January 17th, 2008
03:10 PM ET
3 years ago

Bill Clinton gets heated with reporter

CNN

Watch Bill Clinton get upset with a reporter.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton became visibly combative with a reporter Wednesday after being questioned about a lawsuit in Nevada that is seeking to ban caucus meetings in nine casinos on the Las Vegas strip.

The lawsuit, filed by the state teacher's union - an organization that has backed Hillary Clinton's White House bid - came Friday, shortly after Barack Obama was officially endorsed by the Culinary Union. Culinary Union members primarily work in casinos, and could constitute the majority of participants at caucuses held at those locations.

The teacher's union is claiming the at-large caucus sites would unfairly have more weight in terms of delegate allotment than caucuses throughout the rest of the state. The lawsuit also takes issue with caucuses being held midday at those sites – which could make it easier for culinary workers to caucus than it will be for other Nevadans.

Critics of the lawsuit say it is a clear attempt to suppress Obama’s support, a notion with which the former president sharply disagreed.

"Do you really believe that all the Democrats understood that they had agreed to give everybody who voted in a casino a vote worth five times as much as people who voted in their own precinct? Did you know that?" the former president said, growing visibly upset. (Watch Clinton's back and forth with the reporter)

"What happened is nobody understood what had happened. Now everybody's saying, 'Oh, they don't want us to vote.' What they really tried to do was to set up a deal where their votes counted five times, maybe even more."

Clinton also maintained that his wife’s campaign had "nothing to do" with the lawsuit," and claimed the reporter was taking an "accusatory tone."

"Get on your television station and say, 'I don't care about the home mortgage crisis, all I care about is making sure that some voters have it easier than others should count five times, and when they do vote, when its already easier for them, their vote should count five times as much as others," Clinton said in a raised voice.

"If you want to take that your position, get on the television and take it," he added, as aides pulled him away. "Don't be accusatory with me, I had nothing to do with this lawsuit."

UPDATE: A federal judge has ruled that the Democratic Party can go ahead with the 9 at-large caucuses on the strip. The ruling could have a decisive effect on the result in the state given that recent polls show a dead heat between Clinton, Obama, and John Edwards.

Related: Clinton, Obama battle for upper hand in Nevada

– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (774 Responses)
  1. Robert NYC & Miami

    Mr. Clinton was absolutely right!!!

    Beat them up Bill, they deserve the pain.

    January 17, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. Barbara Jean, Pompano Beach, FL

    There are a lot of people really mad with the Clintons. It is because of all this back and forth I cannot vote early here in Florida. I am truly one of the "undecided" and I do not know on the 29th of January if I will be ready to vote for any of them. I am hoping to make up my mind, but I think I will have to miss about 12 news cycles to do it.

    January 17, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. Jenny, Paxton, MA

    i bet the reporter deserved every bit of insult, knowing how self-serving the so-called (corporate) news media have been. GIVE THem HELL, BILL! They are no good for humanity!

    January 17, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Clinton

    this guy is trying to obstruct justice again! lets get this issue out in the open. Obama hasnt been treated unfirly by the press because he has not given them reason to, period.

    January 17, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Andrew

    I think it's strange how all these Barack Hussein supporters trash the Clintons so much.

    Let's look at what obama has done for the world, his state, the country...nothing. He didn't want his voting record to be used against him so he voted, "Present".

    The Clintons have done more for the United States and the World then ANY candidate other than McCain.

    January 17, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Jenn

    He didn't seem angry or upset to me. The article made it like he was screaming at the guy. The media is just looking for a story. I swear it's like they want Clinton to lose.

    January 17, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    If you don't think the Clinton's are up to this lawsuit from behind the scene, I have some land for sale in Florida that I'd like to sell you.

    Wake up people, this is Classic Clinton and exactly why our country deserves a President with Integrity!

    Obama or Romney!

    January 17, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. veronica

    Nothing goes on in the media (and this board) except Clinton bashing.
    It's ignorant, and I'm thoroughly disgusted with it.
    This is a real turn-off to decent people out here like me.
    I am glad I am not that hateful!

    January 17, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. MediaJunkie, Washington, DC

    Billy boy doesn't really get heated with the reporter. He just talks down to him in a lovely patronizing tone. I thought the reporter handled it well. He just let Willy drone on and on while the camera kept rolling.

    January 17, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. Tom Good, Bakersfield, California

    Seeing Bill Clinton's manner with this reporter and with many others during the election campaign has reinforced my opinion that we have had enough Bushes and Clintons.

    January 17, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. No to Status Quo

    Is this what we can expect from Hillary?

    After all, her "35 years of experience" are from her association with Almighty Bill, right?

    ABH (Anyone But Hillary)

    January 17, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Joe

    From a nonpartisan point of view... that really counts as getting heated with a reporter? I thought his tone and his take on the issue were eminently reasonable, even if I don't agree with him. After the way CNN completely misled me with the headline, I was figuring on seeing some real fireworks. Well, that's the hype machine for you.

    January 17, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. Ryan, New Jersey

    Clinton's claim that these votes will somehow count "five times more" than any other votes in Nevada is misleading at best and a downright lie at worst. There's no likely scenario AT ALL where this could be the case. There would have to be absolutely EPIC turnout in rural Nevada and utterly DISMAL turnout in Las Vegas itself for this to come even close to true. On top of that, his claim that both the State and National Democratic parties didn't know a year ago that this was how it was going to work is a complete fabrication. C'mon Bill, you're not even in office anymore, why lie to us?

    January 17, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. NAFTA

    The Ghost of NAFTA looms large and the W.T.O

    January 17, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Rodney

    I think that it's very irresponsible and typical of people to get on here and rant and rave about Bill's response. Very typical in the fact that you didn't hear the whole discussion. You just heard what that media outlet or CNN wanted you to hear.

    The ignorance that's created by people allowing the media to dictate your thoughts is very alarming. You just let the media spoon feed it to you and it's disgraceful. Wake up America!!!

    January 17, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Robert Nicholson, Richmond, VA

    I agree totally with Bill Clinton. Many people will have to work at Wal-Mart on Saturday and they will not be able to caucus in Wal-Marts. As usual, Sen. Obama gets a free ride and every word that the Clintons say is picked apart by the anti-Clinton press. Senator Obama is not qualified to be president and the Republicans know it. Republicans want him to be the nominee.

    January 17, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Mildred Kish

    Bill Clinton was a very lucky man when Bush followed him into the White House. Bush is so bad that it made Clinton look good. I do not want another Bush or Clinton again. We really need a change..

    January 17, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Maria

    If the media had gone after Bush as much as they do with the Clintons, when he stole the elections and fabricated his WMD lie, we would not be in this mess.

    January 17, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Donna F

    Combative is a very serious word.....be more cautious. I saw this and he was firm, always is and why be surprised he would say what he did....my goodness, anything to show some negative re the Clintons...another example of non-objective reporting.
    As for counting five more time....if five time more people vote because they can step a few feet away while at work...are they paid for this time?....and people working in other jobs in LV cannot get away from work....well...do the math.

    January 17, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Eric

    Anyone who believes that the Clinton campaign is not behind this lawsuit are completely naive PERIOD

    Come on Clinton supporters, Rove learned his deceitful art from the first Clinton Administration.

    January 17, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. Liz Wetzel

    GO Billy Boy, Get them..

    I am so tired of whining Republicans claiming how moral they are yet, they got child sex predators under their wing. They know that they are all baby predators yet the keep them for money making.

    January 17, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Alice

    I'm begining no I have lost all "Respect" for Bill. In this campaign he has really showed his true color.......

    January 17, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. joseph pierre

    I don't about you, but I find it very disturbing that interest groups in the democratic party are trying to disenfranchise voters by suing to keep them from voting. Especially, when those parties agreed on the rules since March.I guess they absolutely were sure Hillary was going to roll over Obama when they draw up the caucus rules. Now that she's being challenged, they want to revise the scheme.Hilarious, indeed!
    Imagine republicans pulling the same tricks? The Dems would be livid and marching all over the place. Where's the outrage now?
    Blacks and Latinos would insane to vote the Clintons back in the White House!

    January 17, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Craig form her NY home town, New York

    Bill Clinton said. "I had nothing to do with this lawsuit" He forgot that he is not running but his wife. But we all know that this about Bill getting back in the white. We love Bubba, but just will not let us move on. Thanks to Bill Hillary if she gets the democratic nomination will unit the pothetic Replublicans and it will be 12 to 16 years of replublican, leading to decline of American influence and economic standing in the World and possible another war were young men sacrifice life limbs.

    January 17, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. john smith

    IT IS NOT FAIR TO EASE THE CAUSE FOR THE CASINO WORKERS ONLY. THAT'S NOT EQUAL TEATMENT. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY WOULD HAVE TO VOTE IN IOWA IF THE CAUCUS BOLLOT CAN BE MOVED AT THEIR WORK PLACE. PEOPLE MISUNDERSTOOD WHAT WAS STATED. FAIR TREATMENT FOR THE ALL STATE. THE PLOBLEM IS NOT ABOUT THE CULINARY ENDORSES OBAMA. AND I AGREE ALSO THAT THE MEDIA WILL HAVE THEIR FOOT IN THEIR MOUTH AGAIN LIKE IN NH. IF THOSE CASINO WORKERS ARE REALLY SUPPORTING OBAMA THEY HAVE TO GO TO CAUSE LIKE EVERY BODY ELSE BUT NOT AT WORK PLACE. MICHIGAN PROVED THEY DEFIED WHEATHER TO GO TO VOTE EVEN THOSE THEY KNEW THAT NO DELRGATES WILL BE AWARDED. THAT'S WHAT I CALL HAVING A STRONG SUPPORTERS. THE PROCESS IS UNFAIR THAT'S WHAT IS REEL. HILLARY OR BILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT .

    January 17, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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