January 23rd, 2008
09:00 PM ET
8 years ago

Bill Clinton gets upset with CNN reporter

CNN

Bill Clinton got visibly upset with CNN's Jessica Yellin Wednesday.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton became visibly upset Wednesday over comments by a prominent South Carolina Democrat that compared the former president's actions on the trail to those of infamous Republican strategist Lee Atwater.

In an interview with CNN's Jessica Yellin, Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party and a supporter of Barack Obama, said some of Bill Clinton's recent remarks on the campaign trail were appeals based on race and gender. He said the comments were meant to "suppresses the vote, demoralize voters, and distort the record," and said they were "reminiscent of Lee Atwater."

Clinton sharply disputed the charge, and lashed out at Yellin for raising the question.

"You live for this. This hurts the people of South Carolina," he said. "Because the people of South Carolina come to these meetings and ask questions about what they care about. And what they care about is not what's going to be in the news coverage tonight, because you don't care about it.

"What you care about is this. And the Obama people know that. So they just spin you up on this and you happily go along. I mean, the people don't care about this," he added. "They never ask about it. And you are determined to take this election away from them. And that's not right. That is not right. This election ought to belong to those people who are out here asking questions about their lives."

soundoff (1,260 Responses)
  1. les

    Bubba stop barking your former supporters are tired of your big mouth, take a nap!

    January 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. stan pitts pa

    Eric January 23, 2008 5:02 pm ET

    Where is the press coverage of Obama getting mad at a ABC news reporter yesterday? Why only highlight Bill's getting upset at reporters?

    oh eric obama never got mad at nobody, even at the debate when he got attacked by hillary and edwards he was calm and answered all questions intelligently! this is not the first time, bill has been mad at reporters, he always angry lately!

    January 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. CNN is a Rag

    I doubt that this will be posted since CNN sensors out most of my posts. My hope is that the people who sensor will be just as lazy as CNN reporters and this will slip through.
    Please stop this trash reporting. Bill Clinton did not make any outrageous comments, yet your headline and spin make it sound like he did. What would be more helpful is to actually keep Obama accountable and challenge his empty speeches and lack of details about HOW he would bring about change. He is just a liberal version of Bush – all talk and no substance. If CNN wishes to endorse Obama, fine. Just don't pretend that you are a real news agency. At this point, CNN ranks right up there with the National Enquirer.

    January 23, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. Kelly

    Clinton was absoloutely right on every point. I"m not a stalwart Bill Clinton supporter, but come on CNN.....you ran Heath Ledgers tabloid demise as your main story all last night and today...THEN you run Bill chastising you for still not covering the news. There is a lot more going on in the world than what you're showing us.

    January 23, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. stirlingmclaughlin

    He wants the press to cover the lies and distortions coming from him and from Hillary's campaign, but insulting him? A former President?? Thats over the line!!

    Shame on you CNN!

    If you think Bill Clinton isn't loving this, you're crazy.

    January 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. carl

    Who ever the democratic nominee might be, they will go into the general election as damaged goods.

    January 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Time after time

    Everybody's human apparently. President Clinton used to have a bit of an aura about him. Not he's resorting to the same double talk that ordinary politicians do. He is no longer special, but he is particularly good at pitting people against each other. He's trying to divide the black community and, whether it's intentional or not, it's truly wrong. There was a time when the President seemed to be a leader in the truest sense, inspiring people to act and move toward a better community, a better country. He may well be successful, through his God given talents, in manipulating us, the African American community and the media to the ends that he desires, i.e. more power for him and his family. But the cost–the loss of an elevated, principled icon known for leadership of those less fortunate–is very, very big for this country and its history.

    January 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Diane

    Why am I getting "cut off" when trying to write a blog.?? This is the 4th time in three days!

    Just remember–Eisenhower had NO EXPERIENCE AND HE WAS ELECTED INTO OFFICE.

    The Clinton's are evil, liers, corrupt. I just hope the American people see through all of this.

    January 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. ExPat

    The Republicans want it to be Obama. Corporate news is just that, corporate. Both Hillary and Edwards are not beatable and the neo-cons know it. Ironic isn't it about the Atwater comment? They're wagging that dog again America!

    January 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. JR

    CNN.. this sort of crap will not help your crappy ratings.

    January 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Erick

    Bill tells it like it is...Obama is far from an outsider. Chicago politics is more dirty, and unethical as any in Washington. Obama has learned from, and had his pockets greased, by the best of Chiago's best... a slumlord who makes money off of the misfortunes of his renters. Obama is a fraud.

    January 23, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. JESSE FERNANDEZ

    Bill Clinton was the President when the american economy was in recession, with trillions of dollars of deficit from the excesses of the past two republican presidents – Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr; when Bill clinton left, he left the american economy with billions of dollars of surpluses, monies gone in one year, used the current President in advancing misguided policies; now, we are in recession again. PLEASE BEAR THESE IN MIND, AMERICAN PEOPLE !!

    January 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  13. David Arnsmeyer, Marionville, MO

    I've been a straight-ticket democrat for over three decades. I voted for Mr. Clinton twice. I now regret that. I'm tired of the whole lot. We need a president that isn't going to keep stirring it up; dividing us; and distracting us from the important job ahead. Hillary and Bill are about to turn me into straight-ticket republican. That's exactly what this old democrat will be if she's nominated!

    January 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  14. cjvwise1

    Billary has to face the fact that this is a brand new day. We do not want new ideas of how to best use a cigar, we want to be led out of the corruption that is plagueing America. The Clintons are like an oozing sore that just will not go away. They have an over inflated idea of their worth. Just how long do they believe the taxpayers will stand by and finance their corruption. We have reached a time when we want something back from the employees in Washington. They have taken enough. In the 90's I left the DNC with a fowl taste in my mouth. Obama just may have the character and integrity that will bring my vote back home. So shut up Bill. You are old, out of date and corrupt, and we have had enough of the HillBilly team. If you truely believe in the US, step aside and give hope a chance.

    January 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. Sharone

    It's about time he told the press off, frankly I'm sick of press sucking up to Obama and never ??? him on anything. It's always the press that stirs up the race card idea. They hate the Clintons. I love them. Those were the good old days when we had our debt paid, good jobs, balanced budget and clinton was admired as our President around the world. Obama is thin skinned and really should quit his whining ways.

    January 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  16. Mels

    Keep it up, Bill. I've been rooting for Hillary, but you are one more rant away from me voting Obama '08.

    January 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  17. basil

    I saw the entire Bill Clinton clip and afterwards I was shaking my head like Jon Stewart viewing the NH footage of Hillary purportedly crying on camera. As Stewart watched and waited for tears that never happened, he said, "That's it? That's what all the hoopla is about? I hope reporters never see me getting a flu shot."

    I had the same reaction to Blitzer portraying Bill Clinton's reaction to Jessica Yellin as lashing out. CNN has been blatantly pro-Obama for months and it's becoming more obvious to viewers. I'm so glad I logged on and read all the articulate comments about CNN's skewed and selectively edited story.

    Funny: Today ABC is being trashed for having misrepresented a story that Obama was enraged at media treatment.

    I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for CNN to level the same allegations against one of their own reporters. Because of CNN's propaganda-coverage I have been looking at many other news sources and to my surprise, Fox really is more fair and balanced, at least in regards to the democratic nomination.

    One other point; Has anyone noticed that CNN and MSNBC, along with other so-called news sources, have gotten in the habit of 'interpreting' Obama's vague full-of-holes comments to the rest of us, the uninitiated in Obama-speak? I thought CNN were supposed to report, not translate. If Obama can't express himself clearly, he lacks the intellectual capacity to be president.

    January 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. Kristy

    Can't we move past this stuff? CNN you are CHOOSING to report this and make it your #1 story. You're just proving Bill Clinton right–at least about the media. He's wrong about Obama, though.

    January 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. evangelos pappas

    The Republicans have Fox Obama has Cnn.

    January 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Whatever Daisy...

    Why is it that OBama camp is all innocnet in this matter?! Could it be bias in the media or in the blogs...HILLARY only 2008! Obama camp is a race baiting machine! look at the numbers everywhere...NY/CA/FL...white and hispanics want HILLARY by far!

    January 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. stan pitts pa

    OH ANGRY BILL, GET A LIFE!

    January 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. cjvwise1

    Billary has to face the fact that this is a brand new day. We do not want new ideas of how to best use a cigar, we want to be led out of the corruption that is plagueing America. The Clintons are like an oozing sore that just will not go away. They have an over inflated idea of their worth. Just how long do they believe the taxpayers will stand by and finance their corruption. We have reached a time when we want something back from the employees in Washington. They have taken enough. In the 90's I left the DNC with a fowl taste in my mouth. Obama just may have the character and integrity that will bring my vote back home. So shut up Bill. You are old, out of date and corrupt, and we have had enough of the HillBilly team. If you truely believe in the US, step aside and give hope a chance.

    January 23, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. damon fernandes

    Obama wins Iowa. The Clintons get nervous. Obama is ahead in the polls in NH. Mysteriously, Obama loses. The hand-written votes are for Obama; the machine tabulated votes are for Hillary. (Florida 2000? Ohio 2004?) Air is now out of Obama's sails. Hillary eventually wins the national election through media manipulation and rigging the machines and thus the hearts of those who wanted Obama but "think" that he can't win anymore. Bravo Clintons! You have put yet another nail in the coffin of American democracy. I'm ashamed that I voted for Bill. I will write Obama in in November.

    January 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. CDR

    The Clintons waged a negative campain and are now feeling the kickback. It's obvious who the dirty players are in this political charade but it is also distasteful. Let's stick to the Truths of the matter.

    Truth #1. The American People want Leadership that we can Trust.

    Truth #2. Many Americans do not trust the Clintons for obvious reasons.

    "The basis of effective government is public confidence, and that confidence is endagered when ethical standards falter or appear to falter." -JFK

    January 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. joe

    It is sad for democratic party, that Obama camp, again use race card to attack the clintons.
    I think the so-called feuding between Obama and Hillary is health, but it is sad that Obama camp started to use race card and pack of lies to attack the Clinton. It is very healthy for candidates to exchange barbs but using divisive issue as race to attack your fellow democrat is stupid. I guess Obama is not above that. I have so much high hope for him. The guy is selfish, I think he believe he is kind of cult of personality figure that was born to lead, nothing can stand in his way. Even, the reality that he barely have any experience, has not pay his due in life.

    It amazes me that Senator Obama was whining and complaining about unfair attack from Senator Clinton, and Pres Bill Clinton, at the same paragraph pulled no punches, attacking the Clinton with the pack of lies about the clintons. Now his camp tried to use race card to demonize the clintons. That is dangerous, that is stupid.

    My advice to Obama is stop the whining. Toughing up, and inject some substance to you style...yes, you get great style but nothing more. if he thinks that the national GOP is gonna role over and play dead for him to walk over, he will a rude wakening after the convention. if you think that by admiring Reagan, the GOP will cut some slack, think again.

    By the way, do not take the advice from the looser like Kerry. If he had the spine to answer back to the Bush attack, he would be president by now.

    January 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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