Former president Bill Clinton gave an extensive interview to Esquire magazine in which he advised President Barack Obama to forge ahead on health reform without the Republicans.
"The president's doing the right thing. It is both morally and politically right," Clinton told Esquire. "I wouldn't even worry about the Republicans. I'd worry about executing. We're not going to be facing adversity politically here unless we fail to perform for the American people. And the president's out there working hard, but he can't do this on his own. And you can argue the strategies of health care out there flat around, but if we fail to deal with it, there is no question in my mind that it will be a cross around our neck economically and a stain on our nation's conscience because of the people whom we allow to suffer."
During the interview, Clinton drew heavily from his own failed health reform effort in 1994. "What I'm more worried about is our people getting careless," he said, "forgetting the experience of '94, and that it is imperative that they produce a health care bill for the president and make it the best one they can; if it's not perfect, we'll go back and fix it. But the people hire you to deliver."
He also talked about Al Gore's 2000 loss to George W. Bush. "George Bush ran a brilliant campaign in 2000," Clinton said. "That compassionate-conservative thing was just brilliant -- and it got him close enough that he got into the Supreme Court and they issued what I think is one of the five most reprehensible decisions in the history of the Supreme Court. And they were embarrassed about it, because if you read the decision, it says, 'Now, unlike our other decisions, this has no precedential value; you can never cite this decision in any other case for the rest of eternity, this is only a one-off.' I mean, they know better. They knew better than to do what they were doing -- it was just a pure, naked political deal, but anyway, it happened and Gore was a good man and he honored the traditions of America and he thought the principle of judicial review and the role of the Supreme Court was important enough not to attack it, and he took it in good grace."
LGBT issues were not discussed in the interview.