Bill Clinton Thinks Bloomberg’s Engineering Campus May Be Our Best Hope to Stop Unemployment Rioting

In a recent interview with Christiane Amanpour on ABCNews, Bill Clinton dropped a note of support for Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed applied sciences campus, which is currently the subject of a media tug-of-war between Stanford and Cornell.

But the context of the name-check was a little … odd. President Clinton was talking to Ms. Amanpour in advance of the Clinton Global Initiative annual conference this week, which will focus on the unemployment crisis. The meeting also happens to coincide with the Anonymous-supported “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations that took place this weekend.

“Let me ask you this then,” said Ms. Amanpour. “Mayor Bloomberg of New York has said this week that unless something is done to really address this unemployment problem there could be riots in the street, unrest.” Mr. Clinton’s response?

“I dunno, there have been demonstrations in many other countries where the same thing is going on, but the most important thing Mayor Bloomberg said recently is to offer land on Governor’s Island or Roosevelt Island or at the Navy Yard in Brooklyn for a new world-class science and technology research center. And he said he’ll kick in $100 million worth of investment if a group of universities puts one there, because he wants New York, in effect, to rival Silicon Valley as a technology center. That’s the kind of thing that works. If you want to put people to work, we’ve got to focus on what works.”