January 22nd, 2008
04:23 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama supporter: President Clinton needs to 'step back'

 Sen. Obama owes his trademark phrase 'Fired up, ready to go' to Edith Childs.

Sen. Obama owes his trademark phrase 'Fired up, ready to go' to Edith Childs.

GREENWOOD, South Carolina (CNN) – The woman made famous by Barack Obama's "fired up" stump speech story is speaking her mind on the recent feud between the Illinois senator and former President Bill Clinton, implying he crossed the line with his latest attacks on the Illinois senator.

"The president needs to step back," said Edith Childs, a city councilwoman from Greenwood, South Carolina who is, as Obama puts it in his stump, famous for her chant of "fired up, ready to go."

"His wife is the candidate, not him," she continued. "I think he just needs to step back and maybe coach her in what she needs to do."

Today's rally in Greenwood was Obama's first visit to Greenwood since meeting Childs back in June. A the end of his speech, he told the story as he usually does but brought Childs on stage to lead the crowd in a new chant that included the lines "go out and vote" and "Sen. Obama will be our next presi dent."

Related video: Obama: 'Fired up'

–CNN Political Producer Chris Welch

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. LQ Rochester MN


    January 22, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. Harry, Michigan

    He better step back before Obama leaves the party and runs as an independant. That would be an incredible loss to the Democratic party. Bloomberg wants to jump in it, there are others on the sidelines. No reason Obama can't run as an independent if he doesn't get the nomination. Democrats are throwing the party away, there is no way the American public will elect Hillary. They don't want to have to stare at Bill Clinton on TV every day!

    January 22, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. Kathy

    You, Go Girl! 🙂

    January 22, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. anon middle america

    We agree that former President Clinton sometimes gets carried away in his zeal to campaign for Hillary – but no one has ever accused him of being a shrinking violet!!

    It seems that many new terrains are being tread in this Democratic presidential campaign – a black man, a woman AND a former President as a spouse. To say that Bill should not stump for Hillary would be to say that Michelle and Elizabeth should not campaign for their spouses either. Bill just needs to figure out how to tamp down his style and remember that it is HILLARY who "he's out on the campaign trail for"!! We're sure that he's such a political workhorse that yes, sometimes he goes over the top to try to get his point across. BUT Hillary has shown time and time again for the past 25 yrs that she is perfectly capable of standing up for herself.

    So please to everyone – stick to the issues. EMPHASIZE your spouses positives instead of arguing the other candidates perceived weaknesses. And find a way to point out the candidate's differences without creating another brawl. ALL THREE candidates need to stand up and decry the negative 527 ads 😦 and whisper campaigns (aimed at Edwards in IA and Clinton in NV and now Barack in SC). This is not helping the party.

    The country is sliding towards a recession and we need a Democrat in the Oval Office in Feb 2009 who can finally get us back on track.

    January 22, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  5. James Brown ( Independent )

    Love it , and she is very correct !

    January 22, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Susan, MI

    Um...why doesn't she step back? Freedom of speech for all people who support an Obama presidency. But censorship, censorship, censorship for those who oppose it. Ahhh, Democracy at it's finest.

    Obama, I'm not feeling bad for you. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    January 22, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  7. sami

    I agree with that Bil Clinton needs to step back attacking Brack Obama and show some respect for the american people.

    January 22, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  8. GiveMeABreak from Texas

    Bill Clinton needs to go back to sleep like he did when MLK'S son was speaking. What a joke.

    He disgraced this nation one time and he is doing it again with his latest antics. Some of us know he is a liar and will do anything to get in office...absolutely no character in his bones.

    Wake up Democrats...the world is watching us and who we choose as President.

    January 22, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  9. Adrian

    I don't understand all these criticisms about former President Clinton. Why should former President Clinton step back when the spouses of the other candidates are allowed to criticise Hillary Clinton?Both Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards have made pointed criticisms against Hillary last year and there's nothing wrong with that while this right should not be extended to former President Clinton because he's a former president?

    Come on, give me a break! Obama and his supporters cannot claim that he wants to have a fair campaign and yet forbid former President Clinton to campaign for his wife. If he cannot stand the heat from the Clintons, how could he stand the heat from the even more nasty Republicans in the general election if he is the Democratic nominee. He should learn from JFK when he always played it cool and smart against the attacks from Richard Nixon during the 1960 election.

    January 22, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. Andrea

    President Clinton has gone beyond criticizing Obama, he and Hillary are literally twisting Obama's words...they are baiting him and playing VERY dirty. I started out supporting Hillary, but her constant non-stop negative campaigning and distorting the truth have made me decide to not vote for her. It saddens me to say this because I would love a woman president, but I do not trust the Clintons. They are conducting a very ugly and dirty campaign.

    January 23, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  11. Moffett

    A-Men to dat.

    January 23, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  12. jack

    common, Bill Clinton is the former president of United States. Thats far important than being spouse of candidate in political public life. Being former president, people listen to what he says.

    January 23, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  13. David

    Wow, what happened to freedom of speech? That is right, it is a right of us all, including those that want to shut up our former president.
    Obama has Oprah and his wife and others speaking for him.
    Hillary has Bill. I am glad he is speaking and I want him to keep on.

    Go Bill and Hillary. We love you both.

    Don't let them suppress you because they are scared.

    January 23, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  14. Glen

    Excuse the English by Past President Clinton should set back and shut up. It is absolutely sickening to listen to the man speak for his wife. Yes you would expect the spouse or partner of a candidate to stand by the Man, or Women as the case may be, but in typical Clinton Fashion, twisted truths and twisted lies flow from the mouth of this man, Hillary knows he going to do it, Hillary plans it, just like she wore the Presidents pants while he was in office.

    Now we can point to a few attempts by the Clintons to do go, however the horror that the USA faced was created under his presidancy and executed when he was gone.

    Please just stop Bill, the more you talk the more you make me sick. Hillary stop, let Barack put his thoughts forward without having to constantly correct the twisted facts of your campaign.

    Hillary is a Women a Women when she says shes a Women or is a Women a Women when she proves it. My momma aint no fool, and she would not parad herself around while her man acted like one either.

    January 23, 2008 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  15. Steve, Lyons, CO

    What, Obama is now against free speech?

    Bill Clinton can do whatever the hell he wants to in support of his wife. Obama's turning into a bigger whiner everyday.

    If he didn't expect Clinton to campaign for Hillary, than he's far less intelligent than I thought.

    January 23, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  16. Ken

    The Clintons are , as usual, showing the personal vindication and using bullying dirty tactics against anyone obstructing their path to return to the White House whether they are Repbulicans or fellow Dems. I'd rather vote for anyone but the Clintons!

    January 23, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  17. Hillary for economic reasons

    Ex president Bill Clinton is very much an American citizen with rights granted to ALL citizens, one of which is freedom of speech. Another right in this country is to be able to participate and campaign for your candidate choice. That is why America is such a great nation. Is Mr. Obama suggesting that right be taken away from citizens? So sad he and his campaign run to the media every time President Clinton campaigns for his spouse. Mr. Obama and followers, this is American rights, learn them!

    January 23, 2008 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  18. Pikepole5

    Sen. Obama, check this out...........Did EX. Pres. Bill Clinton get dismissed from Oxford University for womanizing ? You may not have heard this..............You remember who is was , One of our nations great disgraces...........

    January 23, 2008 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  19. John Thomas

    Obama is clearly a crybaby supported by a bunch of crybabies. Obama expects to be exempt from any and all criticism and his supporters think he is pure perfection. I cannot wait until Feb. 5 when Hillary trounces Obama all over this great nation.

    January 23, 2008 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  20. King NC

    I guess President Clinton has a right to speak on behalf of his wife. You can't tell him to back off!!! Maybe you should back off or realize the truth. Hillary is the only hope we have. Obama is to young and to inexperienced. He needs to grow some

    January 23, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  21. Kathy

    In the last debate it was clear that Obama was getting irritated and unsettled in the continual exchanges he had with Hillary. If he can't stand the rancorous discource in a debate what does he think he will do in the general election against the republicans. He is living in fantasy land!

    January 23, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  22. RedSea Foreign National

    Further more, if Obama was not African American, having the same background and experience, there is no way he would even be a candidate, and there is no African American that would consider a vote for him!

    January 23, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  23. A Democrat

    I am awake. And I will vote for Hillary, not matter who else is "fired up".

    January 23, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. JA Cook

    I greatly prefer Obama, but I COULD vote for Hillary but I cannot and will not vote for Billary.

    Bill Clinton is a seasoned pro at distorting truth to serve his purposes and its showing in their campaign. Remember "I didn't inhale" and "I didn't have sex"? He's coaching Hillary well.

    We can thank Bill Clinton for George Bush. Remember when he was a liability for Al Gore's campaign for the White House? Remember how close that election was? If not for Bill Clinton, George Bush would still be working out of Texas.

    I say NO to voting for Hillary largely because I simply can't stand her running mate.

    Let's move forward not backwards!

    January 23, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. David

    oh Edith, please don't hold your breath that Bill would do such a thing. don't you get how bad he wants back in at Pennsylvania Ave? he acts as if we are electing him again. but some people probably think they are. go away Illuminati fools!

    January 23, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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