April 15th, 2008
05:28 PM ET
6 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. Rainy

    Hillary, gives the Rethugs ammunition against her run everytime she opens her mouth against Obama. The GOP mantra against her will be disloyal, dishonest and untrustworthy. Proof: John McCain even said Barack Obama is not like Jeremiah Wright, she said the opposite. She will never be President of the United States!

    April 15, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. j lyon

    I guess she doesn't consider the rescue workers and the loved ones who endured ceaseless work to rescue the wounded a call of 'patriotism and unity'...if that isn't, I don't know what it. I never saw so many American flags flying the days following this tragic event and for her to take it and use it for her gain is gut-wrenching and makes me want to weep for this country if she's in office. It's beyond words to use the help of self-less individuals in this disaster for her own selfish agenda...shame on you. I am a woman, a feminist, and proud to be an American, no matter who's in office.

    April 15, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Ian

    She can drink with the rest of them. She has my vote.

    April 15, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. j lyon

    I guess she doesn't consider the rescue workers and the loved ones who endured ceaseless work to rescue the wounded a call of 'patriotism and unity'...if that isn't, I don't know what it. I never saw so many American flags flying the days following this tragic event and for her to take it and use it for her gain is gut-wrenching and makes me want to weep for this country if she's in office. It's beyond words to use the help of self-less individuals in this disaster for her own selfish agenda...shame on you. I am a woman, a feminist, and proud to be an American, no matter who's in office...this woman has no scruples at all.

    April 15, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Obama All the way

    And neither is she. Lier, Lier, sniper fire

    April 15, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Janet

    I am actually Ashmed that Hillary is still in the race to be president.

    April 15, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. vince - Phoenix - (forgive me cnn, for I have sinned)

    to those ATTEMPTING to equate Obama with Bush....

    please know that it it requires both mental gynastics, AND pixie dust to make that stretch of a fairytale even remotely true.

    April 15, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. yaptown43

    Heidi heidi ocean free.......let's throw out all of them and start over,

    April 15, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. Tyrone Brown, Seattle, WA

    I have never faulted him for not being "fully" prepared for a tragic event like September 11th. Who could be? My issue with him has been his post-decisions to use our collective confusion and fear to push through a deceptive and disastrious agenda. For instance:

    – war in Iraq
    – more executive power and less oversite
    – sanctioning the use torture

    The only thing that I take solice in is that we live in a democracy that does not allow him to be the "decider" for more than two terms. I also look forward to brininging about true change in American politics with the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

    Obama '08

    Tyrone Brown
    37th Legislative District State Delegate / Obamacrat
    Seattle. WA

    April 15, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. j lyon

    What are you people talking about...this woman took all of our honorable New Yorkers who endured 9/11 and threw them under the bus! How can you all drivel on about the media, bitterness, polling, Bill, blah, blah, blah...it's peanuts to what she is saying...really listen. She's saying that we have to be called to unify, be patriotic. When I saw what people did after 9/11, it touched me deeply. She's beyond pathetic. Beyond shame. Beyond humanity to spread the smut she does.

    April 15, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  11. J Johns

    Geo Bush stole the presidentcy – which he was neither capable nor qualified for in the first place. Daddy Bush knows it and this is why he often breaks down in public – though you'll never hear that admission either. I won't even bring up Momma Barabara. My God, where is Tenessee Williams when we need him?

    April 15, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. aliou Jacksonville FL

    Lou dobb, get off your high horses and leave obama alone.

    clinton, it doesn' t pay to be negative. The more you sing, the more obama dance, all the way to the white house.

    each time you have attacked him, you have paid the price in the ballot. exept when you lied about the canadians. now we know that all your experience was about lying. You have an experience all right!!! Experience lying that is. so do your husband and probably your daughter. How come a 27 years old woman can't say: mom, you are fabricating?

    April 15, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. Democrat for Hillary

    Is this a bunch on children speaking out here? Most of the comments are not accurate to say the least. When has Hillary said or implied that 9-11 could/may happen again if Obama is our next President?
    Get the facts before posting and running off at the mouth.
    With that said....I will vote for Hillary given the chance. If not, then I will cross party lines and vote for McCain.

    April 15, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. aliou Jacksonville FL

    Obama 08

    April 15, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Blind as bat and stupid as a cow!

    I hope she remembers that it was a spoiler that put Bush in the office in 2000 and she is doing the same for McCaine this time!

    April 15, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. JacknJill

    No Hillary,
    Bush is a liar and the whole country has been calling him on it.

    Bill AND Hillary are the biggest liars of these last 30 years in politics.

    We CAN and MUST do better.

    Hillary's horrible campaign leadership shows she IS NOT ready to lead anything, let alone our country.

    Obama has led an impeccable, not perfect, but honorable and respectable campaign.

    April 15, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. Retired Navy Veteran

    This lady has lost her ever loving mind. I think she in need of a senior care home for the trouble and aging.

    April 15, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. cdp

    If Bush was not ready to be the president , according to Hillary, then her Husband was much less ready. If the then President Clinton had taken bold steps against the terrorist's multiple attacks during his presidency, 9/11 could have been prevented. President Clinton, I thInk , was coward.
    President Clinton did not even put forth any bill in congress for the booming economy, for which both the Clintons take the credit. The economy was sound due to dot com companies, which contributed in the increase revenues for the Federal Goverment and President not spending in defending the country from terrorist , achieved his claims for balancing the budget. Clintons are power hungry and wants the nation,s highest office for self gain.

    April 15, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. HILLARY....NEVER !

    hillary is UNELECTABLE and will never be ready. American does not want someone who CANNOT tell the truth.

    April 15, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. Patrick

    Bush wasn't ready to be President. His track record was as followed: 1st 20 odd years, under achieving, partying, and drug use. 2nd 20 odd years a spiritual awakening, owning a baseball team, and governing a state of individuals dramatically different then the average American. 3rd 20 odd years and counting becomes President, surrounds himself with horrible human beings (minus Powell) whom are his only council on major decisions, and continues to dramatically under achieve at the expense of the American people.

    In his defense though, is ANYONE ever truly prepared to become President besides possibly the Vice President or Senate/House majority/minority leaders? It was one thing for Biden to claim he would seemingly be ready for 9/11, he spent 20 odd years as a head of foreign affairs and is widely regarded by governments throughout the world, all in addition of his 30 odd years as Senator, but it is an entirely different story for Hillary to make such a claim.

    No candidate running is truly prepared to be President and no candidate can be prepared for a catastrophe of 9/11 proportions. It was Bush's mentality and ignorance that led to him to failing so miserably, his unwavering faith that he was right and that all who disagreed were wrong and he'd be darned if he wasn't going to prove that and let all of history know it and bask in his righteousness. Kind of like you Hillary.

    April 15, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. Jane

    Just say no to Hillary. You certainly will after watching:

    "Hillary The Movie" It's gotten some great reviews!!

    April 15, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. catmom

    Oh, and by the way. The first time the World Trade Center was attacked was 0ne (1) month after Clinton became President. He didn't spend 8 years blaming the first Bush administration. He didn't start two wars and screw them up. Those responsible for that attack erre captured, tried, convicted and are in jail. Look it up.

    April 15, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  23. Tejano

    Marie in California. I totally agree. Let all your Hispanic friends in California know that if our Hillary is not the Candidate we need to support McCain. Nothing personal just business. We Hispanic know where Obama's loyalties are and it is not with us.

    Ask him how many Chicano activists he worked with when he was organizing in Chicago. The number is 0 (Zero). From someone who was a Chicano Activist organizer in the 70's. Adelfa Callejo was absolutely right about how the Black leadership failed us in the late 60's and 70's.

    April 15, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. Ross Williams

    More positive messages of unity and hope brought to by the Obama campaign ...

    April 15, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  25. Greg

    What was it that made her ready for the Presidency?

    Was it her dodging of sniper fire in Bosnia?

    Was it her abilities to knock back whiskey?

    Was it her love of firearms?

    Can't seem to remember where she accumulated all this "experience."

    April 15, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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