Bill Clinton says he can “sympathize” with the “resentments” that are fueling the Occupy Wall Street protests that have sprouted up across the country.
“They have an amorphous set of resentments for which I sympathize,” Clinton said in an interview with USA Today. “I don’t think Americans can continue this level of income inequality.”
But the former president’s advice to the Occupiers is that they need a clearer political agenda and that they should communicate more with political leaders.
“They need to have some idea of what they want the country to do. If I were in their position, I would invite politicians down to talk to them. I’d invite [New York] Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo down to talk to me. I’d invite the mayor down to talk to me in New York,” Clinton told the publication.
The 42nd president said the state of the country is currently so bad that it “has a disturbing feel, like the bad recession we had at the end of the 19th century, when there was a lot of partisan discord.”
But still, Clinton — who in a new book that will hit the bookstores on Tuesday warns that President Barack Obama has a “tough hand to play” in dealing with lawmakers – told USA Today that the president could still win a second term in the Oval Office despite the state of the nation’s economy.
“That’s what the Republicans are banking on,” he said about predictions that Obama won’t be able to win re-election given the country’s high unemployment rate.
He added, “But the American people have a funny way of figuring. If they decide that the unemployment rate is that high because the Congress refused to work with the president and their numbers remain markedly lower than his, he might win anyway. I still think he’s in pretty good shape.”
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