Bill Clinton: Hillary 2016 Speculation Waste of Time

Photograph by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with her husband former president Bill Clinton as they attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.

Bill Clinton says it’s a waste of time to speculate about his wife’s ambitions for 2016.

“That is the worst expenditure of our time,” the former president said today at a 2013 Fiscal Summit sponsored by the Peterson Foundation.

Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state, is taking a role at the Clinton Foundation, writing a book and “having a little fun being a private citizen for the first time in 20 years,” he said.

Focusing on presidential politics just six months after President Barack Obama’s reelection “obscures our capacity” to take on the big problems, he said. It also “plays to our national tendency to attention deficit disorder when it comes to politics.” It’s important not to “get off on to politics too early.”

Clinton was joined at the forum today by Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who joked that he doesn’t think his wife is running for president. “Hillary hasn’t mentioned it to me either,” Gates said.

Gates, in an interview with Bloomberg Television before the summit in Washington, said his fellow wealthy Americans should pay more as the U.S. grapples with reining in its budget deficit.

“There’s no doubt that as you look at balancing budgets to the degree you need more revenue” that lawmakers will need to look to the wealthy “to get a little bit more from them proportionately than you get from people as a whole,” Gates said. “I think that’s pretty likely.”

Clinton also had this to say about Obama’s 2010 health care law, with major provisions still taking effect this year. “We really need about five years to see if the drivers in the health-care law” work, he said, “to see if that works.”

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