Bill Clinton to play prominent role at Democratic Convention
July 29th, 2012
11:55 PM ET
2 years ago

Bill Clinton to play prominent role at Democratic Convention

Washington (CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton will play a prominent role at the Democratic convention in Charlotte by giving a major speech and placing President Barack Obama's name into nomination, the Democratic National Convention Committee announced on Tuesday.

The former president will give a primetime speech on Wednesday, September 5, in which he is expected to starkly lay out the differences in the economic policies of the two parties and describe why Obama is the best choice compared to presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, the aide said.

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The campaign believes Clinton can deliver a forceful fiscal message that it hopes can resonate especially with the middle class and is someone who can uniquely tout how he left the country with a surplus which was later erased by Republicans.

The choice to feature Clinton is expected to be formally announced Monday.

The former president is expected to emphasize how Obama's plan will help the middle class - a major general election constituency, the campaign aide told CNN.

While Clinton and Obama have had a rocky political relationship, the choice to feature the former president is a recognition of his continuing popularity and unique ability to deliver an economic message that will resonate with voters.

Republicans pounced on Clinton's appearance, saying it was proof of Obama's electoral weaknesses.

“After four years of trillion-dollar deficits and anemic economic growth, it’s clear President Obama would love to run on President Clinton’s record in office. But no amount of showmanship can paper over the differences between these two presidents. Americans deserve a president willing to run on his own record, not the record he wishes he had," Ryan Williams, a Romney Campaign Spokesman, said in a statement.

Because the former president will speak Wednesday that means Vice President Joe Biden will make his primetime speech Thursday night - the final evening of the convention when Obama accepts the nomination and gives his address.

The campaign will build that evening - occurring before tens of thousands at Bank of America Stadium - as a powerful 1-2 punch and the focal point for the convention. The vice president will precede Obama by talking about the the successes the administration has had and challenges it has faced in the first term as he introduces the president, the aide said.

There is expected to be a primetime professional football game Wednesday night so organizers have decided to put both of its two major attractions on the last night for maximum exposure.

The New York Times first reported Clinton's convention role and the vice president's speech timing.

Note: an original version of the story reported Clinton's appearance would be Tuesday.

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Vince L

    It's not fair! Obama has Clinton against Romney's G.W....not fair I say!

    July 30, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  2. tammyk tammy

    Wonderful news. Clinton was a superb President who really cares about all Americans. He will do a great job in communicating the importance of this election. Thank you Bill for all of the contributions you continue to make to this country and the world.

    July 30, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  3. Josh

    I wonder if Clinton's speech will include that he helped sow the seeds of a lot of the disasters in the economy, but really appreciates that the republican guy took the fall for everything.

    July 30, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  4. Republicans

    I sure they will have Adelson, Koch Brothers, Bain Capital, and Off Shore Banks Address their Conference!

    July 30, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  5. Fortinbras

    Well, we know George H W Bush wont be attending the Republican convention. What republican senior statesmen does that leave them? George W Bush? Dick Cheney? Condi Rice? The clowns from the primary?

    July 30, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  6. BeverlyNC

    Of course he will. He was an outstanding President who left our nation iwth a economic surplus and then went out to be a world ambassador still loved by People everywhere. Bush, on the other hand, took the surplus, created 2 fraud wars, gave the wealthy tax cuts they did not need, and spent us into a huge debt finished off with a total bank collapse due to deregulation of the banks. He is NOT invited to the RNC convention. I don't know why since Romney is planning to implement the duplicate Bush failed policies. Go Charlotte – fire up the Democratic base to get out the vote, overcome the voter suppression cheating by Republican governors, and the cheating of Republicans Citizens United money buying of elections. If we can get out the voters- the Democrats will sweep the House, Senate and of course the Presidency. Romney is such an embarrassment and is digging his hole deeper by making a fool of himself abroad.

    July 30, 2012 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  7. David Berthold

    Clinton is a most welcome choice! Seeing where he left the country in jan 2001, he has the record, the facts, and popularity to give Obama-Biden a great boost!

    July 30, 2012 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  8. ally buster

    Obama's going to win-

    July 30, 2012 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  9. Joe

    The best thing about this is that Clinton hates Obama and has even criticized his tax plan.LOL I'm actually looking forward to this speech- I want to hear how Clinton tries to spin this to make it seem like Obama's doing a great job! We are worse off in every way than we were 3 years ago. Anyone who wants to give that record 4 more years should bang their head against the wall until they're smart.

    July 30, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  10. Steve Jennings

    Great choice!

    July 30, 2012 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  11. Don Hill

    Most people have a short memory span. Then again, the Republicans have selective memories. You can't find a single Republican that will remember that President Clinton left office with a surplus, and Bush left office with a trillion dollar debt.
    Also, I challenge any Republican to give even one single thing Republicans ever did for the common man. If not for Democrats (FDR to be specific) there wouldn't be social security, and except for LBJ there would be no Medicare.

    July 30, 2012 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  12. Geoff

    Wish Clinton were still president. But that's not happening. Keeping in mind our two choices, Obama is the only one that makes any sense at all. You'd have to be a fool and have no brain to support Romney or any republicans for that matter.

    July 30, 2012 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  13. works4me

    No need to convince me. After the obstructionism we've witnessed in the last 3.5 years and the realization that the GOP is primarily focused on the GOP, I'll never consider a Republican again, for anything. They made it crystal clear that they were do everything they can to see this, OUR President, fail and by attempting so increased the financial and emotional healing of OUR Country.
    I'll keep my President that believes in for the people, that works for TEAM USA... all of the people, not just a select few.
    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    July 30, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  14. Get Real

    I wished he was endorsing his wife for the Nomination this year.

    July 30, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  15. adam

    Is Bush going to follow the steps and deliver the goods for Romney in the GOP convention

    July 30, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  16. ME

    Brilliant Man!!!

    July 30, 2012 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  17. liberal disease

    why don't you ask Bill what he does with his 75 million dollars made making stupid speeches. Bet you its not all in the USA
    remember Marc Rich ,Clinton' s buddy?, the biggest tax cheat in history.Thanks for the pardon Bill!

    July 30, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  18. Rush L

    Darn! The last thing we want is somebody actually explaining what we're trying to do to the middle class....and this guy has the ability to explain it....drat!

    July 30, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  19. Willy is back

    I'll take Willy over Mitt the Mormon flip flopper anytime!

    July 30, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It isn't a surprise to me that he is going to speak. He has caused some problems but knows how to counter punch rather well.

    July 30, 2012 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  21. Garret

    Obama can't win it on his own! Last term Obama ran off of bushes mistakes, and now after all his own mistakes, he hopes to run off of Clinton's presidency! What a joke this Obama is, just accept you messed up and people would respect you more!!

    July 30, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  22. protank

    We would be much better off f Clinton were president. NOBAMA 2012

    July 30, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  23. FedUp

    Another way to spend more money. There is only one candidate. No need for a convention. Ahhhh, but you gotta love those parties.

    July 30, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  24. King

    Clinton needs to help convincing the people that goings back to his tax policies to keep more money inside our economy, is the way to go. why the American people taxcuts to eliminate human workers and hire robots and computer systems just to compete with their international counterparts, what is this doing for American workers. this trickle down crap haven't worked for the past 10 years. we need to use that money and invest in our country's infrastructure putting millions to work, before it reaches the rich and allow them to outsource it to other country'

    July 30, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  25. AlwaysLeft06

    Time to pull out the big guns..

    July 30, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
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