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Democratic convention: Clinton will say Obama 'put a floor under the crash'

In what seemed to be an effort at damage control after an embarrassing platform revision, President Barack Obama's staff released some of former President Bill Clinton's remarks early.

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Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in 2008. The way Democrats and Republicans treat their ex-presidents at convention time reflects each man's personal popularity and also how well he's weathered changes in party politics.

Charlie Neibergall/AP/File

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President Barack Obama inherited a wreck of an economy, "put a floor under the crash" and laid the foundation for millions of good new jobs, former President Bill Clinton declared Wednesday night in a Democratic National Convention appeal aimed at millions of hard-pressed Americans yet to decide how to vote.

"If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket," Clinton said. "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."

Obama's high command released the remarks before Clinton's appearance as they struggled to bury the news of an embarrassing retreat on the party platform.

Under criticism from Republican challenger Mitt Romney, they abruptly rewrote the day-old document to insert a reference to God and to declare that Jerusalem "is and will remain the capital of Israel." Some delegates objected loudly, but Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, presiding in the largely-empty hall, ruled them outvoted. White House aides said Obama had personally ordered the changes.

The episode was an unwanted intrusion for Democratic officials, who scripted the evening to showcase Clinton, popular 12 years after he left office with the budget in balance and now their unofficial ambassador-in-chief to anxious voters in a tough economy.

"In Tampa the Republican argument against the president's re-election was pretty simple: 'We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in,'" Clinton said in advance excerpts.

"I like the argument for President Obama's re-election 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."

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