September 9th, 2010
09:36 AM ET
12 years ago

Clinton delivers spirited defense of Dems

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton delivered a spirited defense of Democratic policies Wednesday night in a speech reminiscent of those he gave when his own name was on the ballot.

The lengthy remarks delivered on behalf of embattled Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln were entirely trademark Clinton: part feel-your-pain folksiness, part policy lecture, and part blistering critique of the opposition.

"It's okay for people to still be mad, frustrated and feel helpless because that's their lives," said Clinton to the Little Rock, Arkansas crowd – many of whom still consider him their favorite son. "I get that but let me ask you something, specially everybody here with gray hair like me. If you have lived long enough, you would know that every time in your life that you've made a decision that was important when you were really mad, there is an 80 percent chance that you made a mistake. Ain't that right?"

The former president also said voters are currently suffering from "anger, apathy and amnesia," factors he said that are blocking a sound debate on the differing policies of the two parties.

Clinton's visit to Arkansas comes as Lincoln finds herself far down in the polls to Republican challenger John Boozman, a current member of Congress. Lincoln, who has served in the Senate for more than a decade, is largely suffering from voter anger at the economy's slow recovery and an increase in government spending.

"The independents say, well, we think they're spending too much money. So, we will vote against all the democrats. So, the democrats say we'll stay home because there are not enough jobs, not enough money being spent; the independents would say we will vote against them because they spent too much. Let me just tell you, when there is no demand in the economy, you have to do something like the stimulus," said Clinton.

Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Bill Clinton • Blanche Lincoln
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Just like the 2008 presidential election. People were mad and look what we have.....

    September 9, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. jpmichigan

    Mr. Clinton, we have to many professional politicians on the Hill. They have been placed there by corporations and unions to sever the corporation and unions goals. It is time to make big changes on the Hill. If term limits is not voted on or even suggested, then the American people must set each politicians term on the Hill. Professional politicians serve mostly themselves and not the people who put them there. Obama has severed his own agenda for 20 months now , and where has it gotten us . We are further in debt, have a large government and he has defied the truth of transparency. This why the American people are angry, need and want a President and Congress than listen to the people not avoid and write off stupidly their requests.

    September 9, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  3. Indiana Voter

    "you would know that every time in your life that you've made a decision that was important when you were really mad, there is an 80 percent chance that you made a mistake."


    That is exactly what happened in the 2006 and 2008 elections. People were mad and made a mistake and voted in Democrats because they were voting with their emotions and as a result, we got Obama and the liberal left Democrat party in office running this country every day further into the ground. Clinton is right, though. The Democrats have been dangerous for this country. When they took over congress, the economy tanked.

    September 9, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. NVa Native

    Everybody needs to call out the party of failure and "backward" policies. It is very important that the Republicans not be able to defend their lies with more lies.

    September 9, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. james, brooklyn

    bottom line is vote republican if you are rich and vote democrat if you are not. After Bush I'd never vote republican. I would leave the country first.
    Republicans are not Americans they are traitors to democracy.

    If they end the tax cuts I will pay more tax and I do not care. Bush put us in this big mess. I didn't vote for him because I could see he was an idiot. We need America to become one country again not one of have and have not but the Republicans are not the ones to do this.

    If you want war, unemployment and a poor economy vote for a republican. Do some research and see what Republicans have done over the last three decades and you will see it is very little.

    September 9, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Justen In Florida

    A vote for a democrat in November is a vote for "Cap and Tax", and an endorsement of the abomination called "ObamaCare"

    Don't forget how those arrogant elitests Democrats, under Pelosi, and Reid, shoved all this spending garbage down our throats, don't forget how they canceled thier Town Hall meetings, because they didn't care to hear what you had to think.

    And don't forget that the democrats have had control of the purse strings of America (congress) for the last 4 Years!

    The democrats in congress have failed the U.S. miserably, kick them bums out in November!

    September 9, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. jim

    Sounds so much like the Clinton in the first 2 years of his presidency when the country was going down the tubes.Then he was neutered by the republicans when they took control of Congress and he went on to have a very sucessful presidency. Seems like he's forgotten his history lesson.

    September 9, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The former president also said voters are currently suffering from "anger, apathy and amnesia,"

    Right on Bill!!!!

    1000% absolutely correct!

    You left out another element, perhaps the most crucial: SUICIDAL STUPIDITY!! Of course YOU can't call SOME in the electorate stupid, but that still doesn't mean that they aren't. And they'd have to be to fall for all of the lies and misinformation in spite of PROOF to the contrary.

    I'm sooo glad that you're on OUR team! Sometimes it takes someone somewhat removed from the center of the storm to properly communicate what needs to be said.

    September 9, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Fed Up

    At least he didn't say "I feel your pain." Vote 'em in. Vote 'em out.

    September 9, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Romney/Gingrich in 2012

    Clinton helped get us into our financial crisis with the 'low income loan program'. If anyone is listening to him and his defense, they're nuts.

    (I never disliked Bill until he started spouting nonsense during Hillary's campaign)

    September 9, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Democrats don't need "defense" in this context... Trying to get America "out of the Republican ditch" is something to be proud of.

    September 9, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Adalbert

    Excellent Mr. President.

    September 9, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Brian Nordin

    Bill tells it like it really is – Republicans should be very happy they are not running against him again. Obama is just too nice – he did better yesterday in calling out the "Do Nothings" – "Know Nothings" Republicans. Remember these are the guys that drove our country to the brink of disaster – and now, with no new ideas, they want to take the country in the same direction AGAIN!!!! It's like putting an alchoholic behind the wheel AGAIN and expecting a different outcome. Republicans have done a really great job juicing up the country against Democrats, government, each other – when we should be juiced up against their NO NEW IDEA leadership. Dems ain't perfect but at least they're trying – can you say that about the Repubs?

    September 9, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. gt

    dont worry bill... american is not mad..its just that obama is a terrible president ... thats all...

    September 9, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Thank you President Clinton because Republicans are misdirecting Americans to be mad at Democrats so they can continue their program of entitlement for the rich only.

    September 9, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Snow

    They should have billed clinton's visit as a comedy tour. liberals do not want to debate because it is hard to defend tax and spend, plus when they start losing the debate which is usually near the start, they resort to name calling. The voters are mad, clinton got that right,but they are mad at demorats. You cannot ignore the American citizens pushing through an unpopular agenda then come election day, oh you should be mad at the conservatives who tried to stop our massive spending.

    September 9, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. precious

    These politicians will sell the gullible anything to get a vote. It's like buying a used car and find out later that the most important parts (engine, brakes, transmission, etc.) don't really work as they did on the first day the car was bought, and driven off the lot.

    President Clinton is now campaigning for 2012 for Hilllary. If he gets the Democrats back in Congress, he feels that they will vote for Hillary in 2012. It's all a GAME...and that is call POLITICS.

    Americans you are on your own, and that is the way it has always been, from the day you were BORN!

    September 9, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Peace

    Pres. Clinton is quite right. Always decision made by the force of anger,and after the head has cooled down what follows is the regret.

    September 9, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. masgap

    So True Mr President 21 months to fix something that took many years to create and trying to do it with the party of no fighting all the way.

    America vote for more of a majority this November so we can get things done. Vote out the GOP

    September 9, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |