(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.”
“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.