Bill Clinton: ‘No earthly idea’ if Hillary will run in 2016

Updated
Former President Bill Clinton greets supporters after speaking at a campaign event, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, in Orlando, Fla., as he campaigns for President Barack Obama.
Former President Bill Clinton greets supporters after speaking at a campaign event, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, in Orlando, Fla., as he campaigns for President Barack Obama.
John Raoux / AP

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is qualified to run for President, said former President Bill Clinton on Sunday’s Face the Nation, but he’s not sure if she will.

“I’ve never met anybody who I thought was better at this,” he said, calling her the best civil servant he knows. “She’s an extraordinarily able person.”

Hillary Clinton, who will retire at the end of the current term, plans to take some time off and may write a book, the former President said. Ultimately, however, he has “no earthly idea what she’ll decide to do,” he added, grinning.

Former President Clinton, speaking to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer from the Clinton Global Initiative Summit in New York, also spoke out against what he said were Republican attempts to prevent traditionally Democratic constituencies like minorities, students and young people from voting.

The president is winning in key swing states, said Clinton, but it is still impossible to know the outcome of the election “because of the enormous financial advantage that Citizens United gave to these Republican super PACs and because of the work they have done and will do on Election Day to try to reduce the number of young people, first generation immigrants, and minorities voting.”

The Former President has been particularly vocal about voter suppression laws in Florida, likening the Republican crackdown on voting to the Jim Crow laws.

Clinton also defended Barack Obama’s economic record, noting that full employment could not have occurred within four years of the financial crisis. “I don’t know a single serious economist who believes as much damage as we had could have been healed in four years,” he said. “We lost jobs for the first year [of President Obama’s term] while his programs were kicking in. Since then, his jobs record is actually better than in the previous eight years under the Bush administration.”

An essential part of America’s eventual recovery from the “debt hole,” Clinton said, would have to be raising revenue through taxes.

“If they cut 5 trillion in taxes, we’ll never get of this debt hole,” he said. Referencing Mitt Romney’s tax return release this week, he added, “I don’t think we can get out of this hole if people at that income level are only paying 13-14 percent.”

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney

Bill Clinton: 'No earthly idea' if Hillary will run in 2016

Updated