January 14th, 2008
10:45 AM ET
4 years ago

Bill Clinton compiles 'list' of Obama attacks

 Bill Clinton appeared on Roland Martin's show Monday.
Bill Clinton appeared on Roland Martin's show Monday.

(CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign came out swinging Monday against the latest complaints from her rival, with former President Clinton announcing he has "a list of 80 attacks on Hillary" by Senator Barack Obama's campaign.

In a nationally syndicated radio interview on WVON, Bill Clinton said Hillary Clinton's way of handling attacks showed a clear difference from Obama. "She didn't complain about it," he said, citing one in particular that he considered "appalling."

"She just said 'I disagree,' and went on."

Clinton's remarks on the Roland S. Martin Show - which has a largely African-American audience - came amid a flare-up over remarks by Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson, who appeared with Hillary Clinton on Sunday at a church in South Carolina, site of an upcoming primary.

Many believe Johnson made a veiled reference to Obama's drug use as a young man, though he insists that was not his intention.

"I think we have to take it at his word," the former president told Martin, adding that "nobody knew" what Johnson would say, and "it wasn't part of any planned strategy."

Johnson was rejecting the controversy over a recent remarks by Hillary Clinton, who noted that it "took a president" to make the Voting Rights Act a law after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had led the struggle for it. Some interpreted that remark as dismissive of the civil rights movement. Obama on Sunday called the remark "ill-advised."

Full story

– CNN's Josh Levs

soundoff (617 Responses)
  1. Jason, CA

    I think Obama camp was taken back by Johnson comments. That's why they are not trying to hit back at him. They noticed the true anger of African Americans who are passionate about Clintons.May be Obama camp realized that their cheap shots are coming back to haunt them.
    Obama can fabricate future with false hope, but he can't erase history that has already been written with what Clintons have done for blacks.

    January 14, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Don

    As a life-time registered republican who thought after GW I would never be voting republican again, I am certainly having misgivings. Prior to any of the primaries I was supporting Biden and said I could vote for any of the democratic candidates other than Obama. Still can vote for Edwards or Clinton. See both of them as a big plus for the country and think they have been in the trenches proving they are for the middle class. Have not seen the substantive facts on Obama having put much of his political effort into that cause. From the international perspective II think McCain and Clinton are the only two still in the race who actually deal with reality.

    So if the democrats do not have Edwards or Clinton heading their ticket in the general election I imagine I will be going for McCain who I do not think would be as good for the country on the domestic scene.

    Unlike all those on the blogs who think Obama is being treated unfairly by the Clinton campaign got news for you, I think Obama hasn't scene anything until the republican MSM turns its support to the republican candidate after the primaries which I am sure it is going to do. I do believe this whole thing about race started from an article written about an Obama activist who got a copy of a memo from the Obama campaign saying the issue of Clinton's campaign or its surrogates using things like "chuk and jive" and her poorly issued statement about MLK's civil rights drive becoming law under LBJ as issues to be used showing the Clintons racism. Frankly I believe both the Clintons have done far, far more advancing civil rights and equality in this country than Obama has.

    Just the opinions of a disgruntled but very possibly still a republican as far the presidential election is concerned. I definitely will not vote for Obama until he can show me where he has fought in the trenches (figuratively) for this country. Endorsements such as "Back Stabber" Kerry (who I supported and voted in 2004), Oprah, and the support of Daschle (a lobbyist) as an adviser against lobbying do not carry any weight with me. I look at the candidates and decide who I think has the best policies for the country at home and abroad and who I think can stand up for this country the best at home and abroad.

    January 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Dan, NJ

    Dave,

    HRC shares a significant number of GWB's worst traits: inability to accept responsibility for actions (never admitted Iraq vote was wrong), persistence with dirty politics (Shaheen's comments, introduction in NH by a supporter who referenced assasination and Obama in same sentence, BET head's statements in SC), and polarization of the electorate/divsion of the country.

    I want a President that does not have those qualities. Therefore, I could not, in good conscience ever vote for HRC. If she wins the nomination, I will vote for McCain or hope for a Bloomburg type candidate to run.

    HRC can't lead because half the country will not follow.

    January 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. George

    OK, so who has done more for racial equality in their life: Obama or Clinton? This isn't a ballgame with a score; it's an election. I'm undecided in the race but disappointed Obama would purposely take Clinton's comments as an affront and make such an issue of them. It's pure mud politics– of the type Obama says he's above. Not surprising that Edwards would then pile on. Give us all a break from this petty crap.

    January 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. kenba

    Bill and Hillary have been reading and quoting from the wrong history books. Obviously She's been reading that ancient roman politician Erroneous. Because She's been off the mark ever since she left New Hampshire.

    January 14, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Confused

    This whole debacle all starts from Hilary's original misunderstanding/contortion that Obama compared himself to JFK or MLK during a speech. This is patently false. Watch his speech. Obama was just making a observation that MLK's and JFK's hope and high goals *started* change by motivating the public, and his sharing of that philosophy is how he is different from Clinton's arguably defeatist philosophy. Yes, Obama may be *channeling* MLK and JFK ideals, I can think of worse people, but he himself admitted he wasn't saying he WAS those people.

    I respect Hilary, I really do. I also understand what she meant. The Clintons surely aren't racist. Unfortunately, the main reason I cannot vote for Hilary, as President, is because she continually, and predictably, exercises poor judgment. Her incredible paranoia of the Republicans actually makes her very vulnerable to making "ill-advised" actions. Now she is forcing Bill to be thrown under her bus to support her-this is fair considering his indiscretion with a certain intern.

    Furthermore, Obama's record is out there-it isn't "off-limits". The simple fact is that he has voted pretty much in line with fellow Senator Clinton since 2004. If you think he lacks relevant experience, of which I think he has substantial, don't vote for him. If you think he is a wimp, which I don't, then don't vote him. If you only want to vote for a woman, which I disagree with, then do so. People have different ideas of what they want their president to be like. We aren't rooting for NFL teams here. We are not electing the CEO of a corporation. My philosophy is that the President is going to be the Face of Our Country, first and foremost. I believe that a president has to have the personality that can inspire the public and surround himself/herself with inspired and talented people. Regardless of what people think of him, Obama has indeed raised people, especially young people, out of their political apathy. I share Obama's values and beliefs and I appreciate his honesty. That is why I am voting for him here in California.

    January 14, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Fran

    This type of political nonsense is just what this country is so tired of. Do you really want the Clintons back in the White House to continue with four more years of gridlock? Do you really think that if Hillary Clinton gets elected as President anything will get done? She is so polorizing that the majority of the republicans are not going to work with her and after the phone call I received from one of her campaign workers hung up on me because I told them that I had not decided who I was going to vote for in the SC primaries helped me make the decision not to vote for her.

    January 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Ron

    Hillary is obviously in much more trouble than the polls are showing. God I hope so!

    January 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. mel

    I gave money to Clinton when she ran for the senate. I planned to vote for her if she got the nomination. After the attacks on Obama and "ill-advised" comment about Dr. King, come-hell-or-high-water I will not Vote for Clinton. But for the "women's right to choose" issue, I would have voted for McCain instead. If Clinton gets nominated, I will stay home. There are many others like me!

    January 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. ClintonsTalkLikeRove

    The Clintons sound like Karl Rove. Let's divide the electorate with negative attacks. If we elect her then nothing changes. Not policy. Not the disgusting nature of our politics. I had forgotten why I despised Bill and Hillary at the end of their last term. They triangulate their way on policy and lie their way out of the rest. If the dems nominate Hillary they deserve to lose and they will lose because she is the queen of the status quo.

    January 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Jude

    It's not so long ago that Nobel laureate Toni Morrison called Bill Clinton, "the first black president." Not so long ago, that I, as a well-educated, successful African-American, and many of my friends and relatives agreed wholeheartedly with that statement. The Hillary Clinton campaign, in less than a few weeks, has managed to not only cloud Bill Clinton's presidency but completely erase his historic relationship with black voters like me. Many of us were on the fence about this contest to remake history–we were as vested in Hillary as we were in Obama–whoever the winner, we were in the midst of moving beyond the metaphors into the reality of breaking the gender or race lines and transforming the White House into an equal opportunity house. In the less than ten days since Iowa, I am no longer on the fence. Neither are my friends. Neither are my relatives. We have seen the Swift Boats coming and we all know they are here to stay throughout the remainder of the campaign. From insinuations about Obama's cocaine use - not once, not twice, but three times by Clinton supporters (the latest from a billionaire black man who's support of Hillary has as much to do with swinging my vote as Chuck Norris' support of Mike Huckabee), from the misrepresentation of Obama's Iraq stance (thank god for the "Internets" where I can unearth that myself), to the Clinton flyer sent out in New Hampshire right before the primary suggesting that Obama doesn't support a woman's right to choose (an outright lie according to Planned Parenthood and NARAL), I have learned in the past weeks that Bill and Hillary are willing to sacrifice everything and everyone in order to regain their old bedroom in the White House. The hell with Bill's "connection" with African American voters. Somehow they must believe that we cannot translate their "code" or that we are blinded by our so-called love for them. I for one and many more are here to tell Bill and Hillary that our love isn't blind, that we are code-breakers and we have seen their boats docking at the pier of mudslinging. Good luck to them both. And to the black folks they've bought to bring up the rear.

    This campaign has also made me think about how it wasn't Bill who named the first Black Secretary of State, or the first Latino Attorney General or the first Black to head hte Joint Chiefs of Staff. All those apppointments reside firmly in the Republican camp–two of them by G.W himself.

    I've also made the decision that should Obama lose to Clinton I will for the first time ever in my life support a Republican for the presidency.

    "For whom the bell tolls," Bill and Hillary. For this African American, "it tolls for thee"

    January 14, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Dianne

    I loved the Clintons in the 1990's, and defended them against all of the slings and arrows that came their way. But now they are becoming caricatures of themselves. Funny how Bill doesn't cite any examples from his "list".

    These people need to step back. They're messing up Bill's legacy and making Hillary look like a fool in the process. I am done with them.

    January 14, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Izzy

    What is really wrong with the Clintons Are they mad? Why is Bill acting so irresponsibly?

    Are these people mad for God's sake? They need to be voted into the dust-bin of history.

    January 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Wil Burns

    Obama is NOTHING more than a motivation speaker. I was thinking that myself a couple days ago, that he is basically just a motivational speaker. I was looking at a speech he had made. He didn't say anything, but he sure was eloquent about it.

    His charisma will take him only so far, he needs to come up with some coherent policy positions.

    January 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Tom Davie

    why does CNN refuse to put my comments up here? i am for hillary, but want people to know Obama is my choice if he wins the nomination.

    I still cant believe people would vote for McCain if Obama doesnt win the nomination. McCain has nothing in common with Obama.

    At least have the courage to explain why i cannot post here. It isnt reasonable.

    I see some very radical views , and they are allowed to be put up. Why not mine which arent 'radical' in the slightest?

    January 14, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Robert

    Hillary, as she says, has found her voice - two of them. Shame that one of them is male: Bill on the attack, disregarding everything in pursuit of his goal, just as he executed poor, ill (black) Ricky Ray Rector back in 1992 when he was chasing the presidency. Shame that the other is Hillary's stretching and twisting words, making what are at most sub-texts into headlines. But, then again, while Obama can credibly make hope a headline and use MLK and JFK to say there is "nothing false about hope," Hillary can't. All she offers America is her resume and an endless washing list, as if America cannot be one United States but is just a collection of groups with votes. Democrats who want to vote Hillary: Bloomberg has a $1 billion he's willing to spend campaigning, which he will most probably only do if Hillary wins - and you can bet a lot of people will opt for him rather than the same old couple who came from Hope and now hope only for themselves. From an independent foreigner.

    January 14, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. No Hillary 08!

    Kind of sounds like good ol' Joe McCarthy's list of purported communists back in the 50's!

    January 14, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Brooke, Philadelphia, PA

    You know what, I don't even care what this was all about anymore. I have been a Clinton-ite for 16 years. My hero, Bill Clinton disappionted me once and now has disappointed me again. I had issues with Hillary for years and this year I finally got over them to support HER. And it makes me sick to see him going to ruin it. You know things are bad when even the Clinton supporters are annoyed and wanting him to just be quiet.

    Bill, please, you're about to turn me against from voting for your wife. Just please, from the bottom of my heart that's admired you since I was 13 years old, please, stop talking and let your wife run her campaign.

    All of this makes me very sad.

    January 14, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Eagleheart, Kentucky

    HOW IN THE WORLD DOES HILLARY ATTACK OBAMA, AND THEN OBAMA GETS BLAMED FOR MUDSLINGING and comparing himself to MLK and JFK, neither of which he has done.????

    Once again, the powers that be operate by smoke and mirrors – raising peoples suspicions by making statements they think the masses are not smart enough to see as false, presenting false choices ("i just don't want our country to go backward" HRC – like electing anyone but her will make it go backward).

    We've plenty of this before – tell people that Sadam was responsible for 911 – and low and behold a good percentage of Americans believe that Sadam was responsible for 911. Unfortunately, some candidates appear to be operating by the same rovian play book.

    If you are a democrat, you can't honestly believe Obama is doing anything to perpetuate this media election horse-race issue. If you see the party splitting, then its the fissures caused by growing pains. Clinton has been the origin for all the mudslinging in this race. If anything, Obama has simply responded to it in a measured and principled manner – the way in which I true president should.

    turn the page.

    January 14, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bill Clinton is acting like Bush, no different. When things get tough on Bush he would send in his "attack dog, Cheney". Bill Clinton is Hillary's "attack dog" and if democrats think for one reason that Bill Clinton can help the democrat party or Hillary, wrong. The Clintons' are destroying the democrat party for their own personal gain, don't help them.

    January 14, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Eamon George Nelson

    Once regarded highly as the leader of his Party, Bill Clinton has become a danger to Democrats. In one sense he may be forgiven...he HAS to go on the attack here by claiming his wife is being attacked. There is nothing else he can do. If he were, instead, to give a speech with one half of the positive emotion that was in the Kerry endorsement people would only laugh at him. Bill is the main reason why Republicans want Hillary as Dem nominee. 2000 replay.

    January 14, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. AJ

    If Barack was worried about people bringing up his drug use why would he have willingly admitted it in his book and on different TV programs?

    January 14, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Wil Burns

    Obama and Edwards have been attacking Hillary Clinton for months now. Finally he gets a little return fire and it's just OUTLANDISH I tell ya!!! Now let's see how HE handles being under attack for a while. Not very well it seems. If anyones' sinking it's Obama. You all started celebrating just a little too soon dintcha?

    January 14, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. dpotemkin

    CNN publishes this garbage but doesn't give any time to the one candidate who

    a. isn't claiming to be a great leader, like Clinton
    b. isn't preaching about hope for the future, like Obama

    but
    c. is struggling to be heard on issues that are directly and injuriously affecting the American people.

    John Edwards.

    I hope that by some miracle John Edwards rises above all of this nonsense and wins the Democratic nomination. Only then will I have any faith that the Democratic Party is once again on the right track to representing the best interests of the mass of American citizens.

    January 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. JB

    Is it me, or are both major parties coming unglued?

    January 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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