Bill Clinton Lauds Hillary's Mideast Record When Praising 'Best Darn Change-maker I Have Ever Known'

Clinton defends his wife's years as secretary of state, saying she facilitated a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and sanctions against Iran's nuclear program.

Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016.
J. Scott Applewhite, AP

Clinton portrayed his wife Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday as a dynamic force for change with a long history of achievements in the Middle East.

"She is still the best darn change-maker I have ever known," Clinton said of Hillary during his address, as he made a case for her historic 2016 bid for the White House.

The ex-president told the Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia that Hillary Clinton was "a natural leader" with an in-built sense of responsibility. 

"Hillary is uniquely qualified to seize the opportunities and reduce the risks we face," he said. 

Drawing attention to his wife's years in the Senate, Clinton recalled that her early days were dominated by the 9/11 attacks and her later work on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The former president went on to offer a spirited defense of his wife's tenure as secretary of state, saying she was instrumental in protecting American interests, combating terrorism and advancing human rights.

"As secretary of state, she worked hard to get strong sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program," he said. "And in what The Wall Street Journal no less called a half-court shot at the buzzer, she got Russia and China to support them.

"Her team negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons and reestablish inspections. And she got enough Republican support to get two-thirds of the Senate, the vote necessary to ratify the treaty."

"She flew all night long from Cambodia to the Middle East to get a cease-fire that would avoid a full-out shooting war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza to protect the peace of the region," Clinton said.

"She backed President Obama’s decision to go after Osama bin Laden.

"She launched a team, this is really important today, she launched a team to fight back against terrorists online and built a new global counterterrorism effort."

Earlier in the day, Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic Party's nomination for the November 8 election, coming back from a stinging 2008 defeat in her first White House run and surviving a bitter primary fight to become the first woman to head the ticket of a major party in U.S. history. 

Bill Clinton told the convention in the keynote speech that Hillary had been an activist for social justice since the couple's early days as law students together.

He told how she gave legal aid services to poor people and went undercover to expose a segregationist school in Alabama in the 1970s. 

After a tough battle with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders during the state-by-state nominating contests, Clinton is now the party's standard-bearer against Republican nominee Donald Trump. 

Bill Clinton said Republicans led by Trump had made Hillary out to be "a cartoon" but the real thing was nothing like their portrayal of her. 

"They're running against a cartoon. Cartoons are two-dimensional, they're easy to absorb. Life in the real world is complicated and real change is hard, and a lot of people even think it's boring," he said. 

Then speaking directly to the crowd, he said to cheers and applause: "Good for you because earlier today you nominated the real one." 

President from 1993 to 2001, Bill Clinton, 69, left office with high approval ratings and is known as one of the most powerful political orators in the country.