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. n

    Keep this guy Clinton on a very short leash!

    July 30, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  2. carol hampton

    Why can't he run again, I would vote for again in a minute!

    July 30, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  3. Bob MacKay

    Another big mistake by Obama, to waste the valuable use of Bill Clinton on Wednesday night, when the vast majority of viewers will be watching the NFL season opener. ...Put Biden on Wrdnesday night because nobody cares about him anyway, and use President Clinton's great talents on THURSDAY, when there is no NFL competition. ... This is a no brainer!... It' s almost like Obama is trying to lose.

    July 30, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  4. kevin

    Mr. Clinton is really going to have to lay it thick for anyone to buy that Obama has been successful and been good for the country. I wonder what the price is Obama has to pay to get him to do it.

    July 30, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  5. Bill D.

    "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."

    Clinton balanced the budget on the backs of the military, that's why we didn't have the right equipment when we went into Afghanistan. If Clinton had been in office during 9/11, he too would have gone into Afghanistan and he certainly would not have had a balanced budget when he left office. Wars are very expensive.

    July 30, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  6. rla

    Too bad clinton is not the president and Obama is- This is about Obama not speeches by a former president.... Time to move on!

    July 30, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. Zechariah14 third mishkan

    Truely the president brotherhood comeing
    together as one president Obama president Clinton redeeming the president brotherhood all shall see the truth as one
    family one vision one hope one prosperity as all people's work hard to have a fair shot at the American Dream as one nation
    of many talents many gifts to share in a
    Unlimited ways I am very proud of president Obama president Clinton and vice president biden.and secutary state Madam Hillary Clinton.this is a time of REBUILDING AMERICA FORWARD FOREVER
    G-D BLESS THE USA

    July 30, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  8. SugarKube

    This is the best the DNC has? A disgraced, impeached, pervert ex. president. Things must be desperate over at the DNC.

    July 30, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  9. Norma Vessels

    Two really great Presidents, together. What could be better in Politics? The Democrats winning back the House, and keeping a larger majority in the Senate! And, President Obama with a huge lead win in November!

    July 30, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  10. tpbco

    Figures, a failed IMPEACHED president will once again be the darling of the dimocrats. One not only IMPEACHED for perjury and obstruction of justice, but also disbarred from his home state....over the sexual predation of an intern, only 3 years older than his teenage daughter.

    Kinda makes you PROUD to be a dimcrat...eh?

    Now we will ALL wait fro the liberals to point out a failing of a republican, THUS demonstrating their hypocrisy.

    July 30, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  11. petemg

    Does this prove Obama is the Manchurian Candidate and Clinton allowed Obama to be president. Clinton has wanted one world government and he is doing great in doing so. Obama is quickly bankrupting America as he bows to China. Oh my and so many people do not want to or cannot see. Much of this was foretold in the Book of Revelation. Soon people's eyes will be open and then it will be too late to see what happens because it will all be socialistic. Kind of what Obama studied in college. Was it American history or the history of Hitler's Germany.

    July 30, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. John

    Hm. Obama's policies produce a sluggish recovery (and that's a kind assessment), and the "Blame Bush!" line is wearing thin after more than three years and more than double the spending that Bush produced at his highest spending levels... so the DNC wants to haul out a popular, charismatic surrogate who worked in a bipartisan way... someone whose presence brings to mind recollections of better days with a better economy. Seems like a smart, if cynical, tactic.

    Not sure that it will work, since it could very easily produce comparisons between Clinton and Obama... and those comparisons will not make Obama look good.

    July 30, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  13. Daveinil

    It's kind of like the Wizard of Oz. Good old likeable Bill's out in front of the curtain firing up the faithful while Obama hides behind it avoiding his terrible record.

    July 30, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. Nietodarwin

    Hurrah!!! Remember this guy,he left us a balanced budget, left us an economy that wasn't in shambles, before the liars stole the White House? GO BILL

    July 30, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
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