In DNC speech, Bill Clinton recounts life with Hillary and defends her

Bill Clinton speaking during the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night. CBS image

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic National Convention (all times EDT):

10:50 p.m.

Former President Bill Clinton is offering a spirited defense of his wife’s tenure as secretary of state.

He tells Democratic convention delegates in Philadelphia that his wife was instrumental in protecting American interests, combating terrorism and advancing human rights.

Contrast that with the Republicans’ view — they paint “the Obama-Clinton foreign policy” as a failure.

Among other things, Bill Clinton says his wife put “climate change at the center of our foreign policy” and “backed President Barack Obama’s decision to go after Osama bin Laden.”

Clinton notes that his wife accepted the nation’s top diplomatic post only after losing a bitter Democratic primary contest to Obama in 2008.

He says she “loved being a senator from New York,” but ultimately accepted the president-elect’s request that she join his Cabinet.

Bill Clinton says that experience is part of what makes his wife so prepared to be the 45th president.


10:45 p.m.

Former President Bill Clinton is drawing attention to Hillary Clinton’s Senate years — noting she held the same New York seat as the late Robert F. Kennedy.

And, he tells delegates at the Democratic convention, “she didn’t let him down.”

Bill Clinton recalls that his wife’s early days in the Senate were dominated by the 9/11 attacks and her later work on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He recalls that she served on a special Pentagon commission with former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Clinton says Gingrich said she did a good job.

Summing up her record, Bill Clinton says she had a “totally progressive record on economic and social issues.”


10:40 p.m.

The “best darn change-maker I’ve met in my entire life.”

That’s how former President Bill Clinton is describing his wife as he lays out her life story in a speech at the Democratic National Convention.

He cites her work as first lady in winning congressional approval for a children’s health insurance program and a bill that made it easy for parents to adopt children.

The 42nd president tells the crowd that Hillary Clinton worked with Republican House leader and fierce Clinton critic Tom Delay on the adoption bill.

Bill Clinton says she did it because “she’s a change-maker. That’s what she does.”

Among those in the crowd are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Chelsea Clinton — seated with the North Dakota delegation.


10:30 p.m.

Former President Bill Clinton is telling the Democratic convention about Hillary Clinton working on projects in rural and small town Arkansas to help children and others.

He says his wife embraced their early years of marriage in Arkansas, even though it was “more culturally conservative” than anywhere she’d ever lived before.

He notes she started a legal aid clinic and an advocacy group for children that still exists.

During Hillary Clinton’s Democratic primary campaign against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, she generally performed best in more urban areas, while struggling in more rural districts.


10:25 p.m.

Former President Bill Clinton is describing some of the lesser known parts of Hillary Clinton’s biography.

His speech at the Democratic National Convention is emphasizing her work to help children and voting rights.

He recalls her work on children’s issues in the South and voter registration in Texas. In a light touch, he recalls that she declined his initial marriage proposals.

And in a subtle dig at Republican nominee Donald Trump, Bill Clinton says his spouse “never made fun of people with disabilities. She tried to empower them.”


10:20 p.m.

Bill Clinton is praising his late mother-in-law and Hillary Clinton’s youth minister as essential influences on his wife’s life and values.

The former president tells the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that knowing mother-in-law Dorothy Rodham was “one of the greatest gifts Hillary ever gave me.”

He says Dorothy Rodham “had a childhood that made mine look like a piece of cake.”

Bill Clinton also is praising Hillary Clinton’s faith as leading to her support for civil rights and her opposition to the Vietnam War.

And he says those decisions led her to abandon the Republican Party and become a Democrat.

Bill Clinton is using his address to tell delegates details of Hillary Clinton’s early life and work before the couple entered public life.


10:15 p.m.

Bill Clinton has opened his address to the Democratic National Committee with a simple story: “I met a girl.”

The former president is describing how he met Hillary Clinton as a law student at Yale University in 1971.

Bill Clinton tells the thousands of delegates at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia about the first time they first time they met.

Hillary Clinton — who’s now the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee — walked up to him and told him that if he was going to stare at her, she ought to know her name.

Clinton says he finally asked her to walk to an art museum.

He says, “We’ve been walking and talking and laughing together ever since.”

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