January 16th, 2010
04:27 PM ET
4 years ago

Clinton praises and knocks Bush on same day

Former President Clinton was joined by former President George W. Bush at the White House Saturday, the same day that the DNC launched an automated phone call where Clinton criticizes Bush's economic policies.
Former President Clinton was joined by former President George W. Bush at the White House Saturday, the same day that the DNC launched an automated phone call where Clinton criticizes Bush's economic policies.

Washington (CNN) – As President Clinton stood alongside his successor, President Bush, at the White House Saturday to announce a new fundraising effort for Haiti, 400-plus miles to the north the 42nd president was blasting Bush’s economic policies in a new automated telephone call designed to cast doubt on Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown’s Senate campaign.

Clinton recorded the telephone call for the Democratic National Committee, which is trying to energize voters to turn out Tuesday for Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to fill the remaining three years of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s term.

Flanked by his two predecessors, President Obama announced Saturday that they will head up the “Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.”

“I'd like to thank President Bush for agreeing to do this, and for the concern he showed for Haiti,” Clinton said in brief remarks at the White House event.

In Massachusetts, on a different topic, Clinton was not so embracing of Bush.

“The Republicans are spending millions of dollars to win Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat and they’re telling you that they’ve got a better economic plan, when all they want is to bring back President Bush’s economic policies,” Clinton said in the recorded message being directed into the homes of Bay State voters.

Clinton also appeared with Coakley Friday at a Boston campaign event.

Democratic leaders are hoping that Clinton’s interest in the contest and President Obama’s decision to hold a campaign rally Sunday in Boston will help encourage Democrats to show up and vote Tuesday in what is expected to be a very close race for the Senate seat.

Polls show Brown is a formidable opponent in what was supposed to be an easy general election for the Coakley.

Script of telephone call

Hello, this is Bill Clinton.

I’m calling to urge you to get out and vote for Martha Coakley on Tuesday January 19.

This election is critical, not just for Massachusetts but for our entire country. The Republicans are spending millions of dollars to win Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat and they’re telling you that they’ve got a better economic plan, when all they want is to bring back President Bush’s economic policies. They’re telling you they’ve got a health care plan, when all they want is to leave the health insurance companies in control of America’s health care and bankrupt the country.

So please, get out and vote for Martha Coakley on Tuesday Jan 19. I know her, she’s a good person, she’ll be a good senator.

Follow Mark Preston on Twitter: @prestoncnn

soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Bill from CA

    When a politician has gotten as far as president, I think they understand the difference between policy attacks and personal attacks. One thing I always liked about the relationship between Bush Sr. and Clinton was the respect the two men developed for each other after they had both left the White House, even after a very bitter election in 1992. I think you're seeing the same thing out of Bush Jr., and I hope that future ex-presidents take the lead of Clinton and Bush Sr. and have productive relationships out of office that will help good causes like the Haiti earthquake victims.

    January 16, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Brook E. Mantia

    Life is complicated. Deal with it!

    January 16, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Bush is the disaster of our time... I'm surprised he has the nerve to show his mug in public.

    January 16, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but where is the supposed slam that Clinton made on Bush? Because of the Bush policies? Did insurance company profits not increase 400% under Bush. Did he not give huge tax breaks to the top 5% income earners in this country during 2 wars, while the rest of us got "cake?" Employment did not increase in those 8 years, and salaries remained stagnant. I don't see the slam, personally. Republican policies of the last 30 years have been bad for everyone but Wall Street, huge corporations, and the military industrial complex, as well as Cheney (and it would be interesting to see Bush's worth today as opposed to his worth in 2000). That's a fact. Their deregulation efforts nearly cost us our global economy. Of course, it would be negligent not to note that overturning the Glass Steagall act of the 1932 didn't help, President Clinton.

    January 16, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. mark

    slick willy is back lie lie- depends what is means?????

    January 16, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. mjm

    unemployment under bush.....5.4% average.

    unemployment under clinton.....5.6% average

    obama? 10%

    I'd shut it if I were Clinton and/or Obama when it comes to the economy.

    January 16, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Southern

    You can't expect both of Clinton's faces to say the same thing.

    January 16, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. MatthewDetroit

    CLINTON is a DIRTY ROTTEN politician what do you expect.

    He is not honest with his own wife.

    He is not honest with himself.

    Why should he be honest with the American People.

    All we did is make a low life a RICH RICH Man.

    January 16, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. D.

    What a scum, while working together bad-mouthing. Is this the ethics we want to teach America?!

    January 16, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Chipster

    If someone does something good, what's wrong with praising that? President Bush is stepping up to help with raising funds for Haiti.

    That doesn't cancel the poor policies that led to the economic mess we're currently experiencing. Thomas Jefferson was a great champion for liberty but he misbehaved at times too. I believe that President Bush is a good man who did a very poor job as President. President Clinton did reduced the deficit and did a lot of good things but his personal behavior was inexcusable. We can't learn by ignoring the facts that we don't like.

    January 16, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. Obama is not my hero

    One word: "Massachusettes". LMAO!!!!

    January 16, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Sky Blue Press Editor

    Great stats, there, on unemployment, which are totally skewed to reflect right-wing propaganda. The fact is that in Bush's last year, job loss was in a radical freefall, which Obama inherited. Since then, the rate of job loss has begun to swing back the other way, which is no mean feat–that is, to undo 8 years of hellish policies in 1 year. And by the way, do you remember that Clinton inherited Bush Sr's bungling of the economy? And that under Clinton the USA experienced the best economy in generations? But let's focus on what's important here–and that is trying to help Haiti–in that, there should be no politics.

    January 16, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. aware

    Politics! :(

    January 16, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. chuck

    hey, mjm the unemployment was close to 8% when W left office and got worse from there. I guess you are like those on FOX news that feel that since it's been a year since W left office all bets are off when it comes to putting the blame on the situation we face now.
    As far as Clinton is concerned he, like the rest of them, are in politics. It's a dirty business if you can't handle it get out.

    January 16, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. southernhrt

    I lost my job after 22 years once Obama was elected. And it wasn't just the rich that benefited from Bush's tax cuts. Under his administration was the first time in 10 years I didn't have to pay taxes at the end of the year. Same deductions and filing and I made far less than even $100,000. I get tired of people saying on the rich benefited under Bush. It was the best 8 years I have ever had financially.

    January 16, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. otu

    good point made

    January 16, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. bs

    Come on CNN ; stop with slaming this, slamming that.

    May God have mercy on the Haitian people and on each one of us.

    January 16, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. D.D.

    POLITICS- President Bush and Clinton knows the game. If President Bush ever gets a political invitation he will rip into President Clinton and Obama. They are not rotten -they are men at work.
    We all know the Health bill will pass either in the front door or the backhanded back door. The one Bush used a few times. Watch.

    January 16, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. ICARE - countdown to 2011

    Where there are differences, it NEEDS to be addressed. Where there are similarities, we need to bembrace it. This is what makes AMERICA, a great country

    Amen!

    January 16, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. catmomtx

    Well MatthewDetroit, at least under Clinton the economy was great, we weren't at war, the job market was flourishing, the stock market was up. The country was doing quite well. Detroit was actually doing great. I was living there at the time. Two sports stadiums built, Casinos.... Regardless of Clinton's personal life which is none of our business in the first place, his policies were right for this country. Nothing Bill Clinton did in his personal life harmed our country. The same can't be said about the policies of the previous President. When Clinton handed the country over to George W. Bush, their biggest complaint was about W's missing form keyboards. The country was in such great shape George Bush immediately went on vacation. He didn't have any crisis to deal with, wars to fight an economy collapsing, housing and job markets collapsing. So I would say despite his personal life President Clinton was one heck of a President.

    January 16, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. They call me "tater salad"

    When the Republicans ran the show life was like one big turd burger now that the Democrats are calling the shots that turd burger comes with fries and a drink!

    January 16, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. james Walker

    all I can say from the bottom of my heart. I miss President Bush.
    You all say what you want about jim in my book He is one of the best.
    Clinton what a joke Cant stand the man he in my book is a P.O.S.
    as for Obama Man I am so lost with this one. Is he Just dumb or is he doing what he is told by someone. What a retard.I Love president Bush.
    have a long and good life.

    January 16, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Jon

    I was reading some of the other comments and it is amazing the GOP's tendancy to cherry pick and distort facts to make Thier arguments. If they cannot or do not want to distort then they resort to name calling. Sady the fact is that there was a far smaller unemployment rate at the end of Clintons presidency then at the end of Bush Jr's. Also, there had been far more economy growth under Clinton then Bush.

    January 16, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. pat from okinawa

    Bill Clinton = $240 billion surplus

    George Dumbya Bush = $500 billion deficits

    George Bush couldn't run a lemonade stand in Crawford, Texas

    January 16, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. JaneBomb

    I agree, Annie. I would "like" your comment if I could.

    January 16, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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