February 1st, 2008
09:05 AM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton to make black church tour on Sunday

Former President Bill Clinton will visit black churches in LA this Sunday.

Former President Bill Clinton will visit black churches in LA this Sunday.

(CNN) - Two prominent African-American politicians plan to join former President Bill Clinton on a tour of black churches this Sunday in Los Angeles. Sources say one of the officials has described it as Clinton’s “mea culpa tour” to the black community.

“They need to go touch the people like they did before. The bickering they got in in South Carolina must be put aside,” says one of the officials, who plans to join the former president on Sunday.

“Bill is going to have to come back among those who loved him and he did so much for. He is going to have to do it – I can’t do it for him – and face the voters,” the source continued, adding that once he does, “it’ll put him back in the comfort zone, and I think you’ll see [Hillary Clinton’s] numbers go up.”

Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battling for California votes leading up to the February 5 primary there. Her campaign points to several polls that have shown her with the a lead in this delegate-rich state, while his is emphasizing fresh endorsements from the state's largest newspaper and biggest labor union.

A spokesperson for the Clinton campaign in California confirms the former president will be visiting African-American churches this Sunday, but disputes the notion the stops are intended to make amends with the black community before the state’s voters head to the polls this Tuesday.

“He’s very popular with Latinos, African-Americans, it’s absolutely not a mea culpa tour,” says Clinton California spokesperson Luis Vizcaino.

“Right after the [South Carolina] debate, where some people felt there was a lot of tension with the African-American community, [Hillary Clinton] came to Los Angeles and had a discussion with members of the African-American community here. And people here said no one cares about the controversy or black-versus-brown or brown-versus white-tension - we want to know about jobs, and how she’ll help our community.

“I don’t think there was one single question raised there about we feel you are using race or you disrespected Martin Luther King Jr., nothing like that.”

A few of former President Clinton’s comments in South Carolina were interpreted by some as racially insensitive. CNN’s Candy Crowley reported that after the South Carolina contest a number of unpaid advisors and surrogates to the Clinton campaign agreed the former president’s remarks “hurt more than helped” his wife’s campaign.

On Sunday the politicians joining the President expect to visit a number of black churches in South Central Los Angeles, with additional stops possible in Inglewood and West Los Angeles.

Sen. Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will attend separate events in California this weekend. Vizcaino says it’s all evidence the campaign “is not taking anything for granted.”

But he adds that “the former President remains very, very popular in this state. It’s still referred to as ‘Clinton country.’”

–CNN's Jessica Yellin

Filed under: Bill Clinton • California • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. pam,s.c.

    bill clinton can trash obama's win in s.c. create a racial divide then turn around and offer a "mea culpa". why ? so his wife can get elected and he"ll have a voice in her presidency. no thanks the clintons are last thing this country needs. this is not the 1990's. what ever good he did for the country was lost on his impeachment.

    February 2, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. anna, nj

    Get over it. We have had 8 years of inexperience, haven't we had enough. Since when do we elect people with no national,international or limited political experience. He's not ready to lead this country and he's no John Kennedy. We need someone to lead us out of this mess, someone with vast experience, someone in the trenches and knows the political landscape.

    February 2, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Elizabeth

    Why doesn't anyone ever talk about the countless scandals that involve the Clintons and how many felons they took money from? If it were the Bush family it would be all over the place!

    February 2, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. sandy

    Bill Clinton is not running for the Democratic nomination, but you would never know it by listening to him and his wife. We do not need anymore Clinton's or Bush's in our White House. We need new faces, new blood in the house of all American's and Barack Obama is that new face. Mrs. Clinton has been running on her husband's laurels,not her own. Come on America, lets put a new generation in our White House.

    February 2, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Pedro

    Yes, this is "Clinton Country", and everyone in this state knows it! The media needs a story, so they are just making it sound like they are just learning that this is "Clinton Country". They all knew....

    February 2, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Mary

    Latinos and African American are not stupid. They should remember what Bill has done for them, not Obama or Ted say what they will do. Besides, all this is media's BS, Voters should not go by what media say because media is already lost credibility. That is a truth.

    February 2, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Enoch

    Pam, s.c
    I couldn't have said it better. This guy, Bill or whatever his name is, is trying to use AA as political pawns and it's going to back fire, this 2008 not the 90's, we have to move on, not move back.

    February 2, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Andizzle

    Get real Bill. You have blown your rep. Obama is the man.

    February 2, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. charlotte

    Obama supporters are vile,malicious and hateful, if this is what your candidate stands for I want no part of him. He is dividing this country more than anyone I have ever seen with the exception of Gov. Wallace. I hope he loses big time,we don't need his type of unity.

    February 2, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Rev Berole

    Dear brothers and sisters,
    Though my comment is about election 2008, let me try to open your eyes regarding choosing a candidate. If a person who claims to have experience and at the same time has an agenda full of controversy, such as abortion rights, gender and power struggle, how can you trust that this person is going to lead righteously a nation like America?
    If you choose Clinton knowing all the wickedness she has contributed direct/indirectly to come true in America, you are digging your own grave.
    She's spoiled our daughters with her feminist approach let alone her hidden character.
    So dear friends, I am not here to judge any candidate, however if one has a sound judgement he or she would never allow such a controversil figure to lead men and women of God towards the very things that God forbids (Romans Chapter1).
    Pleeeeeeeeeeease, if you can, don't go Hillary. Pray before you choose someone. The reason I think Hill is not the right one is based on the things she has contradicted with her behaviour and endorsement of wicked laws.

    Think, women, don't allow Hillary's tears to tear you down.

    Your unknown best friend

    February 5, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |