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Even so, the statement insisted Mr. Clinton believes “we’re not in a recession, even though we’d all like [economic] growth to be higher.”

Whether that soothed the White House remains unclear at this point, but feelings between Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton have not exactly been warm and cozy for some time now.

When Mr. Obama and his campaign high command were bashing his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, on his record as a business turnaround investor at Bain Capital, Mr. Clinton went to Mr. Romney’s defense.

He called Mr. Romney “a man who’s been governor and had a sterling business career.”

But these criticisms of Mr. Obama’s political and policy strategies are not isolated instances.

In a book on economic policy Mr. Clinton wrote last year, he didn’t mince words about the Obama economy that was then in its third dismal year and barely growing at a feeble 1.7 percent. “We’re in a mess now,” Mr. Clinton wrote.

Even the book’s title was a blunt rebuke of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy: “Back To Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy.”

He seemed to be suggesting that in the third year of Mr. Obama’s presidency, he still hadn’t put the country back to work, that his economic policies were not smart, and that the economy was still weak.

What Mr. Clinton especially disliked was Mr. Obama’s attacks on Wall Street executives and wealthy big business CEOs. “Many of them supported me when I raised their taxes in 1993, because I didn’t attack them for their success,” he wrote at the time.

And then there was this comment from the political master that had Mr. Obama’s high command rolling their eyes: “It is heartening that people all over the world want to pursue their version of the American Dream but troubling that others are doing a better job than we are of providing it to their people.”

While Mr. Obama last year was still pursuing his ideological obsession to raise income taxes in a still-anemic, high-unemployment economy, Mr. Clinton was publicly bashing that policy, too.

“I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending, either one, until we get this economy off the ground,” he said last fall in an interview with Newsmax.

Mr. Clinton still thinks, his latest statement notwithstanding, that the Obama economy has yet to get off the ground and we’re likely to hear more from him on that score in the weeks to come.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.