Bill Clinton's Newsweek Cover Story Shows the Clinton-Obama Rivalry Is Not Dead

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 21, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This has to annoy President Obama. Yes, unemployment is on the rise, 14 million Americans are out of work. Now some salt in the wounds. President Clinton, that's Clinton, is telling President Obama how to fix the problem. But he's not advising him in private talks in the Oval Office. President Clinton is getting published.

Joining us Byron York, chief political correspondent for the "Washington Examiner." What a cover story this is. This is how to solve our economy by former President Bill Clinton.

BYRON YORK, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Aren't you glad to see Bill Clinton has come out of his shell? I will say one thing. Before Barack Obama became a national political figure, Bill Clinton was reminding the world during his presidency there were 20 plus million jobs created, something he has talked about since he left office. For him to do it in this way at this time as the campaign is underway and everybody knows jobs the number one issue, it sends a real message to the White House.

VAN SUSTEREN: It struck me when I saw this today. There are two ways to do it. If he was pals with President Obama and thought he could vice him like dad to junior, he would go into the oval office and say this is a good plan. He's got a 14 point plan where he lays it out. Instead, he comes out and on the cover of "Newsweek" magazine and plans to unveil it at the Clinton Global Initiative. It's in Chicago, the president's backyard.

YORK: Clinton-Obama rivalry is not dead. They fought in enormous war in way. It hasn't completely settled over. She is the secretary of state.

VAN SUSTEREN: She seems happy.

YORK: When the president took office a number of people said it was very smart for him to ask his big rival to engine his government which would get her on the inside so she wouldn't be on the outside criticizing. That doesn't apply to her husband who has freedom to say what he wants. Some of the things that he said about Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign, particularly in the South Carolina primaries, nobody has forgotten that stuff. That rivalry still exists.

VAN SUSTEREN: It is interesting. President Clinton was enormously successful in the economy. You would think that President Obama might want to listen to him, if he wants to talk to people who might have the same experience and might know what to do.

YORK: The Republicans would say President Clinton was very successful on the economy, after he began dealing with a Republican congress. And President Obama might have --

VAN SUSTEREN: You get the credit or blame as president. The fact is, during his time the economy is doing well.

YORK: Some of these things that President Clinton offers up in this "Newsweek" magazine article like retrofitting buildings, are Obama-Biden policies, things that was talked about on the campaign trail all the time.

VAN SUSTEREN: One of the 14 ways to put people back to work he said speed up approvals. He said "Harry Hopkins had nowhere near the rules and regulations we have now in 1933 civil works administration put four million to work in a month. I don't blame the people in the White House for getting shovel-ready projects off the ground. Sometimes it takes three years or more."

I thought that was condescending like they never looked at history to see how different they had it in 1933. They were so JV-ish here is President Clinton saying they don't understand history.

YORK: Republicans would say if you could get some of these choking regulations off the building project process, you could get people to work in the private sector more quickly.

VAN SUSTEREN: But he's saying that President Obama didn't get that. I thought that was the --

YORK: The reaction in the White House would be you think we hadn't thought of that? It is harder to make these things happen. President Clinton is out of government now. It is easier for him to say this kind of stuff than to push the stone up the hill of the executive branch.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is this accidental, coincidental, or dissing?


YORK: It is not accidental and it is not coincidental. I think it is President Clinton wanting to stay in the game and remind everybody that the last time a Democrat was in the White House before Barack Obama there was a big economic boom.

VAN SUSTEREN: So this stings?

YORK: It does. President Clinton is contrasting his record with the first couple years of the Obama administration.

VAN SUSTEREN: Byron, thank you. Never dull.