Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney finds himself battling attacks from not one but two Democratic presidents today, after former President Bill Clinton compared presumptive Republican nominee’s platform to a juiced-up version of President George W. Bush’s policies. The comments, made last night during Clinton’s first joint fundraising appearance with Barack Obama, represent the harshest iteration yet of the Obama campaign’s new “Romney is out-of-touch” attack line.
Here are excerpts of Clinton’s remarks, per the White House transcript:
…When you become President, your job is to explain where we are, say where you think we should go, have a strategy to get there, and execute it. By that standard, Barack Obama deserves to be reelected President of the United States. And I’m going to tell you the only reason we’re even meeting here. I mean, this is crazy — he’s got an opponent who basically wants to do what they did before, on steroids — which will get you the same consequences you got before, on steroids….
…If you go back 500 years, whenever a country’s financial system collapses, it takes between 5 and 10 years to get back to full employment. If you go back for the last 200 years, when buildings had been widely owned by individuals and companies, if there’s a mortgage collapse it almost always takes 10 years. He’s beating the clock, not behind it. Don’t listen to those Republicans. We are beating the clock….
….Why do I tell you this? Because somebody will say to you, maybe, but I don’t feel better. And you say, look, the man’s not Houdini; all he can do is beat the clock. He’s beating the clock….We are moving this country forward. We are going in the right direction under President Obama’s leadership. So I think he’s done a good job. I think he is beating the historical standard for coming out of a financial collapse and a mortgage collapse. I think the last thing you want to do is to turn around and embrace the policies that got us into trouble in the first place. We need to keep going forward by reelecting Barack Obama President of the United States.
Clinton’s effusive praise of the President’s leadership represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the Clinton-Obama relationship, and the Romney campaign has been quick to point out that the two presidents have not always been so warm and fuzzy. In a research hit this morning, Romney’s communications team reminds reporters that in 2008, Clinton once called his wife’s primary opponent “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”
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