Clinton in control, Gingrich says
January 21st, 2011
08:51 AM ET
7 years ago

Clinton in control, Gingrich says

(CNN) – For Newt Gingrich, it's like Bill Clinton never left.

The former House Speaker tells the conservative Human Events the second half of Obama's term has essentially become "the third term of the Clintons."

"I think it's fascinating," said Gingrich in the interview published Friday. "You're sort of seeing the beginning of the third term of the Clintons because the first two years of Obama was such a failure in popular acceptance."

Since overseeing massive midterm losses, the president has installed several former Clinton administration officials, including selecting Clinton commerce Secretary Bill Daley as his chief of staff and former Clinton economic guru Gene Sperling as director of the National Economic Council. Meanwhile, former Clinton domestic policy adviser Bruce Reed has become chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.

"It's almost a Chicago-machine musical game, and all of it represents an increase in power for Bill Clinton," said Gingrich.

Gingrich, who is thought to be a likely Republican presidential candidate, may just hope his comments needle members of the left wing of the Democratic Party, many of whom think Clinton, and now Obama, are governing too far toward the center.

"It must be fascinating to be one of those left-wing activist groups that spent so much time and energy beating Hillary Clinton because they didn't want to see this kind of administration," he said.

But Gingrich doesn't want to give the impression Obama actually is a moderate president – after all, he will need the support of independents if he faces off against Obama - saying the administration uses "the language of the center-right, while in fact fighting for the policies of the left.

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Newt Gingrich • President Obama
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. roro

    Well, good. Especially since the Clinton years were so successful. There were no wars, the economy was booming, the budget was balanced, and there was no deficit. Then came the Bush/Cheney years and the whole country went to hell in a handbasket. Glad to see the return of sanity.

    January 21, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. John

    I will take it... Clinton turned things around after the first Bush disaster and Obama is doing the same after the second, and far worse, Bush disaster.

    January 21, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Alistair

    And guess what Newton those were the days America had low unemployment.

    January 21, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. John

    Just for the record I am from Chicago and while there are many corrupt people there they use their power for the benefit of the citizens and the city. They make things better, they don't just use and exploit the people like the repub's do!

    January 21, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Newt Gingrich

    You see, this is how it works. Obama can do whatever is going to improve out nation, and indeed it does, but have little doubt, my fellow merkinz, that the good conservative right republican patriotic america things he does are actaully just bad socialist communist terrible anti-american freedom revoking socialist foreign terrorist acts of the left democract liberals. Get it?

    January 21, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. sparknut

    This is what I like about Gingrich... He's living in the past.
    W used advisers from his father's administration. Every president needs people with experience.

    January 21, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. Who Cares?

    I swear these Republicans keep trying these chilish tactics to unsettle Obama. Newt knows that Clinton and Obama aren't tight so it does this to poke Obama. Such a child in an adults body.

    January 21, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. larry

    someone should ask newt how envious is he? he wants it so bad he could just spit...but we know it will never happen

    January 21, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. carlos

    pretty soon the republiCONS will have more presidential candidates than voters......that would be hilarious, hehehe

    January 21, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. obama victim

    let's hope so.....Clinton was pretty good.....had some idea about what he was doing. Barry?? not a clue

    January 21, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Moab

    Its okay with me that Obama has run to the right. As the biggest idealogue I have ever seen as a President I am sure it is hard for him to swallow but he can't get re-elected otherwise. I know it looks like somehow they replaceed the biggest spending liberal with a responsible leader but he is doing it just like your wife changes her hair every few years. He even wants to cut back on those costly regulations that have cost so many jobs if that is not a gasser.

    January 21, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Dave Elliott

    Assuming what most pundits say is true, that we need to focus on creating jobs. And assuming what the same group have said since the end of the Clinton years, that more jobs were created during that administration then since the war. It seems to me this is exactly what we need. FOUR MORE YEARS!

    January 21, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. jm

    Cool! Does this mean we get peace, prosperity and a budget surplus?

    January 21, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. omgamike

    Yeah, Bill's influence would be so bad for Obama. Bill left the country in terrible shape - a budget surplus, etc., etc. You want a nightmare scenario? Newt as President, now that is scary!

    January 21, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. rusty155

    Newt Gingrich Is just telling another lie ,just like all Republican do too try and make people believe that crap. Newt Gingrich and Saran Palin two of the biggest lair that trying to run for the Republican party for president. Can't believe a word they say.

    January 21, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Mr. Moderate

    Hmm.... 22 million new jobs, a budget surplus, peace and prosperity. I would gladly take a third Clinton term, those were great days for America.

    And Newt, its no secret, Obama had to move to the left the past two years because of the flat out refusal of the Republicans to work with him on ANYTHING. It was a very effective strategy. Stall and obstruct, back out on promises of support like on the stiumulus and Obama had to move to the left to get anything done. Then you could portray him as this dangerous radical. Now that the burden is on the Reps to get something done, they need Obama as much as they need him which pulls him back to the center which, despite your statements to the contrary, is where he wanted to be in the beginning.

    January 21, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Jim

    Sounds like the Newt is probably correct.
    Newt was often correct but he is an egomaniac and lacks integrity. This will derail his presidential hopes; thank God! (FYI and I'm a Republican)

    January 21, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. ALEX

    Newt is a smart guy saying stupid things because he wants to keep his base riled up. So in his world, being stupid is smart.

    January 21, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. drp

    The Clinton presidency was the best in my memory (Eisenhower was in office when I was a kid, so I have experienced several presidencies). Clinton left office with a surplus in the coffers, unemployment was low, most of the world liked why not have Clinton staffers in Obama's administration? This is good! And it took what Gingrich describes as left-wing activists to have a prosperous era under the Clinton administration.

    January 21, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Steve in Denver

    Really? Can we see any substantive policy from a republican? So far, all we've heard is repeal the health care bill, but we don't have any alternative plan, even though we say we do, No federal funds for abortion, even though that is in the health care bill, and now Clinton is running the White House.

    Even if he were, you do realize that when Clinton was president, we had our most prosperous decade ever? We actually achieved a balanced budget, which your team destroyed in three months. We had unemployment so low that employers were complaining that they couldn't find employees, but yet everyone was making money?

    The 90's were such horrible times. I'm so glad we had the prosperous 80's (with 10% unemployment, inflation, then record deficits and 16% interest rates) and the 2000s (with a financial meltdown, record deficits ushered in by you and bush, 9.6% unemployment, and 50 million citizens without health care).

    How anybody can vote for the '80s or the 2000s when we had such clear prosperity and success under Democratic leadership is absolutely mind-blowing.

    January 21, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Sgt. Joe

    Intelligent people generally seek other intelligent people. That's one of the qualities Obama has, he's not afraid to reach out to experienced sages. Good for him. Newt, you're a sorry and obsolete drone..

    January 21, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Sally

    Obama has gotten much more accomplished in his first term than Clinton was able to do mainly because he had a more decisive win to begin with. The country was in much worse shape this time around because of eight years of Bush and Republican policies which stemmed all the way back to '94 elections when the GOP took both houses of Congress. As for being disappointed...not true!

    January 21, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Liberal4Obama

    Bill Clinton created 22 million new jobs, only for republicans that is a bad thing.

    January 21, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. GailScottt

    Looks like Gingrich is on the campaign trail. Instead of putting down the Obama administration, it would be good to hear what Gingrich brings to the table. Maybe in another life.

    January 21, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. ramtruck2500

    Can you just go away newt please! i am really sick of you. Everyone on the planet does not have the same issues you do and thank god for that!

    January 21, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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