February 16th, 2009
11:00 AM ET
11 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. Dutch/Hampton Roads, VA

    I couldn't agree more with the former president. He gave the country a surplus and those greedy republicans went on a shopping spree. The point of the matter is, some republicans will start jumping on the bandwagon when election day is around the corner. But what they fail to realize is that opposing this economic recovery bill will be their demise.

    February 16, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Jan

    George W. Bush and Dick Cheney contend that History will one day smile upon them.

    I contend instead that History will one day declare Clinton/Gore one of the best administrations ever, and Bush/Cheney one of the worst.

    February 16, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Danny in Chicago

    CNN is neither for Democrats nor for Republicans – it's only for the Clintons – all day every day CNN has your favorable Clinton coverage.

    That's why CNN has changed so much since the primaries! Anyone else notice this besides me?

    How much money from the Clinton's have found its way into CNN's pockets?? I'm sure there are connections!

    I know you won't post this CNN – but I have people too – and we are watching you!

    February 16, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. Brian

    Now that the election is over I can go back to loving you, Bill.

    February 16, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Seth

    FORCED, that is a good description of the whole voting going on. And people belittleing the GOP, really grown are we? Dont think so.

    February 16, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Peterson

    billin Clinton is the smartest guy i've ever known.

    February 16, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Peejay

    Republicans will never admit that anything Obama does is right – if they change their collective tune it will only be to save their collective butts.

    February 16, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. libs be dopes

    "Here is what I think"

    Just another Dimocat political hack.

    Bubba please go home again

    February 16, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Angie in Pa

    Thats right Obama did try to reach across the Isle, it takes two to Tango. But right after The Republicans met with Joe the Plumber Thats when they Stopped Working with the President, you see Folks the Republicans that are in there now Are BUSH REPUBLICANS Just like Bush, MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY! THROW THE DO NOTHING BUMS OUT!

    February 16, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Rob Stumpf

    Bill is the same old liar he's always been. When we had 6 years of growth under his term, that was the greatest economic acheivement ever. When we had 6 years of growth under Bush, that barely even existed.

    He now says he's a fiscal conservative. Sure he was. He was a fiscal conservative after 1994, because Republicans in Congress were not going to let him bring back HillaryCare or any of those other crazy schemes he first had.

    And his comment that because the deficit grew under Bush, that means it's a good idea to automatically let it grow under Obama has no foundation in either logic or common sense. If Bush did something dumb, that doesn't mean we support OBAMA doing something dumb.

    And if he REALLY would have done the same thing as President, why didn't he? Where was the $1 trillion dollar Clinton stimulus package? I thought he was...eh. A fiscal conservative?!

    Bill is not dumb enough to be unaware of these things. He's saying what the party wants him to say, to stay "on message" and help his wife's boss' administration. He knows he's lying, but he doesn't care...lying is what he does best. The ends justify the means.

    February 16, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. DNC

    WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    February 16, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    I believe that the president has acted in a bi-partisan way; he has had moments were his team has stumble, but I believe that it is human to error... I also believe that the package will yield results and that those will have a positive lasting effect in our country. I voted for Hillary in the primaries; but I voted for President Obama in the general election and I will continue to support him until the day he proves me wrong... I would challenge everyone in America to find a way to help our country and eachother... the truly only way we are going to get out of this recession.

    February 16, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Obama - NOPE

    Republicans have too much integrity to support Obama, except for the 3 Senators who caved.

    February 16, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. John G

    Considering that Bill Clinton and his cronies directly caused the mortgage crisis and indirectly caused the credit crisis in general, I don't think he should be touting his own record here.

    I just take comfort in the fact that, because Obama has rehired the entire Clinton administration, we can look forward to a few years of prosperity before everything goes to hell again when the next President inherits the long-term problems that this administration causes.

    Hey if the next guy is a republican, we can blame everything on him and then Clinton's cronies will get a third chance to destroy America.

    February 16, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Ray Ray

    Willy says, "Well, first of all, he has reached across [the aisle], and it takes two to tango.."

    Was Obama being "bipartisan" when he stomped his feet and screeched "I WON" ... or when Nancy and Harry locked out all GOP from the backroom closed-door meetings on final negotiations over the stimulus bill??

    February 16, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. Scott, Tucson

    Clinton '“I find it amazing that the Republicans who doubled the debt of the country in eight years and produced no new jobs doing it,'

    Well your boy Obama just doubled our debt in under one month and this stimulus plan does nothing to create new jobs. Guess we will have to wait for the 'Stimulus Two' package in hope of finding jobs.

    February 16, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Mike S.

    Seth, I have no idea what you are saying. But, it sounds like another republican that can dish it out but can't take it...Get a life and work to better the country. Stop crying. I have come to realize that Republicans are really just big fat cry babies.

    February 16, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. MONICA


    February 16, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. demwit

    He always was clueless..

    February 16, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. bill

    What's truly tragic, and I like Clinton, but I believe a thousand percent, with every cell of my body, on the life of all I love, that if he hadn't had that "thing" with Monica Lewinsky, that Gore would have been in office and this country would not be so broken right now.

    February 16, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. The Truth

    Obama, Pelosi and Reid should be impeached and put on trial for stealing America's money and spending it on their pork projects.

    February 16, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. R in Maine

    Clinton was a great president. The United States did well under his leadership. It was Bush who made us a debtor nation.

    February 16, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. KC

    Mr. Clinton....I still blame you for the biggest majority of the problems we have today....even if CNN and the rest of the news organizations want to bury their heads in the sand....I refuse to fall for their pathetic attempts at journalism. Hold him accountable...and then start researching and reporting on the unscrupulous acts of Franks, Dodd, Pelosi and Reid. Let's hear the facts for once.

    February 16, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. Pat F

    Butt out, Billy. Go home and chase some maids around the house. Your day is done.

    February 16, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Dear democrats,
    You won!! You have the majority! Now go do what you want. Or are you afraid if you fail you will have to take the blame. Oh my, that is a terrible thought no President George Bush to push around. Speaking of President Bush when were the democrats or the news media ever fair and balance towards him. NEVER.

    February 16, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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