Democratic campaigns spar over Bill Clinton’s ‘awful’ remarks

posted at 1:01 pm on March 22, 2016 by John Sexton

The Clinton campaign has attempted to clear up former President Bill Clinton’s gaffe Monday in which he referred to the “awful legacy of the last eight years.” The Sanders campaign responded to the gaffe by defending President Obama’s record, thereby suggesting the Hillary campaign had been attacking it.

Yesterday, when Allahpundit wrote about Clinton’s remarks he predicted, “He’ll spin this tomorrow, I assume, by insisting that the ‘awful legacy’ he’s referring to is partisan polarization and gridlock….” Here, according to Politico, is how the Clinton camp is spinning today:

USA Today updated its report with a statement from Bill Clinton spokesman Angel Urena, who also maintained that Clinton was referring to Republican obstructionism.

“When Republicans controlled the White House, their trickle-down approach drove our economy to the brink of a collapse,” Urena said. “After President Obama was elected, Republicans made it their number one goal to block him at every turn. That unprecedented obstruction these last eight years is their legacy, and the American people should reject it by electing Hillary Clinton to build on President Obama’s success so we can all grow and succeed together.”

So there you have it, exactly as predicted. And for good measure, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman Brian Fallon said basically the same thing adding in a tweet, “Sanders is only Dem in race who actually attacks @POTUS.” That may have been a reaction to Sanders who put out this tweet criticizing Bill Clinton’s comments as an attack on Obama:

It’s hard to say what was in the former President’s head yesterday. Clinton’s remarks don’t really make sense if he was referring to congress because the GOP has not controlled congress for the last 8 years. Democrats controlled the House and Senate for the first two years of Obama’s presidency. So, at worst there have been six years of congressional gridlock, not eight.

Frankly, I had the same reaction as Allahpundit when I saw the clip. It seemed to me Bill Clinton had momentarily forgotten what year it was. He was slipping into old habits of attacking the past eight years of the Bush administration but then midway through tried to correct himself by attacking the previous seven years of the Bush administration, which had been his target all along. Of course that didn’t really fix the problem. The comment about the last “awful” eight years lingered which is why this was a gaffe and needed to be explained/spun by the campaign today.

In any case, whether Bill intended to attack the Republican congress or accidentally forgot what year it was, we all know he was trying to blame everything on the GOP. As long as that’s the case no one on the left is going to be upset with him.


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