Bill Clinton on Perry: He's a 'good-looking rascal'
August 15th, 2011
04:51 PM ET
3 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. Texas Doc

    Perry is a closet Log Cabin Republican. Look it up. He's a switch hitter.

    August 16, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Non-Partisan Guy

    The master of saying what needs to be said with a great record to stand behind. I miss your politics, Mr. Clinton. You're what the country needs right now.

    August 16, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. A. Dunbar

    I can't understand something. Why are so many self-proclaimed Christians all bent out of shape over Clinton's inability to keep his zipper up, and yet don't care a bit about the million Iraq folks killed in an unjust war? I'm fairly certain Jesus loves Muslims just as much as Texas Church goers. I'm also fairly certain "Do not kill" is also on those tablets. Finally, I'm almost positive what Jesus would say to some of today's Tea Party Christians, seeing in what low contempt the Christ held the religious leaders of His day...leaders that looked all nice and purdy on the outside, yet were filled with rotting dead bones...leaders filled with a sense of their own righteousness, yet unable to see their own sins of pride and hate.

    August 16, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. eddiescnn

    Did Texas secede? Haven't heard much from the "Republic" till Ricky tried to reconnect the deity with our govt.

    August 16, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Tea Party Mike

    The state of Texas under conservative Gov. Perry and using conservative policies, has an economy that is doing far better than the rest of the country and is creating a huge percentage of the new jobs in America. Yet rather than learn from and celabrate this success, progressive Democrats trash Perry and Texas.
    I am not supprised.
    These same progressive Democrats continue to support Obama who said if the stimulus was passed right away unemploymment would not go beyond 8%. It has been above that almost since the stimulius was passed and is expected to still be over 8% on election day 2012. These are the Democrats who gave us Joe Biden who said just a few months ago that the economy had turned the corner and would start creating 400 to 500 thousand jobs a month. These are the Democrats who gave us Pelosi who said that Obamacare would create 400,000 jobs right away. These are the Democrats who gave us Obama who said the stimulus would fund hundreds of thousands of shovel ready jobs when it was passed but who just a few weeks ago said in a jobs conference that the jobs were not as shovel ready as he thought and all his Democrat advisors at the conference laughed, big joke on us I guess.
    If progressive Democrats want to stick with a bunch of idiots that clearly do not know what they are doing and think spending billions to create shovel ready jobs that are not shovel ready is a joke, that is their business.
    Call me crazy, but I prefer to go with someone like Perry who has a track record of success, not extreme failure.

    August 16, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. SCAtheist

    Go Billy – Obama 2012

    August 16, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. NVa Native

    Typical GOP reptile. He will change his skin (shorts) as many times as needed.

    August 16, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Tzckrl

    Rick Perry good looking? Compared to what?

    August 16, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Lando

    The guy who wants Texas to SECEDE from the United States of America declared that Bernanke's plan to inject
    more money to the economy is TRAITOROUS. WHAT.......SAY IT AGAIN...TURNCOAT

    August 16, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. carlos

    the secessionist was born with his brain between his legs, that should tell a lot about that parasite................

    August 16, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Emmy Skaddittle

    Takes one to know one, i guess. from one dawg to another

    August 16, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Stacey

    Obambi should be telling everyone to go to work instead of blaming everyone ELSE for his problems!

    LOL! Typical teatard comment. If the do-nothing Teabagging Congress would put forth some JOBS bills so that people could go back to work, I'm sure we would all go to work. These are not just Obama's problems – they are OUR problems. Blaming Obama for every ill isn't going to get us anywhere either. Calling the president ignorant, childish names is all you teabaggers have to attack him with. Obama will still win re-election. The GOP has a bunch of clowns as presidential candidates. What a joke!

    August 16, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Lando

    Treasonous is the word he said actually...I would say that his secession plan as sedtious and traitorous

    August 16, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Not another one

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

    It really is heart-breaking. Dementia is hard enough to deal with when it strikes a family member, but I think it brings it all home in a frightening way, when a celebrated figure, particularly a President succombs to unexpected signs of it in such a public manner.

    August 16, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Joshua Ludd

    Funny how they still talk about Clinton... but when was the last time you heard anything about Bush anywhere in the media other than a mention of his tax cuts?

    August 16, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. James Mason

    "If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell" – Gen. Phil Sheridan

    August 16, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. cmsuaf68

    Perry is a shrewd political opportunist. He was Al Gore's Texas campaign manager and now has embraced the Tea Party and fundamentalist/right wing agenda. Think Elmer Gantry!

    August 16, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. TexasBluesMan

    Look at all the silly liberals here carrying Obama's water. Obama's record sucks. He has nothing whatsoever to stand on. Perry's record is stellar. I'm one of the people who left a dying blue state to move to Houston. Best decision I've ever made. The choice in 2012 is stick with a known loser Obama, or give Perry, a proven winner, a crack at it. I'll take Perry the proven success over Obama the proven loser any day.

    August 16, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Oldie in TampaBay

    I don't know which is worse .. Perry or Bachmann....."dear Lord protect me from your followers."

    August 16, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. Rob Cole

    Bill Clinton making this comment is beginning to show that Clinton has fallen from any respectable person he was as president. Looks supply about as much for accountablity in doing a good job as president as saying bin Laden was a handsome terrorist while he was on the run! I would say by now that we should not be considering looks as presidential criteria. We should be thinking strictly brains...not political acumen...just BRAINS!!!

    August 16, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. Two Thumbs Down

    Want the government staying out of our lives? Then let people marry whoever they want, make their own reproductive choices, end the war on drugs and abolish the TSA. That would be a good start. Are you up for that Perry? Nah, didn't think so...

    August 16, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Mogul

    Bill Clinton is putting those words in Perry's mouth, or is he simply giving an account of Obama's three years of living high off the hog? Hey, anybody up for a bus ride. Sounds really exciting for someone that's never been on one.

    August 16, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. James73Bond7

    We need a strong moral person who will bring back marriage of one man and one woman

    August 16, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Texans

    Let's just understand that among the elder statesmen of the Texas Republican Party there is a saying that between Perry and Bush, Bush got the brains. That ought to be enough to disqualify Perry......

    August 16, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Craig - WI

    Stacey –

    Funny how you say all the Tea Party can do is call Obama childish names, but yet you call them teabaggers. It's also funny how you blame the GOP for not putting people back to work when they have the likes of Reid and Obama standing in front of anything they might put out for a vote. Just like a typically liberal, you're all to quick to cast the blame on someone else, but more than happy to take the credit for something you had absolutely nothing to do with. JOBS will not get created, by businesses, until the attitude towards businesses becomes more stable. This means we have to have a stable regulatory system and a better tax environment. Liberals blame Bush for everything, so why not blame Obama for the current problems? Oh that's right, he can do no wrong.

    What's absolutely amazing, is that if you read 50+% of the comments on this site alone, I can honestly tell you that most of you shouldn't be allowed to vote because you're just too stupid / ignorant to make a decision on your own.

    August 16, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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