October 30th, 2007
01:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton defends Hillary from charges she is 'unelectable'

Bill Clinton made two campaign stops in South Carolina on his wife's behalf.

ROCK HILL, South Carolina (CNN) - At a campaign rally in South Carolina Monday evening, former President Bill Clinton defended his wife Hillary from charges made by other campaigns and some political observers that she is too polarizing to win the presidency.

"They continue to say she's the most unelectable because she's so polarizing," Clinton told the crowd gathered at a community center here. "Well they have dumped on her for 16 years. They'd all be polarizing too if the right wing of the Republican party which controls their politics had been dumping on them for 16 years. I'd like to see how those boys would stand up to it. I think the girl's done pretty well ... The more people know her her positive ratings go up and her negative ratings go down."

Clinton, who spent much of his nearly hour-long speech digging into issues like climate change, health care and the national debt, said his wife is better qualified than any other Democratic contender to step into the White House and lead from day one.

"I like all these other people running for president, and I'm not saying they couldn't restore our standing in the world, I'm just saying that America gets no honeymoon," he said. "We have made too many people mad for too long and we need to get this show on the road, she's the most likely to do that."

Still, Clinton said he liked liked every Democrat running for office, noting that he read Sen. John Edwards' health care plan and Sen. Barack Obama's energy plan with interest.

"I hope any of us can win. One thing I like about this race as a Democrat is I don't have to be against anybody," he said.

Monday marked Clinton's third campaign visit to South Carolina on behalf of his wife's presidential campaign.

UPDATE: The RNC responded to Clinton's comments: "Bill Clinton may not be against any of the Democrat presidential candidates, but the American people will be against their proposals for staggering tax hikes that will feed a growing DC bureaucracy that isn’t getting things done for the American people," said RNC spokesman Brian Walton.

"There is a reason Clinton didn't win South Carolina when he ran for president, and it's the same reason Hillary and the other Democrat candidates won't win it in 2008."

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • South Carolina
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. therealist

    Hillary's care for education, seniors and animals is clearly evident in her past "experience"..

    "Dropout Factories," high schools where no more than 60 percent of the students make it to their senior year. That dubious distinction applies to 12 percent of public schools which peaked in the 90's.

    Taxed Social Security, liberals, lead by the Clintons, pushed through a law change in 93 that made Social Security a taxable income. The only thing lower, Hillary's refusal to support its repeal as a "caring" Senator.

    Remember Hillary's book? "Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets," where she claimed that only with the arrival of Socks and his “toy mouse” did the White House “become a home.” She lectured readers on how pets were an “adoption instead of an acquisition” and warned of their safety. Socks was pawned off on Betty Curry while Buddy, the chocolate labrador, was promptly run over due to lack of said lectured responsibility.

    October 30, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. BBC, Seattle, WA

    Hating Senator Clinton; calling her two-faced is just empty rhetoric. There is a reason why so many of her close friends and staff haven't given much dirt to the diggers.

    I'm sure she is just as loyal to them as they are to her. Otherwise, there would be more dirt.

    Give me a break, hating people.

    She's done great work for the country, for her state and will continue to do so. Win or lose. But, she won't lose.

    October 30, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. SaveTheConstitutionSaveTheWorld

    She's such a vile, disgusting woman with an insatiable thirst for power. How anyone can think this country needs Hillary blows my mind. What this country needs is freedom from big government. The government is a complete failure to it's people. We don't need STRONG LEADERS. Strong leaders are fascists by definition. So much power should never be concentrated in the hands of a minority like Washington, the private owners of the Federal Reserve or the secretive special interest groups like the Council on Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group. The potential for abuse of power in these secretive, autonomous organizations like the CIA, NSA, etc is incredibly dangerous and there have already been too many examples of these abuses.

    Add to that a media that is the propaganda arm of these special interest groups and corporations – not to mention the CIA with it's Project Mockingbird (anyone who doesn't know what this is needs to look it up immediately).

    The USA is well along the road to socialism and being a fascist police state. The ideals that made the USA great have been subverted by a minority of super wealthy individuals. Socialism never produces anything great. It's a system that only works for the elite. Free markets and free populations are great. They promote innovation, self sufficiency and the best that human expression has to offer.

    October 30, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Ron, Chicago, IL

    Of course, there is a reason Clinton didn't win South Carolina when he ran for president. He is not a crazy evanglical. He is not blind to suffering of the poor or the problems that face America. Republicans can talk about growing DC bureaucracy but they shouldn't lie. In the last 25 years, Government has only gotten bigger under Republicans not Democrats. Staggering tax hikes occur because Republicans don't understand basic economics and over spend (cough- Reagan-Cough). Then, democrats have to come in and fix the problems. Lets face it, it takes a Clinton to cleans up after a Bush, and BUSH II messed up big time.

    October 30, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Of course she's electible...

    ...Bush got "elected," didn't he?!

    October 30, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    A lot of people don't get it. Hillary has at least a 50% – 53% unfavorable rating. This means that at least half of likely voters will not vote for her no matter who the GOP nominates. They hate Bush, but no one from the Bush administration is running. They've known something about Hillary since she came on the national stage in 1992 with her husband. Her health care plan blew up in '93, and from there on out, the public just didn't like her as they did her husband. If the dems as a whole were smart, they should nominate Biden, Obama, Edwards, or heck, even Mickey Mouse. If they put anybody but Hillary up there, they will ensure a democratic win for the whitehouse in '08.


    October 30, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. summus

    look at all these Republicans afraid of Hillary in this blog. They are so scared. Republicans can't beat a Clinton and they know it. They don't fall into the same political traps that other Democrats day. They play hard and they play for keeps. Plan ahead- get ready for 2016. chelsea won't be old enough to run yet.

    October 30, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Carrol Ann, Newport, Maine

    A poll released recently indicated that GOP women are supporting Hillary.


    This is the only candidate on any ticket who looks to be joining together the left and the right.

    This is the only candidate on either ticket who is claiming to bring back good old family values, once known as the domain of the right wing. All now but gone and faded into history thanks to this disgraceful administration.

    What Hillary is causing to happen in this country does not meet the definition of polarizing!

    However, it does meet the definition of ironic!

    October 30, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Jim Bremer

    Another funny difference between Obama and Hillary –

    You know this Hillary Rodham Clinton ? People make funny wordplays on her name – like Billary, Shrillary etc. No one minds – it's all part of the Great American habit of caricaturing public personalities. No big deal.

    NOW let's talk about Obama 🙂

    Obama's full name is Barak Hussein Obama. If you DARE make a nickname for Obama, such as replacing a single strategic letter – you get Barak Hussein OSAMA.
    You're done for. Obama/Osama minions will come out of the woodwork, enraged that you dared to desecrate their sacred idol. You will be called anything from racist to bigot to much worse.

    Question – Why is the Obama campaign so sensitive about association with Osama ? Is it just the connotation of Obama, given his infamous middle name Hussein ? Or is there a more sinister deeper connection ? What are you trying to hide?

    October 30, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. bymyside, Long Beach, CA

    OBAMA '08!!!
    Can't Wait

    October 30, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Lianette, Arlington, Texas

    I am so very thankful that finally Hillary Clinton is running. We need her. She is the best fit to be the next President of the United States. Sure, Mr. Bill Clinton was right. How can any democrat proposed when the House and Senate were then controlled by the Republicans. I am so proud of all the citizens of the United States who voted against the Republicans. We showed we are already tired of thed kind of life we have under their administration. Democrats finally got the House and the Senate. We are getting smarter. For me, I vote not thinking wherether you are democrat or republican, I vote for people who did good for our country and their people. I did not see in this administration. Thank you that it will be over soon. I cannot wait for the Presidential Election, and I know the people of the United States are very eager to rebuild our country. So farm the only candidate that I can see can do it is Hillary Clinton. the rest, they are only doing their best to say bad things about her. She is so great and very intelligent. Hillary, just focus on your agenda. The people are seeing you.

    October 30, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Lianette, Arlington, Texas

    Can you not see what's going on? These candidates pretend or I would say, they can beat Hillary is nominated. they thought they have that strategy but deep in tehir heart and soul, they will not want her to be nominated because they know she will be the first woman President of the United States. We are ready to have her. They also said that the Republicans will gain if she will be elected........Sorry to say. The Democrats will continue to win. Why? Citizens of the United States want to get back to normal. We want to rebuild our country. We want someone who is tough and intelligent. I agree for some comments regarding G. Bush. It seems like he is running our country like he is just around his house. He seems like he does not know what he is doing. Is this really what happening now that he will be leaving his office soon? But why? We want to have better place to live in. We want to better life. We are suffering. I don't want to see how those people in Iraq got killed. Also our soldiers.

    October 30, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  13. Coach Haughton NH

    Hating Senator Clinton; calling her two-faced is just empty rhetoric. There is a reason why so many of her close friends and staff haven't given much dirt to the diggers.

    I'm sure she is just as loyal to them as they are to her. Otherwise, there would be more dirt.

    Give me a break, hating people.

    She's done great work for the country, for her state and will continue to do so. Win or lose. But, she won't lose.

    Posted By BBC, Seattle, WA : October 30, 2007 4:22 pm

    Is the BBC for what I think it is?

    And please name some of Hilliar's Accomplishments that have nothing to do with her husband.

    October 30, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. James, Phoenix AZ

    Carroll Ann, Newport, Maine

    You wrote about Hillary, "This is the only candidate on any ticket who looks to be joining together the left and the right."


    You may want to check your cheerios, Carrol Ann. Hillary is not getting ANY support from GOP Women... except those that know Hillary would lose the Presidential race and want her as the Democratic Nominee.

    You keep believing those "stories" and vote for Hillary! We conservatives thank you in advance.

    October 30, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  15. Russell NC

    Bill should stay in the background and keep his mouth shut.

    October 30, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. sonya, atlanta, ga

    I find it strange that no one in the media or on blogs have raised the issue of Bill campaigning for his wife. We have had occasions of family members becoming president. Most notably, John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams; George Bush I and George Bush II. In those two cases, the fathers took particular care not to campaign or speak publically on their son’s behalf. There also has been an unspoken integrity rule of an ex president not commenting about the sitting president or any living ex president. For example, President Gerald Ford made his biographer wait until his death to published his book. The media has crucified President Jimmy Carter for criticizing the current President. But no one has said anything about Bill lending his status to promote his wife status. He is trying to transfer his likeability to his wife and not only is he campaigning for her, he is strategizing and publically defending her policies. I don’t mind his behind the scenes strategizing but I do mind him trying to bestow the crown upon his wife and I wished he stop defending her in public. He lost my respect on this because it seems that he could defend his marital vows in private. It’s hypocritical at best and a sinister zeal for political power that would have the founding fathers rolling in unison in their graves. My husband’s business success is not mine, even though I supported him and contribute to helping him build his business. It was his hardwork, skills and vision that made his business a success. And my husband does not take credit for my professional success either, even though he has been there to listen and brainstorm ideas to troubleshoot specific issues that arose. I make the final decisions in my professional life and my husband makes the final decisions in his business. As Truman said, the buck stops here. When will Hillary stand up on her own-stop riding her husbands coattails and playing the victim when her opponents criticize her polices decisions. If she does become the President, she will not be able to play victim anymore, and I don’t think world leaders especially Middle Eastern leaders will bow down to the unspoken campaign strategy of don’t criticize me because I am a woman. Did Margaret Thacheter utilized her husband service to defend her womanhood?

    October 30, 2007 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  17. Tim St. Louis Mo

    I have a question; do any Republicans know what Socialism actually is? I hear that Hillary’s health care plan is Socialist from the Republican supporters all the time. My opinion after reading both the health care plan from the 90’s and her new one is that either Republicans don’t actually know what Socialism is are they cant read. Please Republicans stop burning books and actually read one for once. P.S. if you really cant stand Socialism so much then stop all Socialism in this country not just the things your leaders like to rally you around.

    October 30, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  18. Mike Nakagita, Green Bay, Wisconsin

    The Clinton presidency should be considered a wasted opportunity in American history. In 1993 the Soviet Union had collapsed, and America stood alone as the world's only super-power, in an incredible position to shape the world. But 9/11 proved that America was more vulnerable at the end of the decade than at the beginning. Domestically, a serious of ill – conceived initiatives ensured the Republican resurrection in Congress and Clinton's failure to work with that, ensured Clinton was a lame duck President from 1994. However Bill Clinton could connect with voters on an emotional level, which enabled the re-election in 1996. Hillary, however, will never "feel your pain" the way Bill did, and thus American voters are left with just a bad memory of a wasted opportunity. Unless Hillary can reach out to Americans on a (positive) level emotionally, then she will never be President. She should also consider ditching Bill the same way Al Gore did. His track record just doesn't look good anymore.

    October 31, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  19. SB

    Maybe he missed the debate tonight. We can assure you, she's not electable.

    October 31, 2007 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  20. mark wilkes barre pa

    Hey,, whats going on here. I was the first comment on this story yesterday. this is the third time my comment has been taken off. whats the matter page moniter,, If our comments don't or questions dont fit your ideas of where you want to go with the story , then you just shape it by editing out comments you don't want people to see ???? my comment refered to hillary not having the experience and qualifications to lead the country. I was very nice ,, no bashing ,just facts, and someone took my comment off anyway. I s this happening to anyone else ???????????

    October 31, 2007 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  21. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Lianette, besides puppies and butterflies and wonderful sunshine, can you provide some actual reasoning based on, I don't know, ideas, on why Hillary is so wonderful,joyous and smart.

    We as a nation are waiting for your responses.

    October 31, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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