Editor's note: The final portion of Wolf Blitzer's interview with former President Bill Clinton airs in today's Situation Room at 6 p.m. ET. The entire Bill Clinton interview will replay Saturday 6 p.m. ET.
(CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton strongly rejects Republican accusations that President Obama is engaging in "class warfare" when he proposes increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Clinton is very familiar with the accusation. He was accused of engaging in "class warfare" when he raised taxes on upper-income Americans shortly after he took office in 1993.
The highest income earners went up to a 39.6 percent federal income tax rate. It went down to 35 percent during the Bush Administration. That's where it stands right now, but President Obama has made no secret of his desire to see it go back up to 39.6 percent for those families earning more than $250,000 a year. Republicans, and some Democrats, reject increasing tax rates on any Americans during these tough economic times.
"It's not class warfare to ask Bill Clinton, who was the disproportionate beneficiary of the economy for the last 10 years, to actually return to the taxes I was paying when all of America had a much stronger economy and all of America was benefiting," he told me during a one-on-one interview.
"I'm saying when your country's in trouble," he added, "we're all going to have to sacrifice."
I remember well that first Clinton term in the White House. I was CNN's Senior White House Correspondent. Clinton was bitterly criticized by Republicans for raising taxes, but guess what: he did get re-elected in 1996.
By the way, that section of my Clinton interview on "class warfare" airs today in The Situation Room during the 6 p.m. ET hour.
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