Ryan praises Clinton over Obama
September 5th, 2012
03:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan praises Clinton over Obama

Adel, Iowa (CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan suggested Bill Clinton was a better president than Barack Obama at a rally in Iowa Wednesday, the same day the former president is to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.

The Republican vice presidential nominee continued to make the case Wednesday that Americans are not better off than they were four years ago or when Clinton held office prior to the economic recession.

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"We are going to hear from President Clinton tonight in Charlotte. My guess is we will get a great rendition of how good things were in the 1990s but we're not going to hear much about how things have been in the last four years," Ryan said.

Ryan made the claim that unlike Obama, Clinton worked with Republicans in Congress, including the Wisconsin lawmaker who has served in the House of Representatives since 1998.

"President Clinton worked with Republicans in Congress to have a budget agreement, to cut spending. President Obama - a gusher of new spending and only demagoguery from those of us who have offered solutions," he said.

The vice presidential hopeful acknowledged that Obama did "inherit a tough situation" when he came into office but Ryan has said his policies have only made the situation worse.

"President Obama came in with a very tough jobs crisis, one we still have, and he muscled through with one party control. His answer, a $1 trillion borrowing binge, which was a huge government spending spree that they called the stimulus," he said. "And then he quickly turned to and focused all of his attention and his effort and his energies on a partisan government takeover of our health care system."

Ryan also borrowed a line of attack from running mate Mitt Romney when he accused Obama of rolling back welfare reform, one of Clinton's signature bipartisan achievements. Republicans have pushed the claim that Obama waived the work requirement for welfare but independent fact checkers have said it is false.

The rally in Adel was Ryan's third event in the Hawkeye State since he joined the Republican ticket nearly a month ago. Adel is part of Dallas County that GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain won in 2008. Tuesday's rally in Cedar Rapids is part of Linn County that Obama won in 2008 with 60% of the vote.

Iowa, the state that launched Obama in early 2008 and helped him win a decisive victory on Election Day, is now up for grabs and both campaigns are fiercely competing for the six electoral votes.

The neighboring Wisconsin-native made his Midwestern appeal to the people standing outside the Dallas County Courthouse.

"I feel like I just parachuted into my own home," said Ryan. "I mean you drive five miles that way it looks like five miles from my house."


Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Paul Ryan
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Ryan can't mention GW Bush , so he has to praise Clinton for his job 12 years ago.

    The little runner boy needs to put on his high tops !

    September 5, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Oh, dear. Paul Ryan IS NOT general election ready at all, is he? How is this for a come back: Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan.

    See Paul. We can all play sandbox politics. But, I wonder: Does it help the country ... or has your campaign become so bogged down now that antics are all that is left to the once Grand Old Party?

    And might your own willingness to go along with Mr. Cantor, Mr. McConnell, and your other Inauguration Day luncheon playmates to "make Mr. Obama a one term President" now cloud your own judgement as to whom worked with whom?

    There are hours of video ready to be pulled up at a moments notice ... be a dear and start playing with facts, OK?

    September 5, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. WILLARD MILTON ROMNEY IS A COWARD & TAX EVADER

    Blah blah blah. Let's make this clear. President Obama inherited a crisis unlike anything that we've ever witnessed in our lifetime. Period! As far as President Clinton goes Paul, he's edorsing the President and not your ticket. You must've not seen the latest Obama ad starring President Clinton. Come up with some more lies.

    September 5, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Joan in MS

    "I feel like I just parachuted into my own home," said Ryan. "I mean you drive five miles that way it looks like five miles from my house."

    Wonder if lyin' Ryan can see Russia from his house too?

    September 5, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Does he know what ticket he's running on?

    September 5, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. REG in AZ

    "Forked tongue" and "tricky lipped" Ryan, there is no end to what he will say, to what he will try.

    September 5, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. sonny chapman

    This guy just keeps going on & on & on. He's in love w/his own voice.

    September 5, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. REG in AZ

    The typical questions and the jobs report fail to take into account the total picture and as such can lead to a biased conclusion. People are better off today because the downslide is ending and the recovery has begun. People are better off today because Obama took over after Bush-Cheney blew through the surplus given them by Clinton, after Bush-Cheney strarted the dynamically growing deficit by totally focusing on the interests of the 1% and irresponsibly ignoring the interests of the 99%, after Bush-Cheney brought this country to several crisis points in several areas with the costly exploitation by the few, allowed by permissive politicians and rationalized as "conservative", with Obama having effectively minimized the downslide by responsibly responding to the problems over the Republicans' arrogant faulting and stubborn blocking, as they put their political ambitions and the serving of their masters, "the money", above any concern for the costs to the people. The people are better off today because we didn't have the likes of Romney-Ryan in charge who would focus on serving the 1% and just say "let the rest fail".

    September 5, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Ken in MD

    Yes Clinton was better than Obama, and both are far better than Romney. They moved the country forward. Republicans have moved the country backwards.

    September 5, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    why didnt they mention "W"? he was their potus for 8 years! a video tribute instead? he's not dead! my god, lyin ryan is at it again!

    September 5, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. mikle

    Obama inherited a crisis,Yes ,but he promises --debt1/2, jobs,jobs, a more bla-bla-bla. Empty promises, this is where is problem.

    September 5, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Hey Ryan! Read my text: GEORGE W. BUSH!

    September 5, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Lilli

    Ryan the liar is at it again!!!

    September 5, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Yanni

    You Republican was kind to Clinton when he was in power we remember that, Lyin. We could have been on the top of the moon if he had implemented fully his successful ideas. You staled our progress thank you for the reminder though we will listen from the man himself this evening.

    September 5, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Vic of New York

    Am I better off than I was four years ago? Hell, Yeah!!

    Am I making less money today than I would be making had it not been for Bush-League George and the Republicans? You better believe that too.

    Thanks to George Jr. I saw the seniors and deal makers of Wall Street engorge their pockets while the rest of us worked rediculous hours under intense pressure just to keep our jobs. Thanks to George Jr. and the Republicans, I saw thousands of desirable IT jobs go to India, Russia and China – it wasn't just manufacturing.

    Have we come back from the brink? No. Will we ever? I don't know. What I DO know is that it won't be on "Richie Rich" Mitt Romney's watch if I have any say in it; and that I will never vote for a Repugnican again.

    September 5, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. lnd72

    @Thomas – Huh? I don't think GW is speaking at the Democratic convention...

    September 5, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. BlkPwr817

    The faster we get to November, the faster we can get rid of this guy. His fellow citizens of Jaineville wont even ride with him because of his LIES that they know to be untrue. I believe he's LIED so much that he's hurt his chances for 2016. Hate to say it, but Palin was LIGHT YEARS ahead of this guy.

    September 5, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. cali girl

    RAyn and Robmey will be Duby 2.0. No thanks, no one wants to go back to that.

    September 5, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It will be a double treat for me this evening watching my favorite nun Sister Campbell do her thing up on the podium, and seeing if Bill Clinton will be able to pull off the most delicate balancing act of his political career when he delivers his speech.
    And no, absolutely NOT at all concerned that Bill – whose time was bright, but alas is now gone – will overshadow President Barack Hussein Obama. Here's what some of you willfully ignore: we KNOW who the current President is. We know who is in charge. We've listened to his cadence, his cool calm and "collectedness" at a time when hell was breaking loose (auto industry nearing-collapse, Wall street running amok, and jobs flying out of every open orifice), and when business was quietly being handled unbeknownst to us (the elimination of bin Laden).
    Our President has proven over and over, and over again that he is capable of making the tough decisions; handling with aplomb the so-called "3 a.m. phone calls"; and dealing with the greedy, selfish and unpatriotic Tea Bag Brigade that now comprises the New Party Before Country GOP.
    Bill would do well to lend his voice and support to our President and not tarnish his reputation, nor riisk the wrath of the millions upon millions that stand in full support of President Obama.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    September 5, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. david from washington state

    its funny that paul ryan blast obama about stimulus and in fact, ryan voted yes, Y-E-S for stimulus and his state gets billion of dollars...

    September 5, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    By the Lyin' Ryan show me TWO things:
    Herman's tax returns for the past 8 years and George "The Shrub" Bush campaigning alongside you and Herman.
    Yeah, thought so little boy.

    September 5, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Thomas

    @lnd72
    @Thomas – Huh? I don't think GW is speaking at the Democratic convention...

    Nor is Ryan !

    September 5, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    10 Trillion from 2001-2008 was ok and fair is fair for conservatives.

    Why did it take damn near 8 years for all of you fiscal conservatives to get so 'enraged' ? why ?

    2001-2002– Two tax cuts for the upper 1% – 4 TRILLION over 10 years.
    Prescription drug plan – 1 TRILLION over 10 years.
    Iraq and Afghan wars – 2 TRILLION – winding down due to the President getting us out of Iraq.
    WORST economic meltdown since depression 2007-2008 – 3 TRILLION and growing due to fall out.

    Thats 10 TRILLION under Bush.

    Do any of you conservatives stop and think of WHY and how we got here ?

    Can blame Clinton...he left after creating 20+ million jobs and money in thje Bank.

    Can't blame the President..we were sitting at 10 Trillion and counting with the house FULLY engulfed in flames January 2009.

    I know my post probably 'stings' for some of you,but those are the facts. Republicans wrecked the car and wrapped it around a tree in a ditch,but want me to believe they're now sober enough to drive.

    In the last 30 years, I've gotten 8 years of Reagan spending us into star wars oblivion,raised taxes at least 13,14 times. Bush 1 getting us into a war and a recession, and Bush II getting us into TWO wars and near fatal depression.

    BUT.........it's all Obamas fault the RNC tells me. SMGDH.............

    September 5, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That should've read: " By the way Lyin' Ryan show me TWO things". Pardon.

    September 5, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @lnd72
    @Thomas – Huh? I don't think GW is speaking at the Democratic convention...

    September 5, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
    **********************************************************************************************************************************
    He isn't. But note team Romney invokes Reagan and not Bush(43) if the country, allegedly, is better off under GOP leadership. They're going all the way back to 1981 to find inspiration? What, Dubya isn't good enough for them?

    September 5, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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