Watch the former President Bill Clinton on the Today Show video from Mon. Sept. 19, 2011. The live interview by NBC’s Matt Lauer covered a range of topics including the upcoming meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, the economy and the upcoming 2012 Presidential election.
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Regarding the state of the economy, former President Clinton said, “We can’t completely spend our way out of recession,” and he went on to note the lack of job creation in the years prior to the 2008 financial collapse and recession.
Regarding the negative reaction of Republicans, including Sen. Mitch McConnell and other Congressional leaders, to President Obama’s proposed tax plan, which calls for a tax increase for individuals who make $1 million or more (dubbed the Buffett Rule, after billionaire Warren Buffett), he said, “That’s what they always say. That’s what they said about me. When I became President we had a different kind of recession.” He went on to note that he called for similar tax increases on the wealthy and it worked.
Not expecting an increase in taxes he said, “It’s an insult to those [job creators]. They don’t mind being asked to pay their fair share.”
In recollecting the years of his Presidency and working with the Republican led Congress, he went on to add, that he believed that House Speaker John Boehner would like to have a a working relationship with the President but at the expense of being kicked out as Speaker.
Regarding the ongoing debate over the budget deficit, tax increases, etc, he said, “This the only major country that I go to where it doesn’t matter if there’s no facts to support it. The Democrats are not blameless. Mostly this is the anti-government extreme position that you see on this tax thing. No, no, we’ll never raise another tax.” He said, “It scares people around the world. They think Americans have a government that is ideological.”
Regarding President Obama’s re-election prospects, he said, “Yes this is too early to be writing his obituary and too early to be worried about it.”
He added, “We need to get the economy going again. What would get the corporations to spend again, not just here but around the world. what works in bringing the economy back is cooperation. What works in getting on the news is conflict. We’ve got to get back to cooperation.
Asked about his vegan diet, and giving up the rich foods he was famous for eating, President Clinton said, “When you get older, your appetites change and abate and you’re more interested in having another good day. So I’d like to have as many good days as possible and this seems to be the best way to do it.”
Watch the full interview video below.
Photo credit: Official White House Photo by Bob McNeely
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