Former President Bill Clinton took the stage on Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention to defend President Barack Obama's record and implore the audience to give him four more years.
Clinton's speech, which lasted for nearly an hour, made a point-by-point case for the accomplishments of Obama's administration in every category, from the economy, to health care, to national security. Speaking about Obama, Clinton said, "I want to nominate a man who's cool on the outside, but who burns for America on the inside."
The dominant message in Clinton's speech seemed to be about cooperation and togetherness. He repeated, "We're all in this together," several times in his speech, and spoke favorably about bipartisanship. Clinton said, "When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better," according to NPR.
Taking aim at the Republican Party, he said, "Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn't see it that way. They think government is the enemy, and compromise is weakness." In a speech sprinkled with his characteristic humor, Clinton commended Obama's willingness to work with opponents by saying, "Heck, he even appointed Hillary!"
"Democracy does not have to be a blood sport. It can be an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest," he said.
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Clinton mentioned the Republican National Convention that took place last week in Tampa, Florida. He said, "In Tampa, the Republican argument against the President’s re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn’t finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in," The Wall Street Journal reported.
He quoted former President Ronald Reagan, while criticizing the Republican party for its defense spending and budget cuts, saying, "As another President once said there – they go again."
Clinton spoke at length about the economy, looking back at his own time as President and the policies that worked and failed. He said, "President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President – not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years."
Clinton paid special attention to health care, Medicare and Medicaid, dissecting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan's attacks on Obama's handling of Medicare.
Taking a direct shot at the Romney campaign, Clinton said, "Their campaign posters said, 'We are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.'"
The crowd was cheering wildly by the time Clinton delivered his closing salvo, "If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities – a "we're all in it together" society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden."
Obama came out to greet Clinton at the end of his speech, and they embraced before waving to the crowds together.
When asked about his relationship with Obama, Clinton said, "It's quite good, actually. It's candid, it's open. We haven't been close friends a long time or anything like that, but he knows that I support him," according to Reuters.