March 14th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
8 years ago

Blitzer: Echoes of 1992

The economy once again may be the dominant campaign theme.

The economy once again may be the dominant campaign theme.

(CNN) - “It’s the economy, stupid!”

That was the motto of Bill Clinton’s successful campaign back in 1992 when he challenged the incumbent President, George H. W. Bush. Campaign strategists in his war room in Little Rock, including James Carville, Paul Begala and George Stephanopolous, focused in like laser beams on the economy. They sought to drive the point home that President Bush was simply out of touch with average Americans. That strategy clearly paid off.

Now, the Democrats will try to do the same thing to John McCain. They will make the point that the Republican candidate will merely continue the basic economic strategy of President Bush. Despite McCain’s opposition to the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, they will stress that he will follow the Bush status quo.

Those Bush tax cuts are supposed to expire in 2010, but McCain now vows to make those tax cuts permanent. He says to do otherwise would see an increase in taxes – this at a time when the nation fears recession. He has pledged not to increase taxes.

But Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and their supporters will say those Bush tax cuts are geared to help the wealthy. They will argue that the wealthy don’t need more help. They are promising to help the poor and middle class.

By all accounts, the economy has emerged as issue number one in this campaign season. And the economic issues are wide-ranging. In other words, get ready for an even more intense debate on taxes, budget deficits, pork barrel spending, interest rates, free trade, illegal immigration, health care, energy costs, and the exploding national debt. The economic ramifications are enormous.

- Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Yeswecan

    Great point, Wolf. To prevent the kind of president we have in last 7 and half years, maybe we shoudl really look their school report card. Never let another person full of Cs to lead this country again.

    McCain, Hillary and Obama, dare to publish your school report cards to the public?

    March 14, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Avis, Richton Park, IL

    The democrats want to raise the taxes on wealthy americans, not all americans so lets make that clear. I think that's fair, the wealthy have gotten a free ride in this country since Bush has taken office. Hard wroking americans have lost pay and jobs constantly and it's time for the wealthy to do their part. The rich people watch their bank accounts go up while the little people are loosing their homes and their bank accounts. Yep, that's the american way!

    John McCain was one of only 2 republicans to vote against Bush's tax cuts years ago and now that he's running for president he's for making them permenant. Thanks McCain for changing your mind which ever way the wind blows!

    March 14, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. EP, Los Angeles, CA

    How do we get John Edwards back in the race? please, oh please come back!!
    Senator Edwards seemed to be the only candidate who zeroed in the important issues. He was focused and he was right.
    I will write his name in on any ballot!!

    March 14, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    The so-called "wealthy" pay 90% of the total Federal individual income tax collected in this country. How is it in any sense wrong to equalise the tax burden a bit? It's almost like the "wealthy" are considered to have committed some crime for which they're being perpetually punished.

    When you go to the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread, they don't demand to know your annual income and charge accordingly. Everyone pays the same price for the same product. Why should government be different? The "wealthy" get the same government, lousy as it is, as everyone else.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's morally unconscionable to condone ripping people off wholesale just because they make more money than you do. Contemptible!

    March 14, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. hello

    forget about Clinton’s experience what experience Obama has.

    March 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Brad

    Boy the media has finally figured this out, huh?

    March 14, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |

    The other thing this campaign reminds me of 1992 is the advisors to Clinton and Obama are veterans of Clinton's 1992 election campaign.

    March 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Sandy Hartman

    Regarding Mr. Obama's Pastor,

    How can we ignore that Barack Obama CHOOSES to have as his pastor (20 yrs.) a man who is capable of the fiery, racist, bigoted rhetoric that WE have now herd from him. When the slightest comment that implies race culminates in in a stern rebuke from the candidate and that person disappearing from the scene, I think we should all take this revelation very seriously.

    March 14, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. Darryl,

    My comment never says on here more than 5 minute before CNN takes it off.

    March 14, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Marie K of AL

    To me, fair is having everyone's i ncome taxed the same amount. Our economy sucks right now and we need to be doing something about it. People need to stop thinking of themselves or their rich counterparts and think about what is good for our nation! We are losing our status in the world, and some are too BLIND to see it!

    March 14, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Grif

    That's why you need them this time....

    They can do the job!!!! But!!! The apprentice is questionable.

    March 14, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. jerry lamm

    can't people see that obama will lie and say anything, he has been caught in a lie, he has believed in everything that rev. wright has preached for the last 20 years, now that he is caught he will say anything, if he did not concur with wrights statements and i'am sure wright has preached race for twenty years he should have left the church. if the obama people get him as the democratic canidate maybe obama will select wright or farakan as his vice president, anyway, i 've been a life long democrat but i will hold my nose and vote for mcCanin for obama.

    March 14, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. Alice Rea

    The presidential race would almost seem to end if Americans would wake up and do some research about former President Clinton. To NOT recognize that he actually balanced the budget when he was in office is just rediculous.

    All Americans might want to think twice about experience when it comes to the economy. If I were Hillary and had this "brilliant" economic man in my pocket, I would certainly brag about it to the world.

    I have had my own business for years. If I were to leave it in the hands of someone that didn't have experience would be absurd.

    Wake up America. By supporting Hillary it's a sure shot of success.
    Obama is a long shot. America really don't need to hire a rookie just because he hopes and wishes and wants.

    March 14, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Robert Lee White


    So many times when you are interviewing Hillary supporter's who state that the key to winning in November is to win the "big" states during the primary. Please ask a few why they don't think the democrats, etc, of those states will not coalesce around Obama in November. Their arrogance is driving me crazy!!!

    March 14, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Grif

    You have nerves I just don't have Wolf. I can't take anymore...

    Got my TV back on!!! Even so, I genuinely think I will just carry on with my Book...

    March 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. CHERYL


    March 14, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. Robert, Long Beach, CA

    If taxes are the wages paid for being in a democracy, why is it that the rich seem to pay less than they should and the poor seem to get stuck with less than needed to live. Our economy suffers because those who are at the top of the economic scale continue to find ways of not contributing to the overall public good, that is to say, pay their fair share like the rest of us, then move jobs overseas for cheaper labor. When is everyone going to wake up and get it's not just the economy, but the democratic way of life, stupid

    March 14, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. bond

    However in 1992 the candidates for the democratic nomination didn't tear each other down with personal attacks which inevitably will split the party, alienate new voters, and give away any advantage they had over the republicans in the general election. Not to mention the race-baiting being done by the media, including CNN ie. Anderson Cooper 360 story on minister Wright (old news). Which is exactly what David Gergen said to steer clear of in his article about re-focusing on the issues!

    March 14, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. franklahai

    I like this post the best for the day– enjoy
    Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld both had foreign policy experience, and look at how that turned out.

    Obama is brilliant and rational, and his judgment would far better serve the American people than exaggerated and overstated experience.

    Character counts more than embellishment and malicious intent.

    March 14, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  20. Harold Jaffe

    Wolf Blitzer is a nowhere man, another talking head without any viable ideas. If you want a safely predictable response to any political question you can count on puppet Blitzer to provide it.

    March 14, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. john

    Go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 14, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
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