On Friday, Biden marked his first 100 days in office, in which he has already reversed several policies of the previous president. Biden is now facing a major crisis on the southern border and a COVID-19 related economic crisis.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday gave her assessment of President Joe Biden’s first 100 days, saying Biden was less “constrained” than previous Democratic presidents due to the Trump administration’s legacy that he inherited.
Fareed Zakaria, a host of CNN, began an interview by asking Clinton what she thought about Biden’s broad initiatives so far, pointing out that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, once said in a State of the Union speech that “the era of big government is over.”
“I really think it’s a new age,” Clinton said. “And in part because what had to happen in the 90s did happen, there was a lot of, you know, positive economic growth that was aided and abetted by government policy, and huge amounts of advancement for people up and down the income scale.”
The pandemic, according to the former Democratic presidential candidate, has made more people aware that “there are lots of times when we need the government,” and Americans have been “exposed as lacking in the kind of investments and support that we should be providing each other with the government as our partner.” She went on to say that she was “thrilled” that Biden was “taking advantage of this moment” to promote progressive policies.
“I think both President Obama and Clinton did too, but they were more constrained given, you know, what the climate was politically during their administrations,” Clinton said. “So yes, I think it builds on a lot of what did happen in prior Democratic administrations, but it also goes further and it can go further because people understand, ‘Guess what, you know, we kind of were failed by our government for four years.’”
Clinton observed that at the moment the Biden administration is trying to “right-size the government to meet the challenges of today.”
She also gave the president an “A” mark for his actions and efforts during the first 100 days.
“I give him an A, and I’m a hard grader,” Clinton said, prasing Biden. “I give him an A both on effort because he has done a couple of things … he has embodied and modeled what a president should act like in the Oval office … and his attention to detail and a team that he has surrounded himself with.”
Clinton was asked if she believed in compromise with the potential of reducing the amount of money spent through the bills, while the host noted that Biden faces a lot of resistance from GOP lawmakers, especially in regard to his proposed infrastructure bill.
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“Well I think there needs to be a good faith negotiation, and I’m not sure yet, that the Republicans are engaging in a good faith negotiation and that has to be tested,” Clinton replied. “So I’m very confident that, given his years in the legislature legislative body in the Senate, and certainly as vice president, President Biden will test that.”
However, the former secretary of state added that if an agreement could not be achieved, the government would have to make “a very clear political calculation” at some stage.
She indicated that the administration divided its proposals into two parts: one in which they are confident the GOP would consent, and another in which they have yet to reach an agreement and decide whether or not talks were conducted in good faith.
Clinton, who was secretary of state in the Obama administration, ran for the highest post twice from the Democratic Party, in 2008 and in 2016. Her first attempt ended in defeat to the young Chicago Senator Barack Obama in the primaries, and the second time, in 2016, Clinton led Donald Trump in the popular vote but had fewer electoral votes from the states and, as a result, lost the presidential election.