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Clinton: Republican extremists divided America

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October 15, 2006

Former President Bill Clinton told Iowa’s Democratic Party faithful on Saturday that the actions of “an extreme sliver” of the Republican Party have backfired and “profoundly divided” the country.

“We’ve got a big responsibility. Forget about 2008. Forget about the politics. Just go out and find somebody and look them dead in the eye and say ‘You know, this is not right’…This is America,” Clinton said. “We can do better and this year, it’s a job that Democrats have to do alone.”

More than 3,500 Iowa Democrats paid $100 each to attend the fund-raising banquet that kicked off with Clinton’s speech. About 50 people paid $10,000 per couple to attend a private reception with Clinton beforehand.

Republicans, who control the White House and Congress, Clinton charged “paint themselves as pure and the rest of us who don’t agree with them as stained” in order to divide the country and stay in power.

“People know things are out of whack, that fundamentally the order of, the rhythm of public life and our common life as Americans has been severely disturbed,” he said.

Clinton criticized the tax cuts President George W. Bush pushed through Congress and urged Democrats running for office this year to promise to correct the imbalance — and promise not to raise taxes in the process.

“You cannot blame the entire Republican party for this reason. The entire government of the United States, the Congress, the White House and increasingly the courts for the last six years has been in the total control not of the Republican party but of the most ideological, the most right wing, the most extreme sliver of the Republican Party.”

Clinton did not talk about his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s potential White House bid, but ‘Clinton for President — votehillary.org” placards were on display in the streets surrounding the banquet hall and volunteers handed out blue stickers bearing the name “Hillary.”

“I’ve always liked her and admired her,” said Marilyn Chido, a longtime party activist from Des Moines who put her “Hillary” sticker on her purse. “I think she’d be a great president.”

If Sen. Clinton, who did not attend the fund-raiser, does seek the White House in 2008 and actively campaigns in Iowa she will be departing from her husband’s path who as Arkansas governor made just one appearance in the state before the 1992 Iowa Democratic Caucuses.

“The interesting question is exactly how Senator Clinton is going to approach Iowa,” said Peverill Squire, a University of Iowa political science professor.

“Other candidates have put a lot more time and energy into the state and there’s some evidence from polls … that people have some reservations about whether Senator Clinton’s electable. I think she has to begin to think seriously about how she can reassure people that if she does run, she can win.”

Dick Meyers, a retired Iowa City businessman, who was once the Democratic leader in the Iowa House, said most Democrats are focused on the November 6 congressional election, not the presidential election in 2008.


© 2006 Reuters

26 Responses to Clinton: Republican extremists divided America

  1. JimZ

    October 16, 2006 at 4:14 pm

  2. Gerald Bentley

    October 16, 2006 at 5:37 pm

  3. DavidNH

    October 16, 2006 at 5:51 pm

  4. Uncle Ludwig

    October 18, 2006 at 5:50 am

  5. Mark

    October 15, 2006 at 1:00 pm

    As much as I admire Hillary Clinton and can promise her my vote, her electability is my cheif concern for 2008.Is American capable of electing a woman president? In the grand scheme will it matter? If the Democrats can gain control of the house and senate by 2008 another Republican president may not be so bad.

  6. liz

    October 15, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    I think Bill Clinton speaks words of truth here. That devastating and small splinter off the GOP killed the scarlet R’s, unless Diebold steals this election. Even war or especially war, will take the scarlet R’s out of power

  7. waldo

    October 15, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    You just don’t recognize this country anymore do you?

    Think back to Watergate…at some level in the GOP, the politicos were essentially honest people.

    Now we have Chris Shays (!) running with a Tom DeLay level attack on Kennedy.

    No. Something isn’t *right* here….

  8. waldo

    October 15, 2006 at 1:49 pm

    Oh! And I do recall during the period after 9/11, but BEFORE Iraq that one of the retired military talking heads on Fox (or maybe MSNBC) said, “We are going to have to locate Osama and kill him, and make no mistake about it, he and his followers are going to have to be killed…”. The same is true for the GOP…politically speaking that is; their careers are going to have to be ended to get us back to some state of ‘normalcy’. It won’t be pretty—but it is clear now (since Hastert won’t willingly step down)–he’s going to have to be severely censured in the Congress–stand in the Well and be publicly rebuked, etc…
    and YES, I am of the opinion that Bush should be impeached.

  9. Sandy Price

    October 15, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    Yes, America is divided; but what exactly are the divisions made of? I see the Democrats as projecting their own agenda as usual and if the GOP had stayed true to their agenda of limited government and individual freedoms, our division would be understandable.

    The GOP is now divided up into fiscal conservatives versus social conservatives brought on by the religious right. I do not want moral laws to be defined by the government.

    Our government has been shown to have an over abundance of hypocrites, liars and men of corruption. They claim to be God-fearing Christians but they present themselves as a wave of corruption not seen in America in my lifetime.

    In this decade, do we judge Christians by the labels or by their deeds? In 2000 we did not elect a man of America but a man of God. His visions of a world wide Paradise can only be found in his demented mind.

    Waldo, impeaching Bush will not stop the invasion of the religious right. They are on a roll to make America into a Christian nation and they will not stop or slow down unless we return to the Separation of Church and State!

    Christians should return to church and get involved in their neighborhoods and stay out of the House and Senate as they do not have the respect for the Constitution that they should have. They want it rewritten around biblical laws and that is their only goal.

    We have known since the Goldwater campaign that there is a level of Americans who have no interest in politics but only in religion. I think that since the internet opened we have seen the beginning of the invasion and it has brought in the bible belt over the standard Democratic/Republican agendas.

    What is shocking is the lack of ethics and morals found in our new religious leaders. We have all learned that being a Christian is no longer an asset thanks to the Bush Administration.

    This is too confusing for most voters and they will stop analyzing wrong from right and concentrate only one left from right.

  10. South Point Man

    October 15, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    The republicans have deliberately and very intentionally been trying to destroy the United States and its Constitution and turn our country into a fascist slave state where the sadism of torture is the order of the day every day. True evilness.

    I have absolutely no respect for the GOP anymore. What traitors to America.

  11. John

    October 15, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    Bill certainly knows how to put it. Too bad we all hate Hilary….

  12. Dave

    October 16, 2006 at 2:19 am

    Bill (I did not have sex with woman) Clinton’s remarks are not surprising and there is certainly nothing new in them. The tax cut which is a sore point for all Donocrats is working well. The economy is growing because the people have more money to spend instead of the government having it to waste. As far as the tax cut being only for the rich, I am a retired West Virginian and the tax cut has provided funds for me to enjoy my retirement.

    I have never been a member of either political persuasion because both demonstrate too much ignorance and prefer to put the good of their party ahead of the good of the country.

    I am a fiscal conservative and as such find the “Tax and Spend Democrats” a sad group. The Republicans are closer to my fiscal ideas but many of their ideas are not acceptable.

    Hillary Clinton would be a bad President even though she is probably smarter than Bill. Fortunately Bill is too big a baggage for her to catch the Presidential train.

    Protecting my pocketbook.

    Dave
    Mountaineer

  13. Thurgood

    October 16, 2006 at 2:56 am

    Dave, I would bet that Clinton could easily win against W. It wouldn’t even be close.

    W is the worst President in my lifetime (Eisenhower on).

  14. JimZ

    October 16, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    Bill Clinton may be right on a great deal of this, but wasn’t his wife Hillary a big supporter of a lot of Bu$h’s policies earlier on?

    All I seemed to see was her going along with it, while once in awhile denouncing it. She’d be a fake liberal, then be a fake conservative. The proof is in her voting record (hear that voters of New York?).

    I have nothing against a woman president but is this the best the Dems can come up with? Sigh.

  15. Gerald Bentley

    October 16, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Just want to make one thing clear to all Republicans and Democrats alike. I and most everyone else that I converse with will vote against any politician of any party who voted for the traitorous “Patriot Act” or any of the acts that permit torture, searches, wiretapping, etc w/o warrants or court approval, forever! That means in this election and in all future elections. Anyone who voted for these things are traitors to their oath and their only future should be in prison.

  16. DavidNH

    October 16, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    I would have no problem voting for a woman president, but I would have a problem with voting for Hillary Clinton. It’s not that Hillary has bad ideas, or would be a bad president, but I think the level of discontent it would generate in America would be intolerable. If you think the Clinton haters during Bill’s tenure were bad, just image the noise level during a Hillary presidency.

    I consider myself to be a moderate Democrat. I think that George H.W. Bush wasn’t that bad, and Bill Clinton was pretty good, Monica and Jennifer issues aside.

    George W. is a disaster, but I think that much of the basis for his disasterous presidency is rooted in the need for correcting, justifying, and vindicating the perceived mistakes and successes of his father’s presidency. I fear that a Hillary presidency would bring about an emotionally charged reversed situation. Even though Hillary might make a good president, I think that she’s just too closely associated with her husband, and correcting, justifying, and vindication Bill’s legacy. I don’t think it’s worth the dangers and the ill will that it might create.

  17. Uncle Ludwig

    October 18, 2006 at 5:50 am

    Dave,
    Your sense of the success of the Republicans’ view of fiscal conservatism is a bill of goods you’ve been sold. The tax cuts were red herrings – the issue has never been about revenues but about spending. Your slogan about “tax and spend Democrats” has been replaced by the even more vile “borrow and spend Republicans.” The economy is on a temporary upswing only because our economy is still capable of flexibility and can adapt to most challenges. This is why every 8-10 years we have cycles that go up and back. The Republicans this time are hoping they’ll get some needed mileage out of this upswing, but most people know that they’ve caused the economy deep harm with their borrowing and put us in an economically insecure position with some of our foreign creditors, such as China and Saudi Arabia.

    As a real fiscal conservative, I urge you to join the debate with regard to what we SPEND our money on, and stop trying to defeat government by hamstringing its revenue stream. For example, if we really wanted to go to war, we’d all be making sacrifices as we once did, but this Republican leadership had tax cuts during their so-called “time of war.” This is unprecedented lunacy! We’re trying to fight a war on the cheap; a war we should never have entered; a war which has destroyed our leverage and reputation in the world.

    If you were really protecting your pocketbook, you’d think long term. You’d recognize the damage this current crop has done to all of us with majority control in both houses, and the White House. And even with all that they still keep trying to blame the Democrats for all their failures. THAT’s sad.

    OTOH, if you just want to point a finger at somebody who’s been out of office for nearly six years, go right ahead. Your words reflect the ideological bubble of so-called conservatives. The rest of us have learned from past mistakes and don’t want to see them repeated by a little band of corrupted individuals whose only concern is their own power.

  18. Mark

    October 15, 2006 at 1:00 pm

  19. liz

    October 15, 2006 at 1:31 pm

  20. waldo

    October 15, 2006 at 1:37 pm

  21. waldo

    October 15, 2006 at 1:49 pm

  22. Sandy Price

    October 15, 2006 at 2:23 pm

  23. South Point Man

    October 15, 2006 at 7:06 pm

  24. John

    October 15, 2006 at 7:45 pm

  25. Dave

    October 16, 2006 at 2:19 am

  26. Thurgood

    October 16, 2006 at 2:56 am