Former President Bill Clinton took time in his Democratic National Convention (DNC) speech Wednesday to praise a number of American politicians while reigning in his praise of current President Barack Obama. Here are some of the great leaders Clinton seems to prefer over our current commander-in-chief.
After the crowd watched a video commemorating Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign for President, the Arkansas-born Rhodes Scholar took the stage to his onetime theme song, “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac. During his speech, Clinton noted that auto industry jobs increased during his term, that he signed a historic, bipartisan welfare-to-work bill, and that his post-presidential humanitarian project, the Clinton Global Initiative, has achieved a number of positive goals.
In his first defense of President Obama’s reelection bid, Clinton noted that Democratic presidents—including himself—have purportedly created more private-sector jobs than Republican presidents since 1961.
“Anyone want to watch ‘War Room’ with me late night?” tweeted National Review Online reporter Robert Costa, referring to the behind-the-scenes documentary of Clinton’s 1992 campaign. “All this ’92 footage makes me wanna zap some popcorn and watch that again.”
2. Ronald Reagan
Clinton quoted the great Republican president Ronald Reagan in order to criticize Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. “As another president said, there they go again,” Clinton said, echoing Reagan’s famous remark to Jimmy Carter during a 1980 presidential debate.
“When I was a governor, I worked with President Reagan in his White House on the first round of welfare reform,” Clinton said.
3. Hillary Clinton
Among President Obama’s biggest accomplishments, according to Clinton, was his appointment of former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to Secretary of State.
“President Obama appointed several members of his cabinet, even though they supported Hillary in the primary. Heck, he even appointed Hillary.” Clinton said.
“Now, wait a minute. I am—I am very proud of her. I am proud of the job she and the national security team have done for America,” Clinton said.
President Clinton made reference to the divisive 2008 primary campaign between Obama and Hillary, during which President Clinton said of Obama, “(The press) want to cream in their jeans over this guy.”
4. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Clinton said that it would be “impossible” for him to “hate” Republicans, considering the great accomplishments of Republican President Dwight David Eisenhower.
“President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High School,” he said. “President Eisenhower built the interstate highway system.”
5. Joe Biden
Clinton heaped effusive praise on his old friend, Vice President Joe Biden, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd.
“(Obama) appointed a vice president who ran against him in 2008. And he trusted that vice president to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq and the implementation of the Recovery Act. (Applause) And Joe Biden—Joe Biden did a great job with both.”
6 & 7. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
President Clinton reserved some kind words for his Republican predecessor George H.W. Bush and successor George W. Bush.
Clinton noted that he worked “with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals.”
“I have to be grateful—and you should be, too—that President George W. Bush supported PEPFAR. It saved the lives of millions of people in poor countries. And I have been honored to work with both Presidents Bush on natural disasters in the aftermath of the South Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the horrible earthquake in Haiti.”