Does anyone notice a pattern emerging from the Clinton camp? Last week, James Carville caused some commotion with his “Time to Panic” column, which evidently got under the White House’s skin. And today, Bill Clinton rejected the fundamental basis of Obama’s deficit-reduction plan – tax hikes – during an interview with Newsmax:
“I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending until we get this economy off the ground. If we cut government spending, which I normally would be very inclined to do when the deficit’s this big, with interest rates already near zero you can’t get the benefits out of it.
“So what I’d like to see them do is come up with a bipartisan approach, starting with the payroll tax cuts because they have the biggest return.”
I’m not sure which is worse for Obama: Clinton skewering the idea of tax hikes during a weak economy, or him calling for lawmakers to “come up with a bipartisan approach” to the jobs plan/debt debate. After all, Obama has been insisting for weeks his jobs plan is “bipartisan.” Apparently, Clinton doesn’t agree.
Clinton has a long-time habit of criticizing Obama through backhanded compliments and “friendly advice,” and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be tempered by a tough presidential election season. In the Wall Street Journal yesterday, James Taranto dubbed Clinton “Public Frenemy No. 1″ for Obama, which is a fitting description. Taranto has a round-up of some of Clinton’s cattiest swipes at Obama during the first term, and it’s hard not to have a dash of sympathy for Obama’s 2012 campaign staff. They already have Joe Biden’s mouth to contend with, and an uncooperative and chatty Clinton could potentially be an even bigger source of aggravation.