FT. MYERS, Fla. â€” Paul Ryan responded toÂ comments President Bill Clinton madeÂ Thursday while stumping for President Barack Obama, using them as ammunition aimed right back at his Democratic opponents.
â€œThe president and his allies have said a few revealing things lately,â€ Ryan said at an outdoor rally at a sports complex here. Â â€Bill Clinton said it is true that our economy is not fixed. He is right. â€¦ If the economy is not fixed, it is time we change presidents and elect Mitt Romney the next president of the United States.â€
Earlier Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio Clinton said at a rally also featuring Bruce Springsteen, â€œGov. Romneyâ€™s argument is, â€˜Weâ€™re not fixed, so fire him and put me in.â€™ It is true, weâ€™re not fixed. â€¦Â When President Obama looked into the eyes of that man who said in the debate, â€˜I had so much hope four years ago and I donâ€™t now,â€™ I thought he was going to cry because he knows that itâ€™s not fixed.â€
Republicans jumped on the comment, but left out the full context.
â€œWhat the American people have got to decide is whether they believe, people like who are a little bit on the outside of this, that this is the biggest economic crash since the Great Depression,â€ Clinton added. â€œIt continued for a full year after the president took the oath of office. We were going downhill, he had to stop that, put a floor under it and begin the long road back.â€
The Obama campaign immediately stood by the former presidentâ€™s comments.
â€œPresident Clinton powerfully articulated the progress weâ€™re making under President Obama,â€ Obama campaign spokesperson Danny Kanner said in a statement.Â â€As President Clinton noted, we simply canâ€™t afford to go back to the same failed policies that brought our economy to the brink of collapse in the first place â€“ and thatâ€™s exactly what Mitt Romneyâ€™s offering.â€
Ryan also hit earlier comments by Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that Republicans also have taken out of context.
â€œOn Univision a couple weeks ago, President Obama said he â€˜canâ€™t change Washington from the inside.â€™ Isnâ€™t that why we elect presidents?â€ Ryan asked in front of a crowd of more than 3,500. â€œVice President Biden the other day said the middle class is â€˜buried.â€™ That is one shovel-ready project that this administration can take credit for.â€
Ryan was referring toÂ a campaign event in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this month. Biden stepped on his campaign message somewhat when he said the middle class was â€œburiedâ€ over the last four years, the time in which President Obama has been in office.
â€œThis is deadly earnest: how they can justify â€¦ raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years,â€ Biden said, claiming Republicans would raise such taxes. â€œHow in the Lordâ€™s name can they justify raising their taxes? Weâ€™ve seen this movie before.â€
Ryan also referred to a Univision forum last month, where Obama said the â€œmost importantâ€ lesson he had learned during his first term as president was, â€œYou canâ€™t change Washington from the inside.â€
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