September 17th, 2010
09:32 AM ET
4 years ago

Bill Clinton has advice for Obama

 Former President Bill Clinton has some advice for President Obama.
Former President Bill Clinton has some advice for President Obama.

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton, himself no stranger to a difficult midterm election environment, has some advice for President Obama:

Make a better case to voters about what he's done in the last two years.

"I'd like to see the president go around the country and explain it just like I did, say we've stopped digging," said Clinton on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Thursday.

"And then talk about what we need to do now," continued Clinton, whose party suffered massive defeats in the 1994 midterm elections. "How we are gonna get out of this. How America's best are days ahead. How are we going to reduce the role of government in the economy and have a private sector that works again."

The former president, who said today's economic conditions are like those of 1994 but "on steroids," also proposed three initiatives the president should pursue:

"So these are the three things you need to do," he said. "Focus on where the jobs are – small business, manufacturing, and clean energy - figure out how to loosen the money and banks and corporations, and train people to do the jobs that already opening. The cheapest and quickest thing to do is the last.

"Have you said this to him?" Stewart said to laughter, adding later, "I don't know if that was a Jedi mind trick, but I believe you."


Filed under: Bill Clinton • President Obama
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Hey Bill Good advice, but he can't say to much about his first 2 years because there isn't anything positive to say. What is he going to do the next 2 years? Doesn't have a clue. They didn't teach this kind of stuff in Community Builder School.

    September 17, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. inofritzn

    "..How are we going to reduce the role of government in the economy and have a private sector that works again."

    Um, President Clinton, you're not talking Obama's language there.

    September 17, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Two Years

    Let's see whats been done, rammed through a disaster of a healthcare bill, put us trillions in debt, bowed to every foreign leader in the world, ran down America to every foreign leader, does everything to appease religions,put a ignorant moratorium on drilling that was warrantless, which killed thousands of jobs in the drilling and support industries, kissed butt to the unions,had one of his political movement groups get caught in corruption and other numerous debacles. Yeah, I'd say he's done a lot in two years.

    September 17, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Baby Boomer

    Good advice Mr. President. President Obama has been saying many of these things. His delivery is just different. I hope we prove all the pundents wrong in November and retain both the Senate and the House. Young Dems, please get out and VOTE. That would be great...

    September 17, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. ClintTaurus

    Wow... Is a "democrat" actually suggesting less government oversight and (in far more words as usual from a politician) that the govt stay out of the private sector?

    September 17, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Da Professor

    Listen to Bill Clinton Mr. President!

    So far, you are on track for the necessary progressive changes BUT the people are confused and unaware of what has been accomplished and can be if the Democrats retain control of Congress.

    It is time of Oval Office "fireside chats". Spell out the successes, the challenges, and the hopes for the next two years. Then point out the roadblocks that the Repubs are tossing in the way for their wealthy friends. Point out the Republican lies, the hypocrisy, and the arrogance and GET MAD!

    September 17, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Nonsense

    And this is where Obama fails, falling flat on his face:

    ". "Focus on where the jobs are – small business"

    Obama could care less about small business. He wants America living off of the dole so we are addicted to government. Sad, but true.

    Our citizens and small businesses need to be allowed to thrive. Only then will employees stop fearing unemployment and begin to spend money, which, will ultimately lead to "real" increases in corporate earnings and ultimately, hiring for jobs.

    September 17, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  8. Slick

    I don't think I'd be taking advice from willie. His track record is not real pristine and I can't recall anything good that obama and this congress has accomplished in the last two years.

    September 17, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. mlr

    but here is the difference with obama from Clinton... Obama does NOT want to reduce Govt involvement in business – he wants to expand it. And that is what is killing the economy.

    September 17, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. Jeremy

    riiiight... If anyone knows how to stave off a midterm election onslaught... It's ol Billy

    September 17, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. bill

    Loosen money? Please! That was a big contributor to this mess – making high-risk loans – and Clinton is the one who started it in 1999 with his memo. Also, the next time I hear Obama say a positive word about the economy will be the first. He tells us how the stimulus is working and creating jobs (the COB disagrees with his calculations) then he tells us how bad things are and it's not his fault. He needs to take a page from Reagan and Clinton and instill some confidence in the people via positive messages and get all of the tax laws and regulations out so businesses have certainty and can start making decisions.

    September 17, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. jim

    It was the1994 midterm elections that turned your mishandling of the economy around.You were so tied up in the Lowinsky scandel you didn't have time to screw up economy like your pal,Obama.

    September 17, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. Gee

    My advice is quit before you ruin a great nation. What a loser of a president. Makes me want ot bring Jimmy Carter back.

    September 17, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Pete

    I have a piece of advice for Obama also – "HIT THE ROAD".

    September 17, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Orlando Patriot

    The LAST thing Obama wants to do is remind the voters what he has done in the last two years!! Adding 3 TRILLION dollars of debt, increasing the unemployment rate from 7% to 9.6% (and rising!!), Health Care that the people KNOW is going to KILL the private sector, support of a mosque being built at Ground Zero, support of making illegal immigrants legal, sueing Arizona for trying to do what the federal government SHOULD be doing but won't, $800 BILLION Stimulus that didn't, Government aquisition of car companies and government control of banks, housing market that has continued to tank and EVERYTHING Obama is doing makes it worse, catastrophic "Cash for Clunkers" program, and on and on and on.

    No, the LAST thing Obama wants to do is to remind the voters of all the failed policies over the last two years..........

    September 17, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. T'SAH from Virginia

    Thank you Bill Clinton!!!

    ALL DEMOCRATS running need to STATE the CASE and stick with it – UNITE the BASE and mean it and WIN this RACE in November because we have achieved a lot in two years!!!

    The RepubliCAN'Ts are out there SCARING Americans and it's working!! However, the Democrats are NOT taking that fear away from them. They are all separating themselves and trying to do it ALONE and it's NOT working!!!!

    DEMOCRATS – STOP being overcooked noodles and get out there and stand up for the accomplishments we have made!!! Jeez!!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia, the Liberal, and I approve this message!!!

    September 17, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. Kim

    I wish Clinton was still president. We would not be in the mess we are in today.

    September 17, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Broom

    Obama is no Clinton. Billy could get along and be tough with the opposition without demonizing entire groups of people. Obama constantly derides those against him in ways that will never bring people to the tent like Clinton. Also Clinton and Gingrich were not friends but they worked together for the better of the country and we are yet to see any working together from the Hope and Change President.

    September 17, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. rpb

    Thought the advise would be "Don't take a mistress in your first term".

    September 17, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. GI Joe

    The public, in just 18 months, has forgotten the hell we were put thru for 8 years. Let them get offices, and by 2012 the people (sheeple) will be running back yelling HELP – GET CORPORATIONS OUT OF OUR LIVES.

    September 17, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. David H

    Anyway we can get Clinton back in the White House? Seriously, I miss this man big time.

    September 17, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. Joe

    Politics is such a hat-and-dance routine. When are people going to realize that Republicans and Democrats are simply two sides of the same dirty coin and are just playing one big game of "good cop vs. bad cop" with the American public.

    Nothing is going to change, nothing is going to get done. The government has its own agenda, and that doesn't include what YOU want, or what YOU need, or what YOU would like to see happen. The gears keep turning, and every few years they throw the people a bone in the form of elections– and people buy into it and feel "empowered".

    You have no power. Your government doesn't represent you or your interests. It is all about keeping you consuming, working, and pacified with an abundance of entertainment. Wake up, brothers; please for gods sakes wake up...

    September 17, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. seebofubar

    Bill Clinton was one of the best presidents that we have had since Regan. Unfortunatly, his concept of the roll of government and Obama's are quite different. Clinton understood that the strength and greatness of this country lies with the people and american exceptionalism, Obama on the other hand believes that the strength and greatness lies with the government and the people should follow like mindless zombies.

    September 17, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. all of America

    The public know's what obama has done in two years and they don't like it ! The people already have their minds made up who to they are going to vote for and it's not democrats. Nobody wants obamas socialist agenda, nobody want's obama care that he shoved down our throats,nobody likes the financial reform bill that he shoved down our throats,and now they are trying to shove amnesty for illegal aliens down our throats.The people have had enough of this ignorant president and the democrats.

    September 17, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Babs

    Its too late for Clintons advice. The Amercian people no long like or trust Obama and his policy making. All the central govt. controls make people uneasy and worried. Going around the country for Obama would mean a man looking down his noise at people, people who can think for themselves, who don't appreciate a snotty Prez with all the answers. Its too late, too many wrong policy choices, he is not trusted.

    September 17, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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