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. gil

    Has everybody forgotten the incident with White House Travel?
    Are our memories so short that they do not remember White Water,
    Health Care Platform in Hillary's first year as the first Lady?
    No questions have been ask as to what she has done for the state of NY, I would say nothing..... Hillary can't brag about her leadership in the state of NY, so how do you ever think she will lead the country? I think the term "SLICK" is more in tenor with Hillary.

    January 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Myra Glor

    Question?

    The news media talks about Huckabee and his Christian faith and Romney and his Mormon religion. Why does no one mention Obama and his Islamic background?

    January 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. Linda Pacifica

    It is very sad that so many are so ignorant. Understand who's side the media is on....it is quite tilted and they take any opportunity to scrutinize the Clintons. He did what any one of you would have done, but he shouldn't have to defend ignorance. I just hope they can stop taking the bait.

    Hillary 08

    January 17, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. kevin from alaska

    Obviously Bill wouldn't care about it if it didn't effect the caucus. You think Bill Clinton has enough free time on his hands to be fighting the good fight. No, he's running a sleazy campaign. So is every politician, at all times. They are never fighting the good fight, just running sleazy campaigns to keep their power. Do away with campaigns and we can finally let our leaders LEAD.

    BUSH/CHENEY 08

    January 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Mauricio Galvao Anderson

    Mr. Clinton is a man of tricks. He knows them all! He even foolled that NY senator.... It´s about time someone come and floss Mr. Clinton´s memories of faulty behavior, that was only forgiven because we all konw why. She´s in the race since then. Wake up USA!

    January 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. S

    LOL @ Pat Huntington....the rules were made in March of 2007....I have never seen so many people distort reality.

    Obama08

    January 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. geocr

    WOW USING CAPS MAKE ME LOOOK LIKE IM ON CRAZY PILLZ

    January 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Richard, Memphis, TN

    Pat H., Have you been drinking again? Obama "changed" the rules?? that's beyond stupid. Check your facts before you let that garbage out of your mouth.

    January 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Ty

    Maybe if the Clinton's knew then what they know now...oh, that might require them to have good judgment, and actually read something instead of hearing it second hand like them claim. What’s next “I didn’t know that red button shoot missiles at people, I thought it was how to call for housekeeping.” She says she stands for change, but taking away peoples legal right to vote is not the change we as Americans are talking about. No thanks Clintons. Obama 08

    January 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Bev

    Wow, these blogs are FUNNY. So many smart people out there. Why are you all not running for President? You seem to know it all. Just choose your candidate and be done with it. Hillary...I am STILL voting for you. And yes I still remember what Bill Clinton did as President. There were plenty of jobs and we had no deficet. What do we have today? Just vote, and for who you want. bye the way...I have always voted Republican...ALWAYS. Get the picture.

    January 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. cuss

    the article itself is accusatory. clinton appears completely level-headed and CORRECT in the vid. visibly combative?!? he's completely on point.

    January 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Lisa, Texas

    I agree Steven Klein.....The Clintons have an agenda and I think if the voters elect them there opportunity to put that agenda in place is going to place the US in a very bad situation.

    We are in a recession, no one is saying it right now. The feds dropping the rate is not going to help any. The Clintons in office will be terrible for us.

    People need to do everything they can to know about those people, they are terrible people.

    January 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. MICHELE

    I believe Bill Clinton is right. I think the spin has been put on the Clinton's for awhile. All the media hype about race is a bunch of garbage. I have not heard anything from Bill or Hillary's mouth that stated anything about race. I think Americans should wake up and use some common sense and vote for a person that has experience and has been committed to the majority for a long time. ENOUGH WITH THIS SO CALLED RACE ISSUE. Our country is desperate for CHANGE however, Obama is not the one who can make those changes in the mess this country is in. When Bill was in office our economy was doing fine and people were working. Hillary was the only person who tried to tackle our healthcare issue and was shot down . GO HILLARY! YOU HAVE MY VOTE!!!!

    January 17, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Tom Edwards Spring Hill Fl

    More illegals voting-–democracy-bull!

    January 17, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. xtina - chicago IL

    this is like "Short Attention Span Theater" now instead of discussing the qualifications of these candidates we' re discussing when a reporter has a bad day or when a former President has a bad day. Why don't people focus on the records of a candidate – say, RudyGuliani, having reduced crime by over 50% in NY and compare it with what Hillary did in NY. What has she done for NY other than raise taxes of successful people? Is cnn interested in getting discussions such as this started?

    January 17, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. E J Gallagher

    Well at least we didn't have to wqrry about Bull being the lawyer in the suit since he's disbarred.. He might want to read up on the 22nd amendment in his spare time too.

    January 17, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. STOP BEING SO IGNORANT AND THINK

    YOU PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS! HELLO AMERICA, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH OBAMA. STOP AND THINK FOR A CHANGE INSTEAD OF LETTING YOUR OPINIONS AND EMOTIONS GET IN THE WAY.

    THE DECISION WAS MADE LAST MARCH TO ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO GO TO CASINOS. CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, BUT LAST MARCH WOULD BE BEFORE LAST WEEK RIGHT??? THEREFORE, THERE IS NO WAY OBAMA CAN BE DOING ANYTING SNEAKY. NO ONE WANTS TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THE TEACHER'S UNION DECIDED TO FILE A LAWSUIT 2 DAYS AFTER OBAMA GOT THE ENDORSEMENT.

    COME ON PEOPLE.... EVEN IF YOU SUPPORT HILLARY, AT LEAST BE HONEST ABOUT THE SITUATION.

    January 17, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Sean McM

    Media jerks trying to cross the line to MAKE NEWS vs. reporting it, finally get their wings clipped. Bill Clinton is so clear and articulate, and his "clarification" / confrontation with the reporter was right on. Hope the reporter learned NOT to mess with persons on top of their issues.

    January 17, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Steve Tills

    Former President Bill Clinton, who presided over arguably one of the most enjoyable, peaceful, progress-filled decades in American history, has a brilliant intellect and mind. And he's human enough to stand up for his passions and beliefs.

    But nevermind that. I'll be voting for

    Hillary Clinton for President

    because she's the first bonafide qualified woman in the history of this country to get a legitimate chance to become our president and she will be a very, very fine president and world-class world leader if we are intelligent enough and wise enough to vote her into office, so

    it doesn't matter what Bill, a guy, and sometimes a pain-in-the-arse, though a fantastic American president who gave us absolute paradise on earth compared to the Hell we have had the last 8 years, says,

    because it's Hillary whose got the goods and the one that we need. GO HILLARY!

    January 17, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. sa

    "The Clintons are dinged and danged and harrassed at every turn"

    What a joke, IT IS NOT PEOPLE HARRASSING THE CLINTONS,
    they are doing it. both husband and wife have sleepless nights. they want to get into white house by all means. hope people do not get into that evil trap. when she talks it will be always negative about, Obama, Edwards ,all other Republicans and BUSH. They didn't even leave MLK.

    Did any one heard that they praised any one except the washingtom lobbist ?

    Just for a second, every one think. Forget she is a women and clintons wife. Did she had a good judgements ? did she accomplished anything ? discus this?

    January 17, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. sean s.

    The video and the text story are both examples of bad journalism; they don't tell us what the question was, nor the tone of the reporter's question. How do we evaluate Bill Clinton's response when half the story is left out?

    This is amaturish trash.

    An in the interest of full disclosure, the Obama sign on my lawn will tell you who I'm supporting.

    January 17, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Laura

    ~~~~~ You have to be kidding me! Bill's comments were far from combatitive. The media is turning this entire run into a circus show... When the media backs a person for president, it is completely obvious! It's the media that has acted combatitive with every step of the way being a negative comment against the Clinton campaign. What's SAD is some Americans fall for this type of media exaggeration. What is WORSE is the media is turning Democrats against one another. ~~~~~

    January 17, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. race card

    It the judge hadn’t ruled for Obama he would be using that race card again.. So in my opinion the judge was afraid of being call a racist. Obama was counting on this.

    January 17, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Roxanne NY

    Great going CNN, you have shown so much bais against the Clintons that you can now count on 8 viewers after the elections, down from your usual 8 and 1/2. Why, you were so boring and so under the radar that you needed the Clintons to awake your montononous drone!

    January 17, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. john

    Great

    Now the Democrats worry about voter fruad. Where are they when a state wants to require a picture ID card? Before you answer this work a polling place like I have for the last few years. You would be schoked at what goes on, who asks for help in voting, who openly shouts- Who am I supposed to vote for?, the guy who clearly has shown up in multiple places. etc. etc.

    January 17, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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