Former President Bill Clinton wowed the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, delivering a prime-time speech that presented this election as a clear choice between two candidates with starkly different philosophies. NY1’s Grace Rauh filed the following report.
A forceful defense of President Barack Obama's first term in office came from former President Bill Clinton Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention.
Clinton called on the American people to renew the president's contract, arguing that no one, not even himself, could have repaired the economic damage to the country in just four years.
The hugely popular former president has become one of President Obama's most important surrogates on the campaign trail. His primetime speaking slot is a sign of his key role in the re-election fight.
Clinton praised the president for his health care reform law and his work to resuscitate the auto industry. He also took aim at the other side.
“In Tampa, the Republican argument against the President's re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in,” he said.
He tried to rip apart specific Republican arguments against President Obama. One example was the attacks against Obama by Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan over Medicare. Ryan has accused Obama of raiding Medicare to pay for his health care reform law but Clinton said Ryan's own budget plans assume the same savings.
“It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did,” Clinton said.
Clinton said that is just one of many dishonest arguments from the other side.
“Their campaign pollster said we are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” he said.
But in the end, his speech came down a single question for voters.
“What kind of country do you want to live in?” he said. “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.”