Ryan praises Clinton over Obama
September 5th, 2012
03:33 PM ET
6 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. Luke Brown

    Why would Romney pick this guy? He is cute in a quirky sort of way, but seems to have very little substance beyond Grover Norquist's and teh Tea Party's "talking points".

    The lying business really scares me.

    It is hard to believe that someone in his position would "forget" to list two years' worth of trust fund income ... only to remember it when the news media started suggesting him as a VP nominee.

    September 5, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Ryan and Company: " Our guy wrecked the country SO BAD, we have to prop a Democrat we used to hate almost with the same bitterness as the current democratic President."

    Who is advising these guys ? Thanks ! Just remind us of how good we had it under Clinton and the deomocrats. Just remind us all how BAD and I mean BAAAAAAAD of a job George W. Bush did.

    Are they serious ? Did we fall in a time warp and 2001-2008 never happen ?

    September 5, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. TrumanTown

    Of course he liked it when Clinton was President. He could still claim a three-minute marathon time back then. And let me tell you about his Medicare plan...

    September 5, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Pennsylvanian

    So, let me get this straight. Ryan is praising the guy (President Clinton) who is going to praise and endorse Obama tonight at the convention. Romney needs to keep a tighter leash on Lyin' Ryan.

    September 5, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    I tell this idiot in plain English, yes, I am much better off now than four years ago. Understand, idiot. No war, health care pass, fin. Reg. reform pass, stocks are holding great, GM alive, Bin Laden dead. OK,

    September 5, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. v_mag

    Lyin' Ryan has an 8 year hole right in the middle of his history. Paulie, there was a guy named Bush in there, and he is the one who destroyed the country. President Obama has begun putting it all back together, in case you haven't noticed.

    Ryan reminds me of the kid who, when asked about fighting with his brother, said, "It all started when he hit me back." There is a lot of history skipped in every statement Ryan makes, and it is absolutely essential to remember the damage Bush did in order to understand where we are now.

    Of course, Lyin' Ryan and all the other racist Repugs know very well that we're still coming out of the Bush nightmare. That's why there was nary a mention of him at the convention. "Pay no attention to the Bush behind the curtain..."

    September 5, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. BLKMANinAmerica

    Intresting how saltines want to always appear as if they stick together!

    September 5, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    By the way, very much enjoyed Gov. Patrick Deval's speech last night, and Ted Strickland's gloriously refreshingly CANDID interview after his speech last night.
    He called Romney a liar without equivocation nor hesitation.He also stated that he'd seen "this gamebook before" in regards to the racism that has seeping closer and closer to the surface of the Republicans
    Wish more Democraps would speak thusly.

    September 5, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |


    Really liked Devals speech,but if anyone saw former OH Governor Kirklands speech.....man he REALLY went in on Romney. If that were a street fight Romney would have been TKO'd.

    He pulled noooo punches. Very underrated as well IMO.

    September 5, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    It's so easy to go from Clinton to George W. Bush. Then from Clinton=Obama; Bush=Romney. Dems. say Thank You Paul Ryan

    September 5, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. BLKMANinAmerica

    This from a well known repuk LIER. Were listening what was that again Ryan?

    September 5, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. kayla

    mr. gremlin you are a liar

    September 5, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. g

    and bush took the surplus and did what–where is bush stashed

    September 5, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Where are our reliable posters who weigh in with Fox news tidbits and talking points so regularly ?

    Could it be that Ryans argument highlights how terrible W. was ?

    I mean how can you defend 2001-2008 ?

    Tax cuts 2001-2002 – 4 TRILLION over 10 years
    Prescription drug program – 1 TRILLION over 10 years
    Iraq and Afghan war – 2 TRILLION
    2007-2008 Econominc DISASTER 3 TRILLION and counting due to fall out we are currently going through.

    Yes Mr Ryan.....You remind of how good things were when we had a democratic president.

    Why thank you. Thank you very much.

    September 5, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. g

    clinton was before bushjr. off the books profit wars

    September 5, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. first

    Republicans are the blame for 12 years of American Opposition and Paul Ryan was around for 14 of the 12 years and only have a problem with last four anyone wonder why?

    September 5, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. myviewis

    Just the fact that President Clinton was asked to vouch for President Obama is evidence that the Democrats know that things with Clinton were good in the 90's and people were pleased with Clinton's job performance and are using him to push Obama because Obama's job performance is not good.

    September 5, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. don in albuquerque

    Bush lied and thousands died, yet he still goes unpunished. Wanna go for two. Lyin Ryan, and Mitt the Twit. One is dangerous, and the other is embarrasing.

    September 5, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    September 5, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |

    Just the fact that President Clinton was asked to vouch for President Obama is evidence that the Democrats know that things with Clinton were good in the 90's and people were pleased with Clinton's job performance and are using him to push Obama because Obama's job performance is not good.

    September 5, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |


    Again...if Clinton left us in such good shape, what happened between 2001-2008 ?

    How is it that Clinton leave us with a surplus,no wars, and a healthy job market to end up with $10 TRILLION in debt, two wars off the books and a $4 TRILLION tax cut for the UBER rich, a $1 TRILLION presrciption drug plan, and $3 TRILLION wall street meltdown by the start of 2009, but somehow this fact be ignored by Ryan and yourself ?

    Are you and Ryan making the argument that at a cost of $10 TRILLION of your and my tax dollars that this all came to be in January 2009 ?

    September 5, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes we're referring to the same two guys. I caught part of former Ohio Governor Strickland's speech. Fiery, direct, and very clear as to why we owed our support to President Obama.

    September 5, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. Credibility

    Lyin' Ryan sadly repeats the government takeover lie (see Politifact) and other nonsense while desperately trying to be divisive between President Obama and Clinton. It won't work.

    September 5, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Chenna

    I find this whole praising Clinton thing by Repubs fascinating. They spent a good part of the man's term in office trying to stop him from putting those policies through. Now they are embracing him and his policies. However, since Obama wants to impose some of those same policies, Repubs are against it. Politics at work.

    September 5, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. w l jones

    What you done lately for the America people?

    September 5, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Jeremy

    Reason why Romney won't release tax returns? Million Dollar Dancing Horse was "Legitimate Medical therapy" for Mrs. Romney, listed as million dollar tax deduction?

    September 5, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. Taylor



    Very true that Obama does not inspire confidence as does Clinton. Obama needs to and should have already changed directions to the center. Clinton was adept and changing course and shifting gears into fiscal discipline and economic growth when the GOP took the House while in office (and it worked incredibly well). Obama's whole strategy now is just slander Romney which most likely will not work since he has led a very clean life. If there is no outward and significant tack to the center from Obama the grand experiment will be over in November.

    September 5, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |


    RECORD number of filibusters. RECORD !

    Open a history book or two and read it.

    Clinton and Congress founght but they met in the middle and made us prosperous. Taxes and welfare reform. I had a double major and one was history so I could teach it to you if you like. Texas history might be intersting for you since it looks like you are transplant – your Obama might as well be mexican pesos in Texas.

    September 5, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. Thomas

    Just the fact that President Clinton was asked to vouch for President Obama is evidence that the Democrats know that things with Clinton were good in the 90's and people were pleased with Clinton's job performance and are using him to push Obama because Obama's job performance is not good.


    Romney could have asked GW Bush to speek
    They could have used the help to pop the balloons at the end !

    Your logic is always Fox eccentric !

    In regards to your comment about the Catholic nuns, this ones on the house .

    3 days ago – In his last interview, an Italian cardinal condemns the Roman Catholic Church as 200 years behind and needing radical transformation.

    September 5, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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