April 15th, 2008
05:28 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton: Bush was 'unready' for presidency

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Hillary Clinton invoked September 11 on Tuesday, accusing President Bush of squandering the goodwill in America’s favor following the terrorist attacks.

"We have seen the power of the presidency placed in hands unready or unwilling to address the tasks that lie ahead," Clinton remarked at a luncheon hosted by Newspaper Association of America in Washington, D.C.

"Just think of the days after September 11. Imagine if President Bush had tapped into the wellspring of American energy, initiative and goodwill," she said, making an argument reminiscent of her former presidential rival Joe Biden, who regularly offered similar comments on the campaign trail and at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Her advisers billed Clinton's speech as a wide angle envisioning of her administration and how it would differ from President Bush's.

(UPDATE: Republican response after the jump)


Clinton said that after September 11, Bush failed to encourage young people to enter national service programs, reach out to the rest of the world, or develop a renewable energy policy.

“The President literally could have asked us to do anything, calling on our patriotism and our unity,” she said. "But he only asked us to draw on our wallets and go shopping."

UPDATE: The Republican Party responded to Clinton's comments Tuesday evening. "Senator Clinton’s divisive and dishonest rhetoric may appeal to superdelegates, but it won’t help her win the trust of the American people,” said RNC spokesman Alex Conant.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (339 Responses)
  1. vince - Phoenix - (forgive me cnn, for I have sinned)

    Randi Rhodes...... WAS RIGHT!

    April 15, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. FrankSmith

    Politics of "fear" and "cynicism" Think of the past scandals

    April 15, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. Bitter Hillary

    Hillary is not ready either.

    April 15, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Mike

    Obama supporters are too funny. Let me tell you this, your boy Obama has told many lies AND insulted half of america. His new politics is rubbish and his name was mentioned again in the tony rezko trial again yesterday. He and his wife attended a party that was thrown in honor of an Iraqi guy with ties to hamas and hezbola. just wait it is coming and when the tie is made america will look at Obama supporters and laugh at you for voting for someone you don't even know.

    April 15, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. What year is this?

    Does she know she isn't running against Bush?

    April 15, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Jack in ND

    My God this woman has no shame.

    Using 9/11 now to shore up her supposed readiness to be President.

    Just when I don't think I can be surprised by her audacity anymore.

    April 15, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. mike

    9/ 11-

    i believe that was after 8 yrs of billary. So we hold Bush accountable for 9 months he held office.

    Billary- another fantasy of the Clintons.

    Although i do not agree with Bush- Hillary is a dreamer. Period.

    Wake up- incoming from snipers!!

    April 15, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Lynn in NM

    And Hillary has the experience to know.....what?????

    April 15, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Angus McDugan

    OK... Her it comes. She is going to try and tie Obama and Bush together because they are not ready for the office. If Hillary was ready then she would manage her campaign and husband better. This election is a disaster.

    Angus in 08!

    April 15, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Lord Voldemort

    Hillary,

    Bush could be a 1000 years old, and lived many many lives, he still would not be ready.

    April 15, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Mark-TX

    Wait... is she suggesting that in times of trouble we cling to our beliefs with that "patriotism and unity" comment? Because I'm pretty sure she just spent the past 3 days bashing that concept.

    April 15, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. Darth Vadik, CA

    Gee, what gave it away Hillary?

    April 15, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. TN

    HILLARY CLINTON, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU ARE READY!!! YOU STILL HAVEN'T ANWSERED THE QUESTION OF HOW YOU ARE QUALIFIED!!! JUST B/C YOU WERE THE 1ST LADY, DOESNT COUNT!!!

    NO ONE WILL HAVE EXPERIENCED IN WHAT'S TO COME FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENT!!!

    I AM SO BITTER AND TIRED OF HILLARY CLINTON!!! I HOPE PA WILL SHUT HER UP!!!

    OBAMA 08'

    April 15, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. Relevant

    [ "Just think of the days after September 11. Imagine if President Bush had tapped into the wellspring of American energy, initiative and goodwill," she said ]

    A wellspring that you yourself could never see your own reflection in, Hillary. Obama has a dead lock on appealing to the American wellspring of energy, initiative, and goodwill. Maybe you could have people tap into the other American wellspring of spite, vitriol, and bitterness.

    How dare you invoke the spectre of 9/11 and imply that it will happen again if we elect someone other than you. Have you no decency or sense of propriety at all? Is ANYTHING off limits to you?

    April 15, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. becky

    Hillary's experience in this is her vote for the war!

    April 15, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. OBAMA = VICK

    OBAMA IS THE MICHAEL VICK OF POLITICS!

    BRIGHT, UPCOMING SUPERSTAR, BUT HE WILL FALL FLAT ON HIS FACE BECAUSE OF HIS ACTIONS!!!

    April 15, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Jed in Texas

    But he did finish reading "My Pet Goat.

    April 15, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. D.Kimbro OHIO

    Thats right let's put that power where it belongs in the hands of Big Business. If we can get the people of China to keep footing the bills, then you can continue to fleece the people. It's no wonder Monica came into the picture. Sit down and Shut up!!!

    April 15, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. Counting Down

    Well, she sure was ready to vote us in to War with Iraq without reading the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate!) which she stated on Meet the Press earlier this week!!!

    Well, weren't you a Senator in NY when 9/11 happend? I don't remember seeing your face all over TV calling for service!

    My husband and I lived in Ft. Drum, NY during 2004. He was deployed to Iraq. Vets are being taken advantage of in her home state of NY in the north. I never saw her whie soldiers and their families were struggling just to find housing and living in hotels for weeks!

    Sounds to me like she was "unready" to be a senator.

    Please post this CNN. It happended in her home state and it means a lot ot my husband (Iraq vet) and I.
    Shame on you, Hillary Clinton.

    April 15, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. republican for obama

    But dont forget that we have not been attacked since sep 11....you are entitled to your 2 cents, but thats what they're worth.

    April 15, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. John Smith

    Politics of "fear" and "cynicism." Politics of the "old", not the new.

    Think of the
    1. Past impechment of the Clintons
    2. The lies of Hillary and cost of lives (Whitewater)
    3. Failed policies (universal healthcare not attained even after 8 years)
    4. The White House missing fils
    5. Hillary's vote for the Iraq war (she has blood in her hands)

    This is only a very small list. Do we really want this type of employee with such tarnished resume?

    April 15, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. rachel from oregon

    too bad you don't inspire young people either hillary clinton.

    April 15, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Juker

    I can't imagine any situation in which Hillary Clinton could tap into America's wellspring of energy, initiative and goodwill.

    Sounds to me like she's campaigning for Barack with that comment.

    April 15, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Obama2008

    Atleast she's not attacking Obama!!

    April 15, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. Stop the Drama

    Hillary is lashing out at anyone she can.

    She is not ready mentally to be president. I doubt she'd ever be ready.

    April 15, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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