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New York Daily News covers Clinton visit to Wagner

Saturday, September 4, 2010
By SAMUEL GOLDSMITH, Daily News Staff Writer
    Democrats need more time to get out of the economic hole dug by Republicans during the Bush years, ex-President Bill Clinton said yesterday at a campaign rally for Staten Island Rep. Mike McMahon.
    “The Republicans say you have to throw all the Democrats out because of the economy,” Clinton told a crowd of 1,600 at Wagner College. “We knew we could not get out of the hole in 21 months.”
    Clinton jumped into the fight in hopes of stemming Democratic losses in both the House and Senate this fall. Republicans see McMahon’s seat as vulnerable in the conservative-leaning 13th congressional district.
    McMahon’s Republican challengers may criticize him for supporting President Obama’s economic stimulus package, Clinton said, but the bill “gave money to state and local governments so they wouldn’t have to lay off a million teachers and health care workers or turn around and raise taxes on you to keep them working, which would have been a disaster in this economy.”
    Clinton cautioned against a repeat of the years after he left the White House, when Republicans turned his budget surplus into the biggest deficit in the nation’s history.
    “We can’t let them do it again,” Clinton railed.
    “We need individuals who think and do what’s right for you,” he added. “You’ve got to have people who think, not ideologues. Republicans are utterly impervious to evidence.”
    Clinton praised McMahon’s independence, saying he strayed from President Obama’s agenda by voting against the health care reform bill - a move that brought heat from high-placed White House officials.
    The crowd-pleasing ex-President drew cheers during his 30-minute speech and shook hands with spectators for an additional 30 minutes afterward.
    “He’s full of class,” said Maire Connors, 70, of Staten Island. “I trust Clinton maybe more than any other politician. If he says the Democrats can turn around the economy I believe they will.”

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