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. MD

    Stop attacking everyone and everything in sight to make yourself look better.

    There is nothing you can say or do to make Americans believe a word you say, after all the lies and "misspeaks."

    April 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Jean

    I find it interesting that she would bring this topic up, when it was she who voted to go into Iraq. That moment in history is when we lost the good grace of the rest of the world, and one of the biggest millitary blunders in American history..Hilliary we are not ready for the kind of experience you have!

    April 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Tell It Like It Is

    Just ughhhhhhhhhhhh

    April 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. Jane

    I'm so tired of hearing this woman YAK YAK YAK. It will be SO SWEET when Obama wins the nomination so she will finally shut up!

    Remember people - All you need to know about Hillary Clinton are these three big words --

    HILLARY THE MOVIE. RENT IT, BUY IT, GET IT AMAZON.COM.

    IT'S THE OBJECTIONAL TRUTH ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON – EXPOSED.

    April 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Bushwacked

    The man was clearly an idiot and he got voted in anyway. Oh - I forgot - the Supreme Court put him in office, with a little help from his brother in Florida.

    Sometimes the people get what they deserve. You vote for an idiot you get an idiot.

    Nobody is truly ready to be president who hasn't been there - but at least we don't have any idiots running this year so there is some hope.

    Eugene, OR

    April 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. Ross in MD

    Hillary is the Democrat's version of Bush – an unqualified, incompetent, dishonest person who got by on family connections.

    Does anyone really think Hillary Rodham would even be considered for Senate, much less the Presidency, were it not for Bill?

    We've seen her disaster of a campaign and the poor judgement she has displayed in front of our eyes. No thanks, we don't want you as president.

    April 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. Steve

    She voted to go to War. Where was her complaints about President Bush's inexperience then? Please.

    April 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Realistic

    Hillary is the only candidate out there who is less truthful that W. And that, dear friends, says an awful lot.

    But what it should highlight is this: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others in the Bush Administration had far more actual experience than either current Democratic candidate - and look where that experience got us.

    It is about judgment, not experience.

    Not supporting NAFTA.

    Not supporting the war.

    Not telling porkies about being under sniper fire.

    April 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Marguerite Outlaw

    I hope everyone realize that this is a testing period for whomever is selected as our nominee. I surely hope we will have the maturity to rally around and give support to our Democratic Nominee.

    April 15, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Ross in MD

    Hillary is the Democrat's version of Bush – an unqualified, incompetent, dishonest person who got by on family connections.

    Does anyone really think Hillary Rodham would even be considered for Senate, much less the Presidency, were it not for Bill?

    We've seen her disaster of a campaign and the poor judgement she has displayed in front of our eyes. No thanks, we don't want you as president.

    April 15, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Jane

    I'm so tired of hearing this woman YAK YAK YAK. It will be SO SWEET when Obama wins the nomination so she will finally shut up!

    Remember people - All you need to know about Hillary Clinton are these three big words --

    HILLARY THE MOVIE. RENT IT, BUY IT, GET IT AMAZON.COM.

    IT'S THE OBJECTIONAL TRUTH ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON – EXPOSED.

    April 15, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Michael in ND

    Hey Jack, get a clue. Hillary is right on. Bush did not bring the country together after 9/11. DUH! She isnt using 9/11 for anything. Read the CNN posting again. DUH! You must be a "typical white person" from small town North Dakota who clings to guns/religion when things go bad. *giggle*

    VOTE CLINTON!

    April 15, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Hillary is unstable

    Billary is not electable. There's too much ugliness there.

    April 15, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Mike

    No Hillary. He asked you to give him authorization to go to war with Iraq. And YOU gave him that authorization.

    April 15, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. John - Maryland

    enough already!!! You are dissing everyone including your own party and some of it's leaders. When will you stop.....talk about substance that americans care about and if not talk up yourself:

    1) How you were tought to shoot a gun/rifle
    2) How You evaded sniper fire in Bosnia
    3) How you go to church every sunday and the holy sprit talks to you
    4) How much you spent from the money you and hubby recieved from the columbians

    Geeeez – There are a lot more thinks you can talk about yourself. You are making Bush look good.

    April 15, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. JERRY

    HILLARY IS THE BEST...GOOO HILLARY!!!!!!!!

    April 15, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bill Clinton had the opportunity to take out bin Laden before 9/11but failed to do so and the Bush administration reminded us of that. As far as Bush goes, he still isn't ready. Hillary is treading on dangerous ground if she's "aiming" at Obama on this one, so I suggest she go duck hunting. Vote Obama.

    April 15, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Mike

    There is no question that Bush was not ready to be the leader of a boy scout troop let alone the U.S. He proved himself to be a complete idiot and squandered a chance to make us a true force for peace in the world. He should been on the scaffold with Saddam. He is a traitor and should be tried for war crimes.

    April 15, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Emma in CA

    It is getting rather late for new campaign language which criticizes Bush and Obama. Many voters understand that Obama was not talking to them personally about their destitution and there is a great chance they have a healthy self-esteem that does not induce them to throw insults at
    a Presidential candidate who understands the dire state of many Americans.

    Hillary Clinton lacks the life experiences which could have helped her image and her ability to live in the world with respectful behavior toward others.

    April 15, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Juliet

    9/11 was plotted during Clinton's administration. Bush was inaugurated the year of the attack. Both Clinton and Bush failed to protect us. We need new leadership. Obama 08.

    April 15, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Jyfranca

    If Bush was not ready and unexperienced,why ,Hillary you voted for war?I remember your speech you said you had read the intelligence and its the judgement and tough decision you made.And this time you steal Biden long time argument for political gain.Leave Bush outa this.You have Obama to think about.You may end even miss a chance of appearing in ballot in november.Barak is your nightmare

    April 15, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Jerry

    If he wans't ready, why did she gave him her support to go to the war?

    April 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. GO HILL!!!!!!

    Does the BO campaign pay college students to jump on new stories and blog all day? It's funny that the first several blogs to new stories tend to be Hillary Haters :) Then, as the blogs fill in, they even out and tend to be pro-Hillary.....

    April 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Katy Hill Prescott, Az.

    Wasn't Clinton around in the Senate on Sept. 11? I don't recall her doing any of the things she says Bush didn't do.

    April 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Juan from L.A.

    I am sorry but what makes her more ready than him. He was governor of his state. One of the biggest states in the nation. Executive experience. Now bear in mind I am no fan of President Bush. She didn't have a clearance when she was first lady. Waht did she do? She claims to have visited 80 countries. But I bet thats another lie like the Sniper and shooting when I was baby stories. She is were she is at by default of her getting the role in New York just because she was the ex-president's wife!!! She is not ready.

    April 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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