Bill Clinton: Critical Obamacare comments weren’t meant to help Hillary

December 3, 2013

Former president Bill Clinton says in a new interview that he was merely trying to help President Obama when he suggested Obama should live up to his word and allow people to keep their current health insurance plans.

At the time, Clinton's words were seen as putting pressure on Obama and -- in the minds of some -- separating the Clinton brand from Obamacare in advance of the 2016 presidential election, when Hillary Clinton might run again and not want an unpopular health-care law dragging her down.

Asked by CNN Espanol whether his comments were intended to help his wife, Bill Clinton said they weren't and that he was helping Obama instead.

"I was trying to be supportive of him," Clinton said. "I don't think you can find anybody in America who's worked harder for his reelection or supported this bill or went out of his way to explain the bill to the American people more than I did."

Clinton noted that he didn't speak out before Obama himself had acknowledged that his promise to allow all Americans to keep their current insurance had been broken. But when Clinton spoke out, Obama had yet to announce his administration's plan for actually rectifying the situation.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | December 3, 2013