Former President Bill Clinton was in Ohio this morning, campaigning for President Obama, and reflected on this week’s debate. Clinton mentioned the voter who said he’d supported Obama in 2008, but added he’s not as optimistic as he was four years ago.
Clinton told Ohioans, “I thought he was going to cry because he knows that it’s not fixed.” The Romney campaign seems to think that’s wildly important, distributing the clip of the comment, and issuing a statement that reads in part, “We agree with former President Bill Clinton. The economy has not been fixed under President Barack Obama.”
The year-long effort on Team Romney’s part to build up Clinton’s credibility continues to amaze me.
The Romney campaign is excited about Clinton conceding that Obama has not finished fixing all the problems he inherited from his Republican predecessor. Of course, this isn’t exactly groundbreaking – Obama says this all the time – and as Romney himself has conceded many times, the economy has improved since the president took office.
But notwithstanding the few seconds Romney enjoyed, take a look at what else Clinton says in the clip about Mitt Romney: “He thinks we’re dumb.”
“This guy ran Bain Capital and is a business guy, and he’s hiding his budget? That ought to tell you something. Well, he’s hiding his taxes, too, but he’s hiding his taxes in the years when he earned ordinary income. He’s given us two years when he was just running for president. And, he’s hiding whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter act. He’s hiding everything. He doesn’t want you to think about him. He wants you to think, ‘Oh this economy is terrible. I’m a jobs guy.’ And as President Obama said in the debate, if I brought you a deal to Bain Capital and I said, fund my new business, I’ll give you the budget sometime in the future, just trust me on that, you wouldn’t give me one red cent, and we should not give him one vote on that.”
Romney keeps elevating Clinton, giving him unrivaled credibility and stature, as a way of positioning him as the good Democrat, and Clinton keeps explaining to people that Romney does not deserve and has not earned their support.