Former President Bill Clinton says that as far as Republicans go he likes GOP 2012 hopefuls Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. Clinton made his comments on the presidential field at the Aspen Ideas Festival Saturday evening. While Clinton still thinks President Obama will win reelection in 2012, he commented that the former Massachusetts governor is fronting a much stronger campaign than he did in 2008, and Michele Bachmann is looking like “a better candidate" than he thought. Clinton remarked:
“But, y’know, I like the governors: I like Huntsman and Romney. Romney’s a MUCH better candidate than he was last time, because he’s not apologizing for signing the health-care bill. He’s got another creative way of saying we oughta repeal Obamacare, but that’s prob’ly the price of gettin’ the nomination.
“Huntsman hasn’t said what he’s for yet, but I just kinda like him. [laughter] He LOOKS authentic – he looks like a real guy. [laughter] I mean, a real human being. I like his family, I like his kind of iconoclastic way. And he was a pretty good governor. And he wasn’t a right-wing ideologue.
"Bachmann's been a better candidate than I THOUGHT she’d be, and I don’t agree with her on nearly anything. But she’s got a very compelling personal story, and she gotta lot of juice, and she turns [on] a lot of those anti-government crowd."
Clinton went on to comment that he thought President Obama would win reelection based off things like the President's handling of the auto industry crisis, record on national security, and that "He took steps which avoided a depression." Clinton:
“It’s not like he doesn’t have a story to tell. I also think he’s done a good job in trying to harmonize America’s differences, trying to widen the circle of opportunity. I think he’s got a good record on gay rights. I think he’s got a good record on trying to promote diversity in a positive way."
Interesting comments. Is "a good record on gay rights" pushing the removal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," policy which you installed? Great story.
While Clinton's support of the fellow Democrat and current President is to be expected, it will be interesting to see if his folksy comments on three Republican presidential candidates Saturday along with similar statements made in an ABC News interview last Thursday will have any effect on the GOP Presidential primary campaign.
With some commentators already questioning if Jon Huntsman is too moderate to be elected by today's GOP, will Clinton's kind words be hurled against the former Utah governor by his fellow 2012 hopefuls? Will conservatives who already have an issue with Mitt Romeny's "health care thing" become further frustrated by Clinton's approval?
How do you think Bill Clinton's comments will be used, if at all, as the Republican primary race tightens in coming months?