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'Obama needs to be positive while speaking on economy'

world Updated: Feb 21, 2009 12:30 IST
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Giving Barack Obama ‘A´ grade for his first month in office, former US President Bill Clinton has advised the new head of the state to put on a “more positive face” when speaking to the American people about the worsening economy and keep pressure on Republicans.

However, Clinton takes a harsh view of former President George W Bush on economy for not moving earlier to stem the downturn and blames Republicans for not acting sooner to help struggling homeowners.

“Look, American people, I think, know the President (Obama) has tried to reach out to Republicans,” Clinton told ABC News. “And it takes two to tango. I think there are some of them who really believe that just-say-no politics is good politics.”

“It was -- briefly, only briefly -- in the ‘90s. It isn’t anymore,“ he said. “So, sooner or later, I think if he just keeps chugging along, just keeps the door open, invite ‘em to every economic conference, invite ´em to every meeting, eventually, he’ll start getting some votes” in Congress, Clinton said.

“I personally believe, based on my experience over the years with the economy, that if we moved aggressively on this home problem a year and a half ago, even a year ago, as much as 90 per cent of the current crisis could have been avoided,” he said.