Clinton in close contact with Obama camp as he writes convention speech
Former President Bill Clinton speaking at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
September 5th, 2012
01:14 AM ET
2 years ago

Clinton in close contact with Obama camp as he writes convention speech

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton is writing his own speech for the Democratic National Convention and is expected to show it to the Obama campaign before delivering it Wednesday night, sources close to Clinton told CNN.

A spokeswoman with President Barack Obama's campaign said Tuesday staffers had not yet seen Clinton's speech, but had no qualms about what he would say.

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"President Clinton has been in close contact with the campaign, he's working on his remarks, and when he's done I'm sure we'll see them," Obama campaign press secretary Jen Psaki said. "We have absolute confidence about what he's going to say. Who better to deliver a message to the American people about the choice between Obama and Romney-Ryan?"

Clinton is speaking at the convention at the request of Obama, who called the former president to ask him, a source with knowledge of the conversation said.

Four years ago, Clinton showed the text of his convention speech to the Obama campaign before delivering. Earlier that year, his wife, now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had been locked in a long and bitter primary battle against Obama.

Democrats are confident Clinton can help woo voters who remember a healthy economy that existed during his administration. Clinton remains the most popular ex-president, and his wife gets consistently high marks for her performance in Obama's administration.

But Clinton doesn't always stay on message when advocating for Obama, including in May when he called Mitt Romney's business career "sterling" in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan.

In the interview, Clinton said there was no question Romney was capable of performing the "essential functions" of the presidency, adding: "The man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold."

Romney's campaign has used the clip in promoting its candidate, and recently launched a website, sterlingbusinesscareer.com, that highlights the GOP presidential nominee's economic credentials.

And Clinton's convention speeches haven't all been home runs. His speech introducing 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis was panned for being long-winded and boring, though his remarks as a presidential nominee were more warmly received.

The relationship between Obama and Clinton remained frosty long after the 2008 Democratic primary contest.

Obama and the former president seemed to repair their relationship following the 2010 midterm elections, which gave Democrats a drubbing and allowed Republicans to take control of the House of Representatives.

Clinton stars in a television spot for the Obama campaign, drawing a comparison between the president's economic plan and the measures proposed by his GOP rivals.

"This is a clear choice. The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper income people and go back to deregulation. That's what got us in trouble in the first place," Clinton says in the ad. "President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up, investing in innovation, education, and job training. It only works if there is a strong middle class."

He later adds: "That's what happened when I was president. We need to keep going with his plan."

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Bernard obryant

    Hmmm interesting what clinton going to write about picking at oil co profit or taxing the rich it didnt help him get reelected it didnt help jimmy carter it will not help barack he just going to have to pray to god i hope he still do

    September 5, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  2. AJ

    I would vote for Bill in a heart beat. Not for Barack though

    September 5, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  3. bipartisan77

    He should be the First Gentleman right now alongside President Rodham Clinton. Too bad the corrupt Chicago machine cheated its way through the caucuses. Funny how Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Texas primary but lost the Texas caucus. Perhaps if primaries were held nationwide, the story would've been different and we wouldn't be sitting here with buyer's remorse. Such a shame. We needed Hillary to lead this nation, not a man barely out of the Illinois state Senate.

    September 5, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  4. FedUp

    Yeah, because he doesn't want to mess up again like he did when he said Romney had a stellar business career, along with several other things. Toe that party line Mr. Clinton! Don't want to say anything that will get you taken to the woodshed again.

    September 5, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    I can not wait to watch him today. Our way out is bill......

    September 5, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |