- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Former President Bill Clinton said Thursday that fear-mongering and third-party attacks - including those against U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen - on issues such as Ebola and the Islamic State group are insulting to voters’ intelligence. Both are serious issues, he said, but building a wall around the country isn’t the way to solve either.

“We’ll get a hold of this Ebola thing, and I do not believe ISIS will succeed,” Clinton said before a crowd of 1,200 Democrats in New Hampshire. But “we need people to stand up and talk to you like you’ve got half good sense,” he said.

Clinton spoke at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner, bringing in the dinner’s largest audience ever and helping the party raise a quarter million dollars. Scott Brown, Shaheen’s Republican opponent in the Nov. 4 election, is running television ads alleging Shaheen is “confused” about terrorist threats. Clinton didn’t mention Brown’s ads by name, but he condemned third-party attack ads from the Koch Brothers and others.

New Hampshire Democrats have strong messages on health care, women’s rights and the economy, Clinton said. He praised Gov. Maggie Hassan for signing Medicaid expansion into law this year and commended Shaheen for supporting student loan reform.

“If this was an ordinary time, they’d be winning by 15 to 20 points… but it’s an unsettled time,” Clinton said. “People are unsettled, but they’re not buying what the other guys are selling - partly because of who’s selling it.”

He urged the crowd not to stay home on Election Day - like Democrats did in 2010 - because New Hampshire’s all-female congressional delegation needs the support to win. The importance of getting out the vote was a familiar refrain throughout the night, with party Chairman Ray Buckley warning voters that Republican control of the state Legislature could lead to the return of former Speaker Bill O’Brien, who Democrats say destroyed the state budget.

Clinton has become the Democratic party’s most effective surrogate this fall, and he’s long been popular in New Hampshire. His 1992 second-place finish in the presidential primary here helped propel him to the nomination. His wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, won the 2008 New Hampshire primary.

“No family in American public life owes more to the people of New Hampshire than Hillary and I do,” Clinton said.

Mrs. Clinton will campaign for Hassan and Shaheen on Nov. 2 - her first trip to the state since 2008. Ready for Hillary, the super PAC building support for a potential candidacy by Mrs. Clinton, had an active presence at the event. Mr. Clinton didn’t mention his wife’s presidential ambitions, but a reference to her drew some of the night’s loudest applause.

“Some of us remember (Bill Clinton) as a two-term president who turned the economy around… others of us admire him for his current role as the chair of a global initiative that is tackling some of the world’s most vexing problems,” Shaheen said as she introduced him. “And others of us may simply think of him as a man who has married very, very well.”

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