December 18th, 2007
10:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton: George H.W. Bush will help President Hillary

Bill Clinton said former president George H.W. Bush will help fix damage done to America's reputation by his son, George W. Bush.

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president - Bush's son, George W. Bush.

"Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again," Clinton said in response to a question from a supporter about what his wife's "number one priority" would be as president.

A spokesman for the George H. W. Bush said Tuesday afternoon the former president supports his son's foreign policy and has "never discussed an ‘around-the-world-mission’ with either former President Bill Clinton or Sen. Clinton." (Click here for the full statement)

Clinton and the elder Bush, rivals in the 1992 presidential election, have grown chummy in recent years, often traveling and appearing at public events together. In 2005, they started a charity to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

UPDATE: The Republican National Committee issued this statement in response to Clinton's comments:

"In 2009, a Republican president will be working with our friends and allies abroad to continue to keep our nation safe," said RNC spokesman Danny Diaz. "The American people expect our leaders - both current and former - to present serious solutions to the very real challenges confronting our nation."

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (836 Responses)
  1. Jon, Memphis TN

    Wow, I think this is great – for Bush Sr. to be a good ex-Pres rather than a Daddy – that shows some real leadership. Go Hillary go! We need you, Girl, the guys have f'd it all up!

    December 18, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. Joe Smith, Milwaukee, WI

    Nice to see the Clinton machine at work again. Bush Sr. will tour with Bill to spread goodwill across the world again.

    Bush Sr. can't really come out here and say he won't support America and the next president (no matter who that may be), that would sound foolish. Therefore it is tough for him to refute this. If he does come out and comment, he may end up looking bad and uncooperative. If he doesn't come out and comment, it will appear that he agrees with the Clintons and agrees that his son messed up the country somehow.

    Bill, while an awful President, was and is still a great polititian! Kudos Bill! Unfortunately for Hillary, Hillary Clinton is no Bill Clinton.

    By the way, what ever happened to Hillary Rodham Clinton. I guess she wants to give up her individuality when it suits her and can more closely associate herself with a "winner". If she is elected, I'm sure that it will be "Hillary Rodham Clinton" again.

    December 18, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Dave, Blackfoot Idaho

    What is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular. I think we should be worried about being right and not popular.

    December 18, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. MadMonk

    That's her first priority?!
    I can hear her telling Bill now: "Oh, nevermind with keeping up the pressure on Islamic terrorists, just you and Mr. Bush go make nice with the nations that abandoned us in our time of need."

    That woman as president would be the downfall of this nation.

    December 18, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Cindy, Melbourne, FL

    I think I should run for Presdident. Here's my list:

    1. Public healthcare to everyone who wants it. (Private healthcare still available to those who choose it).

    2. Eliminate welfare. You don't work, you don't eat. Need a job? Protect our borders.

    3. Illegal and wanting citizenship? Sign up for 5 years active duty. You make it to the end, then you've earned your citizenship.

    4. Free Algebra tutoring to all middle and highschoolers. Once you make it past that class, you can do anything.

    5. Free college or technical training for everybody. Everyone should be enabled to be a contributing citizen.

    6. Up the taxes on luxury items and legalize pot. Payoff the national debt.

    7. Free childcare to everyone who need it or want it. Educate those little ones...not just babysit them.

    8. As a govermnet, help ourselves before helping other countries. We've got our own problems. Stay out of other countries business unless we have HARD evidence to prove their aggression. Make that evidence public. Then take out the bastards.

    9. Develop other alternatives to gas fueled autos. Come on folks, we don't need to be hostage to other people's oil.

    10. Stop buying so much Chineese crap. We don't need it. Stop being so materialistic. Give Wal-Mart an incentive to sell American Made items like they used to. Let's face it, Wal-Mart gets most of the business from most Americans, so let's buy American made products. Shop at Target more often. The lines aren't as long.

    11. Bring our jobs back from Mexico. Giving them our jobs hasn't worked in keeping them inside their own borders. Either buy Mexico or close it off completely.

    December 18, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. WT, Las Vegas Nv

    We ain't going to have to worry about this scumbag (Clinton) going anywhere representing this country again. Cuz his token wife ain't going to sit in the oval office...EVER!

    December 18, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Ted Smerekanich Phoenix, Az

    What a joke.They forgot one. I"M sure that peanut picker, Jimmy Carter, will want to join this troop also, as I sure his spouse will go to at taxe payers expense. These four, Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, Carter are all cut from the same cloth. They are out to destroy the US as we know it. Carter, the Iranian fiasco and the Panama Canal; Bush Sr. new world order, and his comment that if the American people new what we where doing, they would run us out of town; Clinton giving away our military secrets to the Chinse(they were not given away, they where paid for); Bush Jr. North American Union: opens borders: keeping Border Patrolman in jail while pardoning other drug trafficers and other low life. And lastbut not least, Bush Jr. saying that the constitution is just a piece of G– D- paper. If anybody can see any difference, please let me know.

    December 18, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Frank, Lancaster Pennsylvania

    This is what really disturbs me about our media. The article states "to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president, Bush's son, George W. Bush."
    Did he really damage our reputation? George W. Bush did nothing more than fulfill his obligation of protecting the best interests of the USA. The political opposition along and the media are the one's responsible for the damage to our reputation. They both believe that the public disparagement of our President and Country is acceptable. Sorry, they are responsible because they are irresponsible! If you are going to fix anything Bill Clinton, fix that!

    December 18, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Robb, PA

    Does this surprise anyone? Bush was doing insane stuff towards the end of his term as President. Why not continue. I will give piece of credit, at least they have a republican in place to work with the dems on this issue. I still wonder why we care so much about how we are viewed in the world? We need to worry about the displeasure our own people have with the government first.

    December 18, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Jerod, Johnson City, TX

    There is so much hypocrisy in this world today it makes realize the end has to be near.

    Bill is the last person that needs to go around trying to repair any reputation unless it's his own. It's like letting Roger Clemens going to speak to youngsters on how his work-out regiment is the sole reason for his late success.

    December 18, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Mark, Dallas, TX

    This man's audacity knows no bounds! I'm sure he checked with former President Bush before making this statement....NOT! Thanks to Perot, this man's presidencies were an accident of history. His administration's policies emboldened terrorists around the world by looking the other way for 8 years while our embassies, naval ships and the WTC (twice)were hit. His military policies, with the help of Congress, gutted our military and its readiness and it cost us dearly. The last thing we need is his incompetent, socialist leaning wife in the WH and him out on a dog and pony show to "repair our image in the world". Providing leadership is hard and not popular most of the time. The poll driven, finger in the air strategy the Clinton's used in the 90s is a scary thought in the world we live today.


    December 18, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Tillie, Salt Lake City, UT

    Let's see -
    1. Clinton is well respected on the world stage.
    2. Bush Jr. is despised but Bush Sr. isn't.

    However, can Bush Sr. overcome the "Bush" name and the negative feelings against it to be a positive force? Can Clinton's likability and world-respect help get Bush Sr. past all that disapproval?

    All in all, these two working together might be a new type of "ambassadors" appointment, but it could have a positive effect. I think the one stumbling block they're going to have to overcome, and it won't be easy, is the fact that Bush Sr. is Bush Jr.'s daddy. I doubt if anyone will be able to "forget" that Junior is in the White House and what the name "Bush" has come to represent.

    December 18, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Leo, Mesa Arizona

    I still see too much senseless negativity toward Hillary/Bill here. Honestly, it doesn't help the situation. Many of you know plenty about politics, so please, use your knowledge to show the public why we should not vote for Hillary. Write professionally! That will go much further than calling Hillary or Bill derogatory names. Barack Obama and his wife are intelligent, educated, and dedicated. I honestly believe they are a much better choice to represent the democratic party. Go to the website and learn about their ideas and goals. GO OBAMA!!! Thank you.

    December 18, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Ron, Az

    Hurray for George Bush sr. Maybe if the people around the world see him trying to clean up Bush JRs mess, they will not blame the rest of Americans for the trouble Jr has got this country in. Thank yoy Mr. Presidents

    December 18, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Tommy, Edison New Jersey

    This country does need help repairing its reputation abroad. There is a misconception that America's Americans are god loving world hating people. WE AMERICANS NEED A LEADER who is good at keeping the peace, not another one who is bad at planning a war.

    December 18, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Daniel Cook, North Bend, Oregon

    Though I know the libearl media will never let this happen it seems to me the only real change would be to elect Ron Paul. The rest of these characters are the same old politicians. NO MORE BUSHES NO MORE CLINTONS!!

    December 18, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. trent porter, tx

    lets hope hillary doesn't EVER reach the whitehouse. the last thing we need is another clinton whitehouse, lets get some fresh clean blood leadership, lets get Ron Paul!

    December 18, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. RonPaulOrBust

    Can there be any doubt that the two-party system is a sham?

    The real two-party system in this country is that between the haves and the have-nots. The Bush-Clinton dynasty represent the haves and the have-nots are the majority of Americans.

    Vote Ron Paul if you want to end this tyranny of the elite classes.

    December 18, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Micky, Canada

    Bill Clinton is brillant. He is not obsessed with party politics- just policy.
    Reagan and Clinton were the only two presidents in the last 50 years to work with the other party as well.

    December 18, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Richard, South Bend, IN

    what a joke. does anyone honestly believe GB senior would go around the world "fixing" all the "problems" created by his son? why would he legitimize the clintons' claims that george junior has ruined America's global image?

    nice try willy . . .

    December 18, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. Richard, Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Don't be so quick to dismiss Bill Clinton's comments of himself and papa Bush teaming up to do a world tour if Hilldabeast gets elected.
    There is an under current that has been going on between the Bush and Clinton families for a few years now, and there are ties between them that are far more important to them than papa protecting his kid's reputation.

    If Americans only knew 1/10th of what goes on between the power brokers in our country/world, they would puke.

    December 18, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Kyda Sylvester, Auburn CA

    I have the perspective of 60+ years and can tell you that America's "standing" in the world, moral or otherwise, has always been a mixed bag of love, hate, envy, fear and need regardless of who sits in the White House. If the world leaders of his time regarded Bill Clinton with a certain affection, it's only because he was obsequious on the world stage and willing always (or so it seemed) to apologize on behalf of the US (and us) for our perceived past, present and future "sins". WJC also was far more likely to bow to international pressure than his successor. All of you who need the rest of the world to love us should get over it because it's not going to happen and it won't matter who the new president-elect sends out to declare "American open for business again". And does anyone actually think George HW Bush would agree to a "goodwill" tour that would denigrate and undermine his own son, the sitting President?? Get a grip. An increasingly desperate Bubba is just blowing more of his customary smoke. The act is old and isn't selling so well anymore.

    December 18, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Rob Gold Oswego, Il.

    Just what we need Bill Clinton useing Air Force One as a PIMP MOBILE. How much will he charge for rides ? The last time the Clintons had control of AIR FORCE ONE it cost the tax payers $78 million dollars over 8 years. Thats more than every president combined in history. Maybe Bill can team up with Jimmy Carter and call it THE APOLOGY TOUR.

    December 18, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. Eric, San Diego, CA

    At the end of Bush's term, we will have had either a Bush or a Clinton in the White House for **20 CONSECUTIVE YEARS**. That LAST thing this country needs is another Bush or Clinton, i.e. Hillary Clinton, in the White House for 8 MORE years. This country needs to elect someone other than Clinton, and someone other than a neo-conservative war monger!

    December 18, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Clusterbuster, Chicago IL

    I thought plastic surgery was supposed to make you look better?

    Perhaps Bill sent her to a bad surgeon because the last thing he wants is to see his wife in office having a shot at a better legacy than he hopes for. Remember, It’s ALWAYS all about Billy. Last week in a speech about her he mentioned himself like 27 times and Hillary 3 times.

    The only upside from Billy’s standpoint is with her as president it would be easier to advance his continuing attempt at revising history concerning his tenure in the Oval Orifice.

    December 18, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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