Bill Clinton Network Exclusive: Proposes Debt Impasse Deal, but Fears GOP Too Hamstrung by Ideology


Bill Clinton: Attacks on Health Care Law 'a Total Scurrilous, Crazy Thing'

Clinton rejected the notion among health care law critics that uncertainty created by the law and other recent legislation is bad for business.

"They can't possibly [be] for the current system, unless they don't provide health care to their employees," Clinton said.

The previous health care system was worse for business and the economy, he added.

"What ... people who attack President Obama and the health care law advocate can best be seen in 2009," Clinton said. "There was no Obamacare. The economy was in the total tank -- the worst of the recession. So, what happened? Insurance company profits went up 26 percent. Five million people lost their health insurance, their private health insurance -- under their system, not the Obama system. And three million of those five million went on state Medicaid rolls exploding the government deficits of the federal and state governments. That is the system advocated by the people who are against Obamacare.

"This is a funhouse," he said. "This is a total scurrilous, crazy thing. These people are defending a system that is bankrupting the American economy, that is keeping the American people from getting new jobs, that is keeping the American people from getting pay increases because we have to gobble up $1 trillion a year to a health care system in ways that are unrelated to our health. That's my response to that. Otherwise, I don't have strong feelings about this issue."

Bill Clinton Won't Criticize Obama on Gay Marriage

He seemed more sincere in his desire not to express strong feelings about a handful of other issues, such as whether he thought President Obama missed an opportunity to declare his position on gay marriage openly.

"This is not like a lot of other civil rights issues," Clinton said. "This is really one where I think most people are clawing their way through a thicket of very complex emotional issues, and I don't have any criticism or condemnation of anybody. I'm happy we did it in New York. I'm proud of the governor. I'm proud of the Republicans who voted the way they did. And I think the president has been quite good on gay rights. I'm glad that we got the 'don't ask, don't tell' thing behind us. And I think the country's moving in the right direction."

Bill Clinton: Future Grandpa?

Asked if he was eager to push his daughter Chelsea, married almost a year, into making him a grandfather, Clinton didn't seem to want to touch that one, either.

"My ability to become a grandfather is inversely related to how much I talk about it," he said with a laugh. "Hillary and I, we're very proud of Chelsea, and we genuinely love and respect our son-in-law.

"We'll be grateful if we have grandchildren, but it's none of our business," he said. "It's now their business, and it's out of my hands. And the less I say about it, the better. ...

"[I] don't wanna jinx it, and I don't wanna interfere with it," he added. "I just, one day, hope I get to be a crotchety, old grandfather and have a lot of fun on a floor playing with kids. But that's not up to me."

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