April 15th, 2008
05:28 PM ET
6 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. mary

    WOW Hillary attack... what about your trial on april 25. Paul vs Clinton... you memory is so short Hillary... By the way do you have a chance to go in jail????????

    April 15, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. Smith

    Hillary is appealing to people who have lost their memory and who have no perceptive awareness of her lifelong scheming plots.

    She is not a dignified person, but yes, aggressive.

    She stayed with Bill because she planned to USE him.

    Unfortunately, he is either consciously or subconscioulsy SABOTAGING her .. more insidiously than he did when he was president.

    She puts up with his manipulation, she is manipulative, they are tools for each other and are BAD ROLE MODELS for this country.

    What unscrupulous people are both Clintons!

    April 15, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. La Bomb ba

    Obama has copied Clinton on everything so far –> Lets see how Obama copies that!

    April 15, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Jane MN

    At least I have to give Hillary credit on this: there has been one thing constant about her – she'll take all credit for things that have positive outcomes but blame any and/or everyone else (but herself) for those turn out to be negative. My question to Hillary is, if you so against Bush on the war, why you voted for it?

    April 15, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. catmom

    Uh, yes she is running against Bush. The next President WILL have to clean up behind Bush. The next President will have to make some tough decisions in an attempt to end the war Bush started. The next President will have to be savy enough to make hard decisions about the economy and the deficit, both of which was going strong under the Clinton administration. The next President will have to work extremely hard to get our country's reputation back to even close to what it was before Bush took office. Face it people, other Country's like the Clinton's.

    Hillary Clinton has the guts to make those hard decisions. She has the guts to do what will be necessary to get this country back to where we should be. She won't wither and whine when someone says something bad about her. Hell, she's been toughing it out ever since this campaign began and all the haters lined up. She has been strong and she will make the best President. She will be able to jump in from day one to get started. Make no doubt about it , it will be Hillary running things, she has gone through too much to step aside. SHE will give the country a woman's perspective. Now THAT would be a change.

    When Bill Clinton was President we were a respected Country. Our economy was booming. We had relative peace. He knew how to fight a war and do it right. The Republicans chose to try and destroy a great president and the only thing they could come up with was an affair. Other countries thought the US was crazy to be going through all that. It was Republicans who chose to drag the President through the gutter. It is Republicans who have ruined this country ruined our economy. . Under Bill Clinton, even when Republicans were trying their best to destroy him succeeded. Under aHillary Clinton, we would prosper again.

    April 15, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. Jeff

    please let have some respect for 9/11. let's not use it for political gain! Hillary will sell America just to gain power!

    April 15, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. Chipster

    Republicans are wrong. Hillary has prepared for this with the work she has done for over 30 years. She has dedicated her life to public service and standing up for American principles. Does that mean she's perfect? No, but she's ready to lead and capable. She'll defend our reputation and Constitution.

    April 15, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. Lynn D

    Fair statement. No matter what, out of the three candidates who are left, Senator Obama is the very least experienced. No matter what Senator Clinton has done or said in the entire campaign, this fact is still the same. Senator Obama may not have been shot at, but it cannot be disputed that she was in Bosnia. She has been to 80 countries. She also spent 8 years in the White House and even if she just sat there and did nothing, which we know is not the case, she would still have more experience than Senator Obama just by being there. Finally, Senator Obama has trouble picking his friends. I always tell my kids, don't hang around with "bad" kids cause people will think that you are bad. Senator Obama has been hanging around with "bad" people. Tony Rezko, Rev. Wright, and William Ayes to name a few. If he has difficulty picking his friends, he is definitely not ready to run a country. CNN for goodness sakes, please print this. What I have to say is just as important as what others have to say. Prove it by printing this.

    April 15, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. Independent

    Bush was & still is an IDOIT...no matter how much experience it would have taken!!! U can't compare Obama & Bush....!!!!!!!!!

    April 15, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. ANTI CLINTONS

    If Clintons old man would have got Osama goof laden when he should have, 9/11 would have never happend. Like this idiot women would have known what to do if it would have happend if she was president (thank goodness she wasn't our leader and never will be)
    What ever has happend in the past doesn't matter now does it.

    Look to the future not the past, Bush will be out of office in 9 months, so she can keep talking to the wind about Bush, so what, he's done and so is Clinton! A vote for cow Clinton is a vote for failure. Enough said!

    April 15, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Christian, Tampa FL

    She is absolutely right that Bush squandered a chance to unite the world behind us.

    If she is implying that Barack Obama is "unready" and would make similar blunders, I must completely disagree with her. Obama's worldview, experiences overseas, and 21st century foreign policy outlook is exactly what we need right now. He can create good will among the peoples of the world and be a true international leader.

    April 15, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Jon

    Bush wasn't ready? No brainer! Neither is Obama!

    April 15, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. The Dude

    Hey Rich, there's a lot more young people to vote for Obama than you think. Mainly because when people get old they die.

    April 15, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Allan Gobama-4-Gold

    Definition of BITTER (adjective) from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary

    1. Having a sharp pungent taste or smell; not sweet (drinking beer with a shot of Crown Royal, a Canadian whiskey)

    2. Causing pain or unhappiness (to a duck when your dad takes you out behind the cottage that your grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and teaches you how to shoot when you were a little girl)

    3. Feeling or showing angry hurt or resentment (living in PA and losing your job to China, India, Mexico or Columbia and being told that you are still happy and hardworking)

    4. Harsh and acrimonious (answering a question on conflict of interest on husband’s $800,000 payout on US-Columbia NAFTA speech)

    Common phrase: “to the bitter end” (fighting to the very end, in spite of harsh difficulties and against all odds).

    April 15, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. Jimmy O

    Hillary for President. She is the best. That is our destiny. We have to be ruled by a Bush or a Clinton. We do not deserve better.

    Hillary, the Bosnia sniper warrior, the spouse of the businessman that collected $850,000 from the Colombian government to lobby for the trade agreement that Hillary denounces and rejects, the major player in the Northern Ireland peace agreement – brought peace to Northern Ireland, the Iraq war former supporter who now says she never supported the war.

    God bless her. Hillary for President all the way. No Obama, No McCain.

    April 15, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Paul

    It is sad how people have been brainwashed by speeches. Obama is not God, did you notice that he was at Rezco's party, then he lied about the ammount he received from him.
    Later on, his pastor accussed America of Terrorism and the worst part is that he inspired the tittle of Obama's book… he gave a speech, yet, he never apologized.
    Obama and his lawyers disenfranchised FLA and Michigan with the DNC witnessing everything.
    Now he has attacked Core American Values.. gun ownership and faith.. If some of you do not believe in God, millions of Americans do out of conviction and not out of frustration like Obama stated.
    God will bless America by delivering us from an extremist-snob who plays to be the savior. He is just words.

    HILLARY-08
    President of The United States of America, 'cause actions matter more than "Just words,.."
    The best candidate and our hope to fix the problems (economy-healthcare, jobs) and build a better future for us all

    VOTE DEMOCRAT-VOTE FOR CLINTON!!!

    April 15, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  17. Vig

    Bush was not Presidential material, end of story. His whole Presidency has been a fraud and a disgrace, killing many many people to indulge whatever agenda him and his chronies devised to enrich their pockets.

    April 15, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. Joyce in Florida

    Brother, you Obama supporters are a bunch of morons, and your comments prove it. So much hate it is really scary. Senator Clinton's comments are correct about George Bush. He was not ready nor experienced and these past 8 years attest to that fact. Hillary Clinton might have alot of baggage, but she has and still is doing much more for our country than Senator Obama EVER could or will. I believe that she will be our nominee and then Senator Obama could go back home to Chicago. I believe in Hillary Clinton and still support her 100%. She is the best and I can't wait to see her in the White House again. GO HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 15, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Teri

    I'm proud to have Obama as our next President !!

    Hillary is unelectable and untrustworthy.

    April 15, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  20. dem08

    Obama supporters are so confident that Obama is going to be the nominee. Everyone so confident he is going to win. HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    In 2006, John Kerry was ahead of Bush in the general election by 6%. WHAT HAPPEN –JOHN KERRY LOST. WHY? Because the minute he insulted the intelligence of the men and women serving in the military he became a joke and lost all credibility. The republicans went after him and that was the end of John Kerry.

    The way things are starting to come out about the real Obama, don't be so confident that he is going to win. Now, Obama has insulted the intelligence of the people of PA. He will become a joke and lose all credibility. The republicans are going to come after Obama, and that will be the end of Barak Obama.
    WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN"T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 15, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I can not believe the audacity of Billary supporters actually trying to call Obama a liar?! Have you people actually listened to the sheer volume of lies, distortions, and mistruths coming out of your candidate's mouth. i won't deny that Barack has not alway been a straightforward at times as he should but in comparison to both bill and hillary , he is a legitimate saint!!!

    April 15, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. G.N. Penley

    Bill Clinton set us up for 9/11. How could Bush have been ready for it?

    April 15, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. RealityKing

    Bush is the only president to have ever earned a Masters degree in Business. No, not political science..., BUSINESS. 7 consecutive yrs of economic expansion, another historical first, after the last Clinton recession are proof in the pudding that the dems are a nickel short of a quarter when logic is involved.

    April 15, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. know your candidate

    The race is so close that people should take a close look at all candidates and their abilities and norms....

    April 15, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. Justin

    Ugh..... Didn't she vote for the war?

    April 15, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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