Clinton: 'Far Right' Controls GOP, Obama Committed to Cooperation

By Susan Jones | September 6, 2012 | 6:18 AM EDT

President Bill Clinton makes a point at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP Photo)

( – Former President Bill Clinton gave Democrats exactly what they wanted Wednesday night, not only nominating Barack Obama for a second term but giving him a hearty endorsement – and an argument to use against Republicans.

“What works in the real in the real world is cooperation,” Clinton said. (Political cooperation was a recurring theme of his speech.)

“One of the main reasons we ought to re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to constructive cooperation. Look at his record,” Clinton said, noting that Obama “appointed Republican secretaries of Defense, the Army and Transportation. He appointed a vice president who ran against him in 2008, and he trusted that vice president to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq – and the implementation of the Recovery Act."

In a line that drew laughs, Clinton said Obama appointed to his cabinet several Hillary supporters to “Heck, he even appointed Hillary!”

Clinton said Obama has “tried to work with congressional Republicans” on health care, debt reduction and job creation –“ and that didn’t work out so well.”

In a dig at Republicans, Clinton summarized the GOP argument for re-election as follows: “In Tampa, the Republicans argument against the president’s re-election was actually pretty simple – pretty snappy: It went something like this: We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.”

Clinton said Obama inherited an even worse economy than he did, and he deserves more time to fix it. “No president, not me or any of my predecessors, could have repaired all the damage in just four years," he said.

Clinton spoke of hatred in politics, saying it comes from the Republican side; ‘Maybe it’s just because I grew up in a different time, but  though I often disagree with Republicans, I actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate our president and a lot of our government.”

Clinton gave various examples of bipartisanship involving himself and Republican presidents. He said he has “been honored to work” with both Presidents Bush, father and son, on various issues.

"I’m working all the time with Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Sometimes I couldn’t tell you for the life (of me) who I’m working with because we focus on solving problems and seizing opportunities and not fighting all the time.”

The line drew tremendous applause.

“And here’s what I want the people at home to think about. When times are tough and people are frustrated and angry and hurting and uncertain, the politics of constant conflict may be good. But what is good politics does not necessarily work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation," Clilnton said.