Clinton: Losing House Would Help Obama in 2012
“When he got elected, the first thing he said was, ‘I don’t want any investigations into the Bush years; I want to go right ahead. We want to get this country moving again,’” Mr. Clinton told host Bob Schieffer. “He kept thinking that he would find some partners in the Republican Party. He didn’t.
“It was clear that Mr. Boehner and Senator McConnell, they weren’t going to vote for any meaningful health care bill. They weren’t going to support any student loan reform that the banks didn’t like. They were going to oppose the financial oversight bill (we got a couple of Republicans for that).
“I think he was shocked at the intensity of the Republican opposition,” he said of President Obama. “But they learned from my first two years that if you just say ‘No,’ even though people hate it, you get rewarded for it, because it discourages the Democrats and it inflames your base.
“So they’re doing just what they did in ‘93 and ‘94. And so far it appears that they’re being rewarded for it.”
“I think he is getting his groove back now. He’s still fighting for specific things on small business and manufacturing and all the stimulus money that hadn’t been spent for clean energy stuff. He’s out there combating the opposition now. Maybe that will make a difference. I think it will make some difference; I think we’ll do better.”
Mr. Clinton offered a lesson on Democratic victories: “The people only hire us when things are messed up. They’d much rather hear the Republican rhetoric than ours. We only get hired when the country is in a mess. The Democrats should focus on what we’re going to do.”
“When the Republicans took the House and Newt Gingrich came to power,” said Schieffer, “a lot of people said that that’s also when your administration finally began to focus and get some things done. You were having your problems going into that election, you lost a bunch of seats in the House. But after that, you did things like welfare and NAFTA. You got some tax cuts in. You balanced the budget.
“Would it be good for [Obama], in a way, if he lost the House and the Republicans came to power and had to share some of the responsibility here?” Schieffer asked.
“Well, I think it would increase his chances of being re-elected,” Clinton said. “Whether it would be good for the country or not. I don’t know. You said that’s part of the narrative.