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Bubba Goes Off The Rails

- March 14, 2016

Bill Clinton Is Showcasing His Famous Penchant For Going Way Off Message

TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Yesterday, Bill Clinton continued his long tradition of straying off message, praising Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls as one of his "favorite companies" after Hillary had had released an ad attacking the company and made criticizing its practices a centerpiece of her campaign message.
  • Bill Clinton has attacked the Obama economy for leaving "millions of Americans" behind, while Hillary Clinton has given Obama an "A" on the economy.
  • Bill Clinton has attacked Obama for not being a "change maker," while Hillary Clinton has tied herself to Obama's legacy.
  • Bill Clinton has attacked the "Russian Reset" for having few accomplishments, while Hillary Clinton has touted it as one of her signature successes while Secretary of State.
  • Just like in 2008, Bill Clinton is becoming the sort of off message surrogate that is more of a liability than an asset.

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YESTERDAY, BILL CLINTON CONTINUED IN HIS TRADITION OF UNDERMINING HIS OWN WIFE'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Bill Clinton Defended Johnson Controls As One Of His "Favorite Companies" After Hillary Clinton Called Out The Company For Walking Out On America

Yesterday, At An Event For His Wife's Campaign, Bill Clinton Called Johnson Controls One Of His "Favorite Companies," Praising The Work The Company Has Done With The Clinton Foundation. BILL CLINTON: "Including, by the way, one of my favorite companies, Johnson Controls. It's a clean energy company that worked with our foundation to retrofit the Empire State Building, we cut the electric us in that old building by 40%, created 275 full-time jobs for two and a half years doing it. But, Johnson Controls is an auto-supply company, they come to Congress and they 'please bail out the auto industry.' And Congress helped them, and they should have. Detroit just had its best month ever and whoa to us if we had lost the manufacturing of automobiles and light trucks in America. But then, as soon as they got well, they got under the influence of these activist shareholders who made them pretend to sell themselves to a company in Northern Ireland where they could pay a third of the taxes. I think if we help somebody, and they bolt on us, they should pay an exit fee." (Bill Clinton, Remarks At A 'Get Out The Vote' Event, Greenville, NC, 3/14/16)

Click To Watch

In A February Campaign Ad, Hillary Clinton Attacks Johnson Controls For Its Corporate Inversion Plan, Declaring "If I'm President, When Companies Walk Out On America, They'll Pay A Price." CLINTON: "This is Johnson Controls. … But now that Johnson is back on its feet, they're gaming the system and moving profits to Ireland so they can avoid paying taxes here at home. It's an outrage. If I'm president, when companies walk out on America, they'll pay a price." (Hillary For America TV Ad, " Johnson Controls," Released 2/23/16)

Click To Watch

Hillary Clinton Has Made Johnson Controls Her "Corporate Villain On The Campaign Trail." "Hillary Clinton's new corporate villain on the campaign trail, Johnson Controls, fired back Thursday, denying Clinton's assertion that it had sought out government protection or taken a government bailout." (Jackie Kucinich, "Hillary Clinton's Corporate Villain Hits Back," The Daily Beast, 2/4/16)

  • Reuters Headline: "Hillary Clinton Calls Johnson Controls-Tyco Inversion 'Outrageous.'" ("Hillary Clinton Calls Johnson Controls-Tyco Inversion 'Outrageous,'" Reuters, 1/25/16)
  • Real Clear Politics Headline: "Hillary Clinton Ad Calls Out Auto Parts Company That Received Bailout For Corporate Inversion." ("Hillary Clinton Ad Calls Out Auto Parts Company That Received Bailout For Corporate Inversion," Real Clear Politics , 2/23/16)

Since 2009, Johnson Controls Has Donated As Much As $250,000 To The Clinton Foundation In Membership Dues To The Clinton Global Initiative. "Left unmentioned were Clinton's family ties to the firm. Since 2009, Johnson Controls has been a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, which is led by Bill Clinton, and the firm has donated as much as $250,000 to the charity in membership dues." (Annie Linksey, "Ever-Cautions Hillary Clinton Counting On A Win In Iowa," The Boston Globe , 1/31/16)

Last Week Bill Went Off Message By Repeatedly Attacking The "Pretty Picture" Obama Has Painted On The Economy After Clinton Has Portrayed Herself As The Heir To The Obama's Economic Policies

Clinton Bashed Obama's Economy When He Said "Millions And Millions And Millions And Millions Of People" Can't "Find Themselves In It To Save Their Lives." "But, here's the deal. So why is it such a wacky election? Because, millions and millions and millions and millions of people look at that pretty picture of America he painted and they cannot find themselves in it to save their lives. That explains everything. That explains a lot of intensity in our party, and what looks to the outside observer like a grade school playground fight in the other debates, in the other party. People are upset, frankly, they're anxiety-ridden, they're disoriented, because they don't seem themselves in that picture. Hillary is running for president to put every single American in the picture President Obama painted." (Bill Clinton, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Raleigh, NC, 3/7/16)

Click To Watch

Bill Clinton Trashed Obama's "Beautiful Picture" Of Economy, Saying "Millions Of Americans Can't Look At That Picture And Find Themselves And Their Families In it To Save Their Lives ." BILL CLINTON: "Why is there so much intensity and anger and confusion and anxiety? Because that beautiful picture of the future the President painted? Millions of Americans can't look at that picture and find themselves and their families in it to saves their lives." (Former President Bill Clinton, Remarks At A Campaign Event, St. Louis, MO, 3/8/16)

Click To Watch

Bill Clinton: Most "Can't Find" Themselves In Obama's "Pretty Picture" Of The Economy. BILL CLINTON: "So, you got a lot of people that say, 'oh that's a really pretty picture Mr. President and I know you're telling the truth, and he is, but right now I can't find myself in it.' Hillary is running for president so that every single person in this country can find themselves in that picture for the future." (Former President Bill Clinton, Remarks At A Campaign Event, St. Louis, MO, 3/8/16)

Click To Watch

In October 2015, Hillary Clinton Gave The Obama Administration An "A" For Its Overall Performance, Including The Clinton-Obama Economy. CLINTON: "I'd give him an 'A.' I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for saving our economy from falling into a great depression, for saving the auto industry which represents millions of jobs up and down the supply chain, for beginning the crackdown on Wall Street abuses with Dodd-Frank, for getting the Affordable Care Act passed, for really being as responsive as he could possibly be given the obstructionism that he faced with the Republicans in Congress." (Hillary Clinton Interview With The Boston Globe, 10/17/15)

In February, Bill Clinton Said That Obama Is Not A Change Maker Even As Clinton Has Tried To Tie Herself To Obama's Legacy As Much As Possible

In February, Bill Clinton Said Obama Is Not A "Change-Maker." "'She's always making something good happen,' he said of President Barack Obama's former secretary of state, who is running for the Democratic nomination. 'A lot of people say you don't understand it's rigged now. Yeah, it's rigged now because you don't have a president that's a change-maker.'" (Kristen East, "Bill Clinton: Hillary Would Be An Actual 'Change-Maker,'"Politico , 2/13/16)

Hillary Clinton Has Been Attempting To Draw Comparisons Between Herself And President Obama And Has Said She Will Protect His Legacy If Elected. "Bill Clinton's remarks come a week before the Nevada Democratic Caucuses and two weeks before the South Carolina Democratic primary, at a time when Hillary Clinton has drawn comparisons between herself and Obama, who is highly popular among the Democratic base, and talks about the importance of protecting his legacy." (Kristen East, "Bill Clinton: Hillary Would Be An Actual 'Change-Maker'," Politico, 2/13/16)

MSNBC's Chris Hayes Said "Bill Seemed To Go A Bit Off-Message…" MSNBC'S CHRIS HAYES: "Now, if that's Clinton's winning strategy, she might want to make sure her husband in the loop, Bill seemed to go a bit off-message last night in Tennessee while campaigning for his wife." (MSNBC's " All In With Chris Hayes," 2/12/16)

Click To Watch

Bill Has Gone So Far As To Admit Hillary's Signature "Reset" With Russia Failed

Bill Clinton: Only One Thing Survived Hillary's "So Called" Russia Reset. BILL CLINTON: "She negotiated a treaty with Russia which is the only that survives our so called reset, trying to improve our relations. It's called the New START Treaty and it basically dramatically reduces the likelihood of accidental or intentional nuclear exchange with Russia and in a dangerous, turbulent world, I think that's a pretty big deal." (Bill Clinton, Remarks, Dubuque, IA, 1/7/16)

Click To Watch

At A January Campaign Rally, Bill Clinton Knocked Hillary's Russia Reset Policy, Conceding It Had Few Accomplishments And Went From "Our Attempt To Do Better" To "Estrangement." BILL CLINTON: "The only thing that has survived the estrangement of the United States and Russia from our attempt to do better is something called the New START Treaty, negotiated by Hillary's State Department, which makes us much safer from this prospect from an accidental or intentional nuclear exchange. In a dangerous world, I think that's a pretty good deal." (Bill Clinton, Remarks At A Hillary Clinton Campaign Rally, Nashua, NH, 1/4/16)

Click To Watch

Hillary Clinton On The Russia Reset, June 2014: "I Thought It Was A Brilliant Stroke, Which In Retrospect Appears Even More So, Because Look At What We Accomplished." BBC HOST: "You famously pressed the reset button. Are you embarrassed by that now, that gesture?" CLINTON: "No I thought it was a brilliant stroke, which in retrospect appears even more so, because look at what we accomplished." ( Interview With BBC, 6/13/14)

Click To Watch

Bill Clinton Is "UNPREDICTABLE" and IS OFTEN "CAUSING HEADACHES" AS A Surrogate For His Wife

Bill Clinton Is An "Unpredictable Advocate" For His Wife. "And it's been true this month, when the former president has reemerged as a potent but unpredictable advocate who sometimes helps his wife's cause - and sometimes doesn't." (Abby Phillip, "Eight Years Later, Bill Clinton Is Causing Headaches For His Wife Again," The Washington Post , 2/15/16)

"The Reality Is That No One - Certainly Not At The Staff Level - Can Control What Bill Clinton Says Or Does." (Chris Cillizza, "What If The Problem With Hillary Clinton's Campaign Is Hillary Clinton?" The Washington Post's The Fix , 2/8/16)

Politico Magazine Headline: Hillary's Bill Problem Is Back (Gil Troy, "Hillary's Bill Problem Is Back,"Politico Magazine , 3/10/16)

The Washington Post Headline: "Eight Years Later, Bill Clinton Is Causing Headaches For His Wife Again" (Abby Phillip, "Eight Years Later, Bill Clinton Is Causing Headaches For His Wife Again," The Washington Post , 2/15/16)

Clinton's Tone And Arguments Don't "Always Mesh With What His Wife Is Saying On The Same Day, Somewhere Else On The Campaign Trail." "Sometimes, it's the tone and apparent vitriol in Clinton's voice that seem to hit the wrong note. Sometimes it's the actual argument, which doesn't always mesh with what his wife is saying on the same day, somewhere else on the campaign trail." (Abby Phillip, "Eight Years Later, Bill Clinton Is Causing Headaches For His Wife Again," The Washington Post , 2/15/16)

When Bill Clinton Is Stumping For His Wife, "He Seems To Lose It." "In his post-White House years, Clinton has become a coveted Democratic surrogate. But when it comes to his wife's campaigns, something else can happen: He seems to lose it. It was true in this crucial nominating state in 2008, where Hillary Clinton lost badly to Barack Obama." (Abby Phillip, "Eight Years Later, Bill Clinton Is Causing Headaches For His Wife Again," The Washington Post , 2/15/16)

The Same Thing Happened When Bill Was A Surrogate In 2008

In 2008, The Clinton Campaign Stumbled With "Bill's Temper Tantrum Over Hillary's Losing South Carolina…" "And sometimes, they stumbled together. During Barack Obama's 2008 surge, Bill's temper tantrum over Hillary's losing South Carolina prompted unfair charges of racism." (Gil Troy, "Hillary's Bill Problem Is Back,"Politico Magazine , 3/10/16)

"Clinton Supporters Worry That History Might Be Repeating Itself, And That The Former President's Attacks Could Boomerang On His Wife By Turning Off Large Swathes Of The Democratic Electorate." (Niall Stanage And Arnie Parnes, "Clinton Attacks On Sanders Make Dems Nervous," The Hill, 2/8/16)

"There's No Real Debate That The Former President Hurt His Wife's Cause During The 2008 Campaign…" "Then there is the most enigmatic of factors when dealing with Hillary Clinton: Bill Clinton. There's no real debate that the former president hurt his wife's cause during the 2008 campaign thanks to a series of impolitic comments about then Sen. Barack Obama." (Chris Cillizza, "What If The Problem With Hillary Clinton's Campaign Is Hillary Clinton?" The Washington Post's The Fix , 2/8/16)

When Bill Clinton And Other Surrogates Attacked Obama In 2008, It Was "Widely Seen As Counter-Productive." "The shift by the Clinton team to a more aggressive footing evoked memories for some of her 2008 campaign against Barack Obama, when Bill Clinton and other surrogates mounted attacks that were widely seen as counter-productive." (Niall Stanage And Arnie Parnes, "Clinton Attacks On Sanders Make Dems Nervous," The Hill , 2/8/16)


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