Bill Clinton: Tea Party is 'general revolt against bigness'

Former President Bill Clinton said Sunday that the Tea Party movement "reflects the feeling of a lot of Americans that they're getting the shaft," but isn't clear what it stands for.

On CBS' "Face the Nation," Clinton said many Americans were bitter that banks and other "people who caused these problems" had recovered while ordinary people had not.

"There is a general revolt against bigness," he said.

Clinton said that in the Republican Party, this translates to an insurrection against big government instead of big business. He questioned, though, if the Tea Party wanted to roll back initiatives such as healthcare reform, Wall Street oversight reform and student-loan reform.

"I don't know where they stand but I get why they're popular," the former president said.

Clinton said on NBC's Meet the Press that a lot of the voters who chose Tea Party candidates have "good impulses" because "ordinary people" have not "done well." But he said it is not clear where the Tea Party candidates stand on "specifics."

Roxana Tiron contributed to this report.

This post was updated at noon.