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. Doug

    As a democrat, Clinton is as much of a ghost now. Voters will CHANGE the country whether he likes it or not. I appreciate the freedom in this state to make their own choice.

    January 16, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Carl

    Let's calm down...and separate the humanitarian issues from the politics. It is great that President Obama asked both former presidents...Bill Clinton and George W. Bush...to head the fundraising efforts for the Haitian earthquake victims. I think that Obama was trying to send a message to the American people...that donating to this worthy cause has nothing to do with one's politics. President Obama himself will be in Massachusetts tomorrow to campaign for Martha Coaklley. Coakley has run a disastrous campaign to succeed Ted Kennedy. That seat remains vital to the Democrats plan to pass serious health care reform with 60 seats in the Senate. If Coakley loses this election...currently she is running behind her opponent in the polls...the Republican, Scott Brown, has pledged to vote against the health care bill. The Democrats are desperately rallying their forces to prevent a Brown victory...and have called in the big guns...including Clinton...to help out. Bush knows that. No one has pounded Bush more in the last year than Obama...yet he responded positively to President Obama's request that he serve with Clinton in helping Haiti... We should remember that it was George W. Bush who called on his own father and Bill Clinton to organize a similar fundraising effort for the victims of the Southeast Asian tsunami which occured during his own presidency. So you Clinton and Obama haters need to get a grip... The show of true bipartisanship at the White House today...in the face of this overwhelming human catastrophe... is indeed refreshing!

    January 16, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Steve in Sunny Florida

    GW Bush is going to be involved in helping Haiti? Oh well, guess he'll be serving as the nail in the coffin for that country. Poor Haitians. I think the rest of America should help the Haitians out by protecting them from "W". Afterall, look around at what he did to the U.S.

    January 16, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Ray E.

    Well, after watching "Slick Willie" for 8 years I came to the conclusion that he never knew which end was up. Nothing has changed.

    A lot of people jumped into that boat in the last presidential election. I think many are now "Jumping Ship" as it were.

    I don't need Nanny Gate. And if you think Health Care is expensive now, just wait until it's free.

    January 16, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. SH

    If it weren't for the Secret Service, Bush would probably not show his face in public again. He divided our country and started "The Great Recession."

    January 16, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. JM

    Amen catmomtx!

    January 16, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Mike from FL

    Bill, I agree 100%

    January 16, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Malt

    Clinton is classless. He shouldn't be knocking anyone.

    January 16, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Adam

    Wow. So much hate for each other. This was what you wanted when you voted change? That's not a "slam". A legit question.

    January 16, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Rose

    What Clinton failed to mention was that the Dems were in control the last two years of the Bush Adm. Clinton has a lot of guts to show his face in public like the people just forgot his lies and his affair with Monica in the "People House". Dems are desperate now, wait until they lose in Mass. I can't wait to see Nancy Pelosi give up her gavel in November.

    January 16, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. mavcal

    Look, Haiti doesn't need more politics, it needs engineers. The only good that come out of this disaster is that buildings are built according to code, an infrastructure that is credible is established and the corrupt politicians are banished. To see this kind of suffering in modern times is a crime against humanity.

    January 16, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. lila

    Bush is Christian and he might not fully understand the meaning of what Jesus taught... but he does understand that "the least of these" means people in impoverished countries in desperate circumstances... As with Africa and now Haiti.

    January 16, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Ms S Callahan

    That explains the distressed face of former President Clinton in his picture of the former post today with Pres. Obama and former President Bush. lol Politics at it's fullest! lol

    January 16, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Malt

    I started a business after getting laid off during the Clinton recession. Yes, idiots, there was a recession before Bush started office. Things have been great through Bush's term and only know are MY CLIENTS having issues because of Obama's policies (mostly because of the fear of what he might do next).

    So liberal bloggers. Use your brains. The economic down turn is as much a democrat problem as anyone elses (loans for those that can't pay them back started with Carter, pushed by Clinton and not regulated by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.... even after 17 requests for oversight by President Bush–2003 – 2008)

    Quoting one of the clueless masses, but changing the name: Obama is the disaster of our time. I'm surprised he has the nerve to show is mug in public.

    January 16, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. Vic

    The scale of the Haitian disaster is being wavied by the efforts of the United States to provide aid to that helpless country.
    Bringing together Bill Clinton and George W. Bush by the Obama camp seems to serve a dual purpose in this regard.
    Clinton slams Bush in Massachusettes with the "old saw" about how the republicans are "pouring millions into the Coakley/Brown race" with an end game; according to Clinton, of preventing the return of the Buxh administrations failures in supporting democratic party issues.

    Come on, we; the people of the United States, are not that gullible.
    Clinton has miscvharacterized George Bush from Day 1. Must be tough to have two Bushes; one on each side of you, as your become and then leave as the President of the United States.

    My heart goes out to the people of Haiti in this hour of enormous pain, death and destruction. I, as many Americans, am proud of the USA and it's "first provider" response. Take that a slice at a time and I think you will find that the first providers were not government workers or agencies, they were the men, women, dogs and rescue equipment from numerous towns, cities and states across this great nation.

    This is not to demean the efforts of the U.S. military forces called on to go to Haiti and provide assistance, security and humanitarian help.
    Our military; caught short due to the two wars we are still fighting and the terrorist activities that grow more and more each day. The US Military Services can be justifibly proud of their performance in all those arenas that they find themselves.

    Thank God for the USA.

    January 16, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. Fed Up

    I don't know why Bush sits next to this man. Clinton can't shine his boots.

    January 16, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Joel Holden

    Just how long does the Obama administration think it can blame Bush for the problems in the country now? It was Obama and company that pushed for a trillion dollar stimulus that was full of special interests and did nothing to help the economy. It was Obama and company that allowed bailed out corporations to pay huge executive bonuses. It was Obama and company that condemned Bush for the surge of troops in Iraq that led to success in the country. It was Obama and company that withheld the allocation of additional troops in Afghanistan requested by U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus for nearly 3 months putting U.S. troops in harms way, and then provided 30,000 troops instead of the 40,000 requested. It was Obama and company that destroyed the security system in the U.S. created by Bush which kept the country safe from terrorist acts, and made the decision to try Guantanamo prisoners in U.S. courts. It was Obama and company that promised transparency in Washington yet chose to formulate health care reform legislation behind closed doors without bipartisan leadership. And most importantly, it was the Obama administration that bribed senators and lobbyists with special deals paid for by taxpayers in order to enact health care reform opposed by the vast majority of Americans.

    Wake up America. Are you blind to not realize the extent of the corruption in the white house and in the Congress that now exists.

    January 16, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. jerry walters

    Greatest disaster ever ... bush's presidency that is.

    January 16, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Sam from GA

    The Clinton years were the best in my 45 year life. Under bush I saw my job with HP sent overseas. bush helped out all the right wing cronies best he could, thanks dumya. Thanks dumya for helping your rich friends, and tell cheney I hope he enjoys his halliburton millions made off of the back of the fighting poor folks for his oil. Repubs/fox news are disgusting and we all see thru it.

    January 16, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. NIJA

    To what happened to Hiati is exactly what President Bush did to the USA economy. People should understand that the bailout funds is exactly what the world aid is to Haiti and without the funds the economy would have been in shambles. May God help us.

    January 16, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. USN

    Lest we forget , Under Bush stock broke 14000, unemployment at 4.5%, THEN Nancy and Reid took over in 2007 and it's all down hill from then.

    January 16, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Hugo

    I just wonder how much US taxpayer and religious donation money has been squandered on Haiti? I wonder how much more now that we are borrowing to take care of the world. Reality check, it was a disaster before this disaster, too many people but Clinton and Obama just can't help themselves, good lord look at the democrat recruits this could generate!

    January 16, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Jen

    Check your numbers Pat. Obama's deficit is off the charts. Enough with the Bush bashing.

    January 16, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. AndyBlue

    Bush needs to stay under that rock in texas. After such failure on so many levels he would only hamper donations and help to Haitians.

    Republicans are truely disgusting people and I will never make the mistake of voting for any of them again.

    January 16, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. morista

    How to make a lot of money in today's ecomony: Become a CEO. On average, a CEO earns more by 1:00P.M. of the very first day of the YEAR, than a minimum wage worker earns ALL year. 821 times as much as a minimum wage worker. A friend of my grandson started a new job on Wall St., right after graduation, beginning salary $145,000. plus bonus. No master's degree either. Outrageous, but of course he is happy.

    January 16, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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