March 17th, 2008
10:36 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton blames Bush for mishandling economic crisis

Clinton slammed the president’s economic policies.

Clinton slammed the president’s economic policies.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton blamed the "fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush administration" for the country's current economic turmoil and market fears after emergency moves by the Federal Reserve to cut discount rates and help back the purchase and bailout of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase.

"...We are in a very dangerous period in the economy. We need vigilance and we need leadership and we've got to get it from, you know, this administration," she told reporters after an Iraq policy speech at George Washington University.

The Democratic presidential candidate said if she occupied the White House she would have started trying to avoid this economic crisis a year ago by putting a moratorium on home foreclosures and freezing the interest rates on sub-prime mortgages - topics she discusses often on the campaign trail.

"You cannot work your way out of this credit crisis unless we stabilize the home market so I certainly agree that tending to the consequences that could flow from inaction in the credit markets is essential moving quickly to try to stabilize Wall Street is essential," she said. "But let's not forget about Main Street and let's not forget about the millions of households with many millions of Americans with the consequences that has for the economy as well."

The New York senator said the high price of oil is another dangerous factor for the economy and the Bush administration needs to start urgently working towards greater energy independence. She said she would refuse to buy oil at current prices to put in the strategic petroleum reserve and would actually release oil to help ease the burden.

"I personally believe that if the president of the United States stood up today and said 'we've had it, I may have been an oil man, but we cannot continue to rely on the oil companies and the oil producing countries. I'm going to work with Congress, I'm going to take things off the shelf. I'm going to be willing to move much more rapidly toward energy independence,' you would see the price drop. I really believe that," she said.

Clinton said that when she proposed measures a year ago to help stave off a crunch in the credit market she was "ridiculed by the Bush administration" and her "Democratic opponent" in the race for the White House.

Shortly after Clinton's speech, Barack Obama's campaign released a statement from the Illinois senator touting his own solutions for the financial crunch, including mortgage relief legislation co-sponsored with Senate colleague Chris Dodd, and pointing to statements he had made months ago warning of a looming crisis.

Like Clinton, he blamed President Bush for the nation's economic problems. "History will not judge President Bush kindly for his failure to act in a way that could’ve prevented or alleviated this economic crisis," said Obama. "There have been few Administrations so out of touch with the concerns and the struggles of working Americans and so beholden to the lobbyists and special interests who blocked any kind of regulatory oversight of the financial sector.

"Whether it was subprime lending, credit cards, or bankruptcy laws, Washington has allowed these special interests to prevent sensible policy that could have prevented the most serious effects of the current predicament."

–CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Paul from Kissimmee

    Blame Bush! Blame Bush! Blame Bush! Blame Bush!

    I just thought I'd try it. Doesn't seem to be doing anything for me.

    March 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Sam

    I thought Hillary was about solutions?

    You can't be focused on solutions when all you do is blame others???

    March 17, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. JV

    So I guess now she will loan the US a couple billion like she did her campaign with brilliant planning! News flash, everyone already know's Bush is the #1 reason we are hated, losing loved one's, and falling more into debt while this country suffers economically.

    Guys, if you look at this objectively, you can not say that either one of these Dem. candidates would not be a DRASTIC improvement but I truely believe that Hilliary completely discounted Obama. Her lack of planning and expecting to be granted the nomination was her own fault. Obama has moved more ppl into the election than in any previous year in the last 25 years!

    I don't think that Hilliary is not a great candidate but my vote goes for OBAMA!

    March 17, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. john s

    Sometimes reminds me of the trench warfare of WWI. Hillary releases a salvo, Obama sends one over. No one makes a yard of ground. Easy to say what she would do when she didn't have to do it except maybe taking some responsibility as a Senator. Dodd actually does some work on his finance committee. Where was he when maybe someone should have questioned the issuing of subprime mortgage. All these people know how to do is firefight and Monday morning quarterback.

    March 17, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. NIC

    What ever Bob from NY, what ever candidate wins the election will be inheriting the mess of the last 7 + years. A mess that who ever is there, will not be able to fix. Shame on you for your distorted view of how things really are.

    March 17, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Bob from NY, what ever candidate wins the election will be inheriting the mess of the last 7 + years. A mess that who ever is gets in there, will not be able to fix. Shame for your distorted view of how things really are.

    March 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Al, Sacramento Ca

    The last four recessions were under Republican administrations, doesn't that tell us something.

    Republicans and Obama supporters refuse to accept the fact that Bush has destroyed this country, he has left our domestic issues to the back burner and continued a personal war.

    Will Republicans ever hold Bush accountable and themselves for destroying this great nation? Of course not , cause they are Republicans.

    March 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    If Bush handled his personal finances as he did the country's, he woud be homeless.
    The first time in our country's history that we fought a war and did not raise taxes to pay for the war. Our children's children's children will be paying for this war. It will be a drain on our economy for years to come.
    Where would the American people be if Bush and his supporters had gotten their way and people were able to have opt out of Social Security and had invested their funds in the stock market, they would be looking at a retirement life of proverty.

    March 17, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. Independent

    ABSOLUTELY! The blame for the lousy economy is totally BUSH's
    None other. It came under his lackluster watch.

    And what's more - I also agree with all the others who say WE MUST HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY! Bush cannot get off "scot-free" after all he has done to this country. He has CRIMINALLY ABUSED OUR TRUST.

    It sends out a RED FLAG to the world that we don't care. If a Republican should get into the White House next Fall – it'll look like we voted in "Chemical Ali" to follow in the footsteps of Saddam.

    March 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. WhosehadEnough

    That a girl Sen. Clinton......The price for a gallon of gas after Dubya was sworn in in 2001 was $ it's heading to $3.50..... more than double. The value of the dollar has fallen against foreign currency's such as the euro, yen and Canadian dollar. And people are selling their wedding rings and family heirlooms to pay for the oil to heat their homes as gold has reached $1000 an ounce.

    But sorry voted for the Iraq resolution in 2002 which lead to the war in Iraq the funding of which is causing our crippling national debt.

    March 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Looking in the Mirror...

    All of you that are being so critical of Rev. Wright in your stance for Clinton...I implore each and everyone of you to take a look at your life...over the past 10, 20, 30, or perhaps 40 years....and think of your worst critic taking 1 minute...60 seconds of your life and playing before millions of people who know absolutely nothing about would they see you?? Take a look in the might just see Reverend Wright looking back at you...

    The scary part of the clip isn't what Reverend Wright said...the scary thing is that millions of Americans feel it's the truth. What are we doing to give those millions of people a different outlook?

    In an attempt to belittle a candidate, we are losing sight on reality...the state of race relations is starting to erupt and if we aren't careful..things will begin to spiral out of your Bible!!

    March 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Teresa

    How can the Clinton's point the finger? Bill create a lot of problems too. With NAFTA, Welfare Reform, and other policies that went to the grinder. It's a grand mess. I don't want another Clinton creating more havoc in the White House. McCain is not the choice at all because he'll continue where Bush left off.

    No way. Obama 2008

    March 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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