November 12th, 2007
07:25 PM ET
6 years ago

Bill Clinton: 'Boys have been getting tough' on Hillary

Clinton campaigned for his wife in South Carolina Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton continued to weigh in Monday on intensified criticism of his wife, telling a South Carolina audience, "those boys have been getting tough on her."

"It's a great time to be a Democrat," the former president told students in Charleston, South Carolina. "Even though those boys have been getting tough on her lately, she can handle it."

The comments are in reference to the heat Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, has taken since a Democratic presidential debate two weeks ago when she appeared to hedge on a question about drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants.

Bill Clinton also came to his wife's defense last week, linking the current criticism of her debate performance to the "swift boat" television ad campaign aimed at then presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 and an ad in 2002 questioning then-Sen. Max Cleland's patriotism. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, later said he was "stunned" by that comparison and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, called "it over the top."

Clinton has repeatedly said her rivals are teaming up against her because she is leading in polls, not because she is the lone female presidential candidate.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • South Carolina
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Nick, Eden Praire MN

    Everyone I know is voting for Hillary Clinton.. she is the true vision of hope. Hillary has and will continue to work with all politicians..Democrats and Republicans…that is how our country will come together…by working together …The other candidates are attacking their own …that will only divide us more…..GO HILLARY 08
    Posted By MaryAnn Oswego IL : November 12, 2007 7:31 pm

    Where on earth did you hear that she unites people? She will never be able to have republican support, and can't count on support from members of her own party. This is one of her big turnoffs for me, she divides people.

    November 12, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. Olivia - San Antonio Texas

    Yeah you tell them Kenneth Brown, San Jose, CA – couldn't have said it better!

    November 12, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. ronnie - knoxville, tn

    Remember, Hillary only wins if she's a victim.

    November 12, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. Olivia - San Antonio - Texas

    I know many people who will vote for Clinton. I guess it's not okay when Bill comes to Hillary defense but it's okay for Michelle to come to Obama's? Come on people which is it? Let's get real. One more time "Obama will not be elected."

    November 12, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  5. monica, rochester new york

    J. Mckinney SW MO, you say the Clintons Cannot release the records. I guess you didn't read the memo that Tim Russert had at the debate from Bill where Bill specifically directed that records related to Hillary be sealed until 2012. Since you claim to be so much smarter than everyone else, I would have assumed you knew about that Clinton directive. Or is that yet another point of fact that HRC supporters are experts at sweeping under the rug.

    November 12, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. LinnieFB, Corona, CA

    Mr. Clinton's remarks in South Carolina are purposeful and distasteful. He is stooping pretty low on this one.

    Mr. Clinton...there are no 'boys' running for president. There are men with backbone, integrity, and good judgment, running for president. They have a right to question your wife. How dare you!

    November 12, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  7. Olivia - San Antonio - Texas

    All boys who are running for president look and act like they are in high school foot ball team anyway. Who cares what they say to Hillary! As a Hillary supporter they will never able to change my mind to vote for them. Edward spend whole life sucking poor people's life as a trial lawyer and Obama is really really a hype, ten teenagers vote not going to make him president. He is not making a movie for Hollywood. I will never every vote for OBAMA AND EDWARD EVEN THOUGH I HAVE BEEN DEMOCRAT FOR MY LIFE.

    Posted By jmaya, iowa : November 12, 2007 7:00 pm – I agree 100% and stop deleting my comments!

    November 12, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. John Nc

    Will Hillary have Bill sitting beside her in the oval office if she is elected?

    November 12, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  9. J. Greene, Las Vegas, NV

    Maybe Bill should take over for Hillary at Thursday's debates too.

    November 12, 2007 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  10. Patricia M. Murphy Albuquerque, NM

    I hope that the American Women are not so stupid to vote for a WOMEN, and I use the term lightly for her. When the right women is nominated it will be time to vote female. Now there are only MEN that would qualify for the Presidential Position. I pray that the country comes to there senses and nominate a person that is not dishonest and has some morals.

    November 12, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  11. regvoter

    Please define each word for us Bill...

    "those, boys, have been, getting, tough, on, her, ."

    November 12, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  12. dilligaf NY

    The absolutley scariest thing about Hillary becoming president is the fact that she will be the COMMANDER IN CHIEF of our brave men and women! A military she and her husband loathe. I hope people remember that before they ever vote for her. She would be even worse than her goof-ball-ego-driven husband and Jimmy "Clueless" Carter.

    November 12, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. Rex, Houghton, Michigan

    Do we have the whole story here?

    Edwards accused Clinton of acting like President Bush. That is as ugly as any campaign could get. Then Clinton retorted to Edwards uh na You’re acting like President Bush. So what’s next? You eat boogers? Uh na, you do…

    In the meanwhile Bill Clinton is still running around in circles defending his wife and trying the play the gender card for her with “those’ BOYS’ are getting tough on her lately” line. This is sad and pathetic.

    At least Obama has not said any of his opponents are acting like McCain.

    November 12, 2007 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Again,it is not boys and gils or men and woomen;even you try to make the contrast.It is candidat and candidat.Gender can't work this time.When you said those boys,for me this is gender card.It is not going to work Bill.

    November 12, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  15. Kate, Grand blanc

    The 'feminist' is having her husband say that the 'boys' are being tough on her?? Unbelievable. They are asking her to be straight-forward with some simple questions.

    I wonder if Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin will be delicate when they deal with her if she is elected?

    November 12, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  16. n.g., boston, ma

    Demwit Alert ! Demwit Alert ! Bill is not running for President .

    November 12, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. jane s, nashville, tn.

    I think Bill is actually hurting Hillary's chances because if there's anyone that stirs up hatred in our country more than Hillary, it's BJ himself! It's buy one machine politician, get one free !

    November 12, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  18. Mike Nakagita, Green Bay, Wisconsin

    So many of these respondents supporting Hillary by comparing her to Bush still don't get it. Bush is not running in 2008. Can some publisher out there produce a popup picture book that can be handed out at Clinton rallies so these morons can finally understand? thank you.

    And to Bill, you may very well be calling one of these "boys" "Mr. President" in little more than twelve months. Don't be so arrogant and disrespectful.

    November 12, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  19. RA Crouch, Petoskey, Michigan

    I didn’t know white men from Arkansas still called black men “boys”…

    November 12, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  20. Linda, Davis, CA

    Women going to job interviews in business have to face a panel of 6 men. So what is so unusual about having to answer questions asked by men? Hillary is an outstanding person, but she is going to have to compete the same way a woman has to compete for a job at a company or a law firm. And the higher you get, the bigger the sharks. Personally, I think Richardson is the most qualified and that is whom I am voting for. I am not voting on the basis of the race or gender of the candidate.

    November 12, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  21. xtina - chicago IL

    I agree w/ mike nakagita. Why are people invoking Bush's name so often? He is not running for President. It seems that for the past eight years many people who didn't vote for him are bent on some kind of revenge. If that's your game, what can I say, but we all have our political viewpoints. Im thinking secure our country, lower taxes, build a wall to stop illegal immigration; you're thinking "get back at conservatives for winning twice in a row."

    November 12, 2007 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. Roger - IL

    To Kenneth in San Jose:

    What has she done as a Senator?

    Please let me know.

    November 12, 2007 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  23. bill , maidenhead

    even democrats are complaining that hillary is keeping those old health care documents secret. what is she hiding?

    November 12, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. Jose Card, NY

    Many said Bill was a smart guy, but I wonder if Bill is getting Alzheimer's. He just would not shut up for his wife to stand on her own. He has to be patient till after she is elected, and then he can do all the stuff he feels like doing or saying in the White House.

    A second chair will be needed for the Oval Office if she is elected. Who will sit where? The Clintons will definitely mess up the chain of command with two ambitious people, one of which claimed to be a little girl. This is U.S. presidential election. Either you do or you don't have the qualifications for the job. Please stop being cute and take the voters seriously. Bill is irritating and Hillary can't talk for herself. I want to be open-minded, but my patience is running out.

    November 12, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  25. Doug Tennessee

    Hillary is her own worse enemy. Having an early election season will more than likely hurt her. People have more than enough time to do their research about all the candidates. If Hillary looses the election, she will have only herself and her past to blame.

    November 12, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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