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. Todd

    We all have such shot memories. Nothing gets done when there is a polarizing person in the White House. Right now the Democrats have the perfect opportunity to put forth a candidate that the Republicans do not know how to run against – some one that unites. The Republican Party is in chaos with no true candidate to rally around. If the Democrats give them Hillary the Republican would rally around any of them to make sure another Clinton doesn't soil the office. Do we really need 4 years of "I did not have sexual relations with that women." He is a liar and his wife is polarizing. We don't need four years of the Republicans reminding us that Bill is a liar and uses females as humidors.

    January 23, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. Amy

    What is Bill's credibility? He looked America in the eyes and lied about his many scandals. He lost the trust of America and he was impeached.

    So why are we believing him now? He is power hungry as heck and wants the White House back. This is getting scary. It is beyond Clinton fatigue; it is Clintonitis. And most of us are just plain sick of them!

    January 23, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. John

    I'd rather have Bill back in the White House for another eight years. We need someone like him now to lead the country out of what it's in now.

    Miss you Bill

    January 23, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. Texas downunder

    I watched the video, and can't figure out how Bill Clinton was described as "irate".

    My conclusion, confirmed by a segment I just watched on CNN: "CNN = BHO's brownshirts".

    January 23, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  5. antonia Gonzalez Seattle Washington

    Who is running for president here and who's really wearing the pants? Hillary needs to fight her own battles. But as you can see, she never could keep her own house together, how in the world is she going to keep this country together. Billary needs to stop it ,or I am going to vote Republican in November. I say SHUT UP!!! Bill.

    Beve in Washington

    January 23, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. Check the Clinton Record

    Cnn is doing a good job right now of debunking Bill's claims...maybe the Clinton supporters to watch all of that...he is a liar and a cagey, despicable man.

    January 23, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. Lance in Monrovia

    I am a lifelong democrat. I have lost respect for Bill and Hillary Clinton as my respect for Senator Obama has grown. I will not vote again for Bill or Hillary.

    I'm voting for Barack Obama to change politics as usual.

    If he doesn't gain the nomination, I hope Bloomberg runs, because I won't vote Clinton. I would have, but not anymore.

    January 23, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  8. Jack

    I agree with Bill Clinton comments. Obama and Edward, gets all of the free ride.

    January 23, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  9. Susan Texas

    Amen Bill Clinton. He is telling it exactly the way it is. CNN is chomping at teeth to run any, and all stories to destroy a woman's chance of becoming president. Their bias is incredibily transparent. I just saw 2 CNN news reporters trying to deny it. CNN knows as well as I do, that they are trying to influence this election, and steal the most sacred right away from the American people! They obvisously see something in Obama, that I don't. All I see is an unqualified, immature, arrogant man. We already have one of those living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. We certainly don't need another one. Shame on you CNN. Leave the election to the people!

    January 23, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. reece conrad

    The proof is in the pudding. Obama wants to say change, change & change without sayinng how. I understand that he doesn't want people to know what he did because that lets them think and that keeps them from hearing what he wants to them to hear.

    If some one says somehting (that is true) and you don't like it say that is dirty pool. How does that work. Fine if your a republican president. But democrats want to know how, why, what etc. The obama campaign is like a westen movie set all front and no back.

    Get to the fact. Like dragent just the facts.

    He makes me lol.

    January 23, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. P. Arnold

    You just don't get, do you? You replay the clip of Bill Clinton chastising the press for covering insignificant comments from the campaign trail, and then you have John Roberts and Soledad O'Brien prattling on with a panel of talking heads, about the exact point he was making. This stuff is not what the election is about. When are you going to put an effort into covering the real issues of this campain instead of all this inane chatter?

    This 'news' coverage is disgusting!

    January 23, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. Louis

    Obama has MSNBC... and now CNN??? I'm hearing that Fox News may go to him too, since Obama can deliver Republicans to vote for him too! hahahahahahahahahahaha... I still get a kick out of that one!

    January 23, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. paul

    What Planet do some of you live on?

    January 23, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. Me Me

    J,
    You got that right.

    January 23, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. Laura

    Bill Clinton is right. And what did this reporter report (as he said she would!) ? She only reported about the incident not what the people of South Carolina want to hear. And Soledad's reporting was silly, stupid, unintelligent to the extreme. Enough of reporters reporting about themselves! Watch some Democracy Now! and see how it's done. Watch Link News from around the world. Soledad makes CNN looks like Entertainment Tonight.

    January 23, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. Susan

    If you post anything that is considered too negative about Obama, it will never make it out of moderation. How is that for fair and unbiased?

    January 23, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. Kevin

    I'm not a Hillary supporter, but the fact that Clinton is described as "visibly upset" in the article tagline perhaps reinforces the point that he is making. I would describe him as annoyed, perhaps, but I was expecting a blowup that just didn't occur. And of course this "visible anger" is the headline, instead of anything about the issues. Go figure.

    January 23, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  18. Ginny Ca

    Boy, Obama sure has his surrogates out there doing his dirty work, doesn't he? What a jerk!

    January 23, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  19. ED orlando fl

    I know this upsets your ego, but your individual vote counts no more than mine. I have been reading many of these blogs and why is it hard for your pompous egos to understand that the country [due to this new system] has wised up to the media and see you for what you are a bunch of egomanics whose bubble has burst and america sees what you main mission is .,to steer all comments and arguments towards the candidate you want or are paid to push into the limelite so the public will think you are more powerful then a competing network. Your glory days have been exposed and will no longer be a factor.

    January 23, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. Jose Card - Independent

    The Clintons really amaze me.

    They can play soft like shedding tears strategically
    and they can play rough and dirty.
    Hillary's tears the day before NH Primary are probably forgotten,
    but Bill's visibly upset face has been seen several times in public.

    There is no doubt that Bill Clinton is running for his third term, using his wife.
    The power struggle between the two Clintons cannot be underestimated if 'they' are elected. They will do anything if it is not illegal by the book. Ethics is foreign to them.

    I know the Clintons don't want to talk about issues now, because that will make Obama inspirational again and they will lose.

    January 23, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  21. Michael S

    To Bill Clinton: You fell asleep at an MLK event. On national tv no less. Shut up. You had your 15 minutes...uh-uh....8 years. Now enjoy philanthropy.

    To Those who think Obama is fueling this: are you nuts? He wants nothing but this to stop. He lets soooo much slide and go unanswered, but then it gets to a point that he just can't stay quiet.

    If the people on this board truly think they are smart enough to think for themselves, then think about this: why would we trade the Bush regime for the Clinton regime?

    At this point, I almost don't care who wins...as long as its NOT the Clintons.

    Go Obama
    Go Edwards
    Go Anyone

    January 23, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  22. Helen

    Mr. Clinton was RIGHT, RIGHT., Jessica Yellinwas was just looking for something to start.. I was glad to hear Lou Dobbs tonight. He made sense. Not what these media people are reporting. It is just down right hate. Let's face it with the reporting that has been going on \is down wright UGLY. I also turned to HARDBALL and his commentators were saying Mr. Clinton it is right also, it seems me and the American people you don't care about issues you just want certain candidates to win. I ask you is this good reporting? Some people say that Mr. Clinton should settle down well what about the Obama and his compain. Huh???

    You people have been giving OBAMA a free ride and now that retaliation is coming he is getting flustrated. I am sure Mr. OBama is a nice man however, he is showing the American people he is not ready to be President if he can't take the heat get out.

    January 23, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  23. JohnS

    It is the women who are voting for Hillary that should be "ashamed." I believe that everyone has been warned to stay away from the Clinton's!!!

    If Clinton gets any positive outcome from this process, the credit should certainly GO HER MAN. I am not sure if this is what it takes to elect the first "woman president." I guess it would have to take Bill to rerun the nation!!!

    January 23, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  24. Tony

    This country is ready for a woman president, they just isn't ready for that woman to be HILLARY? GO AWAY BILL & HILLARY, let Edwards or Obama represent the Democratic Party in this election, the biggest mistake on top of their many other political mistakes would be to have HILLARY as their presidential candidate for 2008, she isn't ELECTABLE, it's not her GENDER, it's the WOMAN who is running, that isn't electable, not against any of the Republican candidates? Many voters including myself, may not like who the Republicans select as their candidate, but I would certainly never vote HILLARY, any other woman candidate except her and her LYING, UNFAITHFUL HUSBAND Bill behavior the past few weeks is insulting to the American Voters! WAKE-UP AMERICA anyone except HILLARY, she is part of the problem with this country certainly not part of a solution..

    January 23, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  25. PVRK

    All these yelling Obama brigades reminds me of Howard dean supporters. Obama is full of air with no depth. He can make nice speech and nothing else. He starrted running for president as soon as he entered Senate. He has no depth, and we cannot afford to elect him. You know how much damage can be done by people who can talk nice but has no real competence – Just look at George W Bush

    January 23, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
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