Clinton: GOP Waiting for Democrats to 'Mess Up'

September 8, 2009 - 9:26 AM
Former President Bill Clinton told Esquire magazine that Democratic lawmakers should put together the best health care measure for President Barack Obama, even if it must be fixed later.
Washington (AP) - Former President Bill Clinton says those in his party should ignore any grief from Republicans on health care reform, because the GOP is just waiting for Democrats to "mess up."
 
Clinton told Esquire magazine that lawmakers should put together the best health care measure for President Barack Obama, even if it must be fixed later.
 
"All we have to worry about is getting things done and doing them as well as we can," Clinton said. "Don't even worry about the Republicans. Let them figure out what they're going to stand for. 'Cause as long as they're sitting around waiting for us to mess up, they don't have a chance."
 
Unlike his failed effort to revamp health care in the mid-1990s, Clinton said he believes Obama will overhaul the system.
 
Comparing Obama's busy first year in office to his own, Clinton said, "It's going to have a different ending -- he's going to get health care reform."
 
Clinton also laid out his take on the GOP's strategy in the Aug. 7 interview.
 
"The broad canvas is that the Republicans are trying to figure out whether to keep playing their old songs or try to write a new script," he said. "Meanwhile, they're hoping this president will fail, and they're trying to spook the Democrats from the more vulnerable districts into helping him fail."
 
Clinton recalled how Democrats regained control of Congress in 2006, which Republicans had held since 1994.
 
"I remember I told Hillary the morning after the election, I said, 'If we don't nominate a convicted felon, our nominee's gonna be president,'" he said.
 
Obama won the Democratic nomination after a long primary battle with the former president's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
 
The interview is published in the October issue, on stands Sept. 14.