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. Moderated

    Who cares what she says. South Carolina will be over and done with after Saturday, and then they can all sit down and hush.

    January 23, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. agron

    Go HILLARY–08

    January 23, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Thomas, NV

    Susan, MI – If Bill's attacks were truthful, it wouldn't be an issue. The sheer fact that he is intentionally lying to the American People (never happened before, has it?) in order to get votes is the issue. Tearing apart the democratic party through slander is not helping us put a democrat in the Oval Office.

    January 23, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Erickson

    If we are really going to stand for what is "TRUTH", some folks need to pay close attention to what is going on from the "CLINTON CAMP".
    It really shocks me that Folks can question a persons Faith and Religion and completely forget that someone who once sat at the most powerful and respected position in this country and the world, "CHEATED ON HIS WIFE WITH ANOTHER WOMAN, TRIED TO COVER HIS ACT OF ADULTARY and LIED UNDER OARTH is not being taken in any consideration. We don't need to be reminded of any defilements of the past. We need a new legacy that is ready to stand for what is right.

    With all due respect, if I were Bill Clinton I would keep my mouth shut….

    Anyone in Obama's position would "feel frustrated" if "someone" with a different color skin who defiled the diginity of the highest office in America is being compared to a "black brotha". That's an insult period!
    Moreover, I thought that "we all shall be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character….. wouldn't we??

    January 23, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. john

    a black woman says that, not good for Obama.

    January 23, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. A. Harrison

    I thought this was a political contest. Why are we protecting someone from what they will inevitably get from all parts of the Republican party. Why are we picking and choosing who should say and not say and who should question and not question. This is how we learn about candidates and how they react to criticism.

    Last time I checked, Obama was a grown man. Get with it and handle your own battles Obama and stop hiding behind these many people jumping to your defense.

    January 23, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Sonja

    I agree, If he is trying to run things now what do you think is going to happen if she wins???? Also she needs to stop saying that Bill said things and not her Bill is speaking for her and if not she needs to stop him and let people know that she does not agree with him.

    January 23, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Sad to Say

    To Joojo black people helped get Bill Clinton into office twice and are not obligated to do the same for Hillary. Nobody has a problem with him supporting his wife just be truthful about neither one of them says anything negative about the white man (Edwards)he is running too. But they sure have plenty to say about the black man (Obama)why is that don't forget Hillary was a Goldwater girl so where did all of her sudden respect for MLK come from? I guess black people still don't get it it is okay to support white people but don't you dare give your support to a black man.

    January 23, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Casey

    Okay already. Obama is going win South Carolina. Who cares? Hillary is going win the whole thing so it doesn't really matter how much of a margain he wins by. A win is a win. He will win this battle, and lose the war.

    January 23, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |

    Let's get one thing straight. Obama is no MLK nor JFK!! And he never will be. There will always only be one MLK and one JFK. I have lived through those years when both were alive, and I get sick and tired when candidates try to identify themseleves to them. It's an insult to their hard work, experience, dedication to public life, and their legacy!

    January 23, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. Dan, NJ


    Why do my comments routinely "await" moderation for 2-4+ hours longer than other posts?

    January 23, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Daniel

    All these black people can't handle the heat.

    Maybe a black person can't handle the WH.

    Hillary has my vote.

    January 23, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. pam Eugene OR

    The spouses of Obama and Edwards are speaking. They just don't have the celebrity of an ex (impeached) president. They are talking about what the husbands will do for America. They are not out there telling lies and half truths and distorting everything Obama says. He is forced to defend the Clinton attack machine every time he turns around which leaves him precious little time to present his ideas. Obama is trapped in the Clinton web of lies and it is very difficult to get out of it with his honor in tack. I admire his supreme efforts to fight these two vicious liars.
    Please step back Bill and dial down the lies and twisted tales. I used to respect you and that is all but gone. You a shame to America now. How sad!

    January 23, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. LEE

    Ms. Childs understand what is taking roots in this country better than most politicians in Washington, D.C. The Clintons represent the old school, they cannot stop a movement just like the old south could not stop events taking place in this country over 50 years ago that change the very fabric of these United States. The good people in this country are not fearful, they are hunger for change, they are fired up and ready to go because the time is ripe, Bill, Hillary, Magic, Bob Johson and many others are agents of resistance which is the same force that stood in the doorways of change and tranformation that took place doing the civil rights movement of the 60s. Like Dr. King who understood the people were ready for change, Ms Childs and senator Obama both realize the time is upon us once again, the time is now.

    January 23, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Angela

    To the individual that compared the fact that Tony Blair was being praised in the Financial Times whilst highlighting President Clinton on the campaign trail this is not an accurate picture. In todays Independent there are complaints on the way Tony Blair is handling his new job as Middle East envoy. Before you compare the two take a look at all the good work that has been accomplished by the William J Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative and then compare it to Tony Blairs actions since leaving office. President Clinton is respected in the UK just because 1 newspaper says different doesn't mean that America's reputation is being hurt globally by Bill Clinton- the current administration has managed to do that all by themselves.

    January 23, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Mar

    I have been a die hard democrat for 35 years voting the party line 100% of the time. If Bill and Hillary win the nomination, I WILL VOTE REPUBLICAN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE.

    January 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Sambudhollybear

    Why should Hillary back off Obama starts the mess. Everybody thinks that she should stand by and say nothing and let this man walk over her. Bill have all the right to stand by Hillary to campaign for her. If I remember he is a citizen of United States after leaving the office and got the right to say and support her. Everybody is upset that he knows how to campaign and the Media knows that. I see that Obama has 65% percent of blacks supporting him over Hillary in SC and the upcoming states of course it wasn't a surprise to all of the American people. If Obama wasn't running where all support would go think American people . I watch CNN News, and other news media all I see is Obama is mention 99% on all station what has this person got to get all of the attention. Can any off the media news Station explain to all of American people why is he so important I can't see where he so important to me. I got to give Lou Dobbs credit he did give Hillary & Edwards some credit Thanks Lou. All I hear about Obama on the new he already elected as President of United States. And how dare some people of Senators media , telling Bill Clinton to com down and back off why don't Obama back off he new that he would be facing both when he decide to run. Obama if you can't take the heat step asidet , because I know two other candidate can take the heart and be able to run this country.

    January 23, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. kim

    Bill Clinton needs to follow the lead of the other wives and let their men run their own race for the presidency, it would be interesting to see how Hillary handles her own show without having hubby defend her. Step back Bill

    January 23, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Sambudhollybear

    Sonja he he not trying to run the country if you was running as the highest office of the United States and your husband had the knowledge as being in the highest office of the United States wouldn't you won't him support you and help you to win and stand up for you now come lets get real

    January 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Sambudhollybear

    Sami I think Obama attacked Bill let get it straight what you don't wont the truth.

    January 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Yamaka

    When Michelle and Elizabeth campaign for their spouses for now more than a year, why not Prez Clinton do the same for his spouse?

    It's their right.

    It is a historical coincidence we have a leading candidate whose husband happens to be the former President, one who loves to campaign for his wife and his Party.

    What's wrong with this? Maybe, Obama's Black supporters cannot see the damage they do to their candidate on "racial/color" issues. He wants Whites to vote for him, and they did overwhelmingly in Iowa, NH etc.

    He must now say that Blacks can look at other non-Black candidates and vote for them.

    He needs to move color-blind if he wants to win the Nomination.

    January 23, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Republican in NY

    The polls are RIGHT!

    Hillary supporters are really uneducated...Probably never been to school. Only thing they know is blindly follow the Hill-Harry.

    January 23, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Why should Bill Clinton back off, we still have freedom of speak in this country. Other canidate spouses gettheir say, its just that here we might have a spouse that knows what they are talking about. Besides this is an American deal, two for the price of one. Someone had a growing economy, relative peace, a surplus, and a balanced budget. Let Bill speak, despite the Republican attacks against his administration from day one, he seemed to have accomplished more for the good of the nation than the Bush administration with a Republican Congress.

    January 23, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. pete

    there you go. Clinton, who says she cares about blacks in south carolina, flys out to california to get an edge on obama, and leaves her husband to get the black vote in south carolina.


    January 23, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Eagleheart, KY

    Ok Hill supporters, please take a look at Daniel's post – this is your fellow supporter. Nough said.

    January 23, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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