Bill Clinton: Elections not about Obama
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Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina To deter war with China, US must commit to defend Taiwan 6 ways the primary fight is toughening up Democrats for the fall general election MORE on Monday said it's a "scam" for Republicans to argue the midterm elections are about President Obama, as he returned to his home state of Arkansas to campaign for Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Tom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 MORE (D).

Pryor is in a tough reelection race with Rep. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonAsian caucus urges fellow lawmakers not to 'perpetuate racist stereotypes' amid coronavirus fears Overnight Defense: More closures possible at US bases in Europe as coronavirus spreads | Pompeo says Afghan 'reduction in violence is working' | Man accused of trying to blow up vehicle at Pentagon Top general: More closures at US bases in Europe possible as coronavirus spreads MORE (R-Ark.) and is trying to hold onto a seat for Democrats in a state where Obama's approval rating sits at 31 percent.


Clinton is Pryor's go-to surrogate in the race, and on Monday he launched a tour of Arkansas universities to get out the vote.

"They're really running against the president aren't they?" Clinton said. "They see these polls, the president's unpopular in Arkansas, and yeah the economy's coming back, but nobody believes it yet because you don't feel it."

Clinton said Cotton's message boils down to "You gotta vote against the president."

"It's a pretty good scam isn't it? Give me a six-year job, for a two-year protest. That's Mark Pryor's opponent's message."

Clinton hit Cotton for voting against a Republican bill to head off an increase in student loan interest rates last year. 

Clinton said Cotton's argument was: "Yeah, I voted to cut student loans. Yeah, I voted to raise the interest rate. Yeah, I voted against the Violence Against Women Act. No, I'll never vote for equal pay for equal work, are you kidding? Will I vote to raise the minimum wage? No way, but I'll give you one more protest vote."

In a riskier move, Clinton also touted the impact of ObamaCare on Arkansas. The state accepted an expansion of Medicaid funds under the law, which has helped the state sharply cut its uninsured rate, according to Gallup. 

Clinton contrasted this experience with Louisiana's, which rejected extra Medicaid funds under the law. 

"We rank first in the country in the percentage of people who got insurance, and they're near the bottom," Clinton said. 

Instead of Obama, Clinton pointed to Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, the most popular governor in the country, at 60 percent approval, according to Public Policy Polling.

Clinton said Pryor, and gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross, fit into Beebe's mold of bipartisan problem solving. 

"If you like Mike Beebe's style of leadership, you got to vote for Mike Ross and you got to vote for Mark Pryor, because they'll do it," he said.