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Friday, October 19, 2012

 10:24 PM 

Clinton lays out stark differences between Obama, Romney in Green Bay stop

GREEN BAY – Former President Bill Clinton charged Friday Mitt Romney has failed to clearly outline his plans other than promising to hand out tax cuts and praised the president for laying out a solid proposal for the next four years to strengthen the economy.

“What we’re looking at here folks is the economics of arithmetic vs. the economics of illusion,” Clinton said. “We don’t need a candidate with a hide-and-seek budget plan. We need something substantial. His numbers just don’t work. The only way they do work is to gut a host of federal programs.”

During his nearly hour-long address at UW-Green Bay, Clinton gave a laundry list of reasons why voters should retain Obama, using real-life examples such as his efforts to make it more affordable to obtain student loans – a topic that the audience filled with students cheered. The fire department estimated the crowd at 2,200 people. 

“Mitt Romney and the Republicans want to make it harder to get loans and do away with the current system of Pell Grants,” he warned.

The Republican’s plans for Medicaid and Medicare should worry voters, Clinton said. 

“Real people will be affected by these changes,” he said. “If you give Medicaid over to the states, who knows what will happen? What about the disabled children covered by Medicaid? These are our children – we can’t forget them.”

Clinton also highlighted how the Affordable Care Act has made health care accessible for millions of Americans, including young adults who can now be covered by their parents’ insurance until they turn 26 – another assertion that brought cheers from the crowd.

"I’m afraid of what will happen to healthcare if Romney is elected,” Clinton said. “Medicare will go broke. And if we had stayed with what we had, that’s the worst thing that could be done. Employers are spending too much on insurance and it’s costing workers wage increases because so much money is being poured into benefits.”

The former president praised Obama for his leadership, especially during his first several months in office as he made difficult decisions, such as the bailout of the auto industry that “helped us avoid a depression. It’s funny how the Republicans tend to forget that the problems were there before he came to office and who was in charge while those problems continued to grow out of control.”

Clinton also touted the record of Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, who is facing former Gov. Tommy Thompson for the U.S. Senate seat vacancy created by Herb Kohl’s retirement.

“She has stood by the people of Wisconsin and now it’s time for you to stand by her,” he said, adding that while she stood up to special interests that “Thompson went to work for them.”

-- By MaryBeth Matzek

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