Hillary Clinton has made it clear that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, would be an active part of her administration should she win the presidential race in November. But she has recently spoken more specifically about his role, and on Sunday, the former secretary of state revealed that she would seek her husband’s help in fixing the United States economy.
“My husband ... I’m going to put in charge of revitalizing the economy because you know, he knows how to do it,” Clinton told supporters at an event in Kentucky, the Washington Post reported. “And especially in places like coal country and inner cities and other parts of our country that have been really left out.”
This isn’t the first time Clinton has said she looks to her husband’s presidency as an example of how to improve the nation’s economy. The period between 1993 and 2001 when her husband ran the White House was considered one of prosperity, and the Clintons have touted economic successes from that timet.
“When my husband was president, incomes rose for everybody,” Clinton said on Sunday.
When her husband was president, Clinton played an important role in policy initiatives, even attempting to lead an overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system. While the former president has the expertise to be involved in a wide range of policy issues, his participation on the campaign trail may give a better clue about what his job could look like in a second Clinton White House.
Clinton holds a significant lead over her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, in the Democratic presidential primary, but in places where she still has trouble connecting to some voters, she often brings out her husband, who remains extremely popular. Last week, Clinton sent the former president to Kentucky’s coal country to win over voters who were angry after she said in March she would champion renewable energy efforts and “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
In front of a crowd full of protesters last Thursday, the former president recalled his time as governor of Arkansas and tried to show Kentucky residents that he understood their plight.
“I was governor when the Ozark mountains where I lived had three of the four poorest counties in America. I get this,” he said, the Washington Post reported. “I know it’s hard when places are physically isolated. I’m not pretending.”
Hillary Clinton has struggled throughout the 2016 campaign cycle to convince voters she cares about people like them, so her husband playing that role could be an asset during a potential presidency as well as leading up to November. She made other remarks about her husband advising on economic issues earlier this month, ABC News reported, and the talk of the White House reflects her attempts to turn her attention to the general election as she comes closer to clinching the Democratic nomination.
“I’ve told my husband he’s got to come out of retirement and be in charge of this because you know he’s got more ideas a minute than anybody I know,” Clinton said during her first visit to Kentucky.
The Kentucky primary is on Tuesday, and Clinton is hoping to do well there, particularly as Sanders is expected to win Oregon, which votes the same day.