March 17th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Bill Clinton: We did not play race card

CNN

Watch Bill Clinton speak with CNN's Sean Callebs.

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton defended his role in his wife's presidential campaign in South Carolina, disputing claims he made race a campaign issue.

"What happened there is a total myth and a mugging," Clinton told CNN's Sean Callebs in New Orleans, Louisiana, over the weekend.

"It's been pretty well established. Charlie Rangel ... the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in unequivocal terms in South Carolina that no one in our campaign played any race card, that we had some played against us, but we didn't play any."

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soundoff (344 Responses)
  1. Bob B.

    Obama, as president, doesn't scare me a bit... But you Obama supporters are the absolute pits! You people border on fanatical. And for the one idiot... gas was a buck a gallon when bill was prez. Y'all remind me of Repugs with your bs "facts."

    March 17, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. LATINOVOTER

    He just needs to stop, Period. There is not going to be A PERFECT democratic nominee, you just have to vote for the candidate – that will get things DONE.

    March 17, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Matt, NE

    Anyone notice how the Clinton's are always the victim? No matter what goes wrong, it is someone else's fault. The media or the 'vast right wing conspiracy' is always to blame for the Clinton's troubles.

    Meanwhile, you gotta admit that it is funny to watch Hillary Clinton get beat by a black version of Bill Clinton's vague 'tell everyone what they want to hear' style that Bill and Obama both share.

    March 17, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Kim

    You people are pitifull, I don't know if you are Obama Supporters, Republicans pretending to be Democrats or just independents that don't have any connection with either party, but this is ridiculous, you can say whatever you want the record stands for itself, the Clintons have been tireless in their efforts to bring good to the African American Societies, but you people just wanted a reason to vote for Obama, so you took something that the man said that was in no way racial and turned it into a big racial issue, I urge you to take responsibility for yoru actions and when you put this neophite into the White House, be ready to take responsibility for not vetting him properly and the hatred that is spewed on these sites, will clearly not help him, I can't tell if you are Democrats or Republicans, because the hatred is the same, so you can bet all that you have on the fact that the Hillary Clinton Supporters will not vote for Obama, because we are making our decisions squarely on the qualifications and he does not meet them, therefore we cannot support him and have the blood and the downfall of the American people on our hands, so I guess it will be another four years of Repbulicans, at least McCain would know how to handle an international crisis.

    March 17, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Aboomah 4 Obama

    This fits into Jon Stewart's new segment entitled:
    You're Not Helping....!

    Where are the grown ups in the Democratic party?

    I oppose a 3rd third for The Clintons more and more each day...

    March 17, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. LISA

    WHAT EXACTLY HAS THE CLINTONS DONE FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS??????

    March 17, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. kelly in Utah

    Bill Clinton is getting a pretty unfair shake just because he is Bill Clinton. Obama on the other hand is an even bigger liar but it hasn't been brought to the forefront yet. Give it time you'll dislike Obama a lot more than you ever disliked a Clinton in a few months time....

    March 17, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Amy in Iowa

    A "mugging"? Watch and see Bill will say this was not coded race language. He throws the stuff out there and then pretends he is sorry he did not mean it that way. We are seeing through all these Clinton games and lies. I am voting for change I can believe in with Barack.

    March 17, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. leah

    oh no, you did it again!

    keep your mouth shut bill. bye-bye!

    OBAMA '08

    March 17, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Paul

    Let's face it the old guard of the Democratic Party still has some racist sentiment about. I don't doubt that Bill didn't intend to be offensive, but I do have my doubts about the Clinton campaign's repeated practice of questionable behaviors. First the Muslim thing, then Ferraro gate, put that together with Bill's comments and you can see the old guard doesn't want to let go of power quite yet. I do know that if Obama doesn't get the nomination, I will stay home in November.

    March 17, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Tony

    Last week, Hillary apologized for the remark Bill made and now he's saying he did not play the race card. So is Hillary's apology just words?

    March 17, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. JohnS

    this is unfortunately something that needs to be dealt with in our Nation.
    We have to go beyond these things.
    Hate is almost as a cancer, it spreads and brings only harm. Nothing good,

    We have greater battles to deal with:
    economy
    American standing in the world
    Irak war
    ...

    Very disappointing that CNN is not helping to address the real issues, but is part of the hatemongering and spreading hate.

    CNN Focus on the right things.

    In LOVE.

    March 17, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    The FACT that Obama is black and statements related to the factually based data that large numbers of black voters seem to be voting for him; the FACT that his minister of 20 years appears to be ethno-centric (and a little Un-American about our military achievements int he modern world); the FACT that with only a few years of government elected service under his belt–he is able to aim at the Presidency is clearly related to the probability that he not only has a strong persona–but he is the first black candidate with similar ability ever.

    These are all facts.

    Nobody is pulling any cards–just stating the facts.

    We all need to stop carrying our hearts on our sleeves. Statements of reason and fact are not always "racially" based in the America we live in today–particularly when they are coming from the mouths of liberals.

    March 17, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. An Ohio Voter

    Former President Bill Clinton did not play the race card. Senator Obama and his followers play it every time they open their mouths. The Obama followers blog as if they have been pre-programmed to make certain statements over and over and over and over and over and over again. You all sound like Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Open your ears and shut your mouths. You are being led to "hell" by Barack Obama. WAKE UP YOUNG PEOPLE...YOU WERE NOT RAISED TO BE STUPID. YOU ARE ALL TOO SMART TO FALL FOR THIS OBAMA CRAP. YOU ARE LEADERS, NOT FOLLOWERS!!!

    Most of you are too young to know the Clintons and what they have done to help your families and communities. You are children of the Most High God, ACT LIKE IT!!!!!!! You should be in Louisiana right now walking with Bill Clinton to help your Brothers and Sisters who have been devastated by Katrina. By the way, take Barack with you....I'm sure he can reach across the "aisle" and bring everyone together to help them rebuild their lives, homes and the 9th ward. That's what leaders do.

    MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE...............LOVE YE ONE ANOTHER.......

    March 17, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Kevin

    To all you idiots who think African Americans will always vote for an African American candidate:

    They haven't in the past. This one is different. Same for white people: they didn't in the past, but they are supporting Barack. It's based on the issues, not on race. Get a clue.

    Also, AAs were not originally supporting Obama. It is because of the Clinton hate-mongering and lame attacks that they have switched. Obama is simply the better candidate.

    March 17, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. From PA

    The Obama camp from the begining had a person specifically to make a list of anything the clinton camp says that can be twisted racially...thats a fact

    Listen to the so called racial speech made by president clinton........IT WAS NOT RACIST!!

    March 17, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Dancindukes

    Edgar: Quote " Funny how over the weekend there was little blogging going on when the news was about Obama minister. But now that Bill is on the news we 120 comments and counting."

    The difference is that Obama's minister will not be living in the White House. As a husband & former president, he will be living there and will naturally have influence in a possible Hillary administration, meaning his comments carry much more weight and should be scrutinized by the public.

    March 17, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Asian's from Obama to Hillary

    Obama's campaign plays the race card. When Clinton makes anegative comment, the Obama team make a deal..
    Look at the Obama's minsiter. He's racisit and spread hates to America. The more I learn about Obama, the more I want to distance my vote from him.

    His minister has played a mjaor in Obama's life: his books and values. I'm afriad to have Obama is the white hosue. He'll use the influneces from his minister in teh white house.

    March 17, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Stacie Henderson

    Barrack Obama is only responsible for what he say. He is not responsible for what anyone else says, that includes the Pastor of the church he goes to.

    March 17, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Independent Voter

    Bill Clinton, you MOST DEFINITELY PLAYED THE RACE CARD. You are the biggest liar this world has ever know...you and Hillary just make me sick.

    How stupid do you think the American voters are? You insult our intelligence every time you open your mouth.

    Just patheticl...Bill Clinton you are pathetic sleeze.

    March 17, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Nsimba

    Can Bill Cliton tells to the American people that he did not commit genosite in Africa! The former Secretary of State H. Cohen confirmed that Bill Cliton who caused the War in tyhe Eastern of Congo (DRC) which killed more that 6.000.000 of peole according to the new report released by the UN beacuse of their own interest Mr. and Mrs cliton. both have big share in the company that produsing Mobile phone and Computer and 80% of Raw material come from Congo that is why they sacrified more that a country population; 6 Million. Enough is Enough. The blood of this people are on your hands and you will pay for it.

    March 17, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Kristina

    I find a comment interesting by someone here saying that Obama would do anything to get votes when it is actually Hillary that is trying anything to get votes including trying to win over current delegates that already pledged to him – even delegates in states where he won overwhelmingly. You all want to talk about Obama and his controversial pastor yet you quickly forget all the controversy that the Clintons were involved in in their reign. Noone is perfect and I believe that Obama is the person that he says he is. I believe he is real. He may not be perfect but he will be a refreshing change from the same old same old of the Clintons, Bush's and etc etc....

    March 17, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. ceetip

    Bill Clinton is not a racist and did not make racist comments. The Obama camp intentionally mis- represented his comments and cnn helped mislead people into thinking Bill Clinton was speaking in some kind of "code". What a laugh. And people believed them. How is "fairy tale " a racist remark. And the comment about Jesse Jackson was taken out of context.

    March 17, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. RAJohns

    Slick Willie at it again!

    March 17, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Sue in Raleigh

    I will vote for the Democratic candidate no matter what, but I pray that it is not Obama because once the Karl Roves of the repulsive republican party get ahold or him...we will lose the election.

    Can we really withstand another 4 years of republican rule? Can this world really withstand another 4 years of republican rule? I think not.

    March 17, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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