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Entries in Bill Clinton (66)

Wednesday
Sep052012

DNC 2012: Elizabeth Warren to Introduce Bill Clinton and Herself

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Massachusetts residents know her well, but Wednesday night marks the introduction of Massachusetts Senate candidate and Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren to the national stage.

Warren, 63, is running in what will be one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country this cycle, against Republican incumbent Scott Brown.

But the choice to give Warren a coveted prime time speaking slot -- introducing Bill Clinton -- is not merely a Democratic ploy to raise her profile in the race.  Warren has earned a reputation in the past few years as a protector of the consumer and a sheriff of Wall Street, and she's developed an enthusiastic following among the Democratic base.

The Case for Warren

Warren's Senate campaign centers on her career of fighting for the consumer and the middle class.

In 2008, Warren was given the job of overseeing the allocation of funds from the TARP program.  It was during this time that Warren developed her reputation as being someone who was willing to take on the big banks.

In 2010, she helped to develop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a newly created department in the Obama administration.  Warren was not asked to head up the department out of fears that she would not pass a Senate confirmation.

Instead, Warren turned her sights on her state's Senate race, tossing her hat into the ring in September 2011, and became a star in the state almost instantly.

The Case Against Warren

Remember Obama's "you didn't build that" remarks?  He wasn't the first one to say that: His comments track very closely to a speech Warren gave in 2011.

"You built a factory out there?  Good for you -- but I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for," Warren said.

Republicans have latched onto Obama's remarks -- even making an entire theme of one night "we build it" at their convention last week -- and the president's camp has sought to make clear the context and intention of those remarks.

"Of course Americans build their own businesses.  Every day, hardworking people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs and make our economy run.  And what I said was that we need to stand behind them, as America always has," Obama said in a recent television ad.

Warren has never backed off from her remarks.  And while it seems likely that she won't be reiterating those sentiments again Wednesday night, the Republicans can be expected to attempt to remind the voting public about the speech.

The other argument against Warren has to do with her sheriff of Wall Street image.  While it plays well with the base, there's a risk that Warren could be viewed as a demonizer of big business.

What Should We Expect to Hear?


"I'm going to talk about what I've talked about for years now," Warren told ABC News in an interview in August.  "America's middle class is getting hammered and Washington is rigged to work for the big guy.  That's what got me into this race, and that's what I will talk about."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

Bill Clinton Ad Blesses Obama Economics

Frank Polich/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Bill Clinton makes his 2012 campaign TV ad debut in a new spot affirming President Obama’s economic plan.

“This election to me is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment.  This is a clear choice,” Clinton says directly to the camera.

“We need to keep going with his plan,” he says of Obama.

The endorsement underscores just how valuable and credible Team Obama sees Clinton in the quest to influence persuadable voters in a handful of key swing states.  The popular 42nd president has appeared with Obama on the stump, in campaign web ads and at events to support the pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action.

Obama regularly invokes Clinton in his argument for higher taxes on upper-income earners, arguing that the approach taken during the 1990s -- “our plan” -- led to budget surpluses and millions of new jobs.

“The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper income people and go back to deregulation.  That’s what got us in trouble in the first place,” Clinton says in the new ad, which begins airing Thursday in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

This spot, titled “Clear Choice,” is also noteworthy for what it does not mention: Mitt Romney.  In terms of tone, this is the first positive TV ad from the Obama campaign in nearly a month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug162012

Bill Clinton Inspires Uganda's Bill Clinton

Sean Gallup/Life Ball 2012/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former President Bill Clinton is motivating another Bill Clinton to overcome the obstacles of poverty and achieve his dreams.  
The two Bill Clintons were reunited recently when President Clinton travelled to Uganda.  They first met 14 years ago when a baby in a Ugandan village was named after the U.S. president because he was born on the same month Clinton first visited the East African country.

In 1998, President Clinton was photographed smiling as he held his young namesake in his arms.  When he returned to Uganda last month to visit health and education projects supported by the Clinton Foundation, he asked to meet the boy again, according to Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper.

The 14-year-old boy, whose full name is Master Bill Clinton Kaligani, was then flown by helicopter to meet with the former president in his private plane in the town of Entebbe.  It was Kaligani’s first time flying, and he told the newspaper he was thrilled to meet the man who encouraged him to stay focused on his dream of getting a medical degree.

“I feel good.  He told me he also wanted me to be a doctor, that I should work hard and pass in my studies,” said Kaligani.

Kaligani’s mother said the former president promised to support the teen’s dream by funding his education.

On Clinton’s trip to Africa in July, he and his daughter Chelsea visited organizations partnering with the Clinton Foundation to save and improve lives.  

In Uganda, they met with staff and students at the Building Tomorrow Academy, which is providing education for students whose families cannot afford it.  They also met with patients and employees at the Starkey Hearing Foundation working to provide hearing aides to people in developing countries.  

Their final stop was a medicine distribution center where they discussed the foundation’s efforts to expand access to treatment for diarrhea, a major cause of child mortality in Africa.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug102012

Obama Ad Invokes Bill Clinton to Rebut Romney Welfare Attack

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- A new Obama campaign TV ad in seven battleground states invokes former President Bill Clinton to directly rebut claims by Mitt Romney that the administration has a plan to “gut” welfare reform.

The 30-second spot, titled “Blatant,” highlights Clinton’s response to a recent Romney TV ad alleging Obama plans to drop the work requirement that was a key component of the 1996 welfare reform Clinton helped champion.

The 42nd president said in a statement earlier this week that Romney’s claim simply is “not true.”

While both sides have been playing fast and loose with the facts in their advertising, several independent fact-checkers have called the Romney ad highly misleading.

Its central allegation is at best an exaggeration, ABC News concluded, since the administration is offering states the opportunity to experiment with new ways of implementing the welfare law in order to boost employment, not reduce it.

Several states, including those with Republican governors, had expressed support for the increased flexibility.  But the administration says no states have yet formally applied for waivers from the current rules, therefore none have been approved.

“Blatant” will begin airing Friday in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia -- the same states where Romney has been airing his ad.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug032012

Bill Clinton Backs Obama Super PAC

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(NEW YORK) -- Former president Bill Clinton is throwing his support behind Priorities USA Action, the super PAC backing President Obama, agreeing to headline a “briefing” for potential donors in New York City later this month.

The event marks Clinton’s first foray into fundraising for the group, Priorities USA senior strategist Bill Burton told ABC News. The 42nd president’s appearance is aimed at keeping Obama competitive in the money race with GOP outside groups, which have held a sizable advantage.

It’s also the latest sign of the high-profile, high-value role Clinton is playing in Obama’s re-election campaign.

Clinton, who famously clashed with Obama during the 2008 campaign, has appeared in Obama campaign TV ads; stood by the president’s side in appeals to deep pocket Democratic donors; and will deliver the keynote nominating address on the third night of the Democratic National Convention next month.

Clinton’s involvement with Priorities was first reported by The New York Times.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul302012

Bill Clinton Taking Center Stage at Democratic Convention

Francois G. Durand/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Bill Clinton will play a central role at the Democratic National Convention this year, assuming the stage for a prime-time address in a slot normally reserved for an incumbent vice president.

Clinton will speak Wednesday, Sept. 5, in Charlotte, N.C., the evening before President Obama will formally accept the nomination in Bank of America Stadium, campaign and Democratic National Convention Committee officials tell ABC News.  

Vice President Joe Biden will share the stage with Obama on Thursday, Sept. 6, delivering his own solo address before the president speaks, the officials said.

The formal announcement of Clinton's role is expected Monday morning from the DNCC.  News of the speaker line-up was first reported by The New York Times.

Clinton's role at the convention comes as Obama increasingly invokes his popular Democratic predecessor on the campaign trail in part as a defense of his economic plan.  The two have also conducted joint fundraisers in the past few months to help rouse the Democratic base.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul262012

Fmr. President Clinton Drops One-Liners on Tea Party, Cell Phones

File photo. (ABC News)(BOSTON) -- His wife Hillary has remained squarely in the public eye since he left the Oval Office in 2000, but former President Bill Clinton has been fairly unplugged for the past 12 years – so unplugged, in fact, that he doesn’t even know how to use a cell phone.

During a keynote speech at the Global Business Travel Association Convention in Boston on Wednesday night, Clinton admitted that he hasn’t stayed on top of developments in technology since he left Washington. “I have a hard time keeping up,” the former president said. “I had to actually learn to text on that cell phone.

“That’s the extent of my technology involvement, even though I spent a fortune of your money when I was president trying to make sure America was in the lead in all the emerging technologies,” he joked.

Clinton also touted a message of compromise and cooperation during his speech, and even went so far as to say he feels sorry for Tea Party congressmen.

“I actually feel some sympathy for these Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives,” he said, acknowledging that the audience “may find that hard to believe.”

The former president cited the fickleness of voters as the reason for his empathy. “The sympathy I feel for them is this: They’re at 18 percent approval, and you just elected them two years ago. And all they’re doing is what they told you they were going to do when they ran,” Clinton said. “But we don’t pay attention to what people say they’re going to do. We pay attention to how we feel, and whether it would be good to make a change.”

Former President George W. Bush also spoke during the conference, which ran from July 22-25.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul262012

Obama Now Partly Running on Clinton’s Economic Record?

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Faced with a stagnating economy and unemployment over 8 percent on his own watch, President Obama on the stump now invokes the economy during the era of former President Bill Clinton.

The president’s invocation of Clinton is part of his pitch to raise taxes on higher income brackets, as did President Clinton in 1993; and as a contrast to his current Republican opponents who seek to extend all the Bush-era tax rates, including those on the top wage-earners, which President Obama opposes.

Essentially, within this construct, President Obama is trying to cast the choice voters face as Bill Clinton versus George W. Bush, with Bill Clinton’s economy as his, and George W. Bush’s economy as Mitt Romney’s. Clinton’s economy saw the creation of tens of millions of jobs, an economic boom and a projected federal budget surplus.

On Tuesday, in Portland, Oregon, the president told supporters that the U.S. was not built from the top down, but rather from the bottom up. “It was built because we invested in great schools and great universities, and we put rules of the road in place to make sure that everybody was being treated fairly,” the president said. “Let me just point out that the approach that I’m talking about has also been tested. Just like their theories have been tested and didn’t work, my theories have been tested. The last time they were tried was by a guy named Bill Clinton. And we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficits to surplus, and we created a lot of millionaires to boot.”

In Oakland, California, on Monday, the president said the deficit cannot be reduced “without asking folks like me who have been incredibly blessed to give up the tax cuts that we’ve been getting for a decade. I’ll cut out government spending that’s not working, that we can’t afford, but I’m also going to ask anybody making over $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton, back when our economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and everybody did well.”

The president then said: “Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan — and it worked. That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.”

The campaign of Mitt Romney took the quote “We tried our plan – and it worked” to suggest the president was saying the current economy is a success.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun052012

Ann Romney Mentions Bill Clinton’s Compliment on the Campaign Trail

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- While campaigning for her husband in Miami Tuesday, Ann Romney mentioned President Bill Clinton’s compliment of Mitt Romney last week, while she tried to woo voters in the battleground state.

“I saw him always just being as Bill Clinton said, a ‘stellar’ businessman. I’m so glad we heard that from someone else besides me,” she said, slightly misquoting the former president.  "Because he was, in every way. It was stellar and it was amazing how much confidence people put in him, and he really had something that I think is unique that we sometimes forget how important it is and that is good judgment.”

Clinton actually used the word “sterling” to describe Mitt Romney’s business career, not stellar -- but still quite the compliment for the competition.

“The man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN, referring to Romney.

Clinton raised funds with President Obama in New York City on Monday. In an interview Tuesday with PBS’ NewsHour he said he didn’t realize he was “wading into some controversy in the campaign, because I haven’t seen the ads, and I’m not following it, and I’m not really part of it.”

Dressed in mint green jeans and a white blouse, Ann Romney said when she sees the challenges facing the country -- she mentioned unemployment, education, and “the health care system” -- she just wants to shout:

“I have a guy for you that knows how to fix a lot of that stuff!” she said. “It’s with 100-percent confidence that I know he is the right man at the right time...if Mitt Romney wins, America wins.”

Ann Romney will continue campaigning in Florida this week, making stops in Ocala and Pensacola.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun052012

Bill Clinton Doesn’t Have ‘Any Problem’ with Temporary Extension of Bush Tax Cuts

William J. Clinton Foundation(NEW YORK) -- Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that he doesn’t “have any problem” with extending the Bush tax cuts -- at least temporarily -- in order to “avoid the fiscal cliff” that looms when the across-the-board tax cuts expire at the end of this year.

“What I think we need to do is find some way to avoid the fiscal cliff, to avoid doing anything that would contract the economy now and then deal with what’s necessary in the long term debt-reduction plans as soon as they can, which presumably would be after the election,” Clinton said in an interview with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday.

When asked if that meant extending the Bush tax cuts, Clinton said, “I don’t have any problem with extending all of it now.”

President Obama has called on Congress to allow the tax cuts to expire at the end of the year for people earning more than $250,000.

Clinton has been campaigning with Obama all week and attended a high-dollar fundraiser with the president in New York Monday night.

The former president said Tuesday that Congress “will probably have to put everything off until early next year.”

“That’s probably the best thing to do right now,” he added.

Tougher decisions on how to deal with the deficit and the debt, said Clinton, will have to come later.

“The Republicans don’t want to do that [wait until next year] unless he agrees to extend the tax cuts permanently, including for upper-income people, and I don’t think the president should do that,” he said.

This isn’t the first time a nuanced interview from President Clinton has led to reports that he breaks from President Obama on an issue.

Clinton had to backtrack after he said earlier this week that Obama’s GOP rival Mitt Romney’s “sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold” for being president. A cornerstone of Obama’s campaign has been attacking Romney’s business credibility.

Clinton told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff in an interview Tuesday that it’s “not necessarily” wrong for the Obama campaign to keep up its critique of Romney’s business record.

He also said that, when he was asked the question last week, he was not aware of the political context.

“I didn’t have any idea, when I was giving that answer, that I was wading into some controversy in the campaign, because I haven’t seen the ads, and I’m not following it, and I’m not really part of it,” Clinton said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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