Bill Clinton criticized President Obama's leadership abilities, blaming his Democratic successor for failing to bring equality to the financial system.
"Yeah, it's rigged," Clinton said Thursday while campaigning in Tennessee, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "[That's] because you don't have a president who's a change-maker, who has a Congress who will work with him. But the president has done a better job than he has gotten credit for."
The former president's comments echo a critique made by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. Bill Clinton made the remarks just as she was faulting Sanders for criticizing Obama's leadership abilities, potentially undermining his wife's effort to thwart Sanders' outreach to black voters
Sanders said Obama failed to provide the "presidential leadership" needed to make Congress respond to popular opinion. "I think he has made the effort," Sanders told MSNBC on Wednesday. "But I think what we need, when I talk about a political revolution, is bringing millions and millions of people into the political process in a way that does not exist right now."
Clinton seized on the remark in Thursday night's debate. "The kind of criticism I hear from Senator Sanders, I expect from Republicans," she said.
That could be a potent line of attack for Clinton in Democratic primary, if Bill Clinton's experience is any guide. When the former president made his "change-maker" comment, he was "met with silence" by the liberal audience, according to the Commercial Appeal report.