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. Al, FL

    What a joke! So it's okay for him to talk crap about people but not okay to be on the receiving end I see. Bill we all know this election is for you and wifey and not the American people!...COME ON AMERICA....LET'S END THE DYNASTY!!!

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Ann

    Pro-life supports in Florida now is your chance to kick Rudi Giuliani out of the race! He is the only Republican running on a pro-choice ticket, and we can kick him out of the race and discourage any more pro-life candidates for the future. If Giuliani gets a third place in this race he will be out for sure! The way to do it, –VOTE MITT ROMNEY. McCain has pretty much wrapped up first or second place in Florida, but Giuliani might be able to stay in the race and later on win California and New York if he wins second. All pro-life voters vote Romney. He is a pro-life candidate for whom, if he wins first or second in Florida, can kick Giuliani out! All people who are social issues voters who would have voted Huckabee, change to Romney and tell the Republican Party we want social conservatives running for President. Huckabee cannot not win in Florida and Florida is a winner takes all, so you literally hurt him worse by voting for him. Take a stand and throw Rudy Giuliani out of the race!

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Brian L

    This proves once again that Bill (and Hillary, for that matter,) are out for one thing and one thing only; themselves. It's not about the country, or helping others, its about their own political viability.

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Gordo

    And he lased out how?

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. get truth guy

    Media are bunch of plitical motivated left wing crookes, they single-handedly manufactured Hussion Obama victory in Iowa, now they are trying to repeat this again even they tasted failures in NH and NV!

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. myvote

    Bill is right on this. People is hungry for information on Presidential Candidate as they are placing their livelyhood for another 4-8 years. Reporters should be reporters not poparzies

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Willis Demas

    Shame on President Clinton! The scandal he is making in the elector process is reminiscent of the scandals that dogged his presidency and personal life. He needs to get out of the presidental campaigns.

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. allen

    The lady doth protest too much methinks

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. RGB

    This is not personal folks. Just because people at such high positions are takings personal jabs at each other does not mean that we too start the same trend. Some of us support Hillary, and others Obama (and some Edwards). Let us respect that. But, one has to snap out of that loyality to either one of these candidates and speculate the proceedings with clear mind, and truth will unite all people for one value and that is integrity. No body asked Clinton campaign to go on distorting another's record just to win. Bill Clinton has tremendous support, all they had to do was run a positive campaign. But, if they decided to go negative, and are continuing to do the same, day in day out, why does it "hurt" them exclusively when they befall the same fate? Poetic Justice. It is time both sides drop their weapons, and start talking about the people, about who this election is really about!

    Whoever learns this lesson quickly will win all the way.

    January 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Seni

    Bill is right about this, people are so dumb with the media, they only care about political jabs and they don't care about issues anymore. This is politics, you can't do without jabs but don't focus on that as if that is the only issue. Wolf, please stop all those irrelevant issues and focus on what they say about the economy. You give more time reporting trash than issues

    January 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. GP

    Sorry, Bill is not going anywhere...GOOOOOO BILL TAKE IT TO THEM

    January 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Billsfan

    Bill, way to go! You represent the style, voice and idea that belong to a visionary leader. Obviously, people with narrow mind don't like you. They never figure out why GWB is in DC for making so much damage nor how bad Reagan did to this country. What a pity! That is human being... May God helps them.

    January 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Bill

    Clinton has mastered the art of saying nothing. Look at what he said. It was really nothing except he tried to make it appear he was defending the voters of SC! Against what?

    January 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. vickie

    I think Clinton was kind to this reporter the way the media is treating the Clintons and going soft on this cry baby Obama If he can defend himself with crying not fair how can he ever defend our country. It's time the media starts being fair.
    I think at the very least I expect this from Wolf all the other are pretty much not reporters anyway.

    January 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Mike, Chicago IL

    As far as I can tell most of what Bill Clinton has said has been pretty factual, it has however been blown out of proportion by either Obama's camp, the media or both. To Anon, so let me ask you this? You know Bill Clinton? You Know Obama? You know what both of them think? Its seriously funny, you know what you read and nothing more.....

    January 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Thomas, Cumming, GA

    While I had issues with the man and his zipper always being down, I was really imppressed by his humanitarian efforts. Enough, is enough. Go play golf. You are hurting your wife's chances; you are hurting the Democrats chances.

    I am definitely voting Republican now! Somebody get this man some new medication!!

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. JSE, Omaha NE

    Ladies and gentlemen, your next president...should you be dumb enough to elect him...um, I mean her.

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. JJ in NY

    Sllick Willy is lying thru his teeth again, and he knows it !

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. zoom128

    GO BILL GO !!!

    After 8 years of moronic management of the country, I shudder to think what's going to happen with another inexperienced person who people would "like to go and have a beer with".

    Obama can say he's above it all because he does not have any record whatsoever – some guy who keeps voting present is not my idea of someone who can take a stand – what's he going to do in the WH – say he was there when the cra* falls out the next time ?? Time for a woman anyway – they're made of much sterner stuff then people think !

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Will Gainesville, FL

    Shut up already bill, you are only making yourself look stupid and rude!

    The reporter was asking you a legitimate question and instead of answering it, you insult her and act like a cocky rude man! Not very becoming of you sir

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Tirso

    Bill Clinton is a volatile tool for Hillary. Yes he can help her with her campaign but also he can also make major damage to her campaign. For the next months if Mr. Clinton will not to keep his opinion to himself he will be taken off Hillary's fron line.

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Joe, Boston, MA

    Clinton is so right on with this one. The Obama campaign is feeding off of this and hoping by playing the race card more blacks will come out and vote. Now that's who really is playing the race card...Obama's campaign; not Obama but his seregates. PERIOD!

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Eddie

    Bill Clinton just needs to crawl under a rock and go away! This country doesn't need another four years of scandals from him or his wife. It is time for a new direction for this country! Finally, it is time to put an end to a Clinton or a Bush in the White House! Let's bring in some new and fresh ideas.

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Leslie Somerville, Seattle, Washington

    You go Bill...........
    Hillary 08

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Frank-Iowa

    Keep it up, Billy Boy. The more mud you sling, the more ground you lose. Election 2008 is quickly slipping away from you and ol' Hill.

    January 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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