Bill Clinton ‘very sorry’ for veering off message on Bush tax cuts

Laura E. Davis
The Ticket

Former President Bill Clinton apologized on Thursday for making comments this week that appeared to be at odds with President Barack Obama's position on extending the Bush tax cuts.

"I'm very sorry about what happened," Clinton said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I thought something had to be done on the 'fiscal cliff' before the election. Apparently nothing has to be done until the first of the year."

He said he stands with Obama on the issue.

Talking to CNBC on Tuesday, Clinton seemed to suggest that he thinks the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year, should be temporarily extended. Obama is opposed to the extension, a point his press secretary emphasized to reporters on Wednesday after Republicans seized on Clinton's comments.

"We should not extend—and he will not extend—the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of the American people. It's bad policy, it's bad for the economy, it's bad for our fiscal picture," Jay Carney said aboard Air Force One.

Clinton, who campaigned for his wife, Hillary, when she was competing against Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary battle, defended himself when Blitzer brought up the fact that Clinton's critics are charging that he's undermining Obama's re-election effort with his comments.

"I'm strongly committed to his re-election," Clinton said.

Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News White House correspondent, contributed to the reporting.