April 15th, 2008
05:28 PM ET
10 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. KnorKnor

    It is ridiculous to attack Bush in relation to 9/11.
    Not that I agree with Bush but to attack him in relation with 9/11 is low.
    Hillary what is this for a kind of campaigning?
    I like Hilary when she keeps her mouth closed and hope Pensylvania thinks the same way next week.
    Hope this is the last primary because her campaign is going more in the direction of insulting people then talking about issues these days.

    April 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. fred2 the idiot took my name

    AMEN Hillary!!

    Obama would be the same as Bush!!

    Down with Obama....NO YOU CAN'T!!!

    April 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  3. Politically Speaking

    Wow Hillary. This is getting really sad.

    April 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Magicman

    Hillary! Tired at 11pm, snoring and incoherent at 3am when the phone rings. Bill nowhere to be found at 3am. phone rings, Hillary answers with a lie!
    Obama 08!!!

    April 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  5. Doug

    wow, Noah, 1000 dollars to Hillary! seriously, I could use that money to buy my wife a boob job, maybe buy a rare hamster breed. you know, something less wasteful!

    April 15, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. TM in Sacramento

    Bush's response is typical of politicians who think we Americans have nothing to learn from the rest of the world and he wouldn't know the first thing about uniting people from different perspectives for a common purpose. There is only one person still in the race who has the outlook and skills to do that, he has inspired millions to get involved in a political process they had all but written off. I think Hillary's point is right on, unfortunately she's not the person who is ready for the challenges we face, Obama is.

    I have studied politics and world events all my life, I read the paper, and I vote and volunteer, and as an almost 40 white woman I have never been more proud of my country and more optimistic about our future. Thank you fellow Americans.

    April 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Elizabeth

    Hillary didn't know what was going on in the whitehouse how can she possibly run the country?

    Another Republican for Barack Obama.

    I'm going to make another donation.

    We can work together to make the necessary changes so everyone will benefit. Yes, we can.


    April 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. fred2 the idiot took my name

    At 3:00 Obama will be in bed with the devil!!

    April 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Isaac

    Yikes, these comments people! All she is saying is Bush squandered what could have been an opportunity to bring American's and the world together. She is only saying an administration run by her would not let that kind of thing happen.

    April 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. Magicman

    I am a Clinton supporter, but with all those lies........how can I vote for a liar? I am switching to Barack, at least he will tell the truth even when it hurts! Bill lies, Hillary lies........I bet Chelsea is a chip of the old block.

    April 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Kristin

    Hillary's campaign has been a case study in poor management. Hillary isn't ready either. She will never be ready.

    April 15, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. AZM

    It warms my heart to see so many democrats now turn on the royal Clinton family....

    Go Obama... Go Hillary... either way just go until November!

    April 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Ian

    Can Obama, Clinton, or McCain run this country right into the ground?

    YES THEY CAN!!!!!

    April 15, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. American Girl

    Hillary is sad and mad!

    She has split the party.

    How is she going to be seen as sincere in her support when Barack wins.

    She and Bill will com across as the Liars that they are.

    It will be interesting to get taped recordings of what they are saying to the Super Delegates.

    April 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Doreen Augusta Maine

    Doesn't it make you wonder what to hell she dreams of at night. She comes out of nowhere with these ideas. It is like whatever her brain thinks, her mouth says.

    April 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. @americans

    And So Are You Hillary!

    You And Bush Have One Thing In Common – LIARS!!!!

    April 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. Lisa

    Hillar Cllinton is not trustworthy. She definitely is not qualified to be the next president of the United States.

    April 15, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. pablof

    So you gave the authority to go to war to somebody that wasn't ready?

    We will need to rally around whoever wins the nomination and at this point looks very much like Obama will win. I doubt that many of Clinton's base of supporters would actually vote for McCain when they find out he left his ex wife to immediatly turn around and marry his present wife and with her family's wealth that backed him for politics in the first place. Or perhaps they just love his flipflopping on issues.

    April 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. therealist

    Bush was the governor of Texas, 6th largest economy in the world. What do the jr senators have to match up with that??

    Romney is right, Obama and Hillary's experience combined and multiple by 2 is still short of a dime..

    April 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. Enrique, Chicago

    Don't you get it Hillary? We don't want a person who has lied about her foreign policy experience to have the power of the presidency. You have lost a lot of respect as a result of your blatant lies and the way you've run your campaign.

    April 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. midora

    What's she saying is probably right, but the problem I have is that HILLARY is the one who is saying it. She is so self-righteous and know-it-all. She must makes me tired.

    April 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Eric C

    She can't run a campaign... If she can't run a campaign that can keep itself under control, and not go bankrupt every few months how the hell can she run our country.

    She can't.

    Maybe the fire at her campaign building last week was them burning it down for the insurance money...

    getting desperate....

    She can't run something as small as this campaign, but her supporters expect her to be able to run this country.

    She can't handle the budget on her campaign but her supporters think she can handle the nation's budget.

    Doesn't add up..

    Obama 2008... The ONLY choice.

    For all you supporters of if not Clinton then Mccain.... think of this quote of his I just found.

    "I hate the gooks, I will hate them for as long as I live"

    Sounds like the kind of guy to run our country huh.

    You people make me sick. You would vote for someone who is the opposite of Clinton and four more republican "Bush" years out of spite... how can you say you care about the country if you are willing to do that... immature fools,

    April 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. Newman

    Hillary, I am deeply offended by your remarks today. You are the most arrogant wicked woman I have ever known. You need to admit you are unelectable and uncaring to Americans' needs. If you need a sign from God that you should quit, then you shall have it next week when you lose Pennsyvania. Obama will be our president and we will love him. The day after you lose, Edwards is going to make a phone call to Obama. And then we can move forward. Obama for a new America.

    April 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  24. Terry from VA

    She is like the bunny, she keeps going and going and going.

    She is not ready now nor will she ever be ready to be a great leader. Great leaders are courageous in take stances for the right reason, not because the stances are popular. Mrs. Clinton does not understand that concept. It is difficult to listen to her now because nothing she says has much creditability. If she really believed what she is quoted as saying in the piece, she should have never voted to give W. authorization to use force (under any circumstances) she would have never voted to declare the Iran Guard a terrorist organization.

    She is not ready

    April 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Hanley in Philadelphia

    I'm so glad that the Obabmites have time to sit around and twist every occurrence or comment into an anti-Hillary diatribe. How immature and sad it all sounds! Hillary is pointing out correctly how unfortunate it is when someone lacks the experience to make good use of people's good felelings as Bush failed to do, and you try to turn that into an attack on Hillary. Shame!

    Then, we have Obama making what is possibly the most divisive comment made in the campaign so far and trying to accuse others of creating distractions and divisiveness - just like his supporters. The people of PA will see through all the haze, and the voters in the remaining states will follow - just as the majority of voters in ALL of the major states did.

    April 15, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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