Former President Bill Clinton made a campaign stop in Sioux City Friday night for Christie Vilsack, the Democrat who’s challenging Republican Congressman Steve King.

“Her opponent said what he wanted to do is take this country to the right. What Christie wants to do is take us forward,” Clinton said, getting a burst of applause from the crowd. “And, last I checked, if you veered right, you couldn’t go forward.”

Clinton spoke for about a half an hour on a chilly evening to about a thousand people gathered outdoors. Clinton accused King, along with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan, of being ideologues.

“Every body should have a philosophy. You ought to be a little bit conservative, a little bit liberal. Most of you are a little conservative on some things, a little liberal on others,” Clinton said. “But if you have an ideology, you’ve got to answer before you look at the evidence and when that happens you are in trouble before you begin and that’s why there are so many Republicans supporting Christie Vilsack for congress, because she is a practical problem solver.”

The former president spent a lot of time going into detail — on Medicare, on the debt, on the partisan battles in Washington. While he was in Sioux City to bolster Vilsack’s campaign, the former president spent plenty of time trying to boost President Obama’s reelection effort.

“I decided in this election I wasn’t going to give a lot of whoop-de-do speeches. I’m trying to explain things to people. I got offered the job of ‘secretary of explaining stuff’ — you may have seen that,” Clinton said, getting whoops from the crowd for that reference to the reaction to his speech at the Democratic National Convention.

In addition to the public event in Sioux City for Vilsack, Clinton did a private fundraiser in Des Moines for Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)