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. Linda of Atlanta

    No attack will go unused by Mrs. Clinton. She will use any phrase, any person, or any tragedy to try to garner support for her manic run for the presidency.
    Her belting down the beer and the shot of whiskey was so pathetic. I guess she thinks we want a President who might be drunk at 11:00 p.m or 3:00 a.m. The reality is that not all Blue collar workers drink. She has gotten so "out of touch" until she does not recognize that her behavior stereotypes the very people she claims to understand.

    April 15, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Renee

    I think she talks way too much smack. Who in congress is going to help her put her so-called solutions through? Republicans cant stand her and she is on very thin ice with the democrats. Unbelievable.

    April 15, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. cathy

    Hillary, You are ruining the Democratic Party's chances for the presidency. When John McCain gets elected in November, the party will have to look no further than you for blame.

    April 15, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. ds

    Bush downfall was incompetence and lack of character rather than inexperience. Unfortunately, all the made-up experience in the world can't give you character.

    April 15, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Jim

    Bush wasn't ready just like Obama, a little boy, is not ready either. I don't know where CNN gets its polls but they must skew the number to reflect more black voters. It doesn't matter though, I expect Clinton to win by over 10%. Just following other polls not mentioned in the CNN articles denote that Hillary may be up by more than 15%. Obama just sit back and watch a landslide win for Hillary. Make your speech now because you need to read very well on your speech to convince the public of your resounding loss.

    April 15, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Charles, Austin

    She was a willing accomplice to Dubya's policies from the war to flag burning legislation to the bankrupcy Bill. the little chicken hawk just finally found her voice to criticize the commander in chief while she's running for office. I say too little too late....

    April 15, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. ROY

    GUESS WHO IS TALKING?????
    NO MRS CLINTON YOU ARE NOT READY TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE USA. THINK TWICE ABOUT HOW YOU ARE SPLITTING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WITH A VERY POOR NEGATIVE ADDS. SHAME ON YOU AND AS A DEMOCRATIC I DO FEEL EMBARESS TO HAVE YOU IN THIS RACE. NEVER EVER WOULD VOTE FOR YOU....AND I GUESS YOU ARE SUPPORTING THE USE OF GUNS? WHAT A SHORT MEMORY.....DO YOU REMENBER OR DO YOU KNOW THAT PA HAS THE HIGHIST MURDER RATE IN THE USA?WHAT IS YOUR POINT LOSER?

    April 15, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. MD

    SEE WHO IS SAYING THIS.........VERY FUNNY!

    BEING THE HOUSEWIFE AND LISTENING TO BEDTIME STORIES FROM THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THE DAY ON HIS JOB - DOESN'T QUALIFY HER TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT.

    OBAMA – 11 YEARS EXPERIENCE (8 – IL, 3+ US SENATE); 8 YEARS LAW PROFESSOR

    HILLARY – 7 YEARS EXPERIENCE (US SENATE)

    April 15, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  9. John

    Goodwill? Unity?

    Hillary, I know Mother Teresa and you are nowhere close to being a Mother Teresa on this one!!!

    You show all the signs of being another Bush. You have been so negative, divisive and a constant liar!!

    Hillary, GIVE AMERICA A BREAK!!!

    April 15, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. Danny

    Very true Bush wasn't qualify and unready too President but his brother
    cheating for him that's why he got President and that why we got 9/11.

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

    “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."

    No offense Hillary but what are you trying to say about our President at that time???? Don't go there Hillary, don't go there......that's a different time and place and don't forget that you approved something that I'm sure everybody is familiar with.....

    April 15, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  12. Demetrios

    Bush was "Unready" for President?...Ya Think???
    I knew that one the 1st day..whart with all the Bushisms "Strategery"..etc.. and his picks for the rest of the Keystone cops there in Washington.

    April 15, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. For Hillary

    Bona Proud,
    Bill Clinton ran a government. The State of Arkansas. Obama is a green Senator with the audacity to think he is ready. Obama has a high profile supporter Ted "Kennedy"...... You must have missed what he said....... the bitter part is the media twist. It was one of Obama's high profile supporters who ratted on him by taping what he said about the folks in Penn. Read it........ those supporters he was talking to, all maxed out their contributions. $2300.00 each. Those ARE elitists and they support him and he supports them!!!!!!!!!

    April 15, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. Tejano

    How lame. Does she have any clue as to what it takes to run a country? I don't think so. Bush did everything for the victims of 9/11 while the Congress including her fought him all the way. They were still "BITTER" over losing the election in 2000. and never got over it.
    Then in 2004 they got theri butts whipped again and the bitterness continued.

    Get over it you lost. and you will lose again.

    This country is for the brave not the foolish.

    April 15, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. MY

    I do remember W calling on our patriotism. So I would like to act like her and twist her words. Millions donated money, donated blood, volunteered for the red cross, joined the military is she suggesting that Americans are heartless losers who do not help each other when times are down. All we did was go shopping so our government could get rich with taxes. Don't belittle our contributions and be so dispairaging.

    April 15, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. Jbecks

    I cannot believe half of my party supports this woman . . . STILL!!!! And these supporters make comments as ignorant and irrational as she does. Can't you people see through political BS? 3/4 of voting America disgusts me. I'm gonna go puke.

    April 15, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Jbecks

    'unready' sounds like a term Bush would make up.

    April 15, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. jaci in oregon

    amen sister!!! this is the most truthful thing you've said yet! the shrub is a monstrous disaster, and has been his whole life!

    are you for real ric? "hand us over to our enemies"?? how can you not laugh at that idiocy? it must be a REALLY sucky life to buy into all of the lies and hate; you're the FOX "news'" dream come true! it's people like ric that got us stuck with 2 terms of bush-clueless, ignorant, daddy complex, get their "news" from idiots on FOX. it would be pathetically hilarious, except that those people somehow manage to get to the polls and vote!

    April 15, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. Bill

    mmmmmhh I have heard these remarks before, Obama saying 911 was used as an instrument of fear, and when Americans came in droves to rallying behind Bush he told them to go shopping.
    Good Hilary finally got it. But if Bush was unready, what were you when you supported him to go to war?

    April 15, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. Matt A

    No, Noah. It is the dumb thing to do.

    April 15, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. JL

    wow what is this a group of 3 year old kids?

    Hillary first choice
    Obama Second choice
    then Nader 3rd choice

    No McCain!

    April 15, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Jane, DC

    Thanks, Captain Obvious! The title might as well have been: "CLINTON: THE SKY IS BLUE"

    Since Clinton claims experience to be so important, here's how her logic plays out: (1) Dick Cheney has 8 more years of experience than Hillary Clinton in foreign policy. (2) Therefore, Dick Cheney is more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be President.

    Oops...something doesn't work there with that logic.

    April 15, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  23. MY

    It is interesting that she is using the words of a failed presidential candidate.

    April 15, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. lin

    Obama is less than not ready, Every time he makes a gaf he blames everybody else but himself, It's usually his response is we have to have a debate or a discussions on race. We don't need anothewr rev. Wright we need a president ready to govern. Obama nuts should put him the head of a church and debate all their yuppy views and sing kumbaya.

    April 15, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Jen DFW

    if obama is the nominee the it will be john kerry all over what a disappointment for the democrats

    April 15, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14