Clinton Tries to Close the Deal for President Obama

Live Blogging President Clinton’s Nominating Speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, Part II.

11:05 PM: Former President Clinton goes after Romney-Ryan on Medicare: “It takes brass to attack someone for something you’ve done yourself.”

Accuses them of following policies that would cause Medicare to go broke by 2016.

They want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by 1/3, Clinton says nearly 2/3 of Medicaid goes to seniors in long term care, including a lot of middle class families whose children get Medicaid for autism, Down syndrome, etc.

Now he counterattacks on charges of gutting welfare reform: Administration agreed to give waivers only if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20%.

“This is personal to me. We moved eight million people off welfare…I am telling you the claim President Obama weakened welfare requirements is just not true, but they keep running ads about it.”

“Let’s talk about the debt—we’ve got to deal with this long-term debt problem or it will deal with us.”

“He has offered a reasonable plan—2.5 to one, spending to revenue.”

“The Romney plan fails the first test of fiscal responsibility—the numbers don’t add up….We’ll make the debt hole bigger before we get out of it.”

“People ask me all the time, how’d we get four surpluses in a row? What new ideas did we bring to Washington. I always say to them. ‘arithmetic.’”

Really a great line, which speaks to the complete farce of the Romney tax plan.

Former President Bill Clinton at the World Economic Forum in 2011. Copyright by World Economic Forum. swiss-image.ch/Photo by Sebastian Derungs

“They’ll have to cut so much spending—they’ll have to cut on Pell grants, child nutrition, investments in roads and bridges…They’ll hurt the poor and the middle class to give tax cuts to the [upper class].”

“Republican economic policy quadrupled the debt in the eight years before I took office and doubled it in the eight years after I left office, because it defies arithmetic.”

“We cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who’ll double down on ‘trickle down.’”

President Obama’s plan “passes the arithmetic test and most important it passes the values test.”

If you want a ‘you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all’ society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility — a ‘we’re-all-in-this-together society — you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”

“If you want a future of shared prosperity where the middle class is growing…and the United States remains a force for peace and prosperity in this highly competitive world, you have to vote for Barack Obama.”

Obama greets him on the stage after his speech—thanks, Bill, you really saved my rear, or similar sentiment.

To sum up—President Clinton rambled and went on too long (when hasn’t he done that?) but he made the sharpest, most carefully reasoned defense of the Obama presidency and critique of the Romney platform: the president was left a total mess and we need to give him another term to clean it up, and we can’t risk turning over the country to the people who caused the problem in the first place.

Agree or not, it will be hard politically for President Obama to top that.

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