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. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Geesh. Males can be so simple-minded.

    What next, guys? Gonna double-dog-dare Clinton to "arm rassle ya"?

    Why don't you try to put a little intellectual depth into your comments instead of only reguritating the Republican slops you've been sucking down?

    Posted By Maeve : November 12, 2007 5:46 pm

    Just a simple minded male here Maeve, if you think it is just men and Republicans that are hammering Hillary, you have drank the kool-aid very successfully.

    I was so simple-minded I volunteered and proudly served giving sheep like you the right to support who you want and to say what you want.

    But since you called "boys" out "Honey", I challenge you to post some actual reasons why we should all vote for Hillary and why we should just dismiss her not answering questions, or half answering questions, sending Bill out and Geraldine Ferraro to defend her, planting questions (a SENIOR level Clintonista did this) among other misdeeds.

    Dismissing someones views because they are men and then demeaning those thoughts and the sex of the speaker by calling them "boys" is not only simple-minded, but typical of the Clinton apologists.

    I await your surely insightful responses and reasoning for the simple fact that you are a brillaint woman.

    Please enlighten us "boys", I double dare you.

    November 12, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. Dee Anna Roberts


    After all, hes been called a boy before. He's been called a "dirty , naughty , nasty little boy. A bad BAD BAD little naughty boy"


    So,he should know what it's like to be called a boy.

    November 12, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Bill Clinton, please stop. Your attempt to defend her makes her look weak. Hillary is running for president, and as such, she has to show that she is capable. Please tell her to answer the questions pose to her, that is the minimum requirement. She may have a large lead right now, but she will lose if she cannot take a stand and defend her position. Juliani is making fun of her because of this.

    Attacking Bush doesn't help. We all know Bush did a horrible job. What we want is answers – and presumable, those who run for president have a strategy on how to move this country forward.

    The slogan 'Turn Up the Heat' from Hillary doesn't help. That strategy will perpetuate the divisiveness in this country. It may work in the past, but it doesn't work now. The country needs to heal.

    That's primarily why Obama's message has the greatest appeal to me. He understand the sentiment of the country. We are tired of the infighting among us. Obama's message is the least offensive.

    People are feeling insecure about their jobs, their health, their retirement, their large debt (from education/house). Do we do something about it, and if we do, how do we fund it ... or do we let each fend for themselves. Which direction do we want to go?

    I am mainly a democrat. I don't mind pitching in (through taxes, if needed) in order to see the less fortunate taken care of. Some people say that the government cannot do this and the tax should be left in people's hand. Of course, if the government cannot do this, then I would like to keep my money, but if the government can do this, then I don't mind pitching in to see the less fortunate taken care of. I, however, do not want to pitch in to fund this war. I do not like to have my tax dollars wasted. I wish I can have a box so I can indicate how I want my tax money to be used, which program do they go to, and I want to see a report on it – what kind of results they get from it from the money they received. Perhaps in the Internet age, it is possible to see this kind of results, and perhaps, with this kind of reporting and transparency, it will reduce the waste in government, because people are keeping an eye on it.

    If it's the government that serves the people, then I don't mind pitching in, but if it's the government that imposes rules/regulations, constricting my freedom, then I'm not crazy about it.

    It seems the Republican message is to let people fend for themselves. Let private organizations deal with it. It's not a governmental problem. I would prefer a strong government, a government that serves the people, offering good services to the people, from young to old, and we all pitch it for that.

    After all, to build a strong country/community, it needs a little sacrifice from each of us. We are at a crossroad – this country is falling apart, and we need to rebuild it, and that requires a little sacrifice from each of us.

    November 12, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. ash, stone mtn, ga


    November 12, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  5. w19 CA

    She runs for president as Hillary, he, the president, has to explain that the girl can handle the boys ...

    November 12, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. Caleb, Santa Fe

    It is blatantly obvious that the Clintons are over, America is done with them, finally. Bill, you just take your whole "boy" self home now and do more writing or sitting on the porch watching whatever it is you want to watch. I agree with the other bloggers, Bill you are negatively affecting your 'wifes' campaign. Oh, so then keep up the talking, speeches, etc. We understand Bill, you are truly running this campaign secretly, for yourself. Because if Hilary wins, the U.S. will have two Presidents in the White House, two Clintons. Yikes.

    Hillary has disappointed real working women across this great country for she isn't standing on her own two feet with pride and integrity. She isn't speaking from a place of true compassion, nor honesty. Let us move on without them.

    November 12, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. Lane D. , MtShasta

    Who is running forPrez ? Hill or Bill? This is not AMERICA !

    November 12, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. Raymond, El Paso TX

    This is just an observation and a question so please don't get your drawers in a wad. I just want to be enlightened.

    I've seen and read several news stories about the leading Democratic candidates' wives and noticed they haven't been shy about expressing their views and opinions or standing up for their husbands ...and getting slammed for it I might add. I guess it's no different now that a husband is doing the same.

    However, I do find interesting what the leading Republican candidates' spouses have to say. Rudy's wife made the media because she called during that NRA speech. Of course I doubt he'd want his other wives to say anything at all. After reading about Ann Romney, I think I like her more than Mitt. At least she has personality and speaks about MS but of course she did give those $150 to that abortion-rights group, big no, no! I saw Fred's wife on TV but I didn't hear her say much of anything, then again, she is an attorney so she should know what to say and what not to. Don't know much about Fred's first wife. McCain's ...oops, that was his mother, but come to think of it, she's the only Republican female that hasn't been afraid to voice her opinions ...right or wrong.

    Is it just that dang left-wing liberal media, just a family values thing, be seen but not heard, or what is it exactly? Yes I know, we're looking for a president but I also think a spouse says a lot about a candidate.

    November 12, 2007 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  9. Obama 2008

    Keep talking Bill. You are helping our cause!

    November 12, 2007 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  10. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    People are making their own stories, I don't care what people play, Hillary got my vote all the way to White House.
    People live nagative, hard, poor and low living, I am sorry for them.

    November 12, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. Caleb, Santa Fe

    [CNN isn't neutral enough to post this, that's right. Very disappointing.] Had is displayed for a short moment and then poof, CNN removed it.

    Bill, you just take your whole "boy" self home now and do more writing or sitting on the porch watching whatever it is you want to watch. I agree with the other bloggers, Bill you are negatively affecting your 'wifes' campaign. Oh, so then keep up the talking, speeches, etc. We understand Bill, you are truly running this campaign secretly, for yourself. Because if Hilary wins, the U.S. will have two Presidents in the White House, two Clintons. Yikes.

    Hillary has disappointed real working women across this great country for she isn't standing on her own two feet with pride and integrity. She isn't speaking from a place of true compassion, nor honesty. Let us move on without them.

    Posted By Caleb, Santa Fe : November 12, 2007 10:50 pm

    November 12, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  12. stan pitts p.a

    i have lost all respect for bill clinton!!! how dare he call the other front runners boys!!! how condescending for an arrogant adulterer!!!

    November 12, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  13. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Olivia, San Antonio, ONE MORE TIME, "OBAMA WILL NOT BE ELECTED" I like to say one more time, "Obama will not be elected". Americans are smarter than some of candidates, they know Hillary is brillian and intellgent, plus two brains are better than one. Only The Clinton's will save our Country from the mess, no one else.

    November 12, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  14. Ann ME

    Now that's now even humorous, Billy.

    November 12, 2007 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  15. Mark Garcia

    You Loosers let the female lead the country and make History.

    America derves female President.

    November 13, 2007 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    Uhhh Kenneth from San Diego can you at least tell me one thing Hillary has done as a Senator? Come on just one. One bill. A law. A good idea. An original thought?

    I lived in New York for thirteen years and four of those she was my Senator. And I still can't think of one thing she did.

    I mean if you want to talk about all the good she has done for New York then name one.

    You can say she is better than Bush but well.... Bush is not running and she supported everything he did.

    November 13, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  17. Kristy Sanborn

    All the comments hillary has made about President George W. Bush more or less beating around the bush, and what did hillary do? She hedged on the illegal immigrants getting drivers licenses. Hillary couldn't even give a straight answer, I think Bill Clinton is a little off saying hillary can handle it, she can't even answer a question with an a clear answer, but almost agreeing the illegals should be given those licenses.

    November 13, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  18. Mike, VA

    Actually, by calling them 'boys', Bill Clinton gave them an excuse for a childish and irresponsible behavior.

    Watch again the debate that sounds like: "teacher, teacher, look.. she said yes, she said yes.. you said yes to illegal immigrants" and Hillary explaining "no, I said I recognize the problem faced by NY governor".

    How would you qualify the noise they made and their childish behavior? If they didn't understand that question couldn't be answered by yes/no, they are irresponsible as future leaders. If they understood but enjoyed their act, calling them 'boys' is .. the best they could get.

    November 13, 2007 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  19. George Nairen, Arlington, VA

    Looks like it' still too early to bid farewell to America's misogyny and double standards in gender politics. Funny how Rudy's 180 degree policy sifts and flip flopping on gun control, abortion, you name it, does not draw the same invective as Hilary's vote on Irak or position on immigration. Thanks to one of the commenters for pointing out that the Clintons do not have control over their records - this is the corporate media at work in tripping up and distracting the public again! Runaway deficits, large majorities with US antipathy worldwide, gutting of our civil liberties...have we lost sight of the big picture?

    November 13, 2007 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  20. modu, boton, MA

    There is this spirit of hate, which some people wear on others without been objective to reasoning. Those who hate Hillary Clinton do so mainly because she chose to remain with her husband (Bill) after the sexual controversy. They would have preferred if she had divorced him. What an irony!The fact that she used the experience and turned it to strenght is what angers these haters. It is most alarming that some people appreciate the less vitues to the spirit of perseverance, loyalty, strenght, courage, the right ambition and other good Christian/moral values.
    Question: Who is a hero?
    Anyone that went through grave adversity (ies) and turned it to strenght or victory.
    The spirit of hate is of the devil, your enemy. Let us put this away.
    Hillary is steady, with good judgement and very capable of leading this great country prosperously into the generational change that is shapening the new world order.
    This is not a political view, it is progressive opinion. Most times, we have to see above politics to help our common progressive course...

    November 13, 2007 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  21. Iowa

    I live in Iowa and I think I'l make some shirts up with Obama on it with Bill pointing towards him. On the back on the shirt it will read

    Stop being tough with my wife BOY!, now don't get mad that's what Bill said

    November 13, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  22. fair,washington,dc

    Yea we get it...Michelle can support her husband Obama...Elizabeth can make speeches for Edwards, but somehow Pres Clinton speaking up for his wife is wrong,,,listen Hillary supporters don't even try to debate with these idiots on here...they are not about serious debates and facts...just a bunch of folk acting like politicians putting spins on anything and quoting accusations on the Clintons that the Republicans spent over $50 mil of tax payers money and all they were able to prove was Bill Clinton was a womanizer...and lo and behold the republican that was leading the pack (Newt) was doing his own dirt...they are a joke and that is why they are in the situation they are in now, having to say with a straight face that Rudy is the best candidate for thats funny

    November 13, 2007 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  23. Jessie Phoenix AZ

    If she can't handle the discourse from her own party, how will she be able to handle discourse when it comes from the other side of the aisle. As far as trying to use her gender, what would she say if Obama was trying to use his ethnicity. I think we are screwed when it comes to our next Presidency this administration has created a distrust of government especially in the Executive Branch. This is only the 2nd Presidential election that I have participated in and among younger voters like myself won't be voting for a Republican for a long time. I really hope she doesn't get nominated but I would rather have her than any of Guiliani's running mates.

    November 13, 2007 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  24. Mike Denton,Maryland

    What experience does Hillary have? Oh yea She lies like Bill,wants to provide Health care & benfits to illegals.use your tax dollars to pay for abortions & build the Hippy museum.Wake up people,Americans want the truth not excuses.

    November 13, 2007 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  25. Glenn Robinson Orlando FL

    Poor Ms. Clinton: Having someone that no longer can practice law due to lying to the Congress and the ENTIRE American population; to include his wife-Ms. Hillary Clinton, his daughter; try to defend his wife against a group of like-minded Democrats is almost too ironic. What about the Rose Law Firm papers lost for years, suddenly showing up on a table in the White House residence? Those pesky (Hard working; dedicated and I'm sure MORE than HONEST staff) maids and butlers kept those items hidden.
    Ms. Clinton: NO canned questions; meet with the press in an OPEN forum and let them ask the questions that are the drivers to supporting the American way of life. If you don't know the answer: SAY so! Have the integrity to admit that you do not have a policy for a specific problem and stop placating the public with bad information.
    "Be true to thyself".

    November 13, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
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