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. Albo58

    Unlike her husband, George Bush did exactly what he said he do. He, with the permission of our Congress, went after the bad guys! As I recall, he said we will not waver until justice is done. Now, can you imagine if FDR had "encouraged young people to enter national service programs, reach out to the rest of the world, or develop a renewable energy policy" immediately after Dec 7th, 1941?#! What Sen. Clinton and most of the inept Democraps fail to understand is that the #1 priority of the president is to protect the citizens of this country. And, by eradicating (not infinitely negotiating with) these murdering dogs IS the proper response! Get a history book and see those immortal words: DO NOT TREAD ON ME. Of course I can see how the rest of the world and especially our allies are confused by our actions and the "Monday morning quarterbacking" that has been well covered by our lib press since 9/12. During all this turmoil, the one thing has remained firm is the word of the man that the Democraps hate the most...no, not Bin Laden, but rather, President Bush!

    April 15, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  2. Chris in Va.

    Hillary certainly is qualified to be a stable hand, I've never seen anyone shovel the bullsh#t like her!

    April 15, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Larry Buchas

    I can't argue with her there.

    He was never qualified for the job. That makes this year's race that more important.

    Too bad we couldn't combine the best traits of all three candidates. McCain's military experience and respect for his opponents, Barack's temperament and oratory strength and yes, Hillary's toughness and kindness (when she expresses it).

    But I'll stick with Obama. Can't wait until the current imposter moves out. I would be willing to help him pack.

    April 15, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. James NYC

    As a lifelong democrat & NYC resident; I highly recommend Hillary Clinton for President.

    She has done an excellent job as our Senator and will be a better President than her husband, whose administration created 22 million jobs and left us w/ a huge budget surplus.

    Obama I really dont know what to say, at one point you had my vote if HRC was out, but between your Rev wright, your bitter comments, your unproud wife , I simply do not trust you, least of all w/ our economy , go back to your mansion Rezko bought for you.

    NO SNOB-AMA!!!

    April 15, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. koji pham

    I sense the presence of the weak Republican "force" on this blog. I sense they are hoping to sow seed of discontent on this blog amongst democrats, independents and reasonable Republicans. I sense they fear that McCain will be steam rolled in November by the Democratic wave sweeping the country. I sense the fear in them, they fear that their Republican agenda that has failed the American people for the past 7 years will be left to gather dust and be nothing more than a relic of history, referred to in history books by future generations of America. I believe the conservative republicans on this blog need to shift gears and try to come up with other reasons why we went into and should remain in Iraq. This is the pig they need to put some lipstick on. This is the pig they need to dress up. Conservative republicans – America is waiting for your response.

    April 15, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. Kelvin

    Hillary please...no one was ready for 9/11! Everyone in the country knows the exact place they were when that event happened its a shame to use such an event for political gain!

    Obama 08'

    April 15, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  7. Chris in Va.

    To Gary: Nostrodamus? Ben Franklin said, "Better to remain silent and have others think you the fool than to open your mouth and leave no doubt." Wise words from a wise man. You should heed them. Nostrodamus? Bwahahahahah!!!!! I can't stand it!!!!!!Perhaps you should check the tea leaves and tell Hillary what color pants suit to wear tomorrow! Nostrodamus....Geez.

    April 15, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  8. Terry from NJ

    Obama is an empty box with a bow on it. That's all he is. He has no clue how to make change happen other than talking about change happening. All talk, no action. The only this he's ready for is to go back to being a Senator and get some more experience before he thinks he can be leader of the free world. NOBAMA. It amazes me how people don't like Hillary because her husband had an affair. We had 8 yrs of economic prosperity under Bill Clinton. Biggest BUDGET SURPLUS EVER. He left office with a very high approval rating. Obviously some American don't vote for a President using common sense. Why we had Bush twice...

    April 15, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. Kevin

    Funny how she brings up 9/11 since her husbands presidency was a major contrributing factor in it. During the 8 years of Bill/Monica, the billions of dollars which were taken away from the Department of Defense FBI, CIA, NSA), was a huge contributing factor of the attacks on our soil. Luckily, Obama/McCain will not have to deal with the same thing when he is president, thanks to Bush.

    April 15, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  10. Chris in Va.

    I would like to congratulate Gary on his Nostrodamus comment. Without a doubt that is the stupidest thing EVER posted on these blogs, and possibly the stupidest thing uttered in human history.

    April 15, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. J T

    the tests come ONLY after you become a president, thats when the eyes of the nation descend upon you hillary, ya idiot, take your campaign and go home

    April 15, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. ken turner

    Yes -I suppose this dim-witt has experience–only experience she has is running her mouth!!

    April 15, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. Dori in AZ

    "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.

    No kidding.

    The Democratic Party needs to take some responsibility for this mess. One of her good, high ranking, DNC friends needs to sit down with her and have a heart-to-heart. Hillary is not a joke. She is in serious need of psych treatment and, quite possibly, medication.

    Obama is our hope and my 2008 choice!

    April 15, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  14. jack

    If this isn't the kettle calling the pot black. Hillary is no more ready that Bush to lead this country. Laying out what "YOUR" administration would do is really good practice for what you should be doing,playing at being the President. Because you will never be the President. Not in 2008 or 2012 or 2016 or 2020 or ever for that matter.

    April 15, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  15. Mike

    The Clinton Administration was responsible for cutting the military almost in half, did not respond well to Osama Bin Laden many attacks and threats against US interests including training Somalias to attack Americans, attacks on USS Cole, and actions in Yemen. The Clinton Administration also allowed many of the plotters into the US were they were educated in flight school in Florida... Convenient to blame Bush for all this when much of the fault rested with the Clinton Administration in the first place...

    April 15, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  16. MARIA

    WHERE IS INFORMATION ON RON PAUL WHO IS ALSO RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, WHAT IS THIS ? WHY THE BLACK OUT ON RON PAUL? I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY ALLLLLLLLLL THE MEDIA OUTLETS EXCEPT FOR FOX NEWS, DO NOT HAVE RON PAUL'S NAME ANYWHERE AS A CANDIDATE ??????? I WOULD LOVE TO GET AN ANSWER TO THIS. NO MEDIA COVERAGE .........HMMMMMMM..............IS THERE A FEAR OF COVERING RON RAUL?

    April 15, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  17. Paul

    What a piece of work Clinton is. I don't think anyone would have been ready for the attacks of 9/11 and it's pretty strange to see Clinton mount these attacks now. Too bad she didn't man up when she had the chance to vote against the war in Iraq.

    April 15, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Peter

    Stay in the race through Denver, Hillary.

    Ignore the whining, sniveling bunch who are telling you to drop out including many of the so-called party leaders whose own actions contributed to defeats in '04 (great job, John), '00 (gag!), '88 and '84 (Jesse, we hardly knew ye), and '80 (another great job, Jimmy and Teddy).

    Ignore the 24-hour a day, talking head cable news types who overwhelming favor Obama anyway and alternate between wanting to have you to bash and wanting you to get out of Barack's way (Campbell?, Cafferty?).

    Stay in the race, Hillary, and make those not so super delegates do the job they are supposed to do.

    April 15, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  19. Roxanne NY

    Barack is an empty suit. The media always asks Hillary the questions first to give him time to think, and all his plans for the economy, house-foreclosures....recession are all carbon copies of hers, just like his speeches.

    Would the real Obama please stand up! Ooops! Sorry he can't but ...Wright would, Wright and Farakhan, Farahan and Gadaffi, Bitter......Change=Revolution!

    America, are you ready for this?

    April 15, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  20. Steve in CA

    Hillary is more of the same as Bush! At little smarter, As a true Democrat I thought I would never be such an Hillary Hater but I AM NOW!!!!!!

    Go Barak – take this Presidency as you deserve – our country needs you!

    April 15, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  21. Ray Kleinshmidt

    What happened with Vince Foster.....HILLARY?
    nOW BE HONEST FOR ONCE...AND TELL US

    April 15, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  22. Melanie, Texas

    For all you Hillary supporters warning that if Obama is nominated you will vote for McSame, go ahead. There are so few of you, and most of you are Republicans trying to influence this nomination anyway, who cares? When a pollster asks on the phone what party you're with, it's easy enough to lie. And Hillary is the master leader of that talent!

    If you support Hillary and will not vote Democrat because of the BS she has spewed about Barack, you deserve a McSame presidency. You're blinded and brainwashed just like the Republicans.

    The reason the Dems have had so much trouble fighting the Reps is because they are free-thinkers and can see many sides to things. Most issues are not clear-cut and debate is a way of living and learning for educated people. Following the carrot is the Republican way of life. $600 per poor taxpayer is a solution to a crumbling economy? Give me a break. And Clinton followers – you are just as sad. How can you excuse her lies and anti-democratic behavior? "Everyone should be heard, but you know, you can always vote for me even if you're pledged to Barack" . . . . wink wink

    Obama '08

    April 15, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  23. MARIA

    O B A M A IS A LIAR, THERE IS NO WAY HE IS A CHRISTIAN, HE DOES NOT EVEN PUT HIS HAND ON HIS HEART FOR THE "PLEDGE" HOW CAN THIS HUSSEIN BE A CHRISTIAN OR A PATRIOT ???? ........PLEASE VOTE FOR – RON PAUL, RON PAUL, RON PAUL, RON PAUL.......IF YOU KNOW WHAT HE STANDS FOR; THEN THERE IS NO WAY YOU WOULD VOTE DIFFERENTLY, I AM A DEMOCRAT & VOTING FOR RON PAUL, I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE DEMOCRATS LATELY.

    April 15, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  24. Charlie

    Hillary is correct about Bush. He choked, when told the country was under attack. Imagine if the country did get attack with nuclear missiles instead of hijacked airplanes, we all would have been in trouble. Some comments about Obama are nothing more than disguises of racism. These people would not vote for him under no circumstances.

    April 15, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  25. Bummer

    Those of you beggin for change, please for the last and final time, I DON'T have any CHANGE to spare. I am poor and bitter. So stop begging for change. And remember I am poor and miserable, ergo I might be clinging on to a gun and some religion while I am at that (clinging, I mean). So stop bothering me and go to Canada or Europe. They may have some CHANGE to spare coz the looney and the euro are doing well.

    April 15, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
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