Clinton: 'Vote for the Person Who Wants You to Think and Hope'

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - Former President Bill Clinton campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in Philadelphia, Pa., Monday outlining reasons why he thinks voters should choose Kerry over President George W. Bush.

Calling it one of "Clinton's laws of politics," the former president said, "If one candidate's trying to scare you and the other one's trying to get you to think, if one candidate's appealing to your fears and the other one's appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope."

Clinton, who is on the mend from heart surgery, was welcomed by confetti and a cheering crowd that included politicians like Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor John Street and entertainers such as singer Patti Labelle. "If this isn't good for my heart, I don't know what is," Clinton said, thanking the crowd and the country for their prayers and support.

"From time to time I have been called the comeback kid. In eight days, John Kerry's gonna make America the comeback country," Clinton said. "I know well that no one's presence can change a single vote, but I hope my reasons can affect a few votes."

Clinton criticized the Bush administration on a number of issues, including the economy, health care, education, and homeland security.

"On the economy, we have just lived through four years of the first job losses in 70 years, record bankruptcy, middle-class incomes declining and poverty going up. In Pennsylvania alone, you've lost 70,000 jobs as compared with the 219,000 you gained by this time when that last fella was president - me," Clinton said.

"In Pennsylvania alone, 249,000 people have been added to the rolls of poverty, falling out of the middle class, as compared with 395,000 people who moved from poverty into the middle class the last time we had a Democratic administration," he said.

Clinton added that "333,000 Pennsylvanians have lost their health insurance. Unemployment's gone up 26 percent. It dropped 35 percent in the first four years the last time we had a Democratic administration."

The former president called the Bush administration's policies for the next four years "more of the same" and blasted Bush for giving "two huge tax cuts to upper-income people like me and to special interests."

Added Clinton: "They run these big deficits, and they go every month and borrow the money to cover our debt from the Chinese and the Japanese government, and they're saddling it on our children. They're making our children pay for it today and tomorrow."

Over two million children were not funded in the president's No Child Left Behind Act, over a half a million children were "kicked out of their after-school programs," 140,000 unemployed workers were "kicked out of their job training programs," and 100,00 working families lost their childcare, Clinton said. "That's their plan," he added.

"John Kerry's got a better plan. He wants to repeal the tax cuts for those of use who've been fortunate enough to make a lot of money. He wants to finally give us a chance to make a contribution to America's economic recovery and to the fight against terrorism," Clinton said.

"Most of us, without regard to party, want our chance to contribute to our country's welfare and our future, and we don't want our children and our grandchildren paying for the cost of our tax cuts," he added.

Clinton accused Bush and the GOP of "trying to scare the undecided voters about" Kerry and "trying to scare the decided voters away from the polls."

"We know about that, don't we? It worked so well in Florida they seem to be trying it elsewhere," he added.

Clinton said Kerry, in contrast, has "gone on being John Kerry, talking about his hopes for America, his plans for America, his commitment to our security and our prosperity."

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