Hillary Clinton's team and her supporters insist former President Bill Clinton was taken out of context this week when he promised voters his wife could undo the "awful legacy" of the past eight years, and say he meant only to disparage Republicans.
Progressives citing rightwing news sites that twist a quote of our last Dem president are basically like Trump citing insane internet rumors— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) March 22, 2016
"Progressives citing rightwing news sites that twist a quote of our last Dem president are basically like [Donald Trump] citing insane Internet rumors," Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden said in response to headlines that appeared on sites including CNN, USA TODAY ABC News and the Huffington Post.
Bill Clinton said Monday during an address in Spokane, Wa., that Hillary Clinton is the only Democratic candidate running for president who can undo the country's recent woes.
"If you believe we can rise together, if you believe we've finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that where we were practicing trickle-down economics, then you should vote for her," he said.
As President Obama has presided over the country for the past eight years, the Spokane address raised some eyebrows Monday evening, and some right-leaning cites interpreted his comments to be a none-too-subtle jab at the current commander in chief.
In traditional media, the majority of stories regarding Bill Clinton's speech reported only what he said, and there was very little "twisting" involved.
Hillary Clinton regularly touts her relationship with Obama, and she has made it a point to attack her chief primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for his past criticism of the president. On Monday, however, it was Sanders who defended Obama from perceived criticism when he said on social media, "Don't know that I'd call President Obama's 72 straight months of job growth an 'awful legacy.'"
The Democratic front-runner's team has scrambled to explain the meaning of "awful legacy," and they insist the former president didn't mean to disparage Obama. Rather, they say the comments were aimed at Republicans in Congress.
"When Republicans controlled the White House, their trickle-down approach drove our economy to the brink of a collapse," Clinton spokeswoman Angela Urena said.
"After President Obama was elected, Republicans made it their number one goal to block him at every turn. That unprecedented obstruction these last eight years is their legacy, and the American people should reject it by electing Hillary Clinton to build on President Obama's success so we can all grow and succeed together," she added.
Hillary Clinton campaign press secretary Brian Fallon also responded, and tweeted from his account, "Sanders is only Dem in race who actually attacks [the president]."