NEW ORLEANS â Former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton offer moral support as they address the National Automobile Dealers Assn. convention here Monday.
The two men, rivals in the 1992 presidential campaign, have gone on to become friends and co-founders of a charitable fund that aids needy people, including the victims of Hurricane Katrina that hit this city in 2005.
âNinety percent of life is what you do with what happens to you, and 10% is what happens to you,â Clinton tells dealers who, along with the rest of the auto industry, are trying to cope with a severe sales downturn.
âAll I want to say is that we ought to make cars in America, and we ought to sell them. So you hang in there.â
Bush laudsfor also contributing to the Katrina relief effort. âStay involved,â he tells dealers. âIâm 84, and as I look back at the tapestry of life, I see the importance and need of helping others.â
He tells dealers to âwork as hard as you canâ and to work with financial institutions âto get the credit out of them. Iâm proud of the (auto) industry, and Iâm proud of you and your entrepreneurial spirit.â
Clinton calls the current recession âthe most mind-numbing, complicated economic crisis Iâve ever seen.
âWe need to know how bad it is, but we canât believe for a second that we canât get over it. This country has been around for 233 years, and a lot of people bet against us during those years. Every single one of them has lost their bets.â
The former presidents joke about how their influence has waned after leaving office. âWhatâs good about being an ex-president is you can say what you think,â says Clinton. âOf course, no one cares what you think anymore.â