Business
4:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Listen: Bill Clinton Describes 'The Dumbest Thing' He Ever Heard

Bill Clinton on Texas' Lost Supercollider

Former president Bill Clinton was in Austin today to speak at Dell's annual business and technology conference. He touted Dell’s announcement of a partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative University – and also recalled a forehead-slapping a moment with a former Texas Senator.

“The old order of things is shafting,” Clinton said. “Nation states still matter. Defense budgets still matter. All the things we used to think of as giving us security still matter, but they just don’t give us as much of it as they used to. And we have to imagine a new future a new future in which we try to create shared prosperity and shared responsibilities.”

Clinton’s speech touched on examples ranging from fighting cancer in Africa to the exploits of the Mars rover. But he also shared one bittersweet story closer to home: how Texas lost out on the supercollider thought to have found the Higgs boson particle.

“Your former senior senator, the late Lloyd Bentsen, who became my first treasury secretary, came to me and said – when we were trying to make a budget deal in ’93 –  he said, ‘We cant get the votes unless we give up the supercollider.’ I said, ‘That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.’”

Clinton went on to note subsequent questions regarding whether indeed the definitive particle had been found, but added “they’re going on in creative cooperation and creative competition.” You can listen to Clinton’s comments above.