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. Grif

    It wasn't his idea... It was his Father's...

    April 15, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. Gabriela

    Obama is the new Bill Clinton and she cant handle it.

    April 15, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. Patrick

    Hmmm he seems like he hanlded things alright to me.

    He found out who attacked us, removed them from power in Afghanistan, and is trying to install democracy in places that oppressed their own people. What else was he supposed to do? Hilary has no shame.

    April 15, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. gary

    MIKE 100% RIGHT. O.B. SUPPORTERS ARE ABOUT THE MOST LOST MINDED PEOPLE I HAVE EVERSEEN. HE IS ALREADY DIVIDING THIS COUNTRY WITH HATE AND THEY CANT SEE IT.WHEN THIS COUNTRY FALLS WORST THAN 911 ,MAYBE THEY WILL REALIZE ,OR MAYBE NOT.O.B. IS NOTHING BUT A CHICAGO CON MAN.HE WILL NOT OPEN HIS LIFE UP LIKE HRC HAS TO THE WHOLE WORLD. THE HATERS ARE RUINING THEIR CHANGES FOR REAL CHANGES.THE ONLY PRAYER THEY GOT IS HRC. NOSTRADAMUS HAS PREDICTED THIS ELECTION LIKE MANY OTHER PREDICTIONS. SO FAR THEY ARE RIGHT ON THE MONEY. HE PREDICTED HATE, RACE AND DIVISION. HE ALSO PREDICTED 911 . WHAT HE PREDICTS ABOUT THE WRONG PRESIDENT ISNT PRETTY. I THINK YOU ALL TO CHECK THIS OUT. HE HAS BEEN ACCURATE WITH EVERY READING. MAYBE THE YOUNG DONT KNOW WHO NOSTRADAMUS IS. SO YOU CLINTON HATERS ,YOU BETTER OPEN YOUR EYES TO YOUR OWN CANIDATE, NOT YOUR EARS. WAKE UP BEFORE ITS TO LATE. GO HRC.

    April 15, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Shannon

    people, read the comments here, all the Obama supporters are so hate filled, nine out of ten Obama supporter's posts call names, insult, spew hate. It's just laughable, they talk about hope and change, and all they can do is attack. Seriously, what is wrong with you people. Hope and change...LOL!

    April 15, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. Spirit of America

    Not only Bush, but Obama is abundantly unready for the presidency. Or does a few months of being a US Senator and accomplishing nothing make a politician fit to be president?

    April 15, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. John, Washington DC

    Please don't end the show – the Republicans are enjoying this too much. You two are making McCain look like a saint.

    April 15, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Its True

    Hillary, you were in the Senate at te time, why didn't you speak out then about what the nation can do. Show us evidence of your actions after 9/11. What exactly are these positive changes that YOU made? Besides voting for the US to engage in an illegal war. You sure didn't find jobs for upstate New Yorkers...

    April 15, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. Teri

    Whatever happened to Hillary's 35 years of experience?

    Oh wait, that was a lie wasn't it.

    Hillary lies so much it makes me sick to just look at her.

    Obama or McCain '08

    April 15, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Jen B.

    I have reached the conclusion that a vote for Clinton would be a vote for corruption and lies.
    As the #1 recipient of funding from lobbyists her hands are tied. Their interests will be protected first and foremost.
    She comes across as too autocratic, her way or the highway, unlikely she would attract bipartisan support .
    Her credibility is shot, in part because of sniper fire.

    April 15, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  11. Amazing...

    Even in post that doesn't pertain to Obama, Hillary supporters always find a way to sling mud!!! This post is Hillary vs Republican. I see sticking to issues are problems for Hillary & her supporters!

    Learn to focus. GOP just called her divisive...

    April 15, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. JERRY

    TO: Mike April 15th, 2008 5:31 pm ET
    YOU'RE CALLING OBAMA A BOY??? ANONYMITY IS A WONERFUL THING ISN'T IT. BET YOU'RE NOT MAN ENOUGH TO SAY THAT TO HIS FACE OR ANY OTHER BLACK MAN'S FACE...OH UNLESS YOU AND YOUR BOYS ARE COVERED IN SHEETS. RACIST COWARD JERK!!!

    April 15, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. gary

    IIONA PROUD CANADA .BILL CLINTON WAS NOT GREEN . HE KNEW ABOUT FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DONE PLENTY BEING A GOV. IN AR. I THINK YOU BETTER GET YOUR FACTS. JUST BECAUSE YOUR ANOTHER CLINTON HATER. IAM NOT IMPRESSED WITH CANADA ANYWAYS.GAVE ME AND MANY OTHERS A PROBLEM TO CROSS YOUR BORDER . THERE WAS NO PROBLEM FOR TERROIST TO FIND WAY IN TO THE COUNTRY. SO DONT GO HATING OVER HERE.

    April 15, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Eric

    Get this woman to a mental institution. For her own sake. She's distroying what's left of her political career and it is sad to see. Some on her staff should be responsible enough to get her to a specialist. I started to worry when she had her hystercial fit when being asked about conflict of interest, but she is loosing it now and with all the work she has done for the country, she deserves the right to be treated.

    April 15, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Ric.

    Are we supposed to take your comment seriously?
    Just look at the first sentence in your comment!
    Now take a real good look in your mirror!!!!!!!!!!1

    April 15, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Chris, Denver CO

    I agree with her. Bush wasn't ready to be president– still isn't. But Obama is!

    April 15, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Rich

    "Obama will never NEVER be America's pres. There isn't enough young or black people to vote him in. Obama is a uniter, he will unite all kinda of democrats and rep and ind to vote against him in the general. Trust me on that one."

    Well, I know many republicans who are seriously considering voting for Obama; I consider myself independent but have never voted Democrat before. I will be voting for Obama this fall, given the choice. I've also donated to his campaign. I just heard today that he might raise capital gains from 15% to 25% and I'm trying to sell my first house which I've been renting out for the past 5 years. So I might get hit hard by him becoming president, but there's no question in my mind that it'd be worth it.

    Cheers, Obama.

    April 15, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. Mark

    Susan MO, please tell me ur joking!!! WOW just WOW

    April 15, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  19. rob

    Hillary Clinton is unelectable, and is the least experienced candidate of the 3 (McCain, Obama). At least Obama will have a shot to win. Fortunately for us, she's basically mathematically eliminated

    April 15, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Maggie

    Oh, OH, Hillary has plenty of baggage!!! And so does McCain!!! Just hasnt' come out yet. Hillary thought she was vetted, but guess what???
    She lied!!! So did Bill, many times!!!

    Maybe Peter Paul V William Jefferson Clinton will win his case on April 25, 2008?????

    And Hillary is ready to be president??? When I saw her downing that drink after hugging those two small children, I don't think she is ready for anything but that Canadian whiskey she downed. Wouldn't want my kids around her!!!!

    April 15, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  21. ted

    I agree. You combine her lies on Nafta and Bosnia, with the fact that she's nothing more than a 1 term senator. How can she argue she's more fit than Obama

    April 15, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. john

    Lets not forget Hillary has guaranteed 50% of the electorate against her. She has to run a perfect campaign to squeeze out a swing state victory in the general. She's not going to swing Ohio after she lied about Nafta/Bosnia. Florida, will not go Dem this year either.

    April 15, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. Derrick

    Obama=Bush

    Bush=Obama

    Enough said.

    April 15, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Kathy

    What does she mean he was unready? After all he was a President's son. Seems to me like he should be just as qualified as she is as a President's wife. After all he spent time in the White House visiting his dad – he was probably spending the night at least once when the phone rang at 3 a.m. and his dad answered it. His dad probably discussed politics when he came for Sunday dinner. Sounds like he was as qualified as she thinks she is.

    April 15, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. Very Dissapointed

    Not that I agree with how the Bush administration handled the 9-11 crisis, but to use it in as means to beef up her readiness for the Presidency is reaching a new LOW.

    April 15, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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