Entries in Bill Clinton (66)


Clinton Blasts Right’s ‘Militant, Bitter, Anti-Government Strategy’

ABC News(UNIVERSITY PARK, Fla.) -- At his first solo rally of the 2012 election campaign, former President Bill Clinton Tuesday night invoked the 9/11 anniversary to urge all Americans to register to vote and endorse President Obama’s vision for a future of “shared prosperity.”

He also took shots at Republicans and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, whom he said were conspiring to discourage Democratic voters and would take the country on a drastically different path.

“I decided to come here on this day because I think if you look around at how this day is being honored today -- it’s being honored by service projects all over America, by people trying to be good citizens,” Clinton told the crowd of mostly college students at Florida International University.

“The most important thing I can say today … [is] if you want to honor the people who’ve worn the country’s uniform … be a good citizen,” he said. “The least we can do is show up and vote.”

Clinton called Obama’s race against Romney a “pivotal election” with high stakes for the middle class and the poor.

“I believe we should be working, in an interdependent world, for an America of shared responsibility, shared opportunity, shared prosperity and shared membership in one American community. That’s what I believe in,” Clinton said.

He said the opposing approach was a “a militant, bitter, anti-government strategy,” though he did not mention the Republican candidate by name.

“What works in the modern world is partnership,” Clinton said, underscoring a theme Democrats have made central to the 2012 debate. “It’s not business versus government, it’s business and government working together."

“‘We’re all in this together’ works better than ‘you’re on your own,’” he said, echoing a line from his primetime speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Clinton reprised his vigorous, and at times professorial, defense of Obama’s record on health care, education reform, the stimulus, and deficit reduction, which he first made last week at the DNC.

He said Obama “stopped the slide into a depression, laid the foundation for a road to recovery and left the building blocks for a modern economy.” On the debt, Clinton said Obama has a “smart” plan to cut $4 trillion over 10 years, “but not today” while the economy is still healing.

He rattled off health care statistics, claiming hundreds of thousands of Floridians have benefited from insurance coverage and lower drug costs under the Affordable Care Act. And he debunked the Romney campaign’s claim that Obama “robbed” Medicare of $716 billion to pay for it.

They are “pedaling that old dog. It’s a mangy old dog,” Clinton said of the claim. “It’s not true. [Beneficiaries] haven’t lost anything.”

The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment on Clinton’s remarks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama: GOP Selling Tax Cuts to ‘Help Your Love Life’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — Mocking his opponents’ economic agenda, President Obama says Republicans are pushing tax cuts as the prescription to cure the ailing economy, “help you lose a few extra pounds,” and even “help your love life.”

The president unveiled the new quip Friday, but today he got a unique response as he kicked off his two-day campaign tour through Florida.

“It doesn’t help!” shouted a man of his lacking love life.

Obama, seemingly caught off guard by the joke, laughed in response. “You tried those tax cuts, huh?” he asked.

“Actually it does help when you give it to folks who need it,” the president continued, never missing an opportunity to push his economic proposals. “But I don’t believe, and you don’t believe, that another round of tax breaks for millionaires is going to bring good jobs back to our shores, or pay down our deficit.”

Two days after formally accepting his party’s nomination, the president reflected on the convention, suggesting former President Bill Clinton should be given a new cabinet position after his rousing speech.

“After he spoke, somebody sent out a tweet — they said, you should appoint him Secretary of Explaining Stuff,” Obama told the crowd of 11,000 gathered in the sweltering heat at St. Petersburg College-Seminole Campus.  “Although, I have to admit, it didn’t really say ‘stuff.’  I cleaned that up a little bit.”

Obama is spending the weekend on a campaign bus tour through the Sunshine State, part of his post-convention battleground state swing.

After his rally in St. Petersburg, the president rolled through Tampa, Fla., the site of the GOP convention two weeks ago, where he stopped for lunch at a Cuban sandwich shop.

“At their convention, they were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn’t say much about how they’d make it right.  They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan,” Obama said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul Ryan Calls Obama ‘Not a Bill Clinton Democrat’ at Fundraiser

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) -- Bill Clinton may have spoken at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, but at a Paul Ryan fundraiser Thursday in a town that’s a favorite venue for Democratic fundraising, he was the man who was mentioned the most.

And despite the former president’s scathing comments about the GOP vice presidential candidate in his speech in Charlotte, N.C., Ryan simultaneously praised Clinton and hit on President Obama.

“What’s happened over the past four years was not a Bill Clinton Democrat,” Ryan said referring to Obama.  “Bill Clinton gave us welfare reform, Bill Clinton worked with Republicans to cut spending and to get a good budget agreement in place.  Bill Clinton’s commission gave us Medicare reform that we are proposing right now.  We don’t have a Bill Clinton Democrat.  We have someone who went far to the left so it’s a different kind of approach or philosophy of the role and goal of government.”

On Wednesday night, Clinton had this to say about Ryan:

“When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama’s Medicare savings as the ‘biggest, coldest power play,’ I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Clinton said.  “Because, that $716 billion is exactly, to the dollar, the same amount of Medicare savings that he had in his own budget.”

Clinton added: “You got to (admit) one thing -- it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.”

It wasn’t just Ryan who mentioned Clinton.  Former California Gov. Pete Wilson was also on hand at the Beverly Hills, Calif., fundraiser on Thursday and asked the crowd of about 200 people if they had “watched that little show last night?  The return of Bill Clinton?”

“You know, all through that … all I can think of was the last time I seen him shaking his finger,” Wilson said, referring to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  “‘I did not have sex with that woman.’  I figured that anyone who can redefine sex as he did in that moment is fully capable of redefining economics, which he tried to do last night.”

It was far from the only colorful remark Wilson made at the fundraiser at the posh Montage Hotel, where attendees paid $2,500 to attend and couples who wanted a photograph with the House Budget Chairman paid $10,000.  A private dinner for 100 attendees was a $25,000 donation per couple.  Wilson also brought up Ryan’s direct opponent Joe Biden, who along with Obama, was set to address the DNC that same evening.

“We all believe in fairness and there’s one problem,” Wilson said. “Paul is going to be debating Joe Biden. And friends, that’s just not fair. That’s not a fair fight. You’ve got: an aging lightweight against a youthful heavyweight. …God, sometimes I think he must be a Republican: He gave us Joe Biden, who is good for at least one gaffe a day. How would you like to be his keeper? You’d need a year’s worth of valium.”

Ryan also clearly described what kind of victory his ticket wants, for the first time saying they “want a victory that like Ronald Reagan when he replaced Jimmy Carter, it is morning in America again” and the country will then get its “mojo back.”

“The worst thing that could happen is President Obama gets reelected, we get four more years of the same, and we end up with a welfare state and a debt crisis,” Ryan told the donors.  “The second worst thing that could happen is we have a lonely victory where we win by default without the kind of mandate we need to get his country back on track.  What we are trying to do here is win by acclimation.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama Embraces Bill Clinton After Rousing Nomination

Alex Wong/Getty Images(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.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'#Hillary2016' Tops Twitter Trends as Former President Bill Clinton Fires Up DNC Crowd

Mario Tama/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- If people on Twitter had their way, Hillary Clinton would take one more crack at shattering America’s highest glass ceiling.

As former President Bill Clinton took to the Democratic National Convention’s main stage Wednesday night, the Twitter hashtag “#Hillary2016″ briefly became the top trend on Twitter in the United States. The tweets asking the secretary of state to run skyrocketed to the top shortly before 11 p.m., about 10 minutes after President Clinton gave her a shout-out in his speech.

“Heck, he even appointed Hillary!” said the former president, making the point that President Obama is committed to cooperation, appointing Republicans to his cabinet and tapping his former primary opponent for secretary of state.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll in April found Secretary of State Clinton scoring a favorable rating of 65 percent, hitting a new high in favorability data stretching back to her entry on the national stage 20 years ago.

Clinton is currently on a tour of Asia and the Pacific, steering thousands of miles clear of the convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bill Richardson Thinks Feud with Bill Clinton Is ‘Permanent’

ABC News(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson told the ABC News/Yahoo News DNC Live Show on Wednesday that he continues to feud with former President Bill Clinton after endorsing President Obama over Clinton’s wife, Hillary Clinton, for president in 2008.

“The feud is ongoing and probably permanent,” Richardson said.  “I tried to reach out to him, but he doesn’t care about guys like me.  If he wants to continue isolating me, badmouthing me, that’s fine.  I’m fine.”

Joining ABC News’ Amy Walter and Rick Klein, Richardson also talked about how Bill Clinton’s appearance at the Democratic National Convention helps Obama.

“President Clinton is going to embrace president Obama, as he should,” Richardson said.  “They are working together.  They’re different kinds of people.  Obama is cool, Clinton is a schmoozer.  Both are great speakers.  It’s a great merging of the party.”

And he suggested Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was not necessarily the best running mate choice for the GOP.

“I just think the election will be settled by the Hispanic vote,” Richardson said, “by Nevada, Colorado, Florida.  I was personally afraid [Sen. Marco] Rubio [R-Fla.] would get on the ticket.  I’m glad he didn’t get on the ticket.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama Arrives in Charlotte to Hear Bill Clinton's Speech

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- President Obama traveled to Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday night to hear former President Bill Clinton nominate him for re-election and listen to Clinton make the case that Americans are better off with Obama's promise of "shared responsibility" than what he called Mitt Romney's "winner-take-all" philosophy.

Clinton headlines the second night of the Democratic National Convention and will officially nominate Obama, a role typically performed by the nominee's running mate.

Obama, it was learned Wednesday evening, will be in the hall for the speech. The president stayed in the White House with his two daughters on Tuesday night to watch his wife Michelle gave an emotional speech backing his character and his presidency.

Though Clinton and Obama have sparred in the past, especially during the 2008 Democratic primaries that pitted Obama against Hillary Clinton, Obama is betting that the former president, a Democrat who oversaw nearly a decade of economic prosperity, will remind voters of what having a Democrat in the White House can mean for their wallets.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bill Clinton to Criticize What He Calls Romney's 'Winner Take All' Approach

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Former President Bill Clinton will tell Democrats Wednesday night the country has a choice between President Obama's view of "shared responsibility" or what he said was Mitt Romney's "winner take all" philosophy.

Clinton headlines the second night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., and will officially nominate President Obama, a role typically performed by the nominee's running mate.

Though Clinton and Obama have sparred in the past, especially during the 2008 Democratic primaries that pitted Obama against Hillary Clinton, Obama is betting that the former president, a Democrat who oversaw nearly a decade of economic prosperity, will remind voters of what having a Democrat in the White House can mean for their wallets.

Clinton is expected to make the case that Obama alone is capable of fixing the economic mess made by Republicans.

"In Tampa the Republican argument against the president's re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in," he will say, according to released excerpts of his speech.

"I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators," he says.

Clinton is also expected to say that a vote for Obama represents a vote for doing what is best for the country, not just for oneself.

"The most important question is, what kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility -- a we're-all-in-this-together society -- you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden," he says.

Clinton's speech marks the apex of a previously rocky relationship with Obama. When Obama ran against his wife Hillary Clinton in 2008 for the Democratic nomination, Bill Clinton often jabbed Obama on the stump, even calling his campaign a "fairy tale."

Hillary Clinton, now President Obama's secretary of state and a possible 2016 contender, will not be at the convention. She is on an 11-day tour of Asia and the Pacific and is expected to be in the tiny island nation of East Timor at the time her husband takes the stage.

Democrats may be betting that Clinton will remind voters of more prosperous times under a Democratic president, but the Republicans said the former president's presence will only remind voters of Obama's failures.

Former House speaker and onetime Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told USA Today that Clinton's appearance is "an enormous risk" that would remind voters of how "pathetically bad Obama has been."

GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, campaigning Wednesday in Iowa, said Clinton would do little more than deliver "a great rendition of how good things were in the 1990s. But we're not going to hear much about how things have been in the last four years."

Loyalists defended the campaign's decision to parade out Clinton Wednesday night.

Clinton is "a former president who is very popular who can explain about the policies and the parallel tracks the two presidents have had in the sense of investing in education, investing in research and development, alternative energy and green energy and a responsible way of balancing the budget," Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago who served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, said on Good Morning America.

"I think he can do nothing but help and the notion that Newt is going to give our party strategic advice, no thank you," he said.

Clinton, whose administration was marred by a sex scandal and impeachment trial, is more popular today than most public officials.

Democrats hope that popularity will rub off on Obama, who, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, has the lowest favorability rating of any incumbent president entering a convention.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Monica Lewinsky’s Rabbi and Bill Clinton Walk Into a Room…

Sean Gallup/Life Ball 2012/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Rabbi David Wolpe of Los Angeles’ Sinai Temple, where Monica Lewinsky and her family were congregation members for decades and where Lewinsky attended religious school, is scheduled to deliver the benediction at the Democratic National Convention tonight — not long after Bill Clinton speaks.

Not only was Wolpe the Lewinsky family’s rabbi, he also sharply condemned President Clinton at the time the president’s sexual relationship with Lewinsky, then a 24-year-old White House intern, was dominating national headlines.

President Clinton will deliver a much-anticipated speech on Wednesday to close out the convention’s second night.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “Wolpe said his prayer on Wednesday evening will focus on the ideals animating the United States. … This year, Wolpe was named the most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by The Jerusalem Post. He is the author of seven books, and is widely known as a newspaper columnist and radio and television commentator.”

In 2009, Wolpe wrote a commentary in the Washington Post reflecting on the episode, which resulted in Clinton’s impeachment but not his removal from office: “During the Lewinsky scandal, it was the lying and smearing of Monica Lewinsky that marked the low point of the event, not the sex, which was primarily an issue for the individuals and families involved.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rahm Emanuel: Gingrich Comments on Clinton DNC Speech ‘Ridiculous’

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said it was “ridiculous” for New Gingrich to say that having former President Clinton speak Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., was an “enormous risk” that would remind voters of how “pathetically bad Obama has been.”

“That is ridiculous,” Emanuel said Wednesday on ABC's Good Morning America of the former House speaker’s comments.  “A former president who is very popular who can explain about the policies and the parallel tracks the two presidents have had in the sense of investing in education, investing in research and development, alternative energy and green energy and a responsible way of balancing the budget.  I think he can do nothing but help and the notion that Newt is going to give our party strategic advice, no thank you.”

Emanuel -- a veteran of the both the Clinton and Obama administrations who is known for his sharp tongue -- also took at shot at the GOP presidential ticket.

“Let me say this, my only advice to them, not that they would take it is I would not have Paul Ryan’s fact-checker looking over Mitt Romney’s tax returns,” Emanuel said, referencing Romney’s unwillingness to release more than two years of his tax returns and certain aspects of Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention last week that some found misleading.

The Chicago mayor was also asked about a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that found that 47 percent of registered voters see Obama favorably overall (down 7 percentage points from his recent peak in April), while 49 percent rate him unfavorably.  Emanuel did not express worry, but did say that the president needed to lay out his vision for a second term in the White House.

“There’s no doubt that the president needs to talk about his vision for a second term and what it would mean for America. That’s a requirement.  I wouldn’t call it a State of Union but I would call it about a clear choice in the direction he wants to take the country. He owes the country because if he gets elected, that kind of clarity,” he said.  ”Clear policy choices, clear implications for the American people, different directions and this is a choice and I think that’s what it’s going to take and to finish that conversation the president will lay out his vision, not just for the next four years but the consequence for America going forward into the future.”

Emanuel, citing his Jewish heritage, also called Republican attacks on Democrats’ removing language from their party platform calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel a “red herring.”

“As a person who has been to Jerusalem 20-plus times in his life, whose son just a couple of years ago had his bar mitzvah at the wall, this is a red herring, if I’ve ever seen one,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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