January 16th, 2010
04:27 PM ET
8 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. panama

    Clinton was one of the best presidents'weve had and Obama will be a great leader.It not every day you run a country .I believe if we as the people give him a chance to clean up the mess dumb-dumb(Bush)pick one; made then things will all come together.

    January 16, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Matt

    mjm the economy is not just the unemployment rate. There are very few economists that would give W better marks on the economy than Clinton with a straight face. As far as Obama goes, he inherited W's big mess so he gets to spend his first four years cleaning it up. The truth will set you free.

    January 16, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Jonathan


    bill's correct on both counts.

    January 16, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Billy

    I am sure Bush would do the same to Clinton.
    Was'nt there dirty Boat politics between Bush and John Kerry?
    Just go outside the Country, e.g. Europe and
    ask what people think of our Presidents.
    => Bush gets "shoes" flung at him ALL OVER THE WORLD !!
    Not Clinton and certainly not Obama !
    If Bush had not done the Blunder of Going to war with Iraq , he could have ended up in the good books ....
    But then it seems that is what the Republicans always want ...

    January 16, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Mike Constitution

    Democrats should love George W. Bush. Everything he did, besides liberating Afghanistan and Iraq from tyrants, were essentially liberal Democrat policies.

    Top down government garbage like No Child Left Behind, Prescription Drug benefits, TARP, etcetera were all Bush's attempt to appease the insane leftists of the Democrat Party.

    Out of control social spending and government meddling that forced lenders to give away home loans to poor people that could not afford them got us into the mess we are in now.

    The lesson is that big government fails whether the policies are implemented by Republicans or Democrats.

    The next President will be a true conservative; not a RINO like Bush.

    January 16, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. tg from ny

    There is no reason , situation or ecconomic condition that warrants the taking of my liberties as an american. My freedom to choose the basic things in my life such as health care or smoking (which I do not do) Is not what the founders of this great country whould want the govt. to have any say. I siupported Mr. Bush but not carte blanche I expect all politicians to vote how the people mandate and to do otherwise is a breach of faith and they should resign. I fear for the future of my grand children.

    January 16, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. J

    Welcome to the world of POLITICS!

    January 16, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. daffy22

    Clinton wasn't bashing bush personally he was critizing his policies. You can't rob from the poor and give to the rich and expect everything to trickle down .Reagan tried that and it didn't work look at california and the u.s.debt when he left office.

    January 16, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. indy

    We were at war under President Clinton. He just chose to ignore or deny how the Muslim Extremists feel about America and Americans. Let's not forget the USS Cole was on his watch. As for his phone message, I hope it doesn't work. He doesn't live in Massachusetts afterall, so it really doesn't matter to him whether this Coakley is a good choice or not.

    January 16, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Ken

    I am so sick of both parties. Those of you who still cling to one party or another annoy me. Election day to me feels like I'm choosing between one mugger or another. One of you commented on the "surplus" under Bill Clinton and the republican congress. We were still eight trillion in the hole. Not exactly a surplus. And the whole "surplus" came from the "peace dividend." They drew down the military because of the decreased threat from the former Soviet Union. That left us unbelievably unprepared to respond to the attacks of 9/11.

    January 16, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. JMikey54

    I hope Coakley wins We need to keep our 60 vote majority in the senate if we want to accomplish health care reform Initiate a jobs program or do any of the things that Obama wants to do to help get the country out of the ditch that Bush and the republicans put us into.

    January 16, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. MJR

    I'm from south and love both Clintons. I think President Obama is doing a great job. We're better off now than we were a year ago. Look what was handed him. Worst mess than any president I've ever seen have when coming in office.

    January 16, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @Chuck, the unemployment rate for the last full month Bush was in office (dec 2008) was 7.1%. Under Obama, despite passing the flawed stimulus which he said would hold unemployment to 8%, it hit 10.1% and is now still 10%. As late in Bush's term as April 2007, the rate was 4.8%. It wasn't until we got a Democratic Congress than ***** hit the fan. Oh, and the Clinton surplus was only achieved under a Republican Congress. In most of the Bush Presidency, the economy expanded.

    January 16, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. GOPer

    Unfortunately, the stigma of negativity from the failed policies of George Bush continue to plague the GOP. I can't wait till GW drops off the radar screen for good. With friends like the Cheney's running around with their heads on fire, we are constantly reminded of the failed GW years.

    January 16, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. keith of ca.

    Bush deficit 700b - Obama's first year deficit 2.2 trillion dollars. New Health Plan 1.2 trillion + 242 billion medicare doctor's fix. And the first 4 years there is no service. So paying 10 years to get 6. Hell it is like buying for a car for 6 years but not being able to use for the first 2.

    This is driving the Mass. Senate race; Ma. voters see this spending and this corrupt process and just want it stopped, kudos.

    January 16, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. SteveU

    What a great story about a bipartisan effort to help people who desperately need it. Many then take it as an opportunity to make partisan insults and digs at Bush, Clinton, or Obama. It seems to me that our problem is not any one president, but rather the lack of maturity of many of the people.

    January 16, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. reo

    Bill Clinton = $240 billion surplus PROJECTED SURPLUS......... THERE WAS NO SURPLUS. Projected means if the budget stays on target after Clinton left. Clinton never controlled the budget or cut back as President. That was for thenext president. But it sounded good. Clinton even laughed about it in the Woodward book about him.

    George Bush = $500 billion deficits.......... Inherited a recession from Clinton, deficit before Pelosi dems took over 180 billion. TWO WARS, 9/11, DHS, KATRINA. ECONOMY NEVER MISSED A BEAT.

    George Bush couldn't run a lemonade stand in Crawford, Texas........Obama, 12 trillion possible to his buddies on wall street and banks. Largest budget ever and nothing to show for it.
    22% unemployment if those who quit looking would start again. Union paybacks undermining your healthcare. Terrorists killing on military bases, attempts on airlines. Obama funding foreign Islam. Yeah, obama is doing quite if you are a terrorist and Anti American. KSM trial in NYC could cost a billion.

    With Obama you have the same two wars but you have Obama waging a war against America and capitalism.

    January 16, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Debby

    Oh well thats politics. Mass. Dems. are in a frenzy that Brown is pulling ahead. I do hope Brown gets the win even though I do like former Pres. Clinton to.

    January 16, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Oh My!

    Just a note Clinton took over when the economy was doing very well at the time. And yes he had no problem with Osama and the middle east why? Because he did nothing! The terrorist were training and building up all the time he was there setting everything up and preparing to attack us. He had it made so he could play in the oval office.

    January 16, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Sharon D

    Once again the wingnuts have it all wrong. They can't do anything right. The one blogger is exactly right about the shrub – he couldn't run a lemonade stand in TX. He couldn't be bothered with the people on the gulf coast after Katrina and there he was this morning looking like his usual smug, arrrogant self. Too bad they picked him. Clinton would have done a better job ALONE!

    January 16, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. Tcaglewow

    I have a great idea....lets put a man the whole world can't stand in the forefront and by the way it's not Bill Clinton.

    January 16, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  22. Mike1952

    When you have nothing to show for the trust given you by the american people.....you blame the other guy. How pathetic can you get. Reagan inherited an economy as bad from Obama I, oops I mean Carter and never looked to Carter asa scapegoat like Wingnut and all the other dimocrats do with Bush. Reagan simply went to work fixing the problem and that prosperity lasted until the tech bubble on Bubba's watch and now the housing bubble created by the dimocrat congress.

    January 16, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. JLSTL

    Bill Clinton = $240 billion surplus
    Removed Glass-Stegall
    George Dumbya Bush = $500 billion deficits
    Obama = $12-24 trillion – spent more money than all presidents combined. Talk about bankrupting a country.

    We're not as stupid as they think.

    January 16, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. gary davis harbor oregon

    anyone left believing the purist party tells the truth is stupid
    america is changing in the roight direction with the party of YES WE CAN (DEMOCRATS) 🙂

    January 16, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. Gil Oberdas

    I'm disappointed in President Obama selection of George Bush to head the relief effort in Haiti. His track record on the economy, his wars and what he didn't do to help our own Americans with Katrina put him on my all time , "I don't trust that man" list! Gil Oberdas

    January 16, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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