Former President Clinton: Obama ‘Deserves to Be Re-Elected’

BY Christina Bellantoni and Terence Burlij  April 30, 2012 at 9:12 AM EST

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton helped raise money for the Obama campaign over the weekend. 2011 photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.

The Morning Line

Former President Bill Clinton summed up his arguments for the re-election of President Obama to high-dollar donors in Northern Virginia on Sunday night and issued a sharp rebuke of eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney as too extreme for the country.

“He’s got an opponent who basically wants to do what they did before, on steroids, which will get you the same consequences you got before, on steroids,” Clinton said at the event, which was hosted by former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe and was expected to raise nearly $1 million for the re-election campaign, the DNC and several state parties.

“I think he’s done a good job,” Clinton said, adding that the president is “beating the historical standard for coming out of a financial collapse and a mortgage collapse.”

Mr. Obama’s one-time political enemy outlined the president’s induction into a very small and exclusive club.

“When you become president, your job is to explain where we are, say where you think we should go, have a strategy to get there and execute it. By that standard, Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected president of the United States,” Clinton said.

As Peter Baker notes in the New York Times, “The last three days have seen a remarkable confluence of the two presidents, despite a fraught relationship,” with the fundraiser coming on the heels of Clinton starring in an Obama campaign commercial “testifying to the boldness of last year’s decision to send helicopters deep into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden.”

CAMPAIGN CHEERLEADING

The Obama campaign is emailing supporters on Monday morning a web video that serves as a commercial for the president’s re-election argument. A campaign official said the seven-minute video will serve as the opening act for at re-election rallies scheduled for this coming weekend in Columbus, Ohio, and Richmond, Va.

It starts with a long outline of the challenges the president faced when taking office on Jan. 20, 2009, and then transitions to suggesting Republicans were the party of “no,” with images of both Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to punctuate the point. It also features Mr. Obama telling voters early on that change would not happen quickly, a line voters can expect to see again and again as the president’s team works to generate enthusiasm for a second term among people disappointed he hasn’t accomplished all he promised on the trail.

Watch the video here or below:

The Romney campaign released a web video of its own Monday hitting the president for failing to deliver on a promise to rein in wasteful government spending.

The video begins with a slate that reads “What Barack Obama promised…” and follows with a clip of Mr. Obama’s 2008 convention speech in which he talked about making government more efficient.

Another line of text appears on the screen that reads “What President Obama delivered…” and cites the recent spending scandal by the General Services Administration, four years of budget deficits over $1 trillion and the more than $15 trillion debt.

Watch it here or below.

POLITICIZING STUDENT LOANS

On Friday night, the NewsHour looked at the political push over student loans, as the Republican House passed a measure the president doesn’t like. Jeffrey Brown examined the issue with Sandy Baum of George Washington University, who writes an annual booklet called “Trends in College Pricing,” and Anya Kamenetz, author of the books “Generation Debt” and “DIY U.”

Watch that here or below.

Mark Shields and David Brooks suggested both sides are pandering on the issue. They also talked about Latino voters and bid farewell to Newt Gingrich.

Watch them here or below.

2012 LINE ITEMS

  • Protestors at the party conventions in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., this summer could be armed.

  • Dan Balz gives Gingrich’s candidacy the official farewell treatment by noting the man’s political career could be far from over.

  • CNN reports that Gingrich will officially leave the race Wednesday, a day later than previously reported.

  • USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich writes about the evolving details of Romney’s economic plan.

  • The Los Angeles Times explores Romney’s role in the Massachusetts marriage fight.

  • Gwen Ifill notices that Mr. Obama’s events billed as separate from the campaign aren’t really so. Here’s a hint, she writes: When people shout “Four More Years,” it’s a rally.

  • The New York Times’ Michael Shear looks at Democratic efforts to fight voter ID changes.

  • Stu Rothenberg (@stupolitics) questions if picking Charlotte to host the national convention was a bad idea, since the Tar Heel State looks like a political “mess” for Democrats.

  • “The College Republican National Committee, with up to $16 million to spend and headquartered in new digs on K Street, plans this fall to conduct a professionally run get-out-the-vote operation, deploying 60 field staff and thousands of volunteers in as many as a dozen battleground states to boost” Romney and congressional candidates, Steven T. Dennis and David Drucker write on the front page of Roll Call.

  • Gingrich, Donald Trump, the Secret Service and Hillary Clinton’s drinking habits were among the targets of the president’s remarks at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. C-SPAN has posted video of the president and Jimmy Kimmel here.

TOP TWEETS

OUTSIDE THE LINES

  • 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, have taken different sides in the Senate GOP primary in Indiana. McCain is backing veteran Sen. Richard Lugar, while Palin announced her support Friday for state treasurer Richard Mourdock. This weekend was a double-whammy for Lugar: Major donor the American Action Network dropped his cause. (Don’t miss Gwen Ifill’s report on the race from Indiana.

  • Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times writes about the rise of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

  • Both Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown’s tax releases are available for reading in the Massachusetts Senate race.

  • Politico’s Darren Goode reports that Republicans will “turn up the heat” on the Obama administration over the Solyndra scandal.

  • The New York Times looked at the men with the money behind the groups organizing for the Wisconsin recall election. The Washington Post’s Rachel Weiner writes from Madison about the Democratic primary fight that has a few members of the party worried that the efforts to oust Republican Gov. Scott Walker could ultimately fail.

  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will campaign with Walker on Tuesday.

  • Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein write in the Washington Post’s Outlook section that the Republicans are more to blame for gridlock. See them discuss that idea behind their new book on an upcoming broadcast of the NewsHour.

  • Congratulations to the NewsHour’s Elizabeth Summers on her wedding Sunday to Kurt Gardinier.

  • Everyone welcome our new reporter-producer Cassie Chew (@indiefilmfan) to NewsHour’s Team Politics.

ON THE TRAIL

All events are listed in Eastern Time.

  • President Obama delivers remarks at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., at 10:45 a.m. and holds a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the White House at 2 p.m.

  • Vice President Joe Biden holds two campaign events, speaking at 1:45 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo., and at 6 p.m. in Munster, Ind.

  • First lady Michelle Obama greets campaign supporters in Colorado Springs at 3:20 p.m. and speaks at the 2012 Warrior Games at 5 p.m. She will also deliver remarks at campaign event in Tucson, Ariz., at 9:10 p.m.

  • Mitt Romney holds a campaign event with first-term Sen. Kelly Ayotte in Portsmouth, N.H., at 10:50 a.m.

  • Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have no public events scheduled.

All future events can be found on our Political Calendar:


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Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.

Follow the politics team on Twitter: @cbellantoni, @burlij, @elizsummers, @kpolantz and @indiefilmfan.