POLITICS
11/09/2011 02:22 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Bill Clinton Daily Show Interview: Former President Talks New Book, Tea Party, Herman Cain

Former President Bill Clinton continued his media blitz for his new book on Tuesday, sitting down on the Daily Show to talk politics and his ideas for economic recovery.

While the majority of the discussion was focused on the points made in his book, "Back to Work," host Jon Stewart took an opportunity to nudge Clinton on the ongoing scandal over sexual harassment allegations against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain. Clinton didn't bite:

"I don’t know if you saw the news story today -- 49 million Americans living below the poverty line," Clinton said.

"Oh, I thought you were going to say 49 million Americans accused Herman Cain," Stewart responded. "But what you said was more salient, so lets stick with that."

"Maybe not as good a press coverage, but more salient," said Clinton.

Clinton then went on to discuss broader themes of the economic recession -- the issues he covers in his book.

"Whenever there's a financial meltdown, that, as compared with a traditional recession, takes between five and ten years to get over," Clinton said. "If you have a mortgage collapse at the same time it takes a little longer."

"What our goal should be in America is to beat those odds and to do it in a way that restores our competitive position in the world," Clinton continued. "The fundamental problem we've got in America today -- and this is my beef with the Tea Party and with the no compromise ever on taxes, 'never never never crowd' in Congress -- is that what works in real life is people getting together with different perspectives and figuring out how to solve problems. Cooperation works. What works in politics is conflict."

Clinton has been hammering the airwaves this week to talk about his proposals for jumpstarting job creation and the economy. On Tuesday, Clinton walked back a criticism of President Obama made in his book, saying that he was "wrong" to fault Obama for not having added an increase in the debt limit to legislation to extend the Bush tax cuts, which were set to expire at the end of 2010. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had threatened to filibuster the whole package under those circumstances, a White House official told Clinton this week.

For more of the interview, watch below, or click over to the Daily Show: