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. Patrish

    Excuse me, but people that throw words around like Treason, and want their state to susceptible from the union, should be a red flag to anyone actually planning on voting. The more I read about him (not here) the less I like him. Course I don't vote Republican... well OK sometimes in state elections, but never for President!

    August 16, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. WDinDallas

    Clinton has lost his mind. Look at our current President, he just takes joy rides on Air Force One. Is that where he got this?

    August 16, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. ART

    We do not need a President who is anti America and we definately do not need another cow boy in the white house. Rick should just stay in good ole Texas

    August 16, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Dreamer96

    Perry is a Rascal alright , his latest Carl Rove inspired spin is claiming the Fed Reserve is printing up extra money,,

    It's almost laughable, because no one really seems to know just how much money Bush #2 had printed up to pay for his wars, load up those cargo planes with palettes of cash, heading to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the headquarters of Halliburton, and KBR....who knows just how many local trucks too..

    It's good to be the King when you can order extra money printed up for your friends...

    This is just classic for Rove and the Republicans, do the dirty deed then act like the white knight and accuse someone else of doing it...

    August 16, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. cevans, texas

    Dominican Mama 4 Obama, I love your post as well. You make more sense than Perry ever will. Another Texas idiot! Perry put the "P" on PHONEY!! Most of us Texans know this!! Only the backwood rednecks voted for him. Texas is still full of the people who hold their meetings in the woods! Don't have a pot to piss in, but yet and still they would rather vote for someone with no substance and only for himself, than a black man!

    August 16, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Now, lets see, who is criticising this record? People with an inferior record. Trash those who have sucess to make yourself look good. "

    Right. Clinton created 23 million jobs after raising taxes....more job creation than Dubya, GHWB and St. Reagan COMBINED. Terrible record.

    August 16, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. david in florida

    Perry declared that he was in favor the succession of Texas from the Union (aka New Civil War).
    We should have let him go.

    August 16, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Jewels

    Rascal - I love that word. As said by Adalbert:
    "This radical evangelical fanatic may be good looking, but he is as phony as a three dollar bill."

    That's exactly the impression I get. He most definitely won't be getting my vote.

    August 16, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. FM

    I do not want any candidate who doesn't choose the right words to use or un-acceptable language to be my President. Perry is joining the field in a manner which won't take him a long distance, unless he runs away from the media!

    August 16, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Daniel

    If there's one thing I learned from watching politicians and feral cats, it's that a cute face only gets you so far in life.

    Perry says, "I'll make sure the federal government stays as far away from you as possible..." Interpretation: I'll take all the FEMA checks and keep the money away from you and send it down to Texas.

    August 16, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Rae

    For once I agree with Bill, lol!

    August 16, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Saint M and cevans, texas thank you guys. I've learned a lot from other people's posts,yours included, on this site. I like (and dislike lol!) how CNN allows ALL viewpoints to be reflected on their poltical blog. I find this to be a good outlet where I and others can be exposed to an array of ideas, facts, and opinions.
    Blog on!

    August 16, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Bill

    "Perry has his "people" bring girls to his room when he isn't at home with his wife. It's common knowledge in cities in Texas."
    Pretty serious accusations. Got anything to back them up? No? Well, thanks for playing. Johnny will have a lovely parting gift for you.

    And what does "Johnny" for him when the answer turns out be "yes"?

    August 16, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. mb2010a

    Luke Perry is Rick Perry's gay son...

    August 16, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Johnny

    Why is it that when a liberal makes fun of a conservative it sounds snarky, but when a conservative makes fun of a liberal it sounds incredibly stupid?

    August 16, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Phil

    Very smart of Bill Clinton to call Perry "good-looking". When it comes out that Perry has had several gay relationships, his attractive qualities will be a reminder. And yes, Perry's gay relationships stories will be coming out shortly and the Democratic leadership knows this.

    August 16, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Rob Jones

    I honestly thought Bill Clinton was smarter than to equate Big Government intrusion with the necessary transportation and housing needs of a US president and accusing Perry of being some sort of hypocrite over it? Ridiculous. Is Clinton getting senile or is this the best they can come up with these days? This next election will be decided in the GOP primary. Obama is toast.

    August 16, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Haze

    If he is a womanizer it should secure more votes from the liberals. Demeaning women helped Clinton so it can't be all that bad. Perry should not have any problems finding prospects. It should be a good laugh.

    August 16, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

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

    Hmm. Short answer, or long answer, that's the question, eh, txjack? Let's see: The GOPer/TeaPer alternative being presented is that of a President Bachmann? Or a President Perry? Or a President Ron Paul? Or a President Romney?

    Short and sweet: Obama/Biden 2012.

    August 16, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |

    Who is Rick Perry? Seriously? Ron Paul all the way to the White House!!

    August 16, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Joe

    People's Republic of China offers incentives for (US) companies to relocate to China where workers are paid very low wages. In People's Republic of Texas under governor Perry, they pay companies to relocate there so the companies can save on labor. Quite similar.

    August 16, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. judith

    Has Bill developed a "man crush." Seriously, as a woman, I find Perry to look like a rough, under-educated Bubba bully-boy. He's actually repulsive and becomes more so every time he opens his mouth and reminds us of the last right-winger from Texas. Perry is unfit to lead, pure and simple. He executed an very likely innocent man by refusing to allow exonerating testimony, he talks like God wants him to be President (what kind of a "god" would pick Perry?), and he presides over a state with poor wages, more poverty and more pollution than most of the other 49. He's a disaster.

    August 16, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. ted

    Kinda looks like a younger Ronald Reagan. Just what we need – another Republican that says deficits don't matter. UNLESS YOU ARE A DEMOCRAT AND THE PRESIDENT, of course. This Perry guy is a moron and his Texas twang – very Dubya-ish – won't resound well north of the Mason Dixon line.

    August 16, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    It is great to see the fear in all of you big-government Socialists who are going to have to find a new gravy train. Beautiful!

    August 16, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Daniel

    Dear Mr. President, "I swear, I did not have sexual relations with that woman" are you really trying to cast shadows on others? You and Obama both disgraced to office of the greatest nation on the planet! Good Job!!

    August 16, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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