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. Susan M.

    CNN is clearly loving and fueling and escalating the tension between the Obama and Clinton campaigns. I didn't see any "lashing out" at reporter Jessica Yellin, just Clinton stating facts as he sees them. Also CNN's Susann Malveaux asked 2 very provocative questions during the debate which actually instigated the intense and nasty exchange between the 2 candidates!

    January 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Kevin Fitzner

    I am very dissapointed in the whole process. There are no leaders in this country only mudslingers.

    Please tell me WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO to solve our problems. If you have answers people will elect you. But simply denegrating the opponent is truly hurting this country.

    January 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Mark Kraft

    Since when were accusations of corrupt, dirty behavior and smears by the Clintons not an issue in this race? Isn't how a candidate conducts themselves an issue?

    Wasn't it Bill Clinton who loudly defended stripping thousands of Nevadans of the right to vote?

    Wasn't it Hillary Clinton who did her best to prevent students from voting in Iowa?

    Wasn't it Bill Clinton who was stripped of his right to practice law, because he lied repeatedly under oath?

    Wasn't it Hillary Clinton who was the first First Lady in history investigated for obstructing justice by failing to honor a subpoena request?

    Really, if she wasn't a former First Lady backed by corporate lobbyists, would we even know who Hillary Clinton is? If you want to elect a candidate for your children's future, why not elect one that your children could actually respect?

    January 23, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Whatever Daisy...

    CNN is biased and ignorant! HILLARY – 08

    January 23, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Maureen

    I for one are sick to death of both Clinton's. Mr. Clinton needs to go home and find something to occupy his time. Mr. Clinton is the last person who should be talking about character. He showed us while in the White House his lack of character and self control when it came to the pursuit of his sexual pleasures. I guess he continues to show us this same lack of self control. I voted twice for Mr.Clinton but will not make the mistake of voting for Mrs. Clinton.
    At this point I'm supporting Mr. Obama and will cast my vote for him on Saturday in S.C. Mrs. Clinton is presently running radio ads in S.C. that she knows are not true and this apparently does not disturb her at all-–how surprising that manipulating the truth does not seem to disturb her. As I recall there have been questions in the past about her honesty and that goes all the way back to the Clinton White House.
    I find it amazing that none of the media has addressed any of these issues.

    January 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. Neal in Tennessee

    You go Bill........He told like it is.

    January 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. carol

    Hardball showed how the 'slum lord' information was not even as bad as Obama and the slum lord bought adjoining mansions together and where did Obama get the money?

    January 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Kevin Fitzner

    I am very dissapointed in the whole process. There are no leaders in this country only mudslingers.

    Please tell me WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO to solve our problems. If you have answers people will elect you. But simply denegrating the opponent is truly hurting this country.

    January 23, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. betty kearns

    i think obama should stop crying. if he can,t handle bill clinton, how can he handle putin, terrorism ,or recession ?

    January 23, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Ready to Turn the Page

    Somebody dared to question the KING?

    Hey Democrats, please do us a favor. None of this want this anymore. We're REALLY sorry America had to deal with Bush but please don't make us suffer this way.

    Keep it up Bill. Your wife might win the non-college educated vote and women who don't realize the irony of their vote (they're really putting a man back in the White House) but a HUGE chunk of America is watching and doesn't want any more of what the Clintons are cooking.

    January 23, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. Neal in Tennessee

    Way to go Bill!! You tell it like it is.

    January 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. case

    Why is Bill in SC and Hillary elsewhere... This has proved the double team (with an ex. pres) statement. And to those who say,,, well Obama should just take it....should realize that this is a primary among democrates. Not the general election. The Clinton have proven that they can careless how much damage they cause the democratic party, its win an all cost.

    January 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. brian

    That is what I like about Bill. The media punks and politicians deserve remarks of Bill. He is honest and it is sickening to see that whatever Clintons said are tricks while whatever the other party said is sincere. Get real!!! Obama is just another politician folks!!!

    January 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Shawn

    Bill Clinton is fast making me a Obama fan! He can and is going too far!

    January 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Whatever Daisy...

    NEVER Obama! all of you who say clinto was corrupt look at your own lives?! Look at everyother president...he had the republican dipstick machine after him from day one! WAKE-up people...

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON _ 08

    January 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. cjvwise1

    Has anyone figured out where the money came from for when the partnerships were cemented for the Dubai or Camen Island accounts that were liquidated yesterdday. Were the funds tax payer dollars misappropriated during the Clinton years, drug money from Heroin traffic from Serbia, or funds for drugs coming in from Centra and South America? How about an explaination to the people of these transactions.

    January 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. veronica

    I don't believe for a second that these "Democrats" posting here really are Democrats, with all their threats of "I won't vote for her, I'll vote for a Republican" stuff! HA!
    Bill is right about this–the media are trying to ratchet up the issue of race and gender. It's very, very obvious.
    Let's let the voters decide.
    S.C. for Obama this week, and big Super Tuesday states for Hillary!

    January 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. BNS

    This is biased coverage.

    Bill Clinton was NOT the least bit upset.

    January 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. California

    Bill is absolutely right. I think that most of media want Obama to win. Because he is easier to be defeated by Republican than Hillary. The republican TV hosts have promoted Obrama since the begining. If we want Democrat wins White House, we should vote for Hillary. Our economy will be as great as in 1990s again. I will vote for Hillary . Because I vote for one and I get two (Hillary and Bill).

    January 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. Chip Yarborough

    Wolfe....HELLO....the three folks you have on TV right now are doing exactly what President Clinton is saying. This stuff sells news! STOP TALKING ABOUT IT, AND FOCUS ON THE ISSUES!

    January 23, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. Dorothy

    This is the type of stuff that will make someone not want to vote for either one – I used to have such high respect for the Clintons – my vote was for Mrs. Clinton – I am not so sure now

    January 23, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Elaine MA

    Bill Clinton.......Is right....Obama putting spin on debate.....so is the media....Obama doesn't know who he is talking to on stage when Hillary is in front of him at the debate???thats strange he can't tell the difference between Bill and Hillary.....The media thinks Hillary is not talking to people in S.C. at the debate's ...what the heck is up....who's putting a spin on what.....OBAMA and Media stealing the focus for the Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton......The people are watching....the Trashing and spinning.....Bill Keep picking up the Obama trash and the media Trash....and Fling it back........Or better yet ....IGNORE OBAMA and media SPIN.....Let OBAMA spin around himself.......until his Head spins off...
    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR HILLARY!!!!!!!THE NEXT PRESIDENT

    January 23, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. Sharone

    I'm so sad that cnn treats clintons the way they do. Just love the Clintons
    Cnn fell in love with Obama, just like msnbc. I will no longer think of cnn as my favorite cable news channel . you lost me.
    Cnn should just try to cover candidates with same mindset

    January 23, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  24. Matt

    It's not Bill and Hilary playing dirty. The reporter asked a question. Bill answered it in the manner that suited him. I'm not a strong Clinton supporter but he's right in saying that its not fair for the reporter to ask him something that will take away from the issues the people care about. And in his position he can't really be expected to stay out of a campaign his wife is running in

    January 23, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  25. Marg

    The media should be fair and give the same kind of scrutiny to Obama
    as is given to Senator Clinton and President Clinton. Also, be real! Obama
    started the attacks!

    January 23, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
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