Bill Clinton comes to Obama's defence

2012-09-06 07:37

Charlotte - Former President Bill Clinton gave a rousing defence of President Barack Obama's handling of the weak US economy on Wednesday and issued a detailed attack on Republican Mitt Romney in a speech that electrified the Democratic National Convention.

Folksy, long on detail and showing he is still a master orator nearly 12 years after he left office, Clinton gave a more cogent defence of Obama's actions as president than perhaps the current resident of the White House himself.

Obama, he said, cannot be blamed for the weak economy he inherited in 2009 and has set the foundations for strong economic growth - if voters will give him more time and re-elect him on 6 November.

"Listen to me now," said Clinton. "No president - not me, not any of my predecessors - could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years."

Obama finds himself in a vulnerable position with the US jobless rate at 8.3%, and Clinton's role was to try to make it easier for him.

If Americans "renew the president's contract, you will feel it", he said. Clinton received roaring applause from thousands of Democratic supporters who jammed the convention hall in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Party unity

"Folks, whether the American people believe what I just said or not may be the whole election. I just want you to know I believe it. With all my heart I believe it," he said.

Obama joined Clinton on stage after the speech for an image of party unity.

The Democrats' most popular elder statesman, Clinton was once an Obama adversary who has since patched up old wounds. He used a stem-winder of a speech that began in TV's prime time and stretched way beyond it to urge Americans to give Obama four more years.

Clinton capped the second night of the convention with a speech that reminded voters of the budget surpluses and job growth he led in the 1990s during his two terms in the White House.

Clinton gave point-by-point criticism of Romney, who is running neck and neck with Obama in opinion polls, and congressional Republicans.

He accused Romney of wanting to overhaul government entitlement programmes Medicare and Medicaid in a way that would reduce benefits for poor children and seniors, he said.

Chaotic day

"If he's elected and he does what he promised to do then Medicare will go broke in 2016," said Clinton.

Romney's criticism of Obama for allowing states to have waivers from work requirements in a welfare law Clinton signed is misplaced, said the former president.

His appearance followed a sometimes chaotic day at the convention, where Obama had to personally intervene to force back into the party platform language declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.

Democrats also scrambled to move Obama's Thursday night speech indoors. He had wanted to accept the Democratic nomination in an open-air stadium jammed with tens of thousands of supporters to portray an image of strength as he faces a tough re-election fight.

But the threat of thunderstorms from remnants of Hurricane Isaac forced convention organisers to switch the speech to a much smaller location, the Time Warner Cable Arena.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-09-06 08:10

    I'm no expert on american politics, but I will say this: every american president is voted in by the people and is the puppet of big business. BO made a lot of promises during his yes we can campaign, few of which have been put into effect. The fact that the Yanks elected George W for a second term shows how effective the collective ignorance of the masses can be.

      Willie - 2012-09-06 08:31

      if you care to understand them you will realise that senate(controlled by GOP) block every move from the Democrats to make them look ineffective.

      hamish.drake1 - 2012-09-06 08:32

      Obama has a problem in that he doesn't control Congress. The Democrats, if I remember correctly, controlled Congress and the Senate in Clinton's time. If you don't control them you end up with partisan voting on bills and nothing gets done. If politicians weren't self-centred, self serving (basterds/bitches) we would all be better off.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-06 08:51

      Its a common political ploy , over promise and under deliver . You'd think every South African would have a 3 bed house , BMW Z4 and be CEO of their own mining and farming conglomerate by now if you'd beleive them. Reality is that people don't vote for the guy who stands up and says " In all likelyhood i'm probably only going to be able change so much as i'm constrained by rightfully placed constitutional restrictions on seperation of powers and subject on policy decisions to majority approval of the congress and senate" as opposed to "YES WE CAN! Everythings gonna change!". This is why you'll see BO not making tooo many big promises and MR making fairly big claims .

      James - 2012-09-06 13:18

      Clinton also said re BO {smells} "Not that long ago this guy carried our bags" " Obama is an amateur" BTW Makenawn the Demorats had both houses and the Halfblack House for 2 yrs.Our Debt is $16 TRILLION. That's about $143,000 for every US family.BO added $6 Trillion.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2012-09-06 08:22

    Is this the best Obama can do? did they forget Monica!

      mzakes.matabata - 2012-09-06 08:40

      really that's long forgotten, bill is currently very popular over there.

      waseemimamsaheb - 2012-09-06 10:12

      The american people have forgiven bill clinton for his mistake and they clearly still love him... So why should we judge him for it? When politicians do sordid things every day and don't even acknowledge it... Atleast he had the courage to say sorry...and that says a lot of his character... Iv never seen bush say sorry for his iraqi genocide.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-09-06 10:43

      Peter, you've got it wrong. Bill had stomach cramps from eating bad food, and he told Monica "Sack my cook". She misunderstood.

      chris.bester.733 - 2012-09-06 12:36

      And all that goes on at Bohemian Grove...a f...k fest

  • mzakes.matabata - 2012-09-06 08:41

    I cant wait for the debate's Obama gonna take Mitt apart just like Tedd Kennedy did.

  • mshokoane - 2012-09-06 08:57

    I think Mr BO will be the next President of America, he has done wonders compared to the Reps.

      john.collin.1690 - 2012-09-06 11:33

      please explain these wonders you speak of?

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-09-06 09:29

    Billy you lecherous scumbag..Monica sucked your little head were left with sh*t for brains !!

  • chris.bester.733 - 2012-09-06 12:37

    Birds of a feather...Obama is Clinton and cronies's useful idiot ala Lenin.American citizens wake up!...

  • joseph.hayes.1466 - 2012-09-06 20:27

    funny how he bowed down before his god,

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