First, it was praise for Mitt Romney and his "sterling business career"; now, Bill Clinton is again raising eyebrows after apparently straying from President Obama's message once more. Speaking to CNBC yesterday, the former president suggested that the country is currently in a recession and that the Bush tax cuts should be extended—even for the wealthiest. Now a rep is explaining what Clinton really meant: We're not in a recession but are still feeling the impact of the previous recession. And as for tax cuts for America's wealthiest, Clinton doesn't believe in them, but he doesn't foresee a long-term spending-cuts plan happening "until after the election."
Political observers were quick to weigh in on Clinton's comments:
- The GOP is loving Clinton's position. "We shall call them the Clinton tax cuts," tweeted a John Boehner rep.
- "With friends like this, Obama’s political enemies don’t need to do too much," writes Byron Tau at Politico, pointing to continuing tensions between the Clintons and Obama.
- But maybe Clinton actually helped the president, showing "voters that the Democrats, at least, are not going to hold American families hostage to party shibboleths." Instead, they're willing to compromise, notes John Farrell in the National Journal.
- Don't forget, Clinton recently called a potential Romney presidency "calamitous"—but with Bill, "the Bad gets wall-to-wall coverage; the Good, not so much," notes Margaret Carlson at Bloomberg.