Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton asked Democratic voters to shrug off the “awful legacy” of President Obama’s years in office in a speech Monday to support Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“Now if you don’t believe we can all grow together again, if you don’t believe we’re ever going to grow again, if you believe it’s more important to re-litigate the past, there may be many reasons that you don’t want to support her,” Clinton told a Spokane, Wash., audience.

Yes, we want to litigate her crony speaking gigs, her use of a private email server to avoid scrutiny, etc.

“But if you believe we can all rise together, if you believe we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that where we were practicing trickle-down economics with no regulation in Washington, which is what caused the crash, then you should vote for her,” he added.

Cue the spit take.

  • Enron happened on Bill Clinton’s watch. George W. Bush’s team prosecuted the perps, putting one of the Big Eight accounting firms out of business.
  • Speaking of Enron, Clinton aided the company in its dealings with India
  • President Clinton’s tenure was characterized by economic prosperity and financial deregulation, which in many ways set the stage for the excesses of recent years. Among his biggest strokes of free-wheeling capitalism was the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, a cornerstone of Depression-era regulation.
  • He also signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which exempted credit-default swaps from regulation.
  • In 1995 Clinton loosened housing rules by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act, which put added pressure on banks to lend in low-income neighborhoods. It is the subject of heated political and scholarly debate whether any of these moves areto blame for our troubles, but they certainly played a role in creating a permissive lending environment.