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. Sue

    YOU, sEN.. CLINTON, ARE NO MORE READY THANi AM TO BE pRESIDENT. tHEDIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND ME IS I HAVE HONOR AND INTEGRITY.

    April 15, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. Brian

    How is Obama anything like bush? He communicates with people, he addresses issues, he has the highest moral code of any candidate in recent memory, he doesn't spout talking points like you Hillary. His campaign is not reliant on attack-dog politics like bush and yourself. The comparison is laughable and does not look favorably upon your judgment. I agree that you should not drop out of the race but you need to reconsider your approach because you are tearing your country and party into the gutter.

    April 15, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. Huntingdon PA

    Yes Hillary Yes!

    Obama is an idealistic elitist and will never be President.

    Go Hillary Go! You are the only hope to beat McCain.

    Hillary '08 & '12

    April 15, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. arthurW from Virginia

    By all counts her hubsand was inexperienced and 'not ready' of the job either. No National Defense or International experience... but he didn't do too badly. While Carter had lots of both, but his presidency had lots of problems. I would say that the Obama campaign has run circles around Hillary's -given that she had a 30 percent lead in the polls when this all started last year. I would say that all these arguements about experience are rather specious.

    April 15, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Cowboy Jack

    Sen. Obama: you've badly damaged your chances to win in Nov.... please step aside for the good of the party

    April 15, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Fernandez

    Hillary thinks she is ready and prepared to lead on day one. But, the American people think otherwise. You can see the evidence on how she runs her campaign; its just a recipe for disaster on the part of the clintons

    April 15, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. WhosehadEnough

    I don't always agree with Senator Clinton......but she is absolutely right on this!! President Bush had the opportunity to show great leadership after 9/11 attacks and become a great President.......instead he leaves a failed legacy and a stagnant war in Iraq by his go-it-alone foreign policy.

    April 15, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    Ardnuas,

    I wish I was liquored up when I hear Hillary's voice.

    April 15, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Stop Stirring The Cauldron Hillary

    This coming from the unstable elitist whose emotional and mental meltdown we've been forced to witness since Coronation Day (Feb 5th) came and went with her head still continuing to remain tiaraless.

    End the madness.

    April 15, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. moeen

    Bush did it and Hillary did it: "LIED"

    April 15, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. deb

    This woman is a disgrace to the Democratic Party. She has lost and she will do ANYTHING to keep her foot in the door. It's time for the superdelegates to slam that door in her face and let us support our nominee, she can't win without stealing the nomination and EVERYBODY who isn't supporting her (or more appropriately hoping the 109 million rub off on them)knows it.

    April 15, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Cal Jim 2

    The real truth of the matter is that Hillary Clinton, should have run for President in the '2000' election. The only reason she didn't, is she thought to build more experience, for herself and the American people. She could not have known, that Bush would have stolen the nomination from McCain. Or, that Bush could have stolen the G.E., from a willing Al Gore. How could anyone have known, that to not run against Al Gore, for the democratic nomination in '2000', would have ended us up in this mess, we find ourselves in now. Hillary, should have run in '2000', Al Gore, who was so willing to give up the presidency, could have just given the democratic nomination to Hillary back then. Florida would have been a very different outcome. We would now be in the best finacial condition, we've ever been in as a people, and as a Nation. Also, the attack on us, if it would have happened at all, would have been properly dealt with. But, we do still have a chance to make thing right. We still have a chance to nominate Hillary Clinton, to win the G.E. in Nov. God help us, if we fail to put things right. There is no way, that with the un-Patroitic people, and personal baggage, Mr.Obama carries, that he can beat a very Patrotic, John McCain. It just won't happen.

    April 15, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. Mk

    So my question is this:
    When did HRC Become the hands down expert on who or who is NOT ready to be president?
    I despise Bush, but I don't think Hillary is the person who gets to decide who has the qualifications. Last time I checked it that job belonged to the Voters. She is quite full of herself these days.

    April 15, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Susan MO

    I voted for Bush, and now.........

    We are ready for Hillary Clintoin For President.

    Not Obama........not after he was SO rude to the people of Pennsylvania. And then 'made light of it'........which is laughing about it.

    Clinton 08

    April 15, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. Joe

    Funny how Hillary thought differently a few years ago and voted with Bush on going to an unwarranted Iraq war.

    Funny how Hillary didn’t learn from her mistakes and votes with Bush on Iran. THIS VOTE WAS ONLY MONTHS AGO!!!

    Hillary again trying to have it both ways. Stop the FLIP FLOP. You are appearing to be the DEMS FLIP FLOP candidate. Wherever Hillary goes, she pretends she’s lived there all her childhood!!! Too funny!!!

    April 15, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Bill Clinton, was one of the greenest candidates vying for the presidency in the early 1990's. Where does Hillary Clinton get off saying that Barack Obama is not ready?

    Don't rattle our chains Hillary, just because you have all of those high profile "elitist" supporters behind you, does not automatically transform you into the person most ready to be President. Their years of experience cannot just rub off on you, so give it a break. Stop wearing a halo that does not belong to you!

    April 15, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. Donna, FL

    I support Hillary Clinton 100%. Some should take a good long look at the baggage of Obama, and this is just what we know about now.

    Looks like its going to be President McCain. Sounds like the dems are going to crash and burn.

    April 15, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Ric

    If not Hillary then Mc Cain '08. Never B. Hussein Obama. Never!!!
    Vote for someone who loves this country!!. Not someone who would hand us over to our enemies.
    Obama = racist church, anti American

    April 15, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. Jonze

    Well couldn't Dubya claim White House experience since his Father was President?

    April 15, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Rufus Racine, WI

    Obama could live a 1000 years and he would still not be ready; he is nothing but a semislick snake oil salesman who enjoys putting his foot in his mouth and sucking toes...

    April 15, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. Sonia CA

    That is right Hillary. He put us in the mess we are today, everyone hate americans, we are in a recesion, we can't afford food anymore, can't afford a house, and Bush wants to go to the opening ceremony of the Olympics? He has no brains, he was NEVER ready he will never be ready for anything important.

    April 15, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. For Hillary

    It is truly amazing how the Obama supporters can only recite the media hype put out on Hillary. No minds of their own since they can't recite any real facts. It is also why they are so impressed with Obama, all the media hype on him too. The truth about Obama is coming out soon, then all of you will pretend you were smart about him all along.
    Hillary is our next President

    April 15, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. Hillary has my VOTE

    It is awfully odd to me that everytime this woman opens her mouth, the same herd of idiots has something negative to say about it. Get a life. Some of you people don't deserve air to breathe.

    April 15, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. Mary

    Hillary would say ANYTHING just to get into the Whitehouse.

    This is her stand on her husband.

    Oh, I disagreed on everything that Bill did wrong but I agreed on everything he did right. Can I say that and get away with it?

    Too funny. Hillary is the DEM FLIP FLOPPER

    April 15, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. Stephen

    Obama supporters couldnt be happier criticizing Hillary. Even if she criticizes Bush, they still attack her.

    They are a sad, BITTER bunch.

    April 15, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
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