In new book, Bill Clinton criticizes President Obama for debt-ceiling crisis

Former President Bill Clinton criticizes President Obama for his handling of the debt ceiling in a new book, arguing that Obama should have increased the limit while Democrats still controlled Congress.

Clinton says that last summer's political fight over the debt limit and the risk of defaulting on the debt made the U.S. look "weak and confused," according to the Associated Press, which received an advance copy of Clinton's book, titled "Back to Work." 

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 He says the final deal, which raised the debt limit, cut spending and charged a special congressional committee to find an additional $1.5 trillion in savings, did little to boost the economy or solve the nation's longterm debt problem. 

The book is scheduled for release on Tuesday.

Overall, Clinton praises Obama for preventing a financial collapse at the beginning of his presidency and for taking steps to pull the nation out of a lingering recession. Clinton also pushes for Obama's jobs bill, the New York Times reports in its preview of the book. The president claims the bill would create millions of jobs.

But Clinton worries that Obama has not been effective in explaining his policies to the public. Clinton said that he took it upon himself to explain the administration's economic policies "in plain language" as he campaigned on behalf of Democrats around the country leading up to the 2010 midterm elections.

He campaigned primarily for candidates who had supported his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during her presidential primary battle with Obama in 2008.  

Clinton says that he and Vice President Joe Biden tried to persuade the Democratic National Committee to distribute clear talking points to activists before the midterm election to explain to voters what Democrats had accomplished while in power. 

"We couldn't persuade the decision makers to do so," Clinton said.


The book is Clinton's case for why the country should support Obama's economic policies. “He both sells it and wants them to sell it more,” John Podesta, a former chief of staff to Clinton chief of staff, told the New York Times.


Clinton proudly discusses his own eight years in the White House in the book, saying his policies created 22 million jobs and balanced the federal budget. He says that he was able to win support for increasing taxes on high-income earners because "I didn't attack them for their success."