The media's crush on Bill Clinton has only grown stronger since he left office, and CNN renewed its affection for the former president on Tuesday by airing over four minutes of him introducing President Obama at a Democratic fund raiser.
Fox News caught some flack for producing and airing a four-minute anti-Obama video – not that NBC and MSNBC haven't done the same thing to Romney – but CNN pulled a similar move in not producing, but still airing, what amounted to Obama campaign propaganda. And this is not the first time this has happened on CNN's The Situation Room. [Video below the break.]
Back in March, CNN ran two minutes of a trailer for an Obama campaign film that Blitzer hyped "has the look and feel of a Hollywood blockbuster."
Clinton "gets away with a lot" since he is out of office, noted CNN's White House correspondent Jessica Yellin. Ironically, CNN is the one letting him get away with "a lot" since they'll freely air what he has to say.
Both Blitzer and Yellin also rehashed Clinton's lines attacking Republicans without any commentary or criticism, essentially giving the former president even more air time. And before the video clip played of Clinton's speech, Blitzer quoted him saying Romney's election would be "calamitous" for the country and the world.
In his remarks made on Monday, Clinton pleaded for the audience to re-elect President Obama, lauded him for doing an "amazing job" protecting the country, and derided Republicans for "trickle-down" economic policies and for wanting European-style austerity measures.
"I never thought I'd live to breathe and see here they are, saying let's do the Eurozone's economic policy. They got 11 percent unemployment. We can get up there if we work at it," Clinton mocked Republicans in the clip aired by CNN.
A partial transcript of the segment, which aired on June 5 on The Situation Room at 4:06 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
WOLF BLITZER: The former President Bill Clinton raised some eyebrows recently when he told CNN that Mitt Romney had a, quote, "sterling" business record. But he changed his tune last night during a series of Democratic fund raisers in New York. The former president praised President Obama and then said he thought the alternative would be, and I'm quoting him now, "calamitous for our country and the world." President Clinton went all out for President Obama last night. Listen to these excerpts.
BILL CLINTON, former President of the United States: I care about the long-term debt of the country a lot. Remember me? I'm the only guy that gave you four surplus budgets out of the eight I sent. So I hope what I say to you will have some weight, because I want you to say it to everybody you see between now and November. I don't think it's important to re-elect the President. I think it is essential to re-elect the President if we want this country to have the kind of future that our children and grandchildren deserve.
And here's why. When I left office we returned to the trickle-down policies. Big tax cuts, mostly for people in my income group – I love saying this, because I never had any money until I got out of the White House. Maybe that's why I don't mind paying those taxes, since I never had before, I didn't know what it was like. Listen, this is a big, clear election. Also, for me, it's important to say in my opinion he's done an amazing job making our country more secure, more safe, more peaceful and building a world with more partners and fewer adversaries, and that is very, very important.
So – and he's had to get all this done while people as recently as last week were still saying he wasn't born in America. He's had to get all this done with a House of Representatives that had one of the Tea Party members claim that 78 of 81 members of the Democratic Caucus were members of the Communist party and neither the presidential nominee nor any of the leaders rebuked him for saying that. This is not the 1950s. At least Joe McCarthy could skate on the fact that there was one or two living Communists walking around.
Nobody has seen a communist in over a decade.
No criticism is too vicious and too fact-free. You have to take the facts out there. Take the facts on the economy, the facts on health care, the facts on energy, the facts on education and the fact is we've got an economic policy that has a real chance to bring America back. Why do you think long-term interest rates – remember the Republicans said, oh that Obama he's such a big spender. We're going to have a weak dollar and interest rates are going to go through the roof. You know what the 10-year Treasury note interest rate was today? One quarter of one percent. We ought to all go buy one. They're giving away the money.
Now you're laughing, but why are they doing that? Because people believe America has a solid economic strategy for the long run. And who would have ever thought that the Republicans would embrace the austerity and jobless policies of what they used to derisively call "Old Europe." I never thought I'd live to breathe and see here they are, saying let's do the Eurozone's economic policy. They got 11percent unemployment. We can get up there if we work at it.
We're laughing folks, but this is serious. Too much of politics is fact-free. Just think about the world you want your children and your grandchildren to live in. Think about what the 21st century can be. Remember there is nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed and our inherent advantages, including our diversity and our relative youth, the strength of the system are there, but you've got to have the right captain of the ship. And I am depending on you to take care of future generations by making sure that that captain is President Barack Obama.
(End Video Clip)
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN White House correspondent: He can mock the President's critics. He can essentially call them loons, which is what you heard him do there. Because he's out of office, he pays no price for it, he doesn't have to work with anyone in Congress now in that same way. And he also did something that was quite new in his comments, when he said that the Governor Romney – and he tied them to the Republicans in Congress – are embracing the policies of Old Europe, he's sort of turning the Republicans' argument on its head. You know the Republicans have argued that the President embraces policies that mirror European socialism, and now he's playing some verbal jujitsu saying no, they're the ones who are embracing European policies. So he gets away with a lot, Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER: Yeah and he went after Representative Allen West of Florida, the Republican Tea Party favorite who has said flatly there were 78 to 81 Communists in the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives. You heard what Bill Clinton had to say about that. He specifically blasted Romney and other Republican leaders for refusing to blast Allen West for those comments.