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Why is Mitt Romney saying nice things about Bill Clinton? (+video)

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(Read caption) Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative and joked about getting a bump in his poll numbers after an introduction from former President Bill Clinton.
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GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said nice things today about Bill Clinton, despite the latter’s rip-roaring anti-Republican speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Speaking before the Clinton Global Initiative, Mr. Romney made a rueful reference to that address, saying, “If there’s one thing we’ve learned this election season, it’s that a few words from Bill Clinton can do any man a lot of good.”

Then he went on to praise Mr. Clinton’s post-White House career. “President Clinton has devoted himself to lifting the downtrodden around the world,” said Romney. “One of the best things that can happen to any cause, to any people, is to have Bill Clinton as its advocate. That is how needy and neglected causes have become global initiatives.”

Wow. Why the amity, considering recent political history?

The first answer is obvious: This wasn’t the time or place for renewed combat. Romney was outlining his ideas about foreign aid in front of an audience of international charitable contributors. Seriousness was the order of the day.

And Romney supplied that. His speech, during which he outlined a proposed aid program called “Prosperity Pacts,” was well received. NBC’s Garrett Haake on First Read called it “perhaps his most detailed presentation of how the United States might interact with the developing world in a Romney administration.” 


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