Bill Clinton gave an unusually succinct speech that stood out for its scathing criticism of Donald Trump and also one of the issues that the president still holds an advantage in some polling — the economy.
Clinton framed the election as one whether voters will have to decide “whether to renew [Trump’s] contract or hire someone else.”
“If you want a president who defines the job as spending hours a day watching TV and zapping people on social media, he’s your man,” Clinton said from his home in Chappaqua, NY. “Denying, distracting, and demeaning works great if you’re trying to entertain and inflame. But in a real crisis, it collapses like a house of cards.”
Clinton’s speech also stood out for its length — just five minutes, one of the shortest he has delivered at a convention. He hit Trump not just for the number of coronavirus cases versus other countries, but for the current unemployment rate.
“Donald Trump says we’re leading the world. Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple,” Clinton said. “At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center. There’s only chaos. Just one thing never changes—his determination to deny responsibility and shift the blame. The buck never stops there.”
The motto of Clinton’s campaign in 1992 was “it’s the economy, stupid,” something that critics said should have been given a greater emphasis when his wife, Hillary Clinton, ran for president in 2016. Many of the other speakers during this year’s Democratic convention so far have focused on Trump’s character versus Biden’s empathy, or the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and racial justice issues.
“Joe helped bring us back from a recession before, and he can do it again,” he said. “In 2009, Barack Obama and Joe Biden started with the worst economy since the Great Depression and when they were done, they had delivered more than six straight years of job growth.”
He added, “Joe Biden wants to build an economy far better suited to our changing world.”
Shortly after Clinton’s remarks, Trump tweeted, “Tell the Dems that we have more Cases because we do FAR more Testing than any other Country!”