Campaign Buzz June 7, 2012: Bill Clinton Differs with Obama on Bush-Era Tax Cuts Extension then After Backlash Backtracks Position & Apologizes

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: BILL CLINTON DIFFERS WITH OBAMA ON BUSH-ERA TAX CUTS EXTENSION THEN AFTER BACKLASH BACKTRACKS POSITION

MARIA BARTIROMO: So what about this upcoming fiscal cliff? Because a lot of people are worried and the markets certainly have been reacting to the– to the idea that these Bush tax cuts will expire at year end along with the spending programs that will expire. Should those programs and those tax cuts be extended?

PRES. BILL CLINTON: What I think they should do is find a way to keep the expansion going. And I think the– as weak as it is here, you know, unemployment in the euro zone I think is 11%. And– Germany’s doing well but the– and a lot of the smaller countries are doing extremely well, many of which are not in the euro.
But they’re trying to figure out a way to promote growth. And what I think we need to do is to– find some way to avoid the fiscal cliff, to avoid doing anything that would contract the economy now, and then deal with what’s necessary in the long-term debt reduction plan as soon as they can, which presumably will be after the election.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So does that mean extending the tax cuts?

PRES. BILL CLINTON: Well, I think what it means is they will have extend– they will probably have to put everything off until early next year. That’s probably the best thing to do right now. But the Republicans don’t want to do that unless he agrees to extend the tax cuts permanently, including for upper income people.
And I don’t think the president should do that. That’s going to– that’s what they’re fighting about. I don’t have any problem with extending all of it now, including the current spending level. They’re still pretty low, the government spending levels. But I think they look high because there’s a recession. So the taxes look lower than they really would be if we had two and a half, 3% growth. And the spending is higher than it would be if we had two and a half, 3% growth because there are so many people getting food stamps, so many people getting unemployment, so many people are Medicaid.
But– the real issue is not whether they should be extended for another few months. The real issue is whether the price the Republican House will put on that extension is the permanent extension of the tax cuts, which I think is an error.

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  • Bill Clinton ‘very sorry’ about tax remarks, agrees with Obama: Bill Clinton said Thursday that he’s “very sorry” for comments he made days earlier that appeared to undermine President Obama’s position on extending certain tax rates, chalking it up to a misunderstanding over when lawmakers needed to…. – LAT, 6-7-12
  • Democrats’ Comments Spark Tax Cut Debate: Congressional Republicans pounced Wednesday on disputed comments from Bill Clinton and a former senior Obama economic adviser as support for the push to extend Bush-era tax cuts…. – NYT, 6-6-12
  • Summers Comment Adds to Confusion on Tax Cuts: Confusing economic comments – first by Bill Clinton, then by Lawrence Summers – have emboldened Republicans to say they have bipartisan backing for the extension of Bush-era tax cuts…. – NYT, 6-6-12
  • Ex-White House aide Lawrence Summers: Tax breaks should stay for now: On the heels of President Clinton’s suggestion that tax breaks for the wealthy should continue into next year, former White House economic advisor Lawrence Summers joined the debate — essentially agreeing that Congress…. – LAT, 6-6-12
  • GOP once tried to bury Clinton, now it praises him: Republicans who tried to strip Bill Clinton of his presidency have eagerly embraced the Democrat, taking his words on taxes and decisions on Bosnia and using them to pound another Democratic president, Barack Obama…. – Boston.com, 6-7-12
  • Bill Clinton becomes Romney’s favorite surrogate for Obama: One of the top unanswered questions of the 2008 presidential campaign has come roaring back: What’s Bill Clinton thinking? The former president has increased his profile in recent days, speaking out on behalf of…. – Reuters, 6-7-12
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  • Clinton Remarks Test Uneasy AllianceWSJ, 6-6-12
  • Obama still opposes extending Bush-era tax cuts for rich: President Barack Obama continues to oppose extending Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier Americans, the White House said on Wednesday, shrugging off calls for a temporary extension to allow more time for a deal on….. – Reuters, 6-6-12
  • Ex-White House aide Lawrence Summers: Tax breaks should stay for now: On the heels of President Clinton’s suggestion that tax breaks for the wealthy should continue into next year, former White House economic advisor Lawrence Summers joined the debate — essentially agreeing that Congress…. – LAT, 6-6-12
  • Obama and Bill Clinton: On same team but not always reading same playbook: How things change. In 2008, after a bruising primary battle with Hillary Clinton, then-Sen. Barack Obama was on the outs with former President Bill Clinton. This election cycle, Clinton is one of Obama’s most visible surrogates…. – CNN, 6-4-12
  • Clinton’s Tax-Cut Position Undercuts Obama Stance: Former Democratic President Bill Clinton suggested Tuesday that Congress temporarily extend all the Bush-era tax cuts, undercutting President Barack Obama’s position that the rates on upper-income Americans should rise at year’s end…. – WSJ, 6-5-12
  • US Is Already in ‘Recession,’ Extend Tax Cuts: Bill Clinton: Former President Bill Clinton told CNBC Tuesday that the US economy already is in a recession and urged Congress to extend all the tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year. In a taped interview aired on “Closing Bell”… CNBC.com, 6-5-12
  • CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC’S MARIA BARTIROMO SITS DOWN WITH FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: WHEN: TODAY, TUESDAY, JUNE 5TH AT 4PM ET WHERE: CNBC’S “CLOSING BELL WITH MARIA BARTIROMO” Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with former President Bill Clinton today on CNBC’s “Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo.”… – CNBC.com, 6-5-12
  • Bill Clinton says renew all expiring tax cuts temporarily, long-term cuts: Former President Bill Clinton says broad tax cuts that expire in January should be temporarily extended, including for the wealthiest Americans, to give lawmakers time to reach a deal on long-term tax reductions that he says should exclude…. – WaPo, 6-5-12
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