Former President Clinton steadfastly defended President Obama and Senate Democrats Sunday morning on their position in the debt-ceiling fight and criticized House Republicans for not being interested in real budget negotiations.
“This is the House Republicans and tea party saying, ‘We don’t want to negotiate with Democrats,’ ” Clinton told This Week‘s George Stephanopoulos.”They’re mad because they don’t want to negotiate.”
Clinton defended Obama’s position while calling the House Republican position “almost spiteful.”
“If I were the president, I wouldn’t negotiate over these draconian cuts that are gonna take food off the table of low-income working people, while they leave all the agricultural subsidies in for high-income farmers and everything else,” Clinton said. “I think it’s chilling. It seems almost spiteful.”
Clinton is no stranger to government shutdowns. During his mid-‘90s skirmishes with then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Clinton vetoed a continuing resolution sent to his desk by the GOP-led Congress that would have raised Medicare premiums and lessened environmental regulations. The November 1995 shutdown lasted five days before Clinton brokered an agreement with Gingrich that funded the government at 75 percent while budget negotiations continued for several weeks.
Less than a month later, though, the government closed its doors for another 21 days, as Gingrich and other Republican leaders insisted that the White House pass a seven-year plan that balanced the budget off of Congressional Budget Office projections rather than slightly more optimistic projections outlined by the Office of Management and Budget. Republicans eventually passed legislation to reopen the government, while Clinton relented and submitted a balanced budget plan based on CBO numbers.
Clinton’s approval ratings were subject to some volatility during and after the shutdowns. His numbers fell about 10 percent during the second shutdown, but it ticked up to 53 percent in a Gallup Poll shortly after the dust settled.
Clinton was also quick to say the shutdown negotiations he presided over were very different than the current fights facing Obama.
“The negotiations we had were extremely minor,” Clinton said. “The economy was growing and the deficit was going down. They didn’t ask for the store.”
Clinton dismissed any notion that Obama’s signature health care bill was in any way a realistic bargaining chip for the budget fights.
“You can’t negotiate over that,” Clinton said. “And I think he’s right not to.”
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."