Bill Clinton laments 'awful legacy of the last 8 years,' claims he wasn't talking about Obama

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Bill Clinton: Hillary 'to Put Everybody in the Picture'

If you love politics but are beginning to experience Donald Trump fatigue, don't worry; one-man scandal machine Bill Clinton has come to the rescue. While speaking in Spokane, Washington on Monday night, the former president managed to spark a Clinton controversy that does not involve terrorism or tedious emails. And all he had to do was attack the cornerstone of his wife's entire campaign.

While praising Hillary Clinton for her ability to make change happen, the ex-president appeared to describe the past eight years – aka the Obama administration, aka the thing his wife is promising third term of – as an "awful legacy."

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Bill Clinton laments 'awful legacy of the last 8 years,' claims he wasn't talking about Obama
FILE WASHINGTON, DC - JAN 6, 1994: President Bill Clinton is escorted by Hillary to a waiting helicopter. The president was leaving for Arkansas after learning of the death of his mother. (Photo by Margaret Thomas/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and US President barack Obama (R) are greeted by Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (C) at her residence in Yangon on November 19, 2012 . Obama arrived in Myanmar for a historic visit aimed at encouraging a string of dramatic political reforms in the former pariah state. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) looks on as US President Barack Obama (2nd L) speaks during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (2nd R) on the sidelines of the East Asian Summit at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on November 20, 2012. During the two-day East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Obama was scheduled to hold talks with the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japan's Yoshihiko Noda. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton board Air Force One at the airport in Yangon on November 19, 2012. Huge crowds greeted Barack Obama in Myanmar on the first visit by a serving US president to the former pariah state to encourage a string of startling political reforms. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama(2nd-L), First Lady Michelle Obama(L) along with former president Bill Clinton(3rd-L) and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton(4th-L) take part in a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the late 35th president of the US John F. Kennedy at Kennedy's gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery on November 20, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Copies of the German translation of the book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) by Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States, stand on display at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States, speaks during the presentation of the German translation of her book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 20: Hillary Rodham Clinton appears on stage during 'A Conversation With Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton' at the Long Center on June 20, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States (R), speaks next to Christoph Amend, editor in chief of Zeit Magazin, during the presentation of the German translation of her book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 16: Hillary Rodham Clinton signs copies of her book 'Hard Choices' at BookHampton on August 16, 2014 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 23: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a during a round table event to launch the 'Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing' campaign at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute on July 23, 2014 in Oakland, California. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the 'Talking is Teaching; Talk Read Sing' campaign in partnership withToo Small to Fail and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation that encourages parents and caregivers to close the word gap by talking, singing and reading to children every day from the birth. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 06: Former president of United States (US) Bill Clinton (R) and his wife, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), leave St. Ignatius Loyola Church after the funeral of former three-term governor Mario Cuomo on January 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Here's the full quote:

I literally from the time I met her 45 years ago 'til we talked yesterday, she is the best change-maker I have ever known. She always finds a way to make something good happen, to make people feel empowered, to buy people into the process, to make democracy work the way the framers intended for it to work.

Now, if you don't believe we can all grow together again, if you don't believe were ever going to grow again, if you believe it's more important to re-litigate the past, there may be many reasons that you don't want to support her.

But if you believe we can all rise together, if you believe we've finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that when we were practicing trickle-down economics and no regulation in Washington, which is what caused the crash, then you should vote for her because she's the only person who basically had good ideas will tell you how she's going to pay for them, can be commander in chief and is a proven change maker with Republicans and Democrats and independents alike.

Naturally, the remarks quickly circulated throughout conservative media. Some said it fit into Clinton's pattern of Obama-bashing, some thanked him for finally speaking the truth, and others suggested Clinton is no longer "all there." Even Bernie Sanders couldn't resist poking at the Clinton campaign:

However, an aide to Bill Clinton said people were misinterpreting his remarks. In reality, he was attacking – wait for it – the Republican Party. "When Republicans controlled the White House, their trickle-down approach drove our economy to the brink of a collapse. After President Obama was elected, Republicans made it their number one goal to block him at every turn," spokesman Angel Urena said. "That unprecedented obstruction these last eight years is their legacy, and the American people should reject it by electing Hillary Clinton to build on President Obama's success so we can all grow and succeed together."

Clinton's comment that his wife is "a proven change maker with Republicans and Democrats and independents alike," fits with an attack on GOP obstructionism, but it's unlikely that's the phrasing he intended to use. It's not clear what "awful legacy" he was referring to, and at the very least he flipped his reference to the last seven years of the Obama administration and eight years of President George W. Bush.

But since the Clinton camp is going with gross misinterpretation, not an innocent flub after a long day on the campaign trail, feel free to keep speculating about what the former president actually meant. Was it a Freudian slip? Does Bill resent both of his successors for undoing the policies he implemented in the '90s? Is he secretly feeling the Bern? Have fun theorizing, because we'll be back to debating racist remarks and rally violence soon enough.

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