There is a place for Bill Clinton in an Obama administration.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrat Barack Obama has become increasingly critical of presidential rival Hillary Clinton as the primaries draw near, but when it comes to the New York senator's famous husband, Obama has nothing but praise.
In an interview with Time Magazine that hits newsstands Friday, the Illinois Democrat said he'd offer the former president a job in his administration "in a second."
"There are few more talented people," Obama said.
Obama's comment follows heightened attacks on Clinton over her assertions that the White House experience she gained during her husband’s administration forms a valuable part of her qualifications to hold the office herself.
"I don’t think Michelle would claim that she is the best qualified person to be a United States senator by virtue of me talking to her on occasion about the work that I’ve done," Obama said in an interview with ABC earlier this week.
Obama's mantra of 'change' is often interpreted as an implicit criticism of the politics of the Clinton administration, but the Illinois senator has generally refrained from direct swipes at the former president himself.
(A rare exception came during a light moment on the campaign trail last weekend, when Obama took Bill Clinton to task for saying during his 1992 presidential bid that he had smoked marijuana, but never inhaled.
"I never understood that line," Obama said, to laughter from the crowd. "The point was to inhale. That was the point.")
In the same interview with Time, Obama also said he would be happy to offer Al Gore a position in his administration tackling climate change issues.
"He has been working on this for decades," Obama said. "The country and the world caught up to him."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney