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. R Norris, NYC, NY

    Yea Right. Once they have lined thier pockets with the soul of America.

    December 18, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Vanessa Edwards Foster

    That's a vaguely ominous post-script coming from the RNC. Basically, he's saying RNC will do the opposite and say the damage should remain. So we should expect the "R" neo-cons to continue the arms-length relations and hegemonic hard line?

    December 18, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Somers Point

    Oh? Since when is it President Hillary? Did I miss something here or is someone being a little presumptuous?

    December 18, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Daniel O

    Hillary is the best qualified to be president and Bill and Bush are the best in America to restore Americas badly damaged foreign policy. Jeb Bush will be the best qualified for presidency in 2012. At least that's the way Bill and Hillary see things.

    December 18, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Ken, Suitland MD

    Hey Ted from Phoenix: that's right, the current direction of this country isn't far-right enough! Why don't you run for president? I'm sure you would protect the "US as we know it". Ted for president! Heil Ted!

    December 18, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Bob, LA CA

    This is for all the people voting on bases of color and gender. I'm black I'm voting for Obama not because he's partial black, it's because he's ready to go to work and make a change for the postive in a country that really needs that know. I'f you vote for Hillary because she's a woman or a canidate because there a republican or democrate only then your continuing to run this country in to the ground. Pity people voted for two terms of Bush and look where we are. I'm not saying vote for Obama I'm saying vote for the right leader leave the prejudice, bigotry and devisevness alone, lets get it right this time.

    December 18, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Micahel Guinn, Ventura, CA

    Father of the king helping HRC- Now if THAT doesn't send shivers down your backside, nothing will! Same old same old- TIME FOR CHANGE! OBAMA 08!

    December 18, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Max, Springfield, MA

    Who determines what America’s image in the world is? America’s image is tarnished for having the guts to break the back of international terrorism (which Clinton allowed to fester) and bring democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq? As I recall, America’s image was also tarnished in the 80s when Reagan defeated world communism (which Clinton also allowed to fester.) Shouldn’t the world be a little more worried about Iran and Korean Nukes? Russia’s deterioration into fascism? Chinese designs on Taiwan? Of course not; only pro-Americans and Patriots would concern themselves with such things. I have a better idea: the world had better try to improve its image in the eyes of America!

    December 18, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Eric, Irvine, Ca

    The real question is whether President Huckabee will want to send them on this mission or not.

    December 18, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Micahel Guinn, Ventura, CA

    The father of the current king helping HRC get our allies back- Uh, NO!
    It's time for CHANGE!
    OBAMA 08!

    December 18, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. gary, LA, CA

    Jesse stated: "Hillary is more like Bush than Bill (Pro-War, Pro-Corporation")

    Jesse – just where were you during the 90's. Remember NAFTA? Enron? GX? The corporate fraud and accounting scandals? The resulting economic crash in early 2000 that cost millions of Americans their jobs, health insurance and life savings. War? Genocide? Remember those 984 cruise missiles Bill launched? Those 5 named campaigns in Iraq? Kosovo (which Carter and Mandela condemned)? The complacency over Rwanda (800,000 dead)? Over the DR Congo (4 1/2 million dead)? Afghanistan taken over by the Taliban - remember all the activists groups and TV specials ....."Save Afghanistan"? Remember Clinton's historic as President to tackle the HIV/Aids pandemic in Africa - oh sorry, that is President George Bush.

    Save Darfur? noble enough. There was no save Rwanda, save the DR Congo, Save Afghanistan, Save Sierra Leone, Save Iraq - Why? The only thing the media wanted to save was Clinton's legacy - so we don't talk about the tens of millions who died, or will die because of his self serving leadership.

    December 18, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. C Senal Chicago IL

    If any Bush helps Hilary I will not even consider voting for her. That's pathetic Mr. Clinton.

    December 18, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Jimbo, Catalina Island, CA

    Doesn't this guy know when to shut up? He already sunk Gore's chance for prez in 2000 with his ways and now it looks like he's sunk his wife's chance.

    Consider this: BC could possibly be the only representative of the entire '60s liberal movement that made it to the White House. The WWII gen had almost every prez from Eisenhower to Bush Sr.

    December 18, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |


    December 18, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Josh, South Carolina

    Did Hillary just lose the election because Bill opened his mouth?
    Sure looks like it.
    Well played Bill Clinton... Well played.

    December 18, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Bill, New York, New York

    to: RJP3:
    "a Republican was President for almost a year when 9/11 happened."
    – – – Actually only seven months, three weeks, but as long as you're going to make up facts, you've obviously made them up to suit your wild thesis. And, by the way, Bush didn't even have his cabinet totally in place, thanks to the Democrats.
    "A Democrat (Jimmy Carter) negotiated the release of the of the Iranian Hostages in the 1970's. (An (sic) Republicans arranged for their release to be DELAYED . . . "
    – – – You are either making up more facts, delusional, or forgot to take your medicine today.
    What a sad, pathetic group you Bush-haters are!

    December 18, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Lee, Ann Arbor, MI

    We don't need Bush Sr. and WE DON'T NEED HILLARY (OR BILL).

    Bill will do or say ANYTHING to get back in the White House.

    America, let's move on. Bill and Hillary have been living off your tax dollars long enough. They are just freeloaders with the ONLY THING ON THEIR MIND IS THAT POWER. They CARE NOTHING ABOUT YOU.

    They need to GO AWAY.

    December 18, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. san diego, ca

    What an arrogant statement ... as if Bush senior agrees his son has damaged this country's credibility ... i expect Bush senior to comment on her remarks.

    December 18, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. RD

    I find it ironic that if Hillary is going to be such a great President she needs two former Presidents to come in and do her Job. Hillary if falling apart at the seams and I hope all democrat's are watching. Hillary and Obama will be a sure loss to republicans in 08. We as democrat's that want a democrat in office need to Unite behind Edwards, Biden, or Richardson they are our only hope of a Democrat becoming President. Hillary and Obama are the two most controversial canidate's in the democratic party. They have both falled the democrat's within their own party. When you can't unite your own party you will not stand a chance in the final election. There will be democrat's that will not vote if these two are the nominee or will vote Republican. Democrat's are running scared and we should be. Hillary don't seem to be able to make a decision on her own and change's a decision to please those listening at the time. And Obama has no experience as a senator much. took office in 2005. And he still has not proved to the people if he believes in the Bible or the Koran. I will not vote for someone who has not proved He is not from muslim background To many questions unanswered. Read where his father is a muslim so I went to his website He skips alot of time in his life. We better be careful.

    December 18, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Mike, Boston, Mass

    I tired of being disappointed by both the Clintons AND the Bushs. We haven't had anyone approaching a REAL conservative in the WH since Reagan! That's why I'm voting for Duncan Hunter – FOR A CHANGE, (for the better).

    December 18, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    Note to Paul Olympia, Washington:

    Did you not notice who was reading a book about goats when the 9/11 attacks happened? You cannot in any way throw this back on Clinton, as inept as he may have been. GW was the only reason we suffered the 9/11 attacks and still are allowing our troops to be killed by terrorists every day. GWB=EVIL incarnate.

    December 18, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. 300, Ventura Country, Ca

    Bill, is assuming our image in the World needs mending, has he not looked resently at France and Germany, they have changed. You will never change a socialist view of America, but these countries silent majority love us that's why they voted Chirac and Schoerder's Gov'ts out. Just wait the same will happen in America in the end the silent majority will vote Republican, because they know they are the only ones to keep us safe from the New Russian Threat(Putin), China's military buildup and Islamofacists. P.S. socialists(current polite name, they are still really communists) will always hate America, it does not matter if they are American or Eurpoean or Asians.

    December 18, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Mike, Dearborn - MI

    The RNC is right you know, a republican present will lead the country in 2009: Ron Paul!!

    December 18, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. john smith, LA, Ca

    Gee! Then the Clintonistas really aren't in the loop. They think that global warming is man-made and the wheat shortage is an accident put together by greedy Americans to hurt other people. Oh Plese1! Stop the music.

    December 18, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Jennifer, Austin, Minnesota

    This is poor journalism. Former President Bush did not offer to help "President Hillary" nor did he comment about broken relations with other countries. However, the headline and picture are clearly meant to make the casual reader assume as much. I expect this from (or Hillary's campaign website), not CNN.

    December 18, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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