Former President Bill Clinton has offered a ringing endorsement of President Barack Obama, saying he believes with all his heart that Obama's leadership on the economy will bring it back.

Clinton used a lengthy speech at the Democratic National Convention that was punctuated by frequent applause and laughter to nominate Obama, applaud his accomplishments and attack proposals offered by GOP nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan.

FULL COVERAGE: Democratic National Convention

Clinton accused Republicans of proposing "the same old policies" that led to a near financial meltdown. Using a quote from Ronald Reagan often employed to rebuke Democrats, Clinton said "There they go again." He said the nation "cannot afford to turn the reins of government over to someone who would double down on trickle-down."

Clinton also said Romney's claims that Obama would gut welfare work requirements are simply not true.

It was well past 11 p.m. when Clinton wrapped up and the podium lowered into the floor. Obama sauntered on stage, waving to the crowd with a wide smile on his face.

Clinton turned to Obama and gave a deep bow. Obama pulled the former president into a full embrace. Then they put their arms around each other, walked to the center of the blue-carpeted stage and soaked in the thunderous applause from the crowd packed to the rafters in the Time Warner Cable Arena.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)