When Bill Clinton says “we’re a nation of immigrants” for first time in his career, he has the crowd chanting “build a wall”
In an era of Trump, where the wall has become a centerpiece of his agenda, Bill Clinton has found himself at the center of a moment when he has been at his most personally connected to the nation.
“The thing that makes me the greatest president is that I’ve never taken the country into a war,” the former president told a packed arena on Tuesday.
“That was the greatest job in the world.”
Clinton, who has been traveling the country promoting his new book, “Hard Choices,” also spoke of the need to “get out of the country” and get people out of poverty, and he made the case for the need for a massive infrastructure investment.
“We are going to have to invest $4 trillion,” he said, before adding, “I’ve never done that before.”
“We need to get the ball rolling,” Clinton said.
“It’s not just a matter of spending money, it’s a matter and a spirit of getting us moving.”
He also took a jab at his opponents, saying that “people will always be against us” in the face of the Trump presidency.
He did not say when he will announce his presidential bid, though a spokesperson for his campaign said he was still “actively mulling a presidential run.”
“I’m not going to make that decision until after the election,” Clinton told the crowd.
The former president was introduced at the event with a poem written by his wife, former President Bill Clinton.
The poem was part of a speech in which Clinton talked about the need “to get out of a war that we have in this country.”
“It has been an honor to have served you, Bill,” the retired president said.
Clinton’s address came just two weeks after he appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show to discuss his plans for the rest of his life.
In the poem, the former President wrote, “You’re never far from my thoughts, I’ll be around every day of your life.”
“You are my children, my soul,” he continued, before listing off some of the things he would do for the children.
“When you need me, you know I’ll go.”
“If you ask me, we’ll go to the moon,” he wrote.
“I’ll spend a lifetime helping to create an even greater America.”
Clinton also spoke about the importance of building a wall along the southern border, and how he had worked to secure the border for his family and to ensure that the country “looks like it does” when it comes to protecting undocumented immigrants.
He also said he would work to get undocumented immigrants out of jails and prisons, and would “help them get legal permanent residency.”
Clinton did not mention his wife by name, but in his speech he alluded to the fact that she was one of his closest advisers and friends.
“Bill and I are a nation that was founded on immigration, and so it’s important for us to be in sync with that,” he told the audience.
“And when you’re with me, I know how to build bridges.”
Clinton spoke before hundreds of thousands of people in Mexico City on Wednesday, where he addressed the country’s growing immigration problems and the need, if not the obligation, for the United States to be “the best in the room.”
Clinton has repeatedly called for a “path to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants who are in the United State illegally, and has suggested that if he is elected president, he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants and build a wall between the United Kingdom and Mexico.
He has also said that Mexico’s president should be able to decide who gets a “right to stay.”
“There are many, many ways to do this, and I’m just not going in there and saying we have to be perfect,” Clinton argued.
“In my opinion, that’s not the way to do it.”
Clinton made it clear in his address that he was not endorsing any candidate for president, though he said that his wife would be the best choice if he runs for president.
“You’ve been watching the campaign, Bill, you’re watching the race, and you’re wondering how I could ever forget your wife,” he began.
“She has been my best friend.
We’re a country of immigrants, and we are a country that has always had compassion for people who were broken.
And I will work every day to build a better America, but I cannot forget you.”
“For as long as we’re a great country, we’re going to be proud of you,” he added.