Clinton Drops One-Liners on Tea Party, Cell Phones

By Meghan Kiesel

Jul 26, 2012 12:19pm
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AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

His wife Hillary has remained squarely in the public eye since he left the Oval Office in 2000, but former President Bill Clinton has been fairly unplugged for the past 12 years – so unplugged, in fact, that he doesn’t even know how to use a cell phone.

During a keynote speech at the Global Business Travel Association Convention in Boston on Wednesday night, Clinton admitted that he hasn’t stayed on top of developments in technology since he left Washington. “I have a hard time keeping up,” the former president said. “I had to actually learn to text on that cell phone.

“That’s the extent of my technology involvement, even though I spent a fortune of your money when I was president trying to make sure America was in the lead in all the emerging technologies,” he joked.

Clinton also touted a message of compromise and cooperation during his speech, and even went so far as to say he feels sorry for Tea Party congressmen:

“I actually feel some sympathy for these Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives,” he said, acknowledging that the audience “may find that hard to believe.”

The former president cited the fickleness of voters as the reason for his empathy. “The sympathy I feel for them is this: They’re at 18 percent approval, and you just elected them two years ago. And all they’re doing is what they told you they were going to do when they ran,” Clinton said. “But we don’t pay attention to what people say they’re going to do. We pay attention to how we feel, and whether it would be good to make a change.”

Former President George W. Bush also spoke during the conference, which ran from July 22-25.

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