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. FEDUP

    I just love the way people have to tell us their race and age when they comment, as if it somehow carries more weight? EX: 63 year old white woman for Obama. What, your an older, uneducated, poor white woman who doesn't support Hillary? Like I give a sh#@. Obama is a racist and that white woman is probably married to a black man. He tricks you with a smile, and a line of BS and your in-love,sigh..

    April 15, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. dem08

    Here he goes again---using the same excuses as always.

    ...my words were taken out of context...

    ...what i meant to say is that...

    ...that didn't come out right...

    ...hillary is spinning what i said...

    Typical Obama, never taking responsibility for his actions.

    Always blaming someone else (or should I say hillary)!

    Lets not forget too, that Obama is losing on the electorate against McCain. He's the one who has to run a perfect campaign to squeeze out the swing states in the general election. Hillary is winning the primary with the majority of the democratic base. Obama is winning with the AA, independents, some repulicans, and young base. He's not going to win the red states in the general election, that he won in the primary. You bet Florida will not go democrat for Obama. End of conversation!

    April 15, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. KOR

    From Michelle Obama:

    Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual; uninvolved, uninformed.

    So now we're uninvolved, uninformed and bitter. Wow. THAT'S a positive message.

    April 15, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. aliou Jacksonville FL





    April 15, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Bayou Joe

    Shame on all of you. Just like your left wing pretenders to the presidency you can't even have a cordial discussion of the issues without resorting to name calling and inuendo.

    Barak and Hillary are like two peas in a pod. They represent special interests and that is why they don't get along. They are not interested in the JFK vision of the Democratic Party and his vision of Americans working together.

    Instead of asking what they can do for our country. They are asking what our country can do for them and you.

    McCain on the other hand reflects the vision of JFK. Country first
    party last. He has done and will do what is best for America and Americans, not what is best for Mexico, Canada, or Europe. That is why McCain will be our next President.

    April 15, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. CHUCK


    April 15, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. Ponder this

    derrick erase the err and that is really what you sound like........policy...policy policy.........no stupidity

    April 15, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. Ponder this

    lets replace one liar with another......who cares I dont have any children..........America will fall from grace

    April 15, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Susie

    I am beginning to think all the pro-Obama comments are written by the same person. He must be paying someone to write them. They are soooooooooooo bitter.

    April 15, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. June

    Does anyone find it offensive when Candiates use 9/11 to further their careers? Does anyone find it offensive that the same candidates voted for a war that has taken more lives than 9/11?
    Does anyone believe that any of these same candidates would lose one nights sleep over the fallen if they were not seeking office? Has any of these candidates lost their only child? I have, and I find it highly offensive. I also find it hypocritical to give speech after speech about he brave men and women fighting in Iraq while their own son's and daughters are safe at home out of harms way. Using the grief of others to claw your way to the Oval Office is reprehensible. That's just my opinion and you are welcome to disagree,

    April 15, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. B. Smart

    Gary, . . .Nostradmus's prediction of the wrong president was George
    W. Bush. Sorry.

    April 15, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Alex H

    Hillary fought hard to get that war voted for. In Bush's defense he was able to ignite a nation-wide movement of patriotism and volunteerism. When people COULDN'T volunteer, they opened their wallets. I don't think I could turn a corner without seeing 5 american flags flown from stores, houses, and vehicles. We didn't NEED him to ask us anything, we were already doing it. What America was she looking at? Who gave her a magic pen that re-writes history???

    April 15, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. Alex H

    December, 2007

    Howard Wolfson:

    "If you want to talk about tactical political maneuvering, it's about one Democrat comparing another Democrat to George Bush... That's the worst kind of tactical political maneuvering."

    April 15, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Phillip Bunn , Bailey NC

    So is Hillary.

    April 15, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. Neutral

    Bush and Obama are TWINS......BIG TALKER.........NO ACTION!!!!!

    April 15, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. Cathi

    "Senator Clinton’s divisive and dishonest rhetoric may appeal to superdelegates, but it won’t help her win the trust of the American people,”

    Well said !!

    And I'm NOT Republican, so I'm not saying that to "take sides."

    April 15, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. Ridgeway

    Mindless Hillary. If she or her cuckold husband had been President on 911 they would have apologized to the terrorist's families and paid reparations to them. They would have given those murdering Islamic rag heads a state funeral. She is an absolute idiot. 8 years later more what "I" would have done. Nothing is just what she'd done. Just like her cheating, drug running husband did about the ship bombing in Yemen. Useless, morally bankrupt, cottage cheese butt, unimaginative waste of skin.

    April 15, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. rick, salt lake city

    Can anyone tell me what makes Hillary ready on day one? Who was the president from 92-2000 her are Bill? She didn't even have security clearance. She only takes credit for the good things that happened in the Clinton administration. Remember her failed health care attempt, and her campaigning for NAFTA, don't forget WIHITEWATER. Now she is using Karl Rove politcs (fear). Please drop out and support Obama or change parties and run as McCain's V.P.

    April 15, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  19. No Republicans in Whitehouse

    Yeah, if Bush had tapped into the "goodwill" of Americans after 9/11 – maybe people wouldn't be so BITTER today.

    I think invading Iraq for OIL and REVENGE (for daddy Bush's hatred of Sadam) makes me made as hell. Being lied to from this Administration has made me angry and bitter.

    April 15, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. Bill, Covington

    Hillary said Bush was "unready" (what kind of freakin english is that)? for the presidency. WHAT pray tell did that idiot that that pig is married to do about the USS Cole incident? She is in my lifetime one of the most disgusting things to cast a shadow on the planet earth, and the Barak is not far behind.

    April 15, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  21. TBS, Northridge, California

    Hillary: "George Bush wasn't ready. That's why I authorized him to do whatever he wanted in taking the country to war in Iraq."

    April 15, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  22. Melissa

    Wow Rich, inspiring post. I too am an independent voter. I've never before been involved in politics (besides voting) before this campaign, but have been putting all my energy into the Obama campaign.

    I have:
    – donated $222 (I'm a substitute teacher)
    – raised $175
    – traveled to Rhode Island and Pennsylvania to campaign
    – called voters in six other states

    April 15, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. somerset nj girl

    Ms. Clinton,

    With all due respect please step down and let the democratic party come together so this presidential race and move on;you are really really, really holding the party back...its time to move ahead. IF you think the Dem. party will choose you at the convention, I am really sorry to burst that bubble for you, they won't because you seem to draw negative attention to the party as a whole.

    April 15, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. patty

    you think.

    April 15, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. patricia

    duhhhhh, and neither is she. It is high time we got someone who is intelligent in the Whitehouse and that would be Barrack Obama.

    April 15, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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