September 8th, 2009
03:47 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton's advice to Obama: Forget about Republicans

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton should forget about Republicans, Bill Clinton says."]

(CNN) - As President Obama gets set to address a joint-session of Congress on the issue of health care reform Wednesday night, former President Clinton says it's time to forget about the Republican Party's role in the process entirely.

"The president's doing the right thing. It is both morally and politically right," Clinton told Esquire Magazine in an interview published online Tuesday. "I wouldn't even worry about the Republicans. I'd worry about executing."

Though it increasingly appears the White House will win few if any Republican votes on a final health care bill, some members of the GOP say they remain open to supporting a potential version legislation, including Arizona Sen. John McCain.

"I look forward to what he specific proposals are," the former Obama rival said last week. "I think the disappointment a lot of Americans display is that we are not working together more."

Still, Clinton said Obama's chief worry should be ensuring the entire Senate Democratic caucus (59 members with the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy) is in support of the reform legislation, including Democrats from more conservative states, like Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

"This electorate has suffered…and what they don't know is whether our guys are going to stand and deliver. And sooner or later you've got to stand and deliver," said Clinton.

The former president also compared Obama's initial months on office to his own perilous beginning, but predicted the current commander-in-chief would succeed where he had failed.

"Do I think he's doing the right thing, even though he's jamming a lot of change down the system? I do," he also said. "So there's a lot that's like my first year, but it's going to have a different ending - he's going to get health care reform.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Scott

    Excellent advice from an excellent former President. I say screw the Republicans – the only answer they have is "leave well enough alone, and worry about keeping your job."

    Rock on "O" man – you'll do just fine...

    September 8, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Steve Lyons

    He can kiss the moderates and the independents adios at the same time. He is supposed to represent the entire country....even those that disagree with him. It is his job to become a centrist and back away from the radical left.

    But I doubt a communist like Obama can do that.

    September 8, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. DSW

    The Repubs have used their usual sordid playbook against Obama:
    delay, distract, disorder – the lies that have come from the the right-wing media propoganda machine is disgraceful.
    I am totally ashamed on this country – the rasicsm and lack of respect against our president is disgusting.
    If the people who voted for Obama really want health reform then they are going to have to do what they did in the election – step up & make yourselves heard.

    September 8, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. ran

    Yes forget about the GOP. They have no intention of voting for this or any other bill; especially if it helps the people.

    If President Obama and the Democrats want to get things done they need to stick together and do it with or without the GOP.

    September 8, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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