Former President Bill Clinton takes shots at President Barack Obama in his forthcoming book on job growth, but saves his harshest criticism for Republicans, the Associated Press reports.
AP’s Beth Fouhy writes that Clinton believes Obama was too soft on Republicans in 2009 and 2010 — allowing them to dominate the national conversation in opposition to his message, while Democrats were slaughtered in the midterm elections. She obtained a copy of the book, Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy,” before its release next week.
Clinton is also critical of Obama’s handling of this summer’s debt ceiling crisis in the book— especially his decision to allow Republicans to bring the nation to the brink of default.
According to the AP, he says Obama should have raised the debt ceiling unilaterally when it became clear Republicans were willing to block it, adding that Democrats should have raised it before Republicans regained control of the House in January.
The White House repeatedly ruled out the so-called “14th Amendment option,” worried that at worst it could precipitate a Constitutional crisis, and at best spark more anger at Obama as the public became increasingly concerned by skyrocketing deficits.
Instead, Obama agreed to a deal cutting $2.5 trillion from the federal deficit — but with no guarantees of new revenues as liberals had demanded.
The former president also takes issue with Obama’s criticism of the wealthy in his bid to pay for his jobs plan and lower the deficit, saying he was able to get the rich to accept tax hikes because “I didn’t attack them for their success.” Obama, by contrast, has positioned himself as a class warrior for the middle class — even aligning himself with the Occupy Wall Street movement to beef up his populist credentials.
Clinton strongly criticises Republicans for taking the country deeply into debt under George W. Bush’s presidency. He says both major parties must agree to investments that will strengthen the U.S. going forward, such as green energy and infrastructure improvements. He also advocates reforming the tax code, cutting some corporate taxes and giving businesses greater incentives to hire.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.