Bill Clinton avoids Trump in solo debut on campaign trail–58jh.,b58
Making his first solo appearance of the election cycle in Nashua, N.H., he chose his words carefully, refusing to take the bait from Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who last week began invoking the former president’s “abuse” of women.That approach carried over into brief rope-line interviews with ABC’s Cecilia Vega and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
Asked by Mitchell how he felt about the attacks from Trump, Bill Clinton swiped away the question with his hand.“How I feel is only relevant once they pick a nominee,” he said. “We’re trying to win a primary. We’re trying to do that first.”
“He adds value not only because he is an inspiring and motivating speaker — not to mention a great fundraiser — but also is a reminder of a presidency that is widely seen as successful,” the ally said. “He’s truly a surrogate in chief.”Republicans see things differently, and were quick Monday to highlight headlines from the last year when the former president took heat for his public statements and family foundation.
“If his gaffe-filled 2015 is any indicator, Bill Clinton has lost a few miles an hour off his fastball,” said Jeff Bechdel, the communications director for America Rising.“In 2016, he’s less a ‘secret weapon’ on the campaign trail and closer to a walking liability. … Bill Clinton reinforces all the negative attributes voters assign to Secretary Clinton: unethical, dishonest and untrustworthy.”
The longtime ally said the key for Bill Clinton is to embrace his secondary role in the campaign by avoiding off-the-cuff interviews and limiting question-and-answer sessions.
“Almost everybody goes into the White House with the best of intentions. Whether they succeed or not depends on whether their instincts, their experience, their knowledge, and their psychological makeup fits the time.”
Lauded as the “explainer-in-chief” for his 2012 Democratic National Convention speech for Obama, he highlighted Hillary Clinton’s achievements as he sought to push back against Republican challenges of her record. He lauded the former secretary of State and former senator’s work on Iran sanctions, an arms treaty with Russia, and helping treat HIV and AIDS in Africa as he called her “the best chance to have the most rapid movement to more broadly shared prosperity.”
“She could have gone to work at a big law firm, get a fancy clerkship; she took a job at the Children’s Defense Fund,” he added.
“She hadn’t been elected to anything, but everything she touched, she made better.”
source-the hill, anie parnes, benkamisar, adnrea mitchell, cecilia bega, abc, msnbc, america rising, jeff bechdel,