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Entries in Bill Clinton (66)

Friday
Dec102010

Bill Clinton Stumps for President Obama-GOP Tax Cut Deal

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama Friday brought out former president and Democratic heavyweight Bill Clinton for an impromptu press conference to tout his tax cut deal with Republicans that has earned the ire of many liberal Democrats.

"The agreement, taken as a whole, is, I believe, the best bipartisan agreement we can reach to help the largest number of Americans and to maximize the chances that the economic recovery will accelerate and create more jobs and to minimize the chances that it will slip back, which is what has happened in other financial collapses," Clinton said.

The former president was at the White House for a meeting with Obama. The president said he had a "terrific meeting" with Clinton, who he introduced as the president who "presided over as good of an economy as we've seen in our lifetime."

The last time the White House called on the former president for help was earlier this year, when Clinton visited Democratic lawmakers to stump for the health care bill.

In the briefing room Friday, a seemingly comfortable Clinton pushed dubious Democrats to support the president.

"In my opinion, this is a good bill and I hope that my fellow Democrats will support it. I thank the Republican leaders for agreeing to include things that were important to the president," he said. "There's never a perfect bipartisan bill in the eyes of the partisans, and we all see this differently, but I really believe this will be a significant net plus for the country."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

Kendrick Meek-Bill Clinton Controversy Gives GOP Fresh Ammo in Final Days

Photo Courtesy - Donate dot Kendrick Meek dot com(WASHINGTON) -- The controversy over whether former President Bill Clinton urged Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Florida Senate race to help an Independent win has given a last minute issue to Republicans, who called the report an example of Washington's penchant for backroom deals.

Clinton issued a statement Friday afternoon denying he asked Meek to leave the race. The former president's aides confirmed to ABC News and various other media outlets Thursday that the former president asked the Democrat twice to drop out while campaigning for him in the sunshine state last weekend, as Politico first reported.

"We did talk last week following a rally in Orlando about the race and it's challenges. I didn't ask Kendrick to leave the race, nor did Kendrick say that he would," Clinton said in a statement Thursday. "I told him that how he proceeds was his decision to make and that I would support him regardless."

"I still believe he could be the best senator to help Florida and America emerge from the current crisis and build a growing middle class economy," Clinton added.

Meek has vehemently denied that he ever agreed to get out of the race or that Clinton encouraged him to drop out and endorse Charlie Crist, former Republican turned independent candidate.

It was Crist who called both Meek's campaign and Clinton to ask the Democratic candidate to drop out, the Democratic congressman said.

The episode, however, has given Republicans a fresh issue in the final days of the campaign.
The GOP has assailed the revelation as an example of backroom deals among Democrats and "politics as usual."

"If you ever needed a reminder of what's wrong with American politics today, this story is a reminder," Rubio told reporters Friday. This is a reminder of "what got us bad public policies, this is what put America on the wrong track."

Rubio is also seeking to link President Obama to the controversy. An e-mail sent out to his supporters asks, "What specifically did the White House know about this deal? Who at the White House did Crist talk to?"

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele on Thursday went a step further and inserted a racial element into the debate.

"President Clinton's actions to have Kendrick Meek withdraw from the campaign sends a chilling signal to all voters, but especially African Americans," Steele said in a statement. "One can only imagine the response if Republican leadership tried to force out of the race -- in the 11th hour -- a qualified black candidate like Kendrick Meek."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct292010

Kendrick Meek: Never Agreed to Quit Florida Senate Race

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The Florida Senate race was thrown into turmoil this week when it became clear that Bill Clinton had encouraged the Democrat, Rep. Kendrick Meek, to drop out of the race.

Meek has been locked in a three-way race with Republican Marco Rubio, a Tea Party favorite, and independent Gov. Charlie Crist, a moderate who left the Republican Party early in 2010 rather than face Rubio in a primary.

Two sources confirmed to ABC News that Clinton had encouraged Meek to drop out of the race. Politico reported that Meek was close to agreeing to drop out.

"I never told President Clinton or any of his staffers…or Charlie Crist or anyone else that I was going to get out of the race," Meek told ABC News on Friday. "I guarantee you that I did not say I am getting out of the race."

Rubio has led in polls recently, followed by Crist and then Meek. Crist is thought to have a better shot at defeating Rubio in a two-way race because he could pull Democratic and independent votes.

Crist has tried to appeal to Democratic voters, arguing he has a better shot to defeat Rubio and head off conservatives in Washington. But the argument has taken some political yoga by Crist, who was on John McCain’s short list for vice president in 2008 and has moderated his positions on social issues like abortion.

Clinton had been an ardent supporter of Meek’s, campaigning several times for him. Meek had supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2008.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Thursday
Oct282010

Bill Clinton Encouraged Democrat to Withdraw from Three-Way Fla. Senate Race

Photo Courtesy - Donate dot Kendrick Meek dot com(MIAMI) -- The Florida Senate race was thrown into turmoil Thursday night when it became clear that President Bill Clinton had encouraged the Democrat, Rep. Kendrick Meek, to drop out of the race.

Meek has been locked in a three-way race with Republican Marco Rubio, a Tea Party favorite, and independent Gov. Charlie Crist, a moderate who left the Republican party early in 2010 rather than face Rubio in a primary.

Two sources confirmed to ABC News that Clinton had encouraged Meek to drop out of the race. Politico reported that Meek was close to agreeing to drop out. To the contrary, Meek’s spokesman issued a statement after reading the Politico report that denied he was ever ready to withdraw.

"The article is not true. Kendrick Meek was never dropping out of this race, is never dropping out of this race, and will never drop out of this race. Kendrick Meek will always stand up for the middle class and will not leave Floridians a choice between two lifelong conservative Republicans who only stand with the special interests. Kendrick is the Democratic nominee so if anyone should drop out, it's Charlie Crist,” said Meek campaign manager Abe Dyk.

Rubio has led in polls recently, followed by Crist and then Meek. Crist is thought to have a better shot at defeating Rubio in a two-way race because he could pull Democratic and independent votes.

Crist has tried to appeal to Democratic voters, arguing he has a better shot to defeat Rubio and head off conservatives in Washington. But the argument has taken some political yoga by Crist, who was on John McCain’s short list for Vice President in 2008 and has moderated his positions on social issues like abortion.

Clinton had been an ardent supporter of Meek’s, campaigning several times for him. Meek had supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2008.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct132010

Bill Clinton's Campaign Prowess Still Strong

Photo Courtesy - Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- He hasn't held public office for nearly a decade, but Bill Clinton remains the Democrats' top choice of attack this campaign season.

With three weeks to go until what Republicans are hoping will be a wave election, Democrats are bringing out their heavyweights in droves to help fledgling candidates.

President Obama has crisscrossed the country to rile up the base.  Vice President Biden has gone from coast to coast stumping for candidates.  Even first lady Michelle Obama has stepped up campaign events for embattled candidates.

But Clinton is by far the most active and in-demand personality, even in states where candidates are distancing themselves from Obama's agenda.

An ad appearance by Clinton for Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln helped the embattled senator achieve a narrow victory in the primary, and she's hoping to achieve the same surge with another ad featuring the former Arkansas governor, who remains a popular figure in the state.

Clinton's stump events by far outweigh those of any other Democrat.  By ABC estimates, he has attended or will go to more than 30 events, compared to 25 for Biden and Obama.´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep272010

Bill Clinton Hits Campaign Trail for Democrats

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Former president Bill Clinton says Democrats are not yet putting up a good fight. He was on the campaign trail this weekend, playing defense deep in home territory, where, in a typical election year, Democrats would be leading comfortably: the solid-blue states of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Clinton is campaigning for longtime politicians, including Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a Senate hopeful, and 30-year Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who crushed his last opponent. In three earlier races, the Republicans ran no one against Frank. Now, the president's point-man on the banking bailout is also on the endangered list.

Also on the campaign trail Tuesday will be campaigner-in-chief President Obama in Wisconsin and Vice President Joe Biden at Penn State. Next month, Democrats bring out the most popular resident of the White House: first lady Michelle Obama.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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