Clinton: '10 won't be '94 takeover redux

By John Bresnahan
|  Sunday, Sep 27, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 PM PDT
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Former President Bill Clinton said Sunday that Republican attacks have hurt President Barack Obama and the congressional Democrats, but he doesn’t expect a repeat of the 1994 Republican takeover in next year’s midterm elections. 

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Clinton said, “There’s no way they can make it that bad.” 

“No. 1, the country is more diverse and more interested in positive action,” Clinton said. “No. 2, they’ve [the American public] seen this movie before, because they had eight years under President [George W.] Bush when the Republicans finally had the whole government, and they know the results were bad. And— No. 3 —the Democrats haven’t taken on the gun lobby like I did, and they took 15 of our members out. So I don’t think — it’ll be, whatever happens, it’ll be manageable for the president.” 

While Clinton came into office with a Democratic majority in 1992, Republicans romped to huge political victories in ’94, winning a majority in the House for the first time in 40 years. Throughout the rest of his years in office, Clinton faced a Republican congressional leadership that mistrusted and disliked him, helping to lead to his 1998 impeachment for the Monica Lewinsky scandal. 

On another matter, Clinton said that business leaders have told him that the country’s health care system has to be reformed because the cost of medical care and insurance “is killing America economically.” 

“Look what’s happened in the last several years,” he said. “Corporate profits are up. The cost of health care has gone up three times the rate of inflation. And wages are flat. Median income, before the economic collapse, after inflation, was $2,000 a year lower than it was the day I left office. Why? Because ... first, we haven’t created enough jobs. But, secondly, all the money that could have gone to wage increases is going to pay the employer portion of employees’ health insurance.”

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