Gingrich: Clinton a ‘real’ president, Obama a ‘pretender’
September 9th, 2012
10:37 AM ET
8 years ago

Gingrich: Clinton a ‘real’ president, Obama a ‘pretender’

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich sought to put a wedge between President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton on Sunday, saying parts of Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention were “eerily anti-Obama.”

“You can take his speech, spin it not very much, and it's actually a condemnation of the fact that Obama learned nothing ... out of the 2010 election,” Gingrich said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Clinton won high praise for his speech Wednesday in which he rallied convention delegates and made the case for a second Obama term. In his 48-minute address, Clinton defended the president over inheriting a tough economy and said Obama can turn things around in the next four years better than Republicans can.

Gingrich, however, argued the former president was taking subliminal shots at the current president throughout the speech.

“Here's Clinton saying, 'I reformed welfare because I worked with Republicans; you didn't, Mr. Obama.' He didn't say it that way, but think about it: 'I had the longest period of economic growth in history; you didn't, Mr. Obama. I got to four balanced budgets by working with Republicans; you didn't, Mr. Obama.’”

In recent days, Republicans, including GOP nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan, have attempted to draw a contrast between the two Democratic presidents, essentially embracing Clinton over Obama because of the economy’s success in the ‘90s.

On Sunday, Romney said Clinton’s speech “elevated” the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"He did stand out in contrast with the other speakers," said Romney in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press.” "I think he really did elevate the Democrat convention in a lot of ways and frankly, the contrast may not have been as attractive as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who'd go before him and who'd go after him."

Gingrich went further Sunday, saying Clinton’s speech outshone the president last week and his role as a top surrogate “actually shrinks Obama.”

“You have a real president, and then you have this guy who's a pretender,” Gingrich told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Asked if Clinton could help Obama with voters, the former House speaker said the 42nd president could move votes for Obama, but it would not be sustaining.

“I think he can temporarily move votes. I would say the bounce Obama is getting coming out of the convention is 80% Bill Clinton,” Gingrich said. “He is a very popular figure for a very practical reason: The economy worked, people had jobs.”

- CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Newt Gingrich • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. John Hix

    Gingrich is the ultimate pretend husband and there is a special place in the fire below for him.

    September 9, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    What's this gop retreads picture doing on CNN ,oh ya ,the whole romney the tax cheats campaign is full of bush retreads!!!!

    September 9, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Ray E. (Georgia)

    After Bill Clinton got slapped along side the head as the Republicians re-took Congress after 40 years, In the Wilderness, he got the message, although reluctently and helped some to reduce spending and for a short while, thanks to the Republician Congress However people are wont to buy the Snake Oil and blew the short sucess and allowed the Liberal's relax the regulations that brought on the housing bubble. So, the National Debt continued to grow and grow, and The Annointed One has no plan to fix it as he has backed himself into a corner. It was Democrats and Liberals putting Big Social Programs in place that are crumbling right before your eyes. Socalisim didn't work in the Old Soviet Union and it isn't worknig here either If you want to be sucessful, get off your butt and go to work, don't wait for politicians to do it.

    September 9, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Emerson

    "Gingrich, however, argued the former president was taking subliminal shots at the current president throughout the speech."

    Sublininal shots? Gingrich must have thrown back more than a few shots to come up with this fairy tale. Maybe he is into pixie dust like the buffoon heading the RNC propoganda machine.

    September 9, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Uh... Newtered.... Obama IS the President!! What about you? You seem like a two-timing (four-timing?) washing -up disgraced congressman, jealous jerk, who's obviously starved for attention.

    September 9, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. craigles

    Well, since we live in a pretend world Obama will win.

    September 9, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Momoh

    Let Romney/GOP show pride in Bush as Obama/Dem in Clinton.

    September 9, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. obama2012

    Gop – hypocrates

    September 9, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Yonni

    Gingrich, the most TOXIC man in American politics

    September 9, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Marley

    The only people pretending to be *PRESIDENT* are those who want to be and never were:

    – Bishop Mormon Mittens: officially been running for President since 2006, but really since his ambitions for governance began

    – Newt Gingerich: how many times is it now? Disgraced House speaker.

    September 9, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. kay

    Gingrich still trying to drive a wedge betweem Bill and Obama. He didnit think when he impeached Clinton. He is a selfrightous hypocrite who doesnot take his wedding vows serious.

    September 9, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. RKN

    and maybe the reason Obama cannot say that he did all these things Because he worked with republicans BECAUSE the GOP has made it their stated goal that they would be against everything that Obama was for. They were very vocal about wanting Obama to be a one-term president.
    The republicans cannot take any credit for anything done in the past 4 years because they could only say NO.
    Newt is a has been trying to make himself relevant by giving us his unsolicited opinions. Newt, just go away.

    September 9, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. John D

    If you lie to and cheat on that 1 special person (in Newt's case 2 wives), you leave little room for anyone else to believe you won't do the same to those who don't have any intimate or any special meaning to you. So when Newt speaks, consider his less than creditable actions. One mistake, misjudgement or poor decision can be overlooked, but once you repeat those same things, it can then be they define your true character. NEWT GINRICH cant be trusted to speak the truth!

    September 9, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Mary Ann

    Newt,go shove some food in your mouth and think about your next affair.Two things Gingrich is good at,eating and cheating.

    September 9, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Irene Clark

    Obama has his HATE responders out in force, but their lies and deception don't hold water. Clinton was successful in his Presidency and Obama is a FAILURE in his. Bill Clinton isn't running and why he lies about Obama is beyond comprehension. Obama had no answers for 4 years; he will have no answers during the next 40 years. He wants to make the USA a Communist country and no one with any reason desires his trashy ideas.

    September 9, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Jolene

    And Gingrich is a real newt.

    September 9, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Penni

    The republicans were and are paid not to work with the President Obama. He tried, they didn't. Maybe because the Koch Brothers have paid everyone off? Newt is delusional and sounds like he has been paid off as well.

    September 9, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. anoel2005

    Clinton worked with Republicans which made him a success..

    Obama refuses to do that. Obama told John McCain during the healthcare talks ( in 2009) ...."John, the election is over, I WON!"

    September 9, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. PJH

    What people are failing to recognize is that this is exactly how Nazi Germany got started. Lies, manipulation of the vote, shady tactics, disinformation, an attempt to install a unforgiven, controlling and severe ideal that a majority of the country doesnt share. Sadly, the same people supporting Romney Ryan are the ones they would send to the gas chambers if they had the power to do so.....A vote for Romney/Ryan is a vote for ignorance,'s the death sentence for 99% of Americans. Right now Romney and Ryan are trying to sell their ideals to Americans, is elected they will force Americans to swallow their ideals.

    September 9, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. steven harnack

    "spin it not so much" Yeah, Newt is famous for spinning not so much. He is their lead man for alternate reality. His job is to make people think that it is darkest night when they are under the noon day sun. Anybody who can't see through this ploy of trying to defuse Clinton's advocacy for Obama is a prime target for someone selling bridges. In this case spin not so much means only spinning it 180 degrees.

    September 9, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. TheTraveler

    Newt, you, like Sarah Palin, have no relevance on the national political scene anymore.

    September 9, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Karl Jonas

    I have to hand it to Newtie and the Repubs posting here... as Bill said "it takes some brass" to try to spin his rousing endorsement of President Obama into some subliminal message against him.

    Hilarious! SNL couldn't do better.

    September 9, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. soul68

    Well the GOP does have a history of revising their views about a president's record. Look at how they revere Reagan. He wouldn't even be allowed in today's Republican party yet they worship him like their God.

    September 9, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. marty

    Time to go to confession, Newt.

    September 9, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. M. E.

    I can see some racists embracing the idea that Obama's not for real... However, I hope that the racists won't decide this election.

    September 9, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6