By David Jackson, USA TODAY
CHARLOTTE -- Former president Bill Clinton plans to argue tonight that Republicans want to blame President Obama for a bad economy they created.
At the GOP convention last week in Tampa, "the Republican argument against the president's re-election was pretty simple," Clinton will say, according to excerpts released by the Democratic Party. "'We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in.'"
But Clinton also plans to say he likes Obama's argument "a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators."
Clinton, the nation's 42nd president, is scheduled to address the Democratic convention tonight during the 10 o'clock hour.
In a pre-speech interview with NBC's Brian Williams, Clinton said he has a "candid" and "open" relationship with Obama, who defeated wife Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primaries en route to the White House.
"It is, from my point of view, not a transaction or a bromance or any of that sort of stuff," Clinton said. "There's a few people who have been presidents. He's the first Democrat to serve since I left office. He's had a very tough hand to play. I think he's made a good job of a bad situation."
Obama also appointed Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state.
Also from the Clinton excerpts:
The most important question is, what kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility -- a we're-all-in-this-together society -- you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden."