February 16th, 2009
11:00 AM ET
13 years ago

Clinton: Political factors will force GOP to cooperate with Obama


Clinton told Roberts GOP critics of Obama were on “automatic”

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton told CNN Monday President Obama can probably expect about a year of public support for his economic policies, and predicted that the economy would likely recover within two years or less.

“The public, I believe, will support him at least for a year in trying to work these things out,” he told American Morning’s John Roberts. “And he's been very straightforward in saying it might take as much as two years for the economy to really get in gear again. My instinct is it will happen a little quicker than that.”

Clinton tore into Republicans for their unified opposition to Obama’s stimulus legislation: “Those guys [Republicans] are on automatic... you punch a button, and they give you the answer they give you.”

Watch Clinton's criticism of the GOP

“Well, first of all, he has reached across [the aisle], and it takes two to tango,” he said. “I find it amazing that the Republicans who doubled the debt of the country in eight years and produced no new jobs doing it, gave us an economic record that was totally bereft of any productive result are now criticizing him for spending money. You know, I'm a fiscal conservative, I balanced the budget, I ran surpluses. If I were in his position today, I would be doing what he's doing.”

Clinton said political factors would eventually force some Republican lawmakers to support the president’s policies. “Here’s what I think will happen,” said Clinton. “I think that, as we go along, if the American people stick with him and if he begins to have good results, then I think more and more Republicans will cooperate with him because they will see that he's right or because he carried their states or for any number of reasons.”

The former president also defended his record against critics who said government requirements had led to a wave of risky mortgages, saying that community banks that specialized in these kind of loans as opposed to riskier securities were doing well.

Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Dumas McGee

    How can he force them? He's on vacation more than Bush was!

    hey CNN any reason you're not reporting that the fearmongering president rushed the stimulus vote only to wait 3 days to sign it?

    February 16, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. R. Stanton

    Why do Republicans deny the TRUTH? Clinton said nothing but the truth when it comes to all of these Republicans who've all of a sudden found their fiscal conservatism religion. They're a bitter, angry, spiteful bunch.

    February 16, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. FormCritic

    The man who helped bring us our economic problems now gets to give us more arrogant advice on how to get out of them.

    "Oh...and the little banks were doing OK. It wasn't my lending rules that led to bad loans. It was that banks were too...um...big."

    C'mon, Bill. Why didn't you add in that you did it, "For the Children?"

    Please just go away. You can say you're leaving, "For the Children."

    February 16, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Kevin B

    Bill is right, the only way the republicans will ever work with President Obama is if the political winds demand it, otherwise they will continue to bet on the continued failure of the economy in hopes it will lift their sinking fortunes as a party.

    The economy will pretty much bottom out late 2009 and unemployment and housing will begin to stabilize. The GOP will be forced to deal or end up on the trash heap of history for decades to come.

    Please post........

    February 16, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Tracey

    The redistribution of wealth over the last 8 years has gone to the upper tier of Americans, but not so over Clinton/Gore time in office I remember the 90's and we did pretty good. The Republicans are the party for the richman, not the middle class or god forgive the poor. When will people figure that out?

    February 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. LIP

    "Political factors will force the GOP to cooperate with Obama and by the way, I did not have sex with that woman Monica whats her name".
    Will anything he says ever have credibility?

    February 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. katiec

    Agree with Clinton on the republicans. How any politician can continue on with their destruction of our country is beyond me.
    And, these same politicans claim the are "experts" on the economy??
    By putting their party first, self interests, egos, outdated, ineffective policies proves they have no concern or interest if our country or our survival.
    What took eight years to create these diasters will not be resolved overnight.
    We Americas must be patient and have faith in our new leadership that puts our welfare first.

    February 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Arivera

    The former president is one of the smartest politicians of our or anytime. He is a conservative democrat, I guess that would explain his cheating. The republicans are for big business and the wealthy. The people that support these thugs are blatant racists. There were no minorities at these republican rallies that resembled public lynchings of yesteryear. The writing is on the wall for these people. To bad they destroyed the education system and most of them can not read it.

    February 16, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. mary dale

    Clinton is correct. The republicans have no brains with which to reason, they all know which button to push – NO for Democrat ideas, YES for taxcuts and unnecessary wars only. I think if they continue to be the party of NO, their voters may get the idea and vote NO for them the next election cycle. I am with Paul Begala – if the republicans dont want any part of this stimulus, then they can refuse the help that comes with it. Then let's see how far taxcuts and wars get those states economies moving

    February 16, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Bino

    Clinton, you mean # 13 – he gave the country a lot more than a surplus! Thats for sure...

    February 16, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Marge

    Most Americans agree with Bill Clinton that what Obama is doing is for the best of this country.

    The republicans are just echoing the "Mouth" Limbaugh in wanting Obama to fail. IF they can keep plugging away they might get people to believe them, THEY THINK. But all they are doing is digging a deeper hole for themselves. I hope they keep it up, that way republicans will just fade away and then we can start down the road of recovery for America. I can't wait til the 2010 elections. Wonder what excuse they will give for wishing the country to collaspe.

    February 16, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Keith

    Bush/Cheney kept us safe.

    Clinton/Gore made us have to explain oral sex and semen stains to our kids when they heard it on the news.

    Pretty easy to decide who deserves our thanks.

    February 16, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Obama Cares

    the gop reminds me of the SPOILED BRAT, that no matter what he has , he always wants what the other person has.

    February 16, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Mickie

    It is kind of telling that all of the republicans who opposed Pres. Obama's plan, never came up with any of their own to "reach across the aisle" with. But they didn't mind handing out money with no strings attached to AIG when Bush was still in power. I hope their constituents are looking to see if Bush and his republican cronies created any jobs in their area with that big bailout of Wall Street.

    February 16, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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