DAVOS, Switzerland – Former US President Bill Clinton admitted Thursday that the current global financial and economic crisis started in the US and the nation needed to assume global responsibility for the crisis.
The philanthropist and husband of new US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described the challenges of a world he said was "in so much trouble."
He praised US President Barack Obama's efforts to push through an US$819 billion stimulus package that passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday, and said Republicans should get on board.
Referring to the difficult start of his own presidency in 1993, Clinton recalled how Republicans challenged his fiscal strategy at every turn but predicted that this time some in the minority party of Congress would support Obama.
"Some of them will have to come along," he told an audience at the World Economic Forum on Thursday. "If they don't they will have to pay a big price. Some of them are just standing in the way."
Clinton predicted that the United States could in "a year, 15 months if we're lucky," emerge from the current crisis. But, he added, that recovery depends on "good support from Congress" for the plans being drawn up by Obama and his economic team.
Clinton said the US needed to assume global responsibility for the crisis, and for spurring international recovery, as called for Wednesday at the forum by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
"The Chinese premier was right: It all started in the United States," Clinton said. "America has to lead the way."