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Clinton: Obama stopped the slide

Published: Thu, September 6, 2012 @ 12:11 a.m.

SEE ALSO: • Essence of Obama's challenge

• Romney feeds world's doubts

• Democratic delegates expect motivational speech



President Barack Obama, right, hugs Former President Bill Clinton after Clinton's nomination speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)



President Barack Obama waves with former President Bill Clinton after Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)


Autoworker Karen Pantone-Eusanio of Hubbard addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday night. Pantone-Eusanio has worked at General Motors’ Lordstown complex for 17 years.

Associated Press


President Barack Obama inherited a wreck of an economy, “put a floor under the crash” and laid the foundation for millions of good new jobs, former President Bill Clinton declared Wednesday night in a rousing Democratic National Convention appeal aimed at millions of hard-pressed Americans yet to decide how to vote.

Conceding that many struggling in a slow-recovery economy don’t yet feel the change, Clinton said in a prime-time speech that circumstances are improving “and if you’ll renew the president’s contract you will feel it.”

To the cheers of thousands of Democrats packed into their convention hall, he said of Obama, “I want to nominate a man who is cool on the outside but who burns for America on the inside.”

The speech was vintage Clinton, overlong for sure, insults delivered with a folksy grin, references to his own time in office and his wife Hillary, all designed to improve Obama’s chances for re-election in an era of painfully slow economic growth and 8.3 percent unemployment.

Clinton spoke as Obama’s high command worked to control the political fallout from an embarrassing retreat on the party platform, just two months from Election Day in a tight race with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Under criticism from Romney, the Obama camp abruptly rewrote the day-old document to insert a reference to God and to declare that Jerusalem “is and will remain the capital of Israel.” Some delegates objected loudly, but Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, presiding in the largely-empty hall, ruled them outvoted. White House aides said Obama had personally ordered the changes, but they did not disclose whether he had approved the earlier version.

The convention hall rocked with delegates’ applause and cheers as Clinton — unofficial Democratic ambassador-in-chief to anxious voters in a tough economy — strode onstage to sounds of “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” his 1992 campaign theme song.

He sought to rebut every major criticism Republicans have leveled against the president at their own convention last week in Tampa, and said that in fact, since 1961, far more jobs have been created under Democratic presidents than when Republicans sat in the White House — by a margin of 42 million to 24 million.

Clinton accused Republicans of proposing “the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place” and led to a near financial meltdown. Those, he said, include efforts to provide “tax cuts for higher-income Americans, more money for defense than the Pentagon wants and ... deep cuts on programs that help the middle class and poor children.”

“As another president once said, ‘There they go again,”’ he said, quoting Ronald Reagan, who often uttered the remark as a rebuke to Democrats.

Obama flew into his convention city earlier in the day and arrived in the hall for Clinton’s speech. He arranged to join the former president onstage afterward in a made-for-television joint appearance.

”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,”’ Clinton said.

“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.”

On an unsettled convention day, aides scrapped plans for the president to speak to a huge crowd in a 74,000 seat football stadium, citing the threat of bad weather in a city that has been pelted by heavy downpours in recent days.

“We can’t do anything about the rain. The important thing is the speech,” said Washington Rey, a delegate from Sumter, S.C.

That and the eight-week general election campaign about to begin between Obama and Republican challenger Romney, who spent his second straight day in Vermont preparing for this fall’s debates with Obama.

Clinton shared prime time with Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate for a Republican-held Senate seat in Romney’s Massachusetts. For many years “our middle class has been chipped, squeezed and hammered,” she said.

In a tight race for the White House and with control of the Senate at stake, Democrats signaled unmistakable concern about the growing financial disadvantage they confront. Officials said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was Obama’s first White House chief of staff, was resigning as national co-chair of the president’s campaign to help raise money for a super PAC that supports the his re-election.

Unlike candidates, outside groups can solicit donations of unlimited size from donors. At the same time, federal law bars coordination with the campaigns.

Inside the hall, a parade of speakers praised Obama and criticized the Republicans, sometimes harshly.

Sandra Fluke, a law student whom congressional Republicans would not let testify at a hearing on contraceptives, said if Republicans win in the fall, women will wake up to “an America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it, in which politicians redefine rape.“

Clinton’s speech marked the seventh consecutive convention he has spoken to party delegates, and the latest twist in a relationship with Obama that has veered from frosty to friendly. The two men clashed in 2008, when Obama outran Hillary Rodham Clinton’s wife for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton, then a New York senator, now Obama’s Secretary of State, was in East Timor as the party met half a world away. She made a cameo appearance on the huge screens inside the Time Warner Cable Arena, though, turning up in a video that celebrated the 12 Democratic women senators currently in office.

Whatever the past differences between presidents current and past, Obama and his top aides looked to Clinton as the man best able to vouch for him when it comes to the economy, his largest impediment to re-election.

As a group, white men favor Romney over Obama, according to numerous polls, but a Gallup survey taken in July showed 63 percent of them view the former president favorably, to 32 percent who see him in unfavorable terms.

Republicans have suddenly discovered a lot to like about Clinton — a man they impeached in late 1998 when they ran the House and he sat in the Oval Office.

Ryan made no mention of those unpleasantries when he told a campaign audience in Iowa, “Under President Clinton we got welfare reform. President Obama is rolling back welfare reform.

“President Clinton worked with Republicans in Congress to have a budget agreement to cut spending. President Obama, a gusher of new spending.”

Independent fact checkers have repeatedly debunked the claim about Obama’s welfare proposals. Nor did the Wisconsin lawmaker mention that under a balanced budget compromise with Clinton to rein in federal spending, Republicans agreed to create a new benefit program that provides health care for lower-income children and others ineligible for Medicaid.

The changes in the platform came after the Republicans criticized an earlier decision to strip out a reference to God.

Romney said that “suggests a party that is increasingly out of touch with the mainstream of the American people. ... I think this party is veering further and further away into an extreme wing that Americans don’t recognize.”

Romney had declared in a summertime trip there that Jerusalem was the country’s capital. U.S. policy for years has held that the city’s status is a matter for negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, and Democrats said at the time he was pandering to Jewish voters in the United States.

The switch puts the platform in line with what advisers say is the president’s personal view, if not the policy of his administration. “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel,” it says. “The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”


Associated Press writers Jennifer Agiesta and Jack Gillum in Washington, Kasie Hunt in Vermont, Thomas Beaumont and Steve Peoples in Iowa and Ken Thomas, Matt Michaels and Jim Kuhnhenn in Charlotte contributed.


1IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The repubs need to focus on a dental plan, because Bill Clinton just kicked their teeth in.

Bin Laden is DEAD
The US is OUT of Iraq.


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2greene(167 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Standby for words of wisdom from islandMike, "Who cares?"

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3AtownAugie(720 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

What an honor for President Obama: to be formally nominated for a second term by an attorney who was disbarred by the Supreme Court for perjury. (Will the Dems still take as gospel everything Clinton said last night?)

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4bouyantkym(30 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Ohio better wake up, if Obama hadn't bailed GM out, how many workers would have used up all their unemployment by now? things may not be where YOU want them, BUT you have a means to support your family, go ahead elect Romney, and see what happens then, START thinking about your responsibilities, and not all the negative thingsyou hear from the haters! This is america, we have homes to build, children to think about, (their future) it's not about US being greedy. We are ALL immigrants!!!!!!!!!!, we seem to be too stupid to realize this! I have listened to many Ohioans cry because they were afraid of losing their job at the Lordstown Plant, You have your job back, think about WHY.

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5walter_sobchak(1982 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I thought Bubba was running for his third term with that speech. Here is a man that the press asked in 1994, after the House turnover, if his presidency was still relevant. He was so damaged politically that he had no choice but to ride the wave of the Gingrich revolution and accede to Congress the last six years, especially after being impeached for lying under oath! Always remember that when Bubba speaks; he lied under oath, he lied to his wife, and he lied to the American people. But he always gives a good, albeit too long, speech and it is always about him.

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6greene(167 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Cue the Twilight Zone music, blah thinks, "That may have been the greatest speech..."

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7DwightK(1304 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Clinton was right about the Republicans complaining that Obama was taking too long to clean up their mess.

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8peacelover(791 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

At least the Dems have some fire, passion, and ideas. You could use the GOP's convention speeches for a sleep aid.

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9redeye1(4711 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Just a few years ago, Bill didn't want anything to do with BO. But now he preaches that BO is the greatest. The chief "SPINMASTER" of the D party said all the problems were caused by the GOP. With two wars etc. Well, if Bill had done his job when he was president, he could have killed Osama the two or three times that the U.S. could have killed him. But no, he veto all them with Hilliary the bitch at his side

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10IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

It is the GREATEST speech since JFK.

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11IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago


Your welcome!!

The republicon strategists are even calling it one of the GREATEST speeches of our generation.

I like how Clinton defined the republicons plan of telling the American people how in 8 years they were able to tear the country to smitherines with their tax cuts and increased spending which buried us in debt, deregulated the banking industry which led to a NEVER before seen housing and financial crises. But hey, now that you've elected Obama to fix everything and he hasn't done it fast enough, why don't you put us back in there so we can increase those tax cuts for the wealthy "job creators?"

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12walter_sobchak(1982 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I like how Bubba waves his crooked index finger, like a Peyronie-diseased tallywacker, when he makes his points. It reminds me of when he was on national TV, waved his finger and lied through his teeth "I did not nave sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinski..." Of course, he could have been saying that to Monica in that he did not have sex with Hillary, in which case, the statement was probably true.

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13DOLE2(594 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago


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14greene(167 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

True/False one of JFK"s first acts was to lower taxes on everyone?
Essay question: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." What does this mean?

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15James_S(268 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't forget that the first thing he did as President was sign Bush Sr.'s NAFTA into effect.

THEN he later accepted $$$MILLIONS$$$ from Red China for his reelection campaign (an act of treason)- which was the original reason for his impeachment. (Janet Reno working hand-in-hand with "Independant" Counsel Kenneth Starr managed to bury his treasonous dealings with China and get him impeached for the lesser charge of sexual misconduct with Monica Lewinsky).

Then he turned his back on Mexico after signing NAFTA and made China the U.S.A.'s most favored trading partner.... which partly explains why we've had the influx of illegals from Mexico.

What a great American Patriot he is...

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16georgejeanie(893 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

He did not stop the slide, he may have kicked the can down the road, but eventually all Americans are going to be wondering how we got where we are, by then it will be too late.

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17IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Those Bush era tax cuts led to The Great Recession and now the Neo-Cons want to go back in office so they can do it again. Yep, those tax cuts for those"job creators" sure did work. We were LOSING 800,000 jobs a month at the end of Bush's last term.

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18DwightK(1304 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I hate to blame Bush four years after he left office but "start two wars and cut taxes" is how you dig a 5 trillion dollar hole. And this is after giving everyone in the country a $300 rebate on their taxes.

Don't blame President Obama because this mess is taking longer to clean up than we would like.

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19jojuggie(1485 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

IM says " we were losing 800,000 jobs a month at the end of Bush's last term."
Very true, IM, but do you realize that Pelosi & Reid and an all Dem Congress ran the show the last 2 yrs of the Bush adm?

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20walter_sobchak(1982 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Of course you do remember that Saddam Hussein did indeed have WMD's and used them in Northern Iraq against the Kurds? Or, were the photos of the mothers clutching dead babies also a lie? It was his past use of WMD's that made Colin Powell's argument about yellow-cake so powerful. The Senate Intelligence Committee had the same data as Bush' staf and came to the same conclusion. Now, I do believe that the intelligence data was either wrong or falsified, which is a major tragedy in policy that needlessly caused great loss in soldiers and finances. But, Bill Clinton has absolutely ZERO credibility as he believes he can lie to whomever, whenever.

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21jeepers(127 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Pres. Obama/Mrs. Clinton dropped the ball big time on 9/11. Several of our embassies have been burned/diplomats tortured and killed. Ane we find out that our embassies were not even on alert or had hightened security in effect. They must be preoccupied with politics-they did not earn reelection with this obvious neglect of foreign policy. This should haunt these 2 for years to come.

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22slappysmith(55 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

walter sobchack you really need to stop watching fox news. yes those weapons of mass destruction given to them by Ronald Reagan. and his name is Bill Clinton, you should at least have enough intelligence to know the name of the best president we've had in your lifetime and your fantasy world where newt gingrich was anything more than a moron who tried to oppose any attempt at fixing the damage done by Reagan and Bush i is one of the most comical things I've ever read.

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