Why Hillary Clinton Says She’ll ‘Forever Be Grateful’ to George W. Bush
"For all of my disagreements with President Bush, I will forever be grateful to him," Clinton says in a new Hulu documentary
In a new Hulu documentary about her life and career in politics, former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton opens up about a number of things she’s fought against throughout her career, including Republicans.
But there’s one famous GOPer Clinton says she’ll “forever be grateful” to: former President George W. Bush.
As the documentary’s fourth episode recaps Clinton’s post-first lady life in politics — from her eight years as a New York senator to her time as the Secretary of State in the Obama administration — she talks about how the 9/11 attacks changed “everything” for her and other lawmakers used to the back-and-forth politics on Capitol Hill.
“Everything changed on September 11th,” says Clinton, 72, as the tone of the documentary sobers while recounting the worst terror attack that’s ever taken place on American soil.
More than 2,600 people died in the attacks on the World Trade Center in downtown New York City and nearly 3,000 died in total, including an attack at the Pentagon and the thwarted hijacking of United 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
“I went that day,” Clinton says in Hulu’s Hillary, which premiered Friday. “It looked like hell. I mean, any depiction — Dante’s Inferno — paled in comparison. It was the most terrible site I’ve ever personally seen. I think about it all the time.”
The U.S. General Accounting Office noted in 2003 that the attacks damaged the Manhattan economy, given that some businesses were destroyed, displaced or impacted by street closures and a lack of utility services. An estimated 83,000 jobs were lost from September through December that year, in addition to the massive clean-up effort that needed to return the area to functioning capacity.
Clinton explains in Hillary how Congress had sent a $20 billion request for funds soon after the attacks in order to begin the recovery process. But, much to her and other state lawmakers’ surprise, that money wasn’t going to N.Y.C.
“I mean, we thought there was something wrong. It couldn’t be true,” she remembers. “[New York Sen.] Chuck Schumer and I, we were invited to meet with the president. And we asked him for $20 billion and he said, ‘You got it.’ ”
A week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress allocated an additional $20 billion, with all of it going to New York.
“For all of my disagreements with President Bush, I will forever be grateful to him for guaranteeing we got the money we needed to rebuild New York,” Clinton says in Hillary.
Clinton and Bush still had their disagreements, though. The former senator explains in the Hulu doc that because of how she viewed the American economy under Bush’s watch, she decided to make her first run for president in 2008 — losing out to future President Barack Obama for the Democratic Party’s nomination.
Clinton later became secretary of state under Obama and run for president again once his two terms were up.
Bush and his father, the late President George H. W. Bush, famously did not support President Donald Trump as the Republican running against Clinton in 2016. Although the elder Bush said he voted for Clinton, the younger Bush and his wife, Laura, said they opted to vote for neither of the two party’s candidates.
In the documentary, multiple former politicians and reporters explain how Clinton made a habit of working with Republicans across the aisle throughout her time as a U.S. senator and then in the Obama White House.
“She reached across the aisle when she didn’t have to,” then-Republican Majority Leader Sen. Bill Frist says in Hillary. “As majority leader, I worked with her co-authoring a bill — that was a hardcore Republican and a hardcore Democrat working together.”