Rule No. 1 when stumping for the next president who happens to be your wife: Don’t criticize the current president’s signature policy, especially when he and his wife are extremely popular and are also stumping for your wife.
That’s exactly what Bill Clinton did during a Democratic rally in Flint, Mich., on Monday. In an attempt to address how Hillary Clinton would improve health care, the former president blasted the Affordable Care Act, arguably President Barack Obama’s crowning achievement, CNN reports.
“So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world,” Clinton said, according to CNN.
Someone must have pulled Clinton’s coattail, because he moonwalked away from those statements, Tuesday.
“Look, the Affordable Health Care Act did a world of good, and the 50-something efforts to repeal it that the Republicans have staged were a terrible mistake,” Clinton said at a rally in Athens, Ohio, according to CNN.
“We, for the first time in our history, at least are providing insurance to more than 90 percent of our people. But there is a group of people—mostly small-business owners and employees—who make just a little too much money to qualify for Medicaid expansion or for the tax incentives who can’t get affordable health insurance premiums in a lot of places. And the reason is they’re not in big pools,” Clinton said. “So they have no bargaining power.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump didn’t waste any time pouncing on the obvious Clinton gaffe, noting that Bill “went through hell last night” with his wife, then added: “Honestly, there have been many nights when he’s gone through hell with Hillary,” CNN reports.
The White House responded to Bill Clinton’s comments Tuesday, noting that there are changes it would like to see made to ACA.
“President Obama has of course acknowledged that with cooperation from Democrats and Republicans in Congress, there are some things that could be done to further strengthen the law. That’s something that Secretary Clinton has vowed to pursue if she is elected president of the United States,” press secretary Josh Earnest said in a briefing, CNN reports.
Earnest added: “The Affordable Care Act continues to be a source of pride for people who work here in the administration in terms of that significant legislative accomplishment. That’s essentially our position.”
When asked directly about former President Clinton’s remarks, Earnest noted, “You’d have to talk to President Clinton about exactly what message he was trying to send.”
Earnest did say that he wasn’t sure “what argument [Clinton] was making,” and noted that he wished Clinton hadn’t used “crazy” or “craziest” to describe Obamacare.
Read more at CNN.