinton was proud to serve with President Obama," said Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill. "She was proud to be his partner in the project of restoring American leadership and advancing America's interests and values in a fast changing world."

The call came just days after The Atlantic posted an article in which Clinton took issue with some of Obama's foreign policy decisions.

Clinton, who is pondering a presidential run in 2016, criticized the administration's refusal to arm rebels against Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria early on, saying that decision may have contributed to the rise of a militant army that has now swept across parts of Syria and Iraq.

She also questioned Obama's statement that his foreign policy philosophy includes the maxim, "don't do stupid stuff." Clinton told The Atlantic that "great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle."

White House officials have not commented publicly on the article. But long-time political adviser David Axelrod posted a tweet Tuesday that appeared to be a response to Clinton.

Axelrod wrote, "Just to clarify: 'Don't do stupid stuff' means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision."

In his statement, Merrill said that Clinton and Obama have had "honest differences" on some issues - "including aspects of the wicked challenge Syria presents" - but she supports his foreign policy overall.

Clinton "continues to share his deep commitment to a smart and principled foreign policy that uses all the tools at our disposal to achieve our goals," Merrill said.

Merrill said that "some are now choosing to hype those differences." But he said they do not eclipse the "broad agreement" between the former secretary of State and the president she served during his first term.

Clinton called Obama while he is on vacation at Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Clinton will be on Martha's Vineyard herself Wednesday, signing copies of her book "Hard Choices" - and both she and the president are scheduled to at the same party later that evening.

Said Merrill: "Like any two friends who have to deal with the public eye, she looks forward to hugging it out when she they see each other tomorrow night."



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Clinton calls Obama about foreign policy criticism

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