Bill Clinton Selling Obama’s Jobs

Bill Clinton

Photograph by Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Former President Bill Clinton speaks during a campaign event for President Barack Obama at the New Amsterdam Theatre, Monday, June 4, 2012, in New York. Photographer: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Jon Bon Jovi may have been on the plane, and on the ground.

But Bill Clinton was on the case.

The 42nd president, whom the 44th president is counting on for air and ground support in his bid for re-election, was pouring it on for President Barack Obama last night. And he was sparing no warnings about what Republican Mitt Romney represents.

Clinton was talking about the job that Obama has done creating jobs.

This was the case Clinton made last night in New York:

“If you just look at — the month he took the oath of office, we lost 800,000 jobs,” Clinton said of Obama’s inauguration in January 2009. “In the last three and a half years, the economy has produced 4.3 million — 27 months, really, — 4.3 million private sector — for the last three-and-a-half years. ”

“It is 60 percent more jobs — listen to this — 60 percent more private sector jobs than were created in the seven years and eight months of President Bush’s administration, before the meltdown — before the meltdown,” Clinton said. “And he did it with the so-called stimulus bill, with the automobile restructuring — which I think is an amazing achievement — and with a number of other things, including a serious commitment to an independent energy future and a commitment to bringing manufacturing back to this country.”

“And things have slowed up a little now for two reasons — one is Europe, which is beyond our control, although he and his national security team are working hard on it.  That is, the economic team is now our national security team in Europe.,” Clinton said. “And the other is that the Republican Congress and their nominee for president, Governor Romney, have adopted Europe’s economic policy.  Who would have ever thought that the Republicans who made a living for decades deriding “old Europe” would embrace their economic policy?  But that’s what they’ve done.

“Their economic policy is austerity and unemployment now, and then a long-term budget that will explode the debt when the economy recovers so that interest rates will be so high nobody will be able to do anything,” the former president said.  “His economic policy is job growth now, and long-term budget restraint. ”

After their appearance last night at the home of Marc Lasry, managing partner and founder of Avenue Capital Group LLC,  a top Democratic donor and long-time supporter of the Clintons, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman notes, Obama and Clinton appeared a gala at the Waldorf Astoria hotel where singer Bon Jovi performed — Bon Jovi had flown to New York with Obama, and joined him on Air Force One for a ride back last night.

Obama, Goldman has reported, has had some trouble keeping Clinton on the script of his reelection campaign — Clinton has suggested that attacks on Romney’s experience running Bain Capital are misguided, that Romney has had a “sterling” business career.

But Clinton, who presided over the creation of 22 million jobs during his two terms in the boom-decade of the 1990s, was on message last night, a message that Obama will need.

This one is a contest about who’s most up to the job.

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