Former President Bill Clinton took the Mitt-bashing mantle on the road today, mocking how Romney looks presidential and comparing his positions to a Cirque de Soleil “contortionist.”
Clinton opened for President Obama at Capital Square in Concord, N.H., on a multi-state blitz today, though his speech was at least as long as the president’s.
“If you listen to what Governor Romney says, it basically is: Be very, very disappointed, because not every problem has been solved; not everyone who wants a job has one; not everyone’s income is rising. Be disappointed. Forget what caused it,” Clinton said. “Don’t pay too much attention to what our solutions are. Just be disappointed — and look at me, I look like a president. And I talk like one. And I’m telling you it’s all going to be all right if you elect me.”
The crowd laughed, then applauded when Clinton said he’s “spent years studying the economy,” and knows Obama couldn’t have “fixed all the damage that was done from the financial crisis in just four years. It’s not possible. It could not have been done.”
“To give him credit, President Bush and his administration, John McCain and Barack Obama, both running for president, didn’t take the politically easy way out. They saved the financial system from total collapse,” he added.
Clinton also credited Bush for coining a “pithy” phrase that embodies why he’s for Obama: He’s a “decider-in-chief.”
“When asked in the second debate whether he would have signed [the LilyLedbetter Fair Pay Act], the president’s opponent, who spent all these years telling us how decisive he is, said, ‘Well –,’” Clinton quipped. “I thought we were being asked to dance.”
“I mean, how hard is it? He’s going to have a lot harder decisions than that to make if he gets to be President. It’s just a yes or no answer. It’s been on the books for two years. How hard is it? Zero answer. Why? Because it might make one of his extremists mad,” he continued. “And so Barack Obama made a decision; his opponent took a dive.”
Clinton accused Romney of trying to “get out” of his opposition to the auto bailout in blue-collar Ohio.
“He’s tied himself in so many knots trying to say he didn’t oppose what he clearly opposed that I expected today he’ll be offered a job as a chief contortionist at Cirque de Soleil,” he said.
Clinton blasted as “not true” the Romeny camp’s assertion that Obama is allowing Jeep to move American jobs to China.
“The guy got caught red-handed, saying something that wasn’t accurate. But we all make mistakes. And it’s not a lie unless you know it’s not true when you say it,” said Clinton, who was impeached for perjury in 1998. “Now, when I was a kid and I got caught with my hand in the cookie jar, I sort of turned red, shrugged my shoulders and take my hand out of the cookie jar. He’s grabbing for more cookies!”
He proceeded to goad Romney about producing a deficit-cutting plan. “Give us a budget. You know, you’re the finance guy. And he says, see me about that after the election,” Clinton said. “…When a politician tells me, see me about that after the election, it makes me know there’s something ugly in there he doesn’t want me to see.”
“This will tell you all you need to know about this election. Governor Romney says, if he is elected people will be so elated — I’m being serious now — that the economy will produce 12 million jobs in the next four years. Now, I am sure it’s just a coincidence — or maybe he forgot — because as President Obama has told us, there’s this great public health epidemic, this virus sweeping across America, causing a condition known as Romnesia,” Clinton continued. “And the virus is so rampant that anybody is vulnerable to getting a little of it. So maybe he just caught a little piece of Romnesia.”
Obama’s speech directly after Clinton’s steered mostly clear of Romney attacks, though he did call the former governor a “talented salesman.”