Bill Clinton on Perry: He's a 'good-looking rascal'
August 15th, 2011
04:51 PM ET
7 years ago

Bill Clinton on Perry: He's a 'good-looking rascal'

(CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton was paying attention Saturday when Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally launched his presidential campaign

"I got tickled. I watched Governor Perry announce…for president," Clinton said Monday. "He's a good-looking rascal."

Clinton's comments, recorded in a video by the New York Observer, came in a speech to the International Association of Fire Fighters in Manhattan.

The former president had some choice words for Perry's platform on the need for smaller government.

"[Perry] said 'You know, I'm going to Washington to make sure that the federal government stays as far away from you as possible-while I ride on Air Force One and that Marine One helicopter and go to Camp David and travel around the world and have a good time'," Clinton said. "I mean, this is crazy."

Perry and other Republican presidential candidates have repeatedly said the federal government needs to have a more limited role in Americans' lives.

And while Clinton said every person-"even public employees"-can think of a tax that's too high or a regulation that doesn't make sense, he implied that the U.S. government is not the source of all problems.

"There is not a single solitary successful nation on earth today that does not have both an effective government and a good economy," Clinton said. "And in the world we live in, you can't have them unless you have both."

Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Rick Perry
soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. ath

    I am very curious if anyone reading this and having recently heard of Perry's possible involvement with male couterparts, and I know you realize what parts I am speaking of. Not accusing the man yet, but if this has any truth whatsoever, then it is only a matter of time before, hopefully, some young man will enter the conversation with actual proof. It is easly to speculate, but better yet to give proof.

    August 15, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. A keen observer

    Perry is like most Texas politicians; lots of BS and no substance!

    August 15, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. VancCanadian

    From an outsiders perspective, it doesn't seem like the US needs another president with a Texan mindset or background. 2000 – 2008 is not so long ago that the whole world can't still remember.

    August 15, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. Voice of Reason

    Bill speaks the truth. He's pointing out the hypocrisy in Perry's message: that the drumroll from the right that goes on and on about 'no more government', is coming from one who will have to increase the size of government to enforce it...

    Seriously, the entire right seems to forget about what the government DOES for them. You drove to work on a public road this morning. The other drivers didnt hit you because they had to pass a drivers' exam. If they did, they'd be able to pay the damages because the state mandates that they buy insurance. You didnt have to hire private security or pay protection money to the mafia, because the state pays a police force. You live in a land where companies settle and turn a profit because they dont have to worry about government corruption, and where workers are educated – thanks to the state. When you talk politics with friends and family, you dont have to worry about who the informants are, or if you are going to get arrested in the middle of the night...

    Taking SO MUCH for granted, and all i hear over and over from the GOP Tea-vangelicals is 'I dont wanna pay for anything, and bring back the good ol days'... I weep for the future.

    August 15, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. Voice of Reason

    Besides, Rick Perry is just another Tea-vangelical zealot Gettin the rigtht-wingers whipped into a good old-fashioned revival frenzy. I dont expect this Fred Willard lookalike to make much traction. Same as Bachmann – the nutters love them, but they cant go the distance.

    August 15, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. Wise1Speak


    When a governor of a large state like Texas advocates secession from the United State (i.e. a pre-cursor to civil war), than it should be very clear to all in the United States and around the world that Rick Perry is CRAZY.

    600,000+ soldiers died in the U.S. Civil War and that does not include the tens-of-thousand of civilians killed, murdered, maimed, or died through illness, hunger, and/or disease. Perry is one sick puppy!

    August 15, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. NoTags

    Adulterer or not, I would love to go back to the prosperity of the Clinton years.

    August 15, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  8. trex

    OHHHH...thats a NEW definition of "rascal"...............someone who trys and thinks he could be a leader of more than minimum wage earners, who also excelled in college with a ....wait for it......1.9 GPA. LOOK MA>>>.NO BRAINS....>>>>>>>...1.9 GPA......1.9 GPA.....hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaahahahaha

    August 15, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. maikl

    The worse president ever -Obama. This no dispute. No more Obama talk about Yes We Can, no more change. It was all b.s. If Obama president than anybody can be president. Just kva-kva-kva and after kva go for vacation.

    August 15, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. Adalbert

    This radical evangelical fanatic may be good looking, but he is as phony as a three dollar bill.

    August 16, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  11. Dave from GA

    Perry and GOP/TEA simply wants to see this U.S. country to be run by a private corporation. It means more invasion of our privacies and more slave labors for U.S. citizens.

    August 16, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  12. seanster5977

    The best thing Clinton did was nothing. While he was chasing skirts, Reaganomics kept chugging along and slowly turned around the carter economy. He sounds like he now has a crush on wrinkled Rick.

    August 16, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  13. atypical

    Perry, like Bachman, genuinely scare me. They are both intellectually handicapped; they see the world in black and white and right and wrong and wear their oppressive, religious values on their shirtsleeves. I just hope the majority of the people who do vote are not of the same mindset.
    I'm amazed when I hear citizens and candidates alike, blame Obama for the current economic situation. Really?
    THis situation has been years in the making, and it is frightening to see how many people don't get that.

    August 16, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  14. Boytjie

    Perry has that Jim McGreevy slick, sleazy look.

    And Perry loves America so much that he wants Texas to secede, some patriot...

    August 16, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  15. mrhapiguy

    This man grew the economy like no other. I wonder what the secret ingredient was?

    Hmm, I know Obama is no cheater, but maybe Michelle should check out those oval office cigars...

    August 16, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  16. Pete from St Paul

    Slick Rick! Every thing rolling out of this man is, I am a con man, as some folks believe conservative.

    August 16, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  17. Blame Not Working

    For Voice of Reason.....yes there are good things the government does, & we the people gave them the right.....& we can take it away, but mainly we can prevent the gov from going too far! Who, if not us, will keep gov from "corruption"? Corruption like ObamaCare, Gov owned Car companies, bank bailouts, etc. Etc. Etc......yes sir, you are right, gov does some good things but this President is wanting gov to force we the people to divvy up all our hard earned money & "GIVE" it to others who did NOT earn it, simply because his Ideology is one that wants Redistribution! Now that Sir is a real voice of Reason!
    Obambi should be telling everyone to go to work instead of blaming everyone ELSE for his problems!

    August 16, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    steven harnack

    One of the Right's common slams against President Obama is that "he is arrogant". It seems that they don't mind arrogance so much if it's from a good ol' white boy, eh?
    Interesting observation and quite true.
    We've seen Map-face Perry brandishing guns a la OK Corrall and no one said a peep. Had Obama EVER done that....well you know. Perry is bragadocious, charming, boisterous, AND as shallow as a pool of piss, but people on the Right are eating it up. The comparisons between him and The Shrub are apt and fair, although Perry is the worst of the two. He's making W seem erudite by comparison. The question that we have to ask ourelves is: Is America so against THIS President that they would rather put this dangerous W-like version in the White House to finish us off?
    Obama 2012

    August 16, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  19. Buzz

    I'm glad he's running. When the idiot whose coat tails Perry rode in on left the White House, I had to stop wearing some of the funniest t shirts ever. After a few weeks of listening to Perry put his foot in his mouth, my t shirt supply will be re-stocked. Texas already knows this guy is a moron. Soon, the rest of the nation will as well.

    August 16, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. cecilia

    just when you think it can't get any worse – here comes a Bush-lite – I really am in no mood for another chest thumping Texan. look what the last "Decider" got us into. please I dont want another "one of us Presidents" I want someone who is smarter, more insightful, cosmopolitan – oh yeah, we have one like that – let's re-elect President Obama and get a new Congress

    August 16, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm non-plussed. Are we really thinking of having someone who loudly and quite unpatriotically advocated and urged secession from these UNITED STATES when President Obama was elected running FOR President of those same UNITED STATES?
    Are we as a nation THAT stupid? Have we no pride? Come on folks. Look at these people and listen to them. Jeeesh!!!

    August 16, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  22. buddha12

    Who really cares what this washed up immoral idiot thinks? Not me. I do agree with one of his statements tho. You can't have a successful nation on earth today that does not have both an effective government and a good economy. To me that says to get government out of my business and cut the entitlements, pay the bills, and leave small businesses alone.

    August 16, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  23. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "There is not a single solitary successful nation on earth today that does not have both an effective government and a good economy," Clinton said.

    And the US has neither.

    No government can be effective that tries to do too many things for too many people. It turns into a Rube Goldberg contraption that may be amusing to watch but seldom achieves the results it intends to achieve–or even any useful result at all.

    August 16, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. bob

    He ain't cuter than Obama!

    August 16, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  25. Leroy

    Read my lips: NO NEW TEXANS !!!

    August 16, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
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