With the upcoming Presidential election starting to dominate Stateside headlines, Bill Clinton was selected to cover the February 2012 issue of Esquire magazine.
The former U.S. Commander-In-Chief adorns the publication's front page with a tagline reading "An Issue Four Our Divided Times" while talking about topics including the potential Republican candidates, the CLinton Global Initiative and who he thinks will be the next President.
Highlights from Clinton's interview are as follows. For more, be sure to pay a visit to Esquire!
On Newt Gingrich:
"With someone like Newt Gingrich, it's a different kettle of fish. Because as a private citizen he was for certain important health-care reforms and believed in climate change and believed there had to be a strong reaction to it. And now he's just like Romney. Neither one of them can say what they believe to be true and get nominated. Romney's still trying to figure out what he did as governor of Massachusetts and still appeal to this driving vituperative energy."
On who he thinks the next president will be:
"I think Barack Obama will be the next president. I think he will win. Because I think that whatever feelings the American people have about their own conditions and however much they may wish he had moved more quickly, I think that they will conclude that it takes a long time to get out of the kind of economic distress we were in and that his direction and policies are more likely to move us out of that than if they give the White House and the Congress to a party that will give them more of what they just had."
On the Clinton Global Initiative redirecting its efforts domestically, to America:
"I just kept feeling that there was more possibility to create jobs in America without some huge government initiative. That if we could get businesses that are doing well together with people with good ideas, and with people that are doing training, and with banks that are willing to loan money under certain circumstances, then we could do some good. That's what led to CGI America. And the commitments we've gotten will create or fill existing vacancies that haven't been filled in months for more than 150,000 jobs and give more than twice that many people more-relevant job training. We also got another $265 million in direct commitments for investments of low-interest loans to small entrepreneurs, which is a big deal because the small-business loan rate in many areas has been going down even as the demand for the loans has recovered and, according to Pepperdine University, about 40 percent of American small businesses surveyed said they would hire more people if they could get the financing to do it."