Bill Clinton Says New York Should Be Model For Nation in Economic Development Plans

The federal government should take a cue from New York State's competition for the best regional economic development plans, according to former President Bill Clinton.

"I am telling you that even the regions that don't get the money are going to be way ahead, because they're having to do something they never had to do before, they're actually coming up with what they want to do and how to do it, instead of having some idle political debate," Clinton spoke at an event Tuesday night to promote his new book, Back to Work, which details the former President's ideas on how to improve the nation's economy.

Clinton was referring to Governor Cuomo's initiative in which regions are competing for up to one billion dollars in economic development aid. He also oozed praise for Mayor Bloomberg's contest for a new high tech graduate school in the city, saying it will create jobs. Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg have joined together in a partnership to fight climate change.

"It's a heck of an idea, it's the way the world should work, I think it's wonderful," Clinton said, sitting across from his daughter Chelsea, who was interviewing her father at the New York Historical society. The former President said he hoped a New York consortium of schools would win the contest, while Stanford-alum Chelsea threw her support to her alma mater. The two Clintons exchanged joking repartee with each other throughout the evening.

Clinton, whose own foundation is focusing on climate change, also credited New York State's new energy-efficiency incentives that encourage retrofitting buildings, saying they should be a model for the nation.

"It's a 'just say yes' system. And it will create 10,000-12,000 jobs in New York and put billions of dollars in this economy within a matter of months as soon as it's fully implemented," he predicted.

Notably, a classically jovial Clinton did not criticize, nor did he lavish praise on President Obama at the event.