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. Fasciawife

    GO Rick Perry!!!!!!!!! The current adminstration is horrible for our country!

    August 16, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. concerned

    All I have read in the above comments is more of the same bull splattered on the air by the so call news. Most are just more of the same useless comments and input provided by our current politicions. You should all run for office, then you could still be as much a solution as your rantings here. Since Romney, Perry, Bachmann and Obama are all current polititions elected by the same peer group you are in, you must be talking down to all that placed them in office. It's to bad we have been reduced to voting for the lesser of 2 evils. Try to take a break from the nastiness even if the politicians can't.

    August 16, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Perry for Queen

    I think Bill Clinton needs to have his "gay-dar" repaired. Perry's homophobia conflicts with the widespread belief in Texas that old "good hair" is like the Marine Corps... looking for a few good men...

    August 16, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Adam

    And Bill Clinton's idea of an effective government to spur an effective economy is for the government to go further, and further into debt?

    Nice try, Slick.

    August 16, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. vatoloke

    "It's like deja vu all over again." --Yogi Berra

    August 16, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. once upon a horse

    yep and the far right claims the Anti-Christ will not have horns and a tail but be a REAL goodlooking rascal too........just saying!!

    August 16, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. txjack

    Everyone is slamming Perry. Can anyone here name one current presidential candidate. Including Obama that is without fault.??

    You won’t because people are human they make mistakes.

    So you have to decide if you would rather have another 4 years of ObamaCare and ObamaEconomy?

    And want to suffer through 4 more years of Obama Change.?????

    August 16, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Bring back the good old prosperous, happy days. Bill Clinton 2012 !!!

    August 16, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. borysd

    Too bad the GOP can`t run a Rockefeller/ Rothschild ticket ion 2012 !

    August 16, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. Sniffit

    "You people do realize that a) every President so far has been a Christian and b) many have been from the South."

    Well, as long as we're engaged in trite, superficial analyses and ignoring that people here have been citing facts about Parry's record, not just blasting him with ad hominem, then I will respond to your "a" and "b" above as follows:

    And look where it's gotten us.

    August 16, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. TexasTex

    Texas has the worst record for education, JOBS= minimal pay and NO HEALTH insurance. Old seniors he cut the budget, for social services, Nursing homes are just a slice away from turning old people out of the homes. Another thing, he failed to debate with last opponent. The religious T-P fanatics voted him in. You all can have him nationally.

    August 16, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. Tony 140

    Man the media can't wait to start digging for dirt on Gov Perry. Hey, maybe they might start digging on BHO. I guess 3+ years was not enough time to properly vette him. Maybe they will this time. Let's see, they dove into 32,000 of Sarah Palin's emails – and NOTHING. Hopefully Rick Perry is clean – but if not, I'm sure the Left will have a feeding frenzy. They just love personal attacks. And tell me when going to church and believing in God was RADICAL. And wanting smaller and more efficient government – these RADICALS are going to ruin this country. Please George Soros and MSNBC – help us.

    August 16, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. Maude

    America is too divided to accomplish anything meaningful. These parasites will devour eachother and fade away. Allah Agbar !

    August 16, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. chris

    Such a typical Democrat's view of someone...image.

    August 16, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Greenspam

    Perry sez federal govt needs to stop telling people what to do, as long as everyone follows what the govt says and pray 3 times a day.

    August 16, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. ThinkAgain

    "Obama's team is probably spending a fortune digging up dirt and following him to catch any statement they can magnify into a negative light ..."

    You are probably one of those birthers, aren't you?

    August 16, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. coolbreeze

    Perry is just a texas cowboy..that has snakes in his boots..

    August 16, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. ThinkAgain

    "Maybe he'll choose Cant-or for his running mate so we can have the single most snide and self-satisfied looking VP in history to go with President Rascal."

    Awesome! Great writing – thanks!

    August 16, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Vigla

    Perry the platipus will not be a strong candidate. He will be easily defeated in a general election where 40 million more voters will likely participate. Expect a large number of tea party clowns to be booted as well. Then, perhaps, Obama can get some work done that we elected him to do in 2008.

    Republicans needs to be punished more. They need to understand that radicalism has no place in our great nation. The DEmocrats learned that the hard way after the 1980 election and it took quite some time for them to recover. If we punish the republicans enough, they might learn that nominating fanatics will get them nowhere.

    August 16, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. ThinkAgain

    "He [Parry] is a crony capitalist who will reliably hand out favors and positions to his team. This is not different from Obama by the way; just look at whom he appoints!"

    All presidents appoint people they know to jobs; the difference is the quality. President Obama taught Constitutional law at the University of Chicago, edited the Harvard Law Review, and graduated from Harvard magna cum laude.

    Contrast this to Parry's academic record of mostly C's and D's (including in US History). Parry is the type of ditz who'd appoint a former horse show judge to head up FEMA (Bush and Michael Heckuva Job Brownie), just in time for Hurrican Katrina to hit.

    August 16, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. S3CU41+y

    So he wants less government, but wants to take over other countries. Is he intentionally trying to screw the world?

    August 16, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. steven harnack

    Hey Joseph Clarkson, you think that companies need MORE tax breaks and fewer regulations in order to raise their confidence? Every corporation in America is reporting record profits, I think that their confidence level is sky high! They are confident that their strategy of build it cheap outside of the U.S. , free trade agreements to avoid tariffs on shipping the goods back, and selling them dearly to us is working beyond their wildest dreams.

    August 16, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Rick Perry likes to use the word "treason" a lot. Isn't it funny that this is the guy, along with the republican candidate for governor in Tennessee that said these states should secede from the United States. This is Civil War type talk and treason at it's worst. This shows their lack of patriotism, not to speak of intelligence. For example, Texas wouldn't last a week without the support of the U.S. as Mexico would overun the state like it was roadkill. And Tennessee is one of 31 welfare states that receive more money than they send to Washington each year in tax dollars. Ironically, almost all of these 31 welfare states are what is known today as Red States.

    August 16, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. ch

    To Shirley in California who asked where are all ther Silicon Valley jobs now as she attempted to downgrade Clinton. I don't care for the Clintons either direction, but the answer to your question is the Silicon Valley jobs went overseas along with billions of others during the Bush II regime. I wake up every day and thank Bush II for working out deals for large corporations like I used to work for as an HR manager and PR manager to downsize, save on taxes, contribute more to his pockets... That, dear lady, is where the Silicon Vallley went and the GOP wants to send more down the tubes so go ahead and vote for them and live on tap water and bread crusts when they get in control of anything.

    August 16, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. YellowJournalismLives

    Perry has a better record than Obama. Perry is more experinced than Obama. Perry has a 10+ year record as a leader. The state has had a better ecenomy than the US by far. Now, lets see, who is criticising this record? People with an inferior record. Trash those who have sucess to make yourself look good. Nice tactic, but I think most of the elecorate are starting to see things a bit more clearly. Its time to restore some sort of sense to DC and the politics that go on there!! I'd rather see Ron Paul, but I can surely find it in my haert to vote for Rick Perry if need be.

    August 16, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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