Terry McAuliffe introduces Bill Clinton
The 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton addressed 3000 enthusiastic supporters at Patrick Henry High School’s gymnasium Saturday. He said, “I’m much more enthusiastic today than I was four years ago.”
Four years ago Mr. Clinton was at Patrick Henry High School campaigning for his wife Hillary during the presidential primary. He has also been in Roanoke for Obama in 2008 and Terry McAuliffe when he ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2009.
He praised President Obama for being a “great commander in-chief” pointing to Colin Powell’s endorsement. He chided Romney for remaining silent when former New Hampshire governor John Sanunu demeaned Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama by saying it was due to Powell’s pride in having the first African American in office.
Clinton said that “[Obama] prefers budgets based on arithmetic” and he chided Republicans’ unwillingness to compromise and instead focusing their efforts on “putting [Obama] out of a job instead of putting Americans into a job,” said Clinton.
Hurricane Sandy that brought destruction to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut coasts brought Chris Christie the Republican Governor of New Jersey and New York Independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg together. Clinton said Romney wanted to privatize FEMA but following the destruction caused by hurricane Sandy, Romney has changed his mind. ”There’s this big healthcare epidemic in America this year called ‘Romnesia,’” he declared sarcastically.
“There is no partisan way to heal a place after a flood – you either do a good job or you don’t,” said Clinton. Governor Christie heaped praise on the president and Mayor Bloomberg endorsed him. Christie took heat from Republicans for his kudos to Obama.
Clinton said one only needs to look at the bipartisanship that took place as President George W. Bush faced the banking collapse just prior to Obama taking office in 2008. “We were teetering on the edge of collapse – not just Wall Street but Main Street,” said Clinton. The loans have been repaid with interest he said.
“I have listened to everybody’s theory and I’m telling you nobody whoever served as president, not me, not anybody else could have repaired all this damage in four years,” said Clinton.
Former President Bill Clinton
Clinton chuckled pointing to Mitt Romney’s lack of transparency in his budget. “See me after the election about the details of the budget,” said Clinton of Romney. He said he believes that Obama’s plans for the future are “way better for us than Governor Romney’s.” The government has to do investment in infrastructure he said.
Clinton said “we ought to have healthcare for everybody.” He added that education should be a priority not only for college students but for the long-term unemployed. “This is not rocket science,” he said.
He said debt is not a problem when interest rates are below inflation. “We’re outperforming Europe right now.” Obama has a budget he said that is comprised of two dollars in spending cuts while asking the rich to pay more. “What’s the governor’s plan?” Clinton just shrugged his shoulders and the crowd shouted “nothing.” Clinton again mimicked Romney saying, “see me about that after the election.”
The 20 percent across the board tax cuts Romney proposes will be paid for by “revising deductions and cutting everything we ought to invest in … like infrastructure, in science and technology and education and by repealing all the tax incentives for clean energy.”
Clinton talked about climate change saying that the pentagon told him in 2000 that climate change “was a national security threat.” He talked about the jobs that would be created by solar energy.
Clinton got a big roar and applause when he mentioned the student loan reform law that pegs loan repayments to a student’s earning following graduation. The option would give students a chance to work in a lower paying service oriented jobs if they chose he said. Government and not banks should handle student loans – banks would just increase costs.. “On this issue alone Barack Obama should be reelected as president,” he said.
Clinton said he had fixed the budget following the previous Republican administration and after he left office the Republicans just turned around and did it all over again plunging the country into debt yet again. He said Republicans cut taxes while fighting two wars and financed the senior drug benefit on a credit card. “You can’t get blood out of a turnip because nobody was paying taxes” during the recession. Obama’s budget passes the “arithmetic test,” he said.
Clinton said sarcastically that Romney claims the “job creators” will be “so thrilled” when he becomes president that they will create 12 million jobs in the next four years “just because he’s there.” Moody’s analytics said that in the next four years because of what has already been done by Obama the U.S. will get 12 million jobs and Romney wants credit for that said Clinton.
Clinton said he liked that President George W. Bush called himself “the decider-in-chief – It’s true,” he said because Obama decided to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to give women equal pay for equal work. Romney was silent when asked if he would sign it said Clinton. ”That’s fair for the family, for her and for the kids.”
Clinton credited Obama for saving the automobile industry when in contrast Romney’s Op-Ed said the industry should be allowed to go bankrupt. Romney erroneously stated that Jeep was outsourcing jobs to China in an Ohio speech. He then made an ad saying the same thing. It prompted Chrysler to publicly call the assertion false and send letters of reassurance to skittish employees. Clinton called it cruel and an act of desperation.
Clinton had been in Chesapeake at 10:00 a.m. that morning and left Roanoke for Prince William County to a rally of 24,000 with Obama and Tim Kaine and the Dave Matthews band.
Curt Cashour, Virginia Communications Director, Romney for President in a statement said: “With no record to run on and no vision for the future, the Obama campaign is resorting to false, discredited attacks and a cynical closing message urging voters to choose ‘revenge.’ Mitt Romney wants to bring people together and he wants Americans to vote for love of country. He will deliver real change for a real recovery, creating 12 million new jobs with rising take-home pay and a better future for all Americans.”