(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- President Obama emerged from offstage to bear hug Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night moments after Clinton, giving a rousing speech nominating Obama for re-election, called the president a man who is "cool on the outside" but "burns for America on the inside."
Once a political adversary, Bill Clinton went to bat for the president, playing the dual parts of professor and preacher, firing up the crowd and explaining just how Obama has succeeded in working to fix a flailing economy.
Clinton strode to the podium to the strains of his old presidential campaign theme song "Don't Stop," and a roar of applause from Democrats who remember the boom times of his two administrations.
"I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside....I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States and I proudly nominate him as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party," Clinton told the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
He complimented Obama for his ability to work with those who ran against him, saying Obama appointed several people to top jobs who had supported Clinton's wife Hillary Clinton during their bitter battle for the Democratic presidential nomination four years ago.
"Heck, he even appointed Hillary," Clinton said. Hillary Clinton is Obama's secretary of state.
Articulating the successes of the Obama administration in 30 minutes, Clinton said President Obama's policies were working to fix the economy.
"I understand the challenge we face. I know many Americans are still angry and frustrated with the economy. Though employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend and even housing prices are picking up a bit, too many people don't feel it," he said.
"No president -- not me or any of my predecessors -- could have repaired all the damage in just four years. But conditions are improving and if you'll renew the president's contract you will feel it," he said.
The Romney campaign has made a point to ask voters if they are better off today than they were four years ago. Clinton twice answered Romney's question head on and in the affirmative.
"Are we better off than we were when he took office, with an economy in free fall, losing 750,000 jobs a month? The answer is yes," he roared.
Clinton celebrated Obama's signature healthcare law, pointing out that more than three million young people are now insured and that healthcare spending has grown under four percent for first time in 50 years.
"So are we all better off because President Obama fought for [healthcare reform] and passed it," Clinton asked. "You bet we are," he answered to applause.
Clinton attacked GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, architect of the Republican budget plan, for being disingenuous last week at the Republican National Convention.
"When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama's 'biggest coldest power play' in raiding Medicare, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. You see, that $716 billion is exactly the same amount of Medicare savings Congressman Ryan had in his own budget," he said.
"It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did," Clinton said to laughs and cheers.
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