Former President Bill Clinton closed out the lineup of Democratic National Convention speakers Tuesday by drawing a sharp contrast between the version of Hillary Clinton spun by her opponents and the “real” Hillary, one he has known as a loving mother, spouse, and tireless advocate for more than four decades.
In his speech, which was roundly praised from both sides of the aisle, Clinton took his time talking about the long arc of his life with the Democratic nominee, whom he called his “best friend,” the “best mother in the whole world” to their daughter, and the “best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life.”
Clinton frequently deviated from his TelePrompTer, and playfully cast his own political career as the backdrop to the larger stories of his wife’s victories, relentlessly pushing for education and healthcare reform and championing the rights of women around the world as secretary of state.
“How does this square with the things that you heard at the Republican convention? How do you square it? You can’t,” he said. “One is real, the other is made up. You just have to decide which is which.”
The “real” Hillary Clinton has “earned the loyalty and respect of people of worked with her in every stage of her life,” he said, arguing the only line of attack available to his wife’s opponents was to “create a cartoon.”
“The real one had done more change-making before she was 30 than most politicians do with their whole lives in office,” Bill Clinton continued. “The real one has earned the loyalty and respect of people who worked with her in every stage of her life.”
The “real” Hillary Clinton calls when there is a death in the family, has garnered praise from prominent Republicans, and served as both a senator and secretary of state, he went on to say.
“Good for you. Because earlier today, you nominated the real one,” Bill Clinton said, to thunderous applause from delegates waving red, white and blue “America” signs.
The former President finished by taking veiled shots at Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make the future together,” he said. “Hillary will make us stronger together. You know it because she spent a lot of time doing it … Your children and grandchildren will bless you forever if you do.”
This post has been updated.