INDIANAPOLIS, June 21 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton says he would have sought federal bailouts of hard-hit U.S. financial institutions, but adds the deficit needs to be tackled.
Defending the actions of the current president, Barack Obama, Clinton told a Democratic Party fundraiser Saturday in Indianapolis that tough times when Obama took office called for extraordinary measures, The Indianapolis Star reported.
"I'm a fiscal conservative," Clinton said, "but if I'd been elected when Barack Obama was, I would have done what he did with this stimulus package. … He had to put a floor under the deflation of asset values."
But, he said, Democrats must call for an end to such close involvement in the private sector once the worst effects of the recession end, saying, "First we had to build this bridge over troubled waters. But then we will have to have substantial reduction in the deficit."