Bill Clinton in Lake Worth: Country is rebounding, Romney wants credit for Obama’s successby Andrew Abramson | November 2nd, 2012
LAKE WORTH – Former President Bill Clinton, the country’s unofficial Secretary of Explaining Stuff, took the stage this morning in front of capacity crowd of 750 in a Palm Beach State College theater as Clinton kicked off a day of stumping for President Obama across Florida.
Clinton’s voice was hoarse but the ex-president was combative, saying GOP nominee Mitt Romney wants to be elected as president and take credit for an economy this is turning around under Obama.
Clinton said Romney recently promised 12 million new jobs in his first four years in office, while financial experts are already predicting 12 million jobs “if we don’t mess up what has already been done.”
“Romney’s approach is, ‘I look like a businessman, I talk like one, I know how to balance budgets, so vote for me and people will be so elated that I’m elected that you will get 12 million jobs in the next four years,’” Clinton said.
Clinton hammered Romney for being non-specific on his plans as president. Clinton also brought up Romney’s failure to release years of tax returns, an issue that dogged Romney over the summer.
“Can you believe we’re having a presidential election and only one candidate has given his tax returns and only one candidate has given us a budget?” Clinton said.
Amid talk that Obama supporters are less enthusiastic to vote for the president this year than in 2008, Clinton said, “I may be the only person in America, but I am far more enthusiastic about President Obama this year.”
“This economy could not have been fully healed in four years,” Clinton said. “There was too much damage done. Everyone who has studied it knows it.”
“(We had) the worst crisis since the Depression,” Clinton said. “In the last 33 months we have now had 5.4 million private sector jobs. In the seven yeas before the crash, in the previous administration, they had 2.6 million private sector jobs.”
Clinton’s speech came as a new jobs report was released this morning showing the economy added 171,000 jobs in October while the unemployment rate rose from 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent last month. The audience gave Clinton a huge applause when he mentioned the 171,000 new jobs.
Clinton said Obama’s plan to invest in education, biotechnology and infrastructure is the smart way to grow the economy.
“No country in the world that wants a modern economy has the government walk away from the fight and say we’re just going to cut taxes on the wealthiest of our people and walk away,” Clinton said. “It doesn’t work. That’s the fundamental Romney strategy.
“How can we give people in my income group another tax cut and pay for it by cutting those families who are productive, working families?” Clinton said. “It is wrong. Romney’s decision is wrong. Obama’s decision is right.”
Of the country’s top earners, Clinton said, “all we ask from them is to go back and pay what they were paying when I was president.”
On national security, Clinton said he echoed Colin Powell’s concerns that Romney would surround himself with the wrong people.
“Gov. Romney has the same neo-con advisers who gave President Bush the push to go to Iraq on bad intelligence,” Clinton said.
Clinton said Romney is not decisive and will not even say whether or not he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Cut.
Clinton also called Romney’s attacks on Obama over Medicare funding “the biggest load of bull I’ve ever heard.”
He ended his speech by telling supporters, “I want the decider-in-chief to be the guy who took us through the storm and has the better plan for the future.”