The Democrats unleashed their silver attack fox tonight, as Bill Clinton dusted off his convention chops to debunk a host of charges leveled against President Obama by Mitt Romney—and earned a hug afterward from the president himself. Clinton first formally placed Barack Obama's name into nomination, saying he "wants a man who's cool on the outside, and burns for America on the inside." He hailed Obama's "constructive cooperation" in politics. Clinton pointed to Obama's reaching out to the GOP and to Democrats he battled against in the last election. "Heck," Clinton joked, "he even appointed Hillary" secretary of state. "What works in the real world is cooperation," he added. "Democracy does not have to be a blood sport." As for the economy, Clinton pointed out: "No one could fully repair the damage" left by the GOP in just four years. In Tampa, "the Republican argument was pretty simple: We left Obama a total mess, he hasn’t finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in," Clinton explained.
But Obama did manage to "put a floor under the crash, and began the long hard road to recovery," he added. Clinton said the GOP economic solution—ending the deficit by taking more money out of the budget with tax cuts for the wealthy—"fails the arithmetic test." The former president ticked off a list and debunked "charges" leveled against Obama by the Romney campaign—including claims of Medicaid cuts, healthcare harm, and weakening welfare work requirements. A Romney spokesman has said "we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers," guffawed Clinton. "Finally I can say: 'That is true.'" The "most important question is, what kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you’re-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket," Clinton said. "If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility—a we’re-all-in-this-together society—vote for Barack Obama. I know we're coming back." (Read more Bill Clinton stories.)