Clinton says he was wrong on healthcare bill's popularity

Former president Bill Clinton, a champion of healthcare reform, admitted on Sunday that he made the wrong prediction about the popularity of President Obama’s healthcare bill.

Initially, Clinton had predicted that the polls in favor of Democrats would be boosted as soon as the legislation was signed into law. Instead, Clinton said on NBC’s "Meet the Press," his prediction was wrong for two reasons.

"First of all, the benefits of the bill are spread out of three or four years. It takes a long time to implement. And secondly, there has been an enormous and highly effective attack on it,” he said.

Several leading Republicans have vowed to repeal the healthcare reform bill next year.

On CBS' "Face the Nation," Clinton said Republicans deserve "their fair share of credit" for Obama's stumbles, including a sinking approval rating.

"I think he was shocked at the intensity of the Republican opposition," Clinton said. "But they learned from my first two years that, if you just say no, even though people hate it, you get rewarded for it because it discourages the Democrats and it inflames your base. So they're doing just what they did in '93 and '94. And so far it appears that they're being rewarded for it."

The former president said he thought the current commander in chief got "disoriented" for a while, but "I think he is getting his groove back now."