Bill Clinton supports Obama's Afghanistan decision

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2009 10:20 PM

Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday said he supports President Barack Obama's plan to sent an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

"I decided several weeks ago I would support whatever he decided," Clinton said to a standing ovation at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Manchester. The appearance marked the first time Clinton returned to the state since attending several rallies two days before the 2008 general election.

Clinton praised Obama for thoroughly studying options and strategy for Afghanistan, despite criticism he was moving too slowly.

The former president noted that many things have changed since he first became president, but one thing that has remained the same is the Republicans' criticism of Democratic policies. He urged the audience to fight false statements about the current health care proposal before Congress and efforts to fight global warming by talking to friends and neighbors about Obama's policies.

Much like when he tried to reform health care during his presidency, there are those that prefer to do nothing, Clinton said.

Rising health care costs are "an economic cancer" hindering America's competitiveness on the global market, and every time Republicans say the government shouldn't address health care, it's equivalent to burning billions of dollars of taxpayers' money, he said.

"If they keep saying 'Do nothing,' that's what you're going to get," Clinton said. "If we pass health care reform it will immediately benefit the Democrats because all the bad things they (Republicans) are saying are going to happen won't come true."

Last month, Clinton met with Senate Democrats, urging them to pass health care legislation before the end of the year. He joked at Wednesday's dinner about his efforts to get the bill passed.

"I've spent more time working on this since I left office than I did when I was in office," Clinton said.

Clinton said it's not vital to agree on everything, whether it is health care or the economy or the war in Afghanistan.