March 17th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
7 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. Gil - California

    If this is how Bill Clinton is saying it is, how could we doubt what it is?

    Of course, it depends on what your defination of the word "is" is.

    March 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Bev

    This is just more of the same old same old reporting with a bias towards the Clintons by CNN.

    March 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Bill

    The American people have had enough lies, deceit and mind games from the Clintons. He played the race card in S.C. With the nomination for Hillary secured, he thought his charm and the naïveté of the American public would forget or forgive him for it. They should take their ill earned money and get lost. We need a fresh start and Obama brings the promise we need for the future of our country.

    March 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. D

    make me want to vomit

    March 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. Juan

    Bill's comment was not spun. I heard the comments and was able to make my own decision.

    March 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Eva

    the Obama campaign has played the race-bait card, so they can't be blamed; but instead the Clinton campaign is blamed. Smart move, but it will come to light, sooner or later. Wake up, people, don't be fooled, look at the issues and the merits. Do you really want a rookie fpr President?

    March 17, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. cynthia

    Tell me, what did Bill mean when he talked about Jesse Jackson in South Carolina in a degrading manner? If it were not race-based, then millions do not know what the mother of all trump card sounds/looks like when the deck of srace is stacked, ready to be dealt. Nevertheless, the people of Carolina played the joker and voted for the best candidate loud and clear, Barack Obama.

    March 17, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. MinsterP

    The comment below is exactly the illogic used by Obama supporters.

    So the wife's support is more relevant how? It can't be because she is the wife of Charlie since he is irrelevant.

    Oh we know, it is relevant because she is supporting your candidate.

    *************

    March 17th, 2008 10:02 am ET

    By the way, Charlie Rangel's wife if for OBAMA. Charlie Rangel is just as irrelevant as Obama's pastor.

    Obama 08

    March 17, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Liberty

    In a debate last year, John Edwards looked at the camera and said "If you're voting for me because you have a problem with a woman or a black person, then I don't want your vote."

    Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both need to make a similar statement.

    Charlie Rangel's wife is supporting Obama, by the way. Rangel wants Hillary to win so he can have her Senate seat.

    March 17, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Diane

    Bill Clinton did not play the race card and as the media likes to play favorites they are not telling what really happened. Bill Clinton was asked a question early in the morning in So. Carolina before people even went to the polls. The comment was not racist but the media and their snipets compromised the truth and have the majority of the public believing that it was a racist comment when it wasn't.

    March 17, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. ct

    Obama should end his campaign. his manipulation and skeletons in his closet are way too big.

    March 17, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. duck47

    A little late in coming but thanks for some fair coverage for a change. What we need to ask ourselves if why Bill Clinton was allowed to be accused unfairly to begin with.

    March 17, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Lone Star Wolf

    You Obama supporters need to get a grip. Bill is not a raciest. But, Obam and his Rev. have definitely stated their preferences. Woe unto America if this man gains the presidency. Bill Clinton was the greatest President. Have you ever asked one question. Wouldn't most men try to defend the honor of the woman they had an affair. Of course he would say I didn't have sex with that woman. My hat's off to him and Hillary who stood by her man. HILLARY 08

    March 17, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. Frank

    The Democratics are well on the way to losing Election 2008.
    This way supposed to be a slam duck, but this nonsense will do the party in.

    By the way, a mugging is what Ron Paul endured. Bring back Ron.

    March 17, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Shane, NY

    Stop saying Obama's minister has been talking about race for 20 years. There was a couple speeches where he brought it up. If your not black don't even comment on race. Some black people can't even get a cab in NY because there are black. I'm a true American and realize this country has some detrimental policies. The C.I.A is responsible for training those Arabs in Afganistan to fight the Soviet Union then they came after our country.I don't agree with the way the Rev. Wright's choice of words. Homosexuals are not even allowed to get married so we need to look in the mirror at our own churches and there questionable polices towards human beings.

    But I'm not a fool to think America is perfect. If you do, do some research on American history. Remember we are the only country to use 2 nuclear weapons on civilians in Japan. Wasn't that a terrorist act. It makes you think doesn't it. Japan attacked our military ships and base we attacked there innocent civilians.

    Bill Clinton is just putting the spin and your falling for it.

    March 17, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. SKY

    HE WAS NOT "SPUN" BY OBAMA CAMPAIGN. WHAT HE SAID WAS RACIST. TIME FOR THE BILLARYS TO GO. WE ARE SICK OF THEM!!!
    BARACK OBAMA WILL BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA 2008 & 2012.

    March 17, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Gerry

    Two events about to take place will mean none of this matters.

    The first event will be the release of the 120 pages of the Barrett report not yet in public domain.

    The other will be the release of Clinton's tax records, earmarks, charity donator list and presidential donator list.

    When all of the above is released Clinton will not longer be a presidential candidate.

    March 17, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. An Agnostic Democrat

    Oh, this is priceless: The even my black friend says I'm not racist argument. We've seen the token defense before, Bill. Give it a rest and ME a break!

    March 17, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Bubba

    Not that I totally agree with everything he said, but in that context it would have been an insult not to mention Jesse Jackson. JJ had NO chance, but he was an actual candidate.

    March 17, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Gerry

    Two events about to take place will mean none of this matters.

    The first event will be the release of the 120 pages of the Barrett report not yet in public domain.

    The other will be the release of Clinton's tax records, earmarks, charity donator list and presidential donator list.

    When all of the above is released Clinton will no longer be a presidential candidate.

    March 17, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Rich in NY

    What a lying sack of chit, how can anyone believe a word this AH says... Do we really want this moron anywhere near the white house again?

    March 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Manuel TX

    Interesting that Bill is in New Orleans once again helping that community, including the AA community.

    Obama has done nothing directly to help the AA community in New Orleans. He only shows up to ask for votes.

    Actions speak louder than words. :)

    March 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. terry

    I knew he couldn't keep his "stupid" mouth closed for long!

    Everyone already knows what you did was wrong. Bill, this reminds me how tired most americans are of you.

    I still believe that the Clintons will say and do anything!

    March 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Kareem from Hampton VA

    How in the world are people blaming Obama for the race card? are you all looking at what Im looking at? Either way all of this is baloney! Gas is getting outta control...the dollar is falling faster then paritioners at a Benny Hinn conference...and McCain is making visits to other countries like he's already president..while we the democrats with the power to change everything albeit Obama or Clinton and we are bickering over what people that arent even running are saying (i.e. Bill, Pastor Wright, Ferrara) If I was McCain I would do the same thing...its no point in attacking the democrats they are doing it to each other and they are doing it so much that i know Im gonna win so lemme go visit Iraq and rally the troops behind me! This is beyond stupid now....beyond stupid! We may as well sit back and let Mccain win like he's gonna....I almost hate that Im a democrat now...because the WHOLE WORLD who wants change as well is sitting back and watching this debacle! Is this the best America has to offer? This campaign season turned into a reality show and we need to get it together!!

    March 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Terry

    This is not a vote for american idol. All politicians lie, you vote for who will make this country better. If you call Wright a mentor, you must have learnt some of his philosophy. A revenge here and there will only hurt us. Many countries have rejected US dollars. If they are not willing to work with the new president, we can use the dollar bills as toilet paper. If the value of a US dollar keeps going down, you'd better be ready to pay for $10 a gallon gas. Regardless what Bill did with his cigar, he was a good president. We have a similar recession that is similar to the one in the early 90s. If I have to gamble, I will bet all on a Clinton.

    March 17, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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