February 2nd, 2008
09:52 AM ET
12 years ago

On the trail, Bill Clinton links Ted Kennedy and Bush

(CNN) - Twice in the past two days, former President Bill Clinton has implied Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy bears responsibility for the “No Child Left Behind” school standards, which are deeply unpopular with the Democratic base.

The statements come just days after Kennedy endorsed Hillary Clinton’s primary opponent, Barack Obama.

In Arkansas yesterday, the former president told voters at a campaign stop that President Bush had "made a deal with Sen. Kennedy, and neither one of them meant to mess it up.”

He said that agreement had been to give schools more money but cut or eliminate funding for successful programs he had started during his administration.

Earlier this week in Arizona, Clinton had also linked Kennedy’s name with President Bush’s as he criticized the education measure.

"I want you to think about this, and I have to say, this was a train wreck that was not intended. No Child Left Behind was supported by George Bush and Sen. Ted Kennedy and everybody in between. Why? Because they didn't talk to enough teachers before they did that," said Clinton on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

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Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    Would you be saying that same stuff, Bill, if sen. Kennedy had endorsed Hillary? Talk about double standards...

    February 2, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. LA, Newport News, VA

    Just another instance where the character, or lack thereof, is revealed by Bill Clinton's actions and words. Think Clinton would be slamming Ted Kennedy if he endorsed Hillary? Once again, Clinton trashes someone who does not adore him. What a flaming narcissist!!!

    February 2, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Becky Montgomery

    I am a teacher and a middle aged white woman. I am not a fan of No Child Left Behind, because of what it has turned into. Kids, teachers, and schools are lined up and judged on standardized tests without looking at the individual talents and strengths that those tests do not show.

    It is for this reason (among others) I am voting for Obama. He makes decisions based on his heart and his brain, and not on polls or politics. Bill's attempt to discredit Ted Kennedy and smudge that onto Obama is a good example of why I am not voting for Hillary. I shudder to think what she would do to the schools if she thought it would somehow help her.

    February 2, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Vincent van Panhuys

    And Ted Kennedy supported Jesse Jackson as well . . . 'come on now, Bill!

    February 2, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. @

    My husband and I miss Clinton years,gasoline price is cheaper than a bottle of water,stock market is up,dollar is strong!

    February 2, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Lourdes

    Ha. If Kennedy had endorsed Hillary I bet Bill would be singing a different tune. Ah, the stench of the divisive politics of years past is among us.

    February 2, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. J.Reis

    It is disgusting what ex-president Clinton is doing. What would he have said if Ted Kennedy has supported his wife? He just proves how bad we need to prevent his wife from continuing this legacy of lies and manipulations.
    JR

    February 2, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Scott

    Just another depressing example of Bill Clinton's dishonesty. Does he mention the fact that Hillary Clinton voted FOR "No Child Left Behind?" She did.

    February 2, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Basquale

    Absolutely right! Bill Clinton is DISGUSTING!

    February 2, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. SAD

    Here we go again !!!!

    I'm losing every inch of respect for a man I once admired....

    More and more OBAMA/Edwards 08

    February 2, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Terry

    No child left behind is another one of GWBs great mistakes, he pushed for it because he was left behind.

    February 2, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Anthony Ferreira

    It is really disgusting to see an ex-president beave the this way.
    My advice to Bill Clinton,Por que no te callas,Why dont you shut up.

    February 2, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. Ray

    and what Ted said about Hillary was ok in his Speech when he was backing Obama. If he is going to attack Hillary, then he better not think Clinton will not say something back. Its ON!!!!

    February 2, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Paul in New Roads La

    He is such a weasel...some old crap....from a guy too long in politics and not willing to let go....if he's not denying something.... he's twisting fact to suit His/Hillary's needs. It's pathetic how he has been able to go so far!

    February 2, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Tim

    I am amazed at how Bill just keeps going back to the well or divisive politics again and again. I keep expecting Karl Rove to pull off a Bill Clinton mask and say "gotcha".

    February 2, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. James

    I think Ted Kennedy would be the last person to endorse anyone. He need to be ousted out of Politics.

    February 2, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. brad

    Now that's sad.

    February 2, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. jer

    And Hillary says this is her Presidential run. Right; Bill keeps it up he'll make sure Hillary doesn't get the nomination. He so thinks they are the only ones that can run the Country. They know what is best for us. They have good ideas but I can't put up with their politics of destruction. We lived through that once already. 16 years of the Clinton's has been enough.

    February 2, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Nextprez

    What you younglings don't understand is that the "no child left behind' was a complete disastor in the southern states. Clinton's plan is much better.

    February 2, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Dee Ward Mena, AR

    I bet you were lots better off in the Clinton years, I know I sure was. Try to remember how good you had it in the 90's before you cast your vote.

    February 2, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. aichain

    lol, yes, Ted Kennedy is the embodiment of everything George Bush stands for. It's like Clinton is swinging with his eyes closed and hoping something lands.

    February 2, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. eladora

    we all know that all Obama would have to do is open up that stinky can of worms on Bill Clinton -– I commend him for not doing it .

    February 2, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Sylvia

    what did he say that was untrue????
    he said it was NOT meant to fail

    February 2, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. josh

    Well this is a strange strategy because people will see right through it. I am sure Bill wouldn't have brought this up if Kennedy endorsed his wife, but hey thats politics!

    February 2, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. elena

    Bill Clinton speaks the truth – as usual!

    February 2, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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