Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that President Obama “in many ways is the anti-Clinton” — running with a message that Republicans hope will help GOP challenger Mitt Romney win over middle-class voters on his way to capturing the White House in the November election.
Republicans have been citing the last Democratic president increasingly in recent weeks as a way to disparage the Democratic incumbent, pointing to their very different policy records on such issues as taxes, deficits and welfare.
In a conference call arranged by the Republican National Committee, Mr. Gingrich said it is one of the “most delicious examples of irony in modern times” that Mr. Clinton will have a prime-time speaking role at the Democratic National Convention next month, where he formally will place Mr. Obama’s name in nomination for re-election.
“Clinton was trying to move the party to the center; Obama has moved it to the left,” Mr. Gingrich said, emphasizing how the Arkansas Democrat compromised with congressional Republicans on welfare reform and deficit reduction, which led to four straight balanced budgets.
“Obama has the largest deficits in American history,” Mr. Gingrich said. “Clinton worked with the legislature in a bipartisan basis; Obama has tried to use executive authority in ways that I think are unconstitutional. It is really somewhat remarkable. I hope every American, when they hear Bill Clinton speak, will realize how much weaker and less effective a president Obama is than the man who is nominating him.”