- (Photo: REUTERS/Chris Keane)
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Sunday he finds parts of former President Bill Clinton's speech at last week's Democratic National Convention "eerily anti-Obama."
"You can take his speech, spin it not very much, and it's actually a condemnation of the fact that Obama learned nothing ... out of the 2010 election," Gingrich said on CNN's "State of the Union."
"I actually thought parts of the Clinton speech were eerily anti-Obama, if you just listened to the subtext," he went on to say. "I mean, here is Clinton saying, 'I reformed welfare because I worked with the Republicans, you didn't, Mr. Obama.' He didn't say it that way, but think about it. 'I had the longest period of economic growth in history, you didn't, Mr. Obama. I got to four balanced budgets by working with Republicans, you didn't, Mr. Obama.'"
Gingrich, one of the candidates for Republican presidential nomination during primaries, also told CNN's Candy Crowley that Clinton's speech "actually shrinks Obama." "I mean, you have a real president and then you have this guy who is a pretender."
Crowley asked if the former president could mobilize votes for Obama. Gingrich replied, "I think he can temporarily move votes. I would say the bounce Obama is getting coming out of the convention is 80 percent Bill Clinton. He is a very popular figure for a very practical reason: The economy worked, people had jobs."
Clinton's speech last Wednesday, which was widely praised by Democrats, at the party's convention in Charlotte, N.C., sought to endorse Obama's economic policies.
However, the day after the Democratic convention ended, the Department of Labor indicated that job growth slowed down last month. Friday's report showed that only 96,000 jobs were created in August, down from 141,000 jobs in July. It also revised down the employment numbers for the two previous months, which resulted in the economy adding 41,000 fewer jobs than originally reported.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Saturday showed Obama widening his lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney to four percentage points.
Romney attributes it to Clinton's speech. "He did stand out in contrast with the other speakers," the GOP nominee said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday. "I think he really did elevate the Democrat convention in a lot of ways and frankly, the contrast may not have been as attractive as Barack Obama might have preferred if he were choosing who'd go before him and who'd go after him."