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. L MIAMI FLORIDA

    OBAMA AND AWOL BUSH = MORE OF THE SAME = COVER UPS,

    SCANDALS, AND LIES LIES AND MORE LIES !

    OBAMA HAS MORE MAFIA FRIENDS THAN VITO CORLEONE !
    READ THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE AND THE WASHINGTON POST
    AND EDUCATE YOURSELVES!

    April 15, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    Yes Hillary.....and if Al Gore was our President at that time.......maybe the attacks would have never happened!

    April 15, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Gobama

    The Clintons should ALSO take much responsibility for Americans allowing Bush denying Al Gore!

    Had the Americans not become cynical as a result of the Clintons Monica scandal and 'in your face' Billy lie to the American people, Al Gore would be President; 911 would not have happened; Iraq would not have happened; US present economic meltdown would not have happened, etc, etc.

    And the way the self-absorbed & self-destructive Clintons are campaigning, they cold AGAIN cause an imploding of the Democratic chances in November, for a THIRD TERM OF McBUSH!

    April 15, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Now I vote for Hillary!!!!!

    hey, what's up ..... why are my blogs being blocked!!!! This one will make it, I'm sure!!! Loser new station .....

    April 15, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Now I vote for Hillary!!!!!

    i'm not surprised the top comment made it thru. You keep blogging me out because I know support Hillary. It was different when I supported Obama. Shame on CNN.

    April 15, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. April in Texas

    Hillary you are anything other than ready... Well you are ready to lie to get what you want, break to peer presure with your shots and drinking, and ready to laugh off your lies of sniper fire in Bosnia. Talk about patriotizm you dont have it. Keeping Penn involved in your campaign while he and your husband do business with CAFTA and then you claim you dont support it, but your own transcripts from the whitehouse show you were heavily involved in NAFTA which you also claim to be against. I could go on but..........

    This typical white woman in Texas believes Obama is ready to be the POTUS..

    Obama 08

    April 15, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  7. vince - Phoenix - (forgive me cnn, for I have sinned)

    Some of the posts are showing 'their' "true colors" (wink-wink.. get it)..

    they're showing their confederate flag "heritage".. (wink-wink)....

    (psssst.... am I using the "right" ""code"" words?)

    April 15, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. Now for Obama

    So what the hell is she talking about, who cares about Bush's past, what will you do for our future, besides lie to us

    April 15, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. OC

    Hillary or McCain 08. Nobody else is worthy!

    April 15, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. karela

    As far as who's ready, one thing is sure-–We're not ready for Hillary.

    We're not ready for endless drama–again.
    We're not ready for endless lies–again. We're not ready for endless spin. Can you even imagine how she would spin everything if she was actually the president? It boggles the mind. She'd spin everything with foreign governments too, and America would lose ever more goodwill. Go home to your mansion Hill. We've got serious work to do and we can't play all these ugly games with you.

    April 15, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  11. Hillary is unstable

    Please superdelegates, one way or another, please get this over with. This is getting to be really painful. I'm an Obama supporter, but I just want the drama queen to stop.

    April 15, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. dp

    And you bought into his appeal and voted for Iraq war.

    April 15, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  13. thelemonkid

    Wow–now she is trying to link Obama with Bush?!? Come on, people! This is a Democrat spewing Republican bull in your faces and you let her get away with it! This is a most evil, evil kind of politics, and I will be so glad to see her leave this race. Supers, please put this woman out of her misery...and out of ours.

    What elitist arrogance. Hillary, you have met your match–the majority of us see through you–we see through you because underneath all your faces, you have sold your soul. That is unfortunate.

    April 15, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. Joe Virginia

    Hillary should and spare the American people from reflecting on all the wasted time Bill Clinton spent defending himself and actions after his sex scandal. People should note that Pres Bush was a governor and had held political positions PRIOR to his presidency... he is just someone who doesn’t have a good sense of judgment ... The experience claim that Hillary is trying to carve here is cheap since Washington has a lot of experienced politicians but has not done a lot to change the status quo... if experience counts much then why are we finding ourselves in the whole mess. We need politicians with courage to fight the established Washington machinery (like Mark Penn and his cronies – Hillary’s adviser / lobbyist) plus, when she claims that she will be ready on day 1... Is she referring to having Bill run the country again in the shadows? this is because I don’t see how she got the experience to run the country on day 1 when she hasnt been a president before. Was she in Bill's administration. I bet Bill is gonna be the SUROGATE president and who wants to see him run the country again? Hillary, it is too late for you to be the nominee. We already have one. HILLARY, STOP DENIGRATING OUR NOMINEE!!!

    April 15, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. Jo

    How has Obama insulted half of America?? HE HASN"T

    Obama speaks the truth !!

    Hillary is the one who lies every day.

    Hillary will never get my vote. No one I know of will vote for her.

    Obama '08

    April 15, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. Priscilla Flanagan

    Obama has been making fun of Hillary every day since last January. It has hurt his popularity little by little. Hillary is smart enough to keep quiet and picking up some voters from Obama. It shows that Obama has bad attitude . It is not good for a president to have bad attitude all the times. Big Smile from me!!!!

    April 15, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. ILoveAmerica

    Hillary herself is READY of course –

    Ready to fabricate stories of her bravery under fire.

    Ready to distort and misrepresent harmless comments by her opponents.

    Ready to spend most of her energy trying to diminish some other person, while claiming to be in the "Solutions Business."

    Ready to follow any course of action that might make her look TOUGH.

    Ready to ignore the obvious collective will of her party, whenever that conflicts with her personal ambitions.

    April 15, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. Michael

    Ric? Please...shut up.

    Your comments are nothing but racist and biggoted themselvs and to be honest? You're looking like a complete fool.

    April 15, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. pc

    Clinton is not ready for the presidency either. She is an opportunist and she says what people want to hear. She is not real and she doesn't relate to people's pain. She will say and do anything to get a vote. The only one qualified to be president is Obama.

    Go Obama!

    April 15, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. President Obama to be

    Isn't it baffling how a supposedly unpatriotic person has been able to inspire thousands of people who have never even participated in an election in their life (I'm one) and garner the support of millions upon millions of voters?

    Hmm. Maybe he is patriotic. Maybe he is the most patriotic candidate. Who else is [honestly] speaking out for ordinary Americans' rights, and veterans' rights?

    Patriotism is standing up for what's right.

    And what baggage does he have?

    All the baggage McClinton has thrown at him hasn't stuck yet.

    McCain has Iraq and the economy and there'll be no shedding those.

    I won't even begin to list her's.

    Obama 08 – hop aboard

    April 15, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. Lou

    OH NO SHE DIDN'T! That one will cost her...you can't use 9/11 in your negative campaigning...doesn't that woman have any shame?

    April 15, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. Snipers don't miss

    Susan MO

    You just sold everyone on why NOT to take you seriously.

    April 15, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. Allan

    Your disappointment now at Bush's failures only serves to highlight what a craven toady you were to him when you could have made a difference.

    But you voted to authorize the war, remember? You were for it before you were against it.

    April 15, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. Tim

    Bush failed, and you fell in lock step right behind him Hill-Dog. You voted for the war without reading the intelligence reports and now you claim that you werent there, you had nothing to do with it, it was all Bush! Yeah.... right. The people of Penn see right through you!

    April 15, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  25. Keith in CA

    THE TONYA HARDING OF POLITICS STRIKES AGAIN!

    (Did any of her handlers remind her that invoking 9/11 didn't work too well for Rudy G.?) The President did ask for something after 9/11. He wanted war with Iraq and Hillary gave him the vote he sought.

    This sounds like a slam on Bush, but it also sounds like a very thinly veiled swipe at Obama's presumed inexperience.

    I'll take the "inexperienced" senator over the "experienced" soulless bottom feeder any day.

    April 15, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
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