April 12th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton avoids 'bitter' controversy

(CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton didn’t touch the subject, but the Clinton campaign used his appearances in rural North Carolina Saturday to hammer at Barack Obama’s “bitter” comment on small town voters.

Speaking before Clinton came to the stage Saturday in Winterville, the former chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party laid into Obama’s remarks. Tom Hendrickson told the crowd, “My message to Senator Obama is, we are not frustrated. We are not bitter. We turn to our faith because we believe. Amen. We hunt and fish because it's a part of our culture and we enjoy it. So, Senator Obama, don't pity us and think that we're bitter and frustrated. We're hard working family folks who are smart and we get it.

The Clinton backer said, “We don't need the pundits to tell us what we think. In the words of that old Hank Williams song, 'We're country folks and we will survive.”

The former President left the issue alone in his remarks at Winterville, one of six stops he’s making Saturday in the eastern part of the state.

–CNN's Steve Brusk

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Jag


    April 12, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. Alice

    Bill's learning . . .

    April 12, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Walt, Belton,TX

    Well, it looks like Hillary finally got her wish: Bill keeping his mouth shut!

    April 12, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. BC

    I bet Bill was afraid to make a comment. Every time he burps it's all over the news. Then Obama lovers come in trying to decipher if he burped in some sort of code that is anti Obama, so they can attack him again. This a president that during his time in office, we had peace and prosperity. I personally don't see anything wrong with that. He brought us out of a 4 trillion dollar debt. He deserves respect for that alone.

    I wonder how many people that voted for Obama want their vote back. The longer the man runs, the more his true colors are coming out.

    April 12, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    Well, I am BITTER

    April 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. is it necessary


    April 12, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. adrienne

    Yeah Bill Clinton avoid attackin Obama but he's still sucking up to Mccain while ignoring Obama. What Bill Clinton thinking, if he is nice to Mccain he'll give Hillary Clinton the election.

    April 12, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. gina

    CNN– every time that Obama gets into hot water, why is it that you feel compelled to rescue him? Especially with Bill Clinton fodder. Just leave it alone–enough already. Just let the voters decide for themselves what BARACK OBAMA said without your interference. You are supposed to report the news–NOT influence it. Enough with it.
    San Antonio, TX

    April 12, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. Ellie

    I should say so... Bill needs a dog muggle, but then again if he was planning to sabotage his wife's presidential run, I think he did a GREAT job....

    He must want a high paying job with President Obama.. hummm??

    Way to go Bill!!

    April 12, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. teacher

    I often said I would vote for John McCain if the democratic could not get it together. However, I don't think I can vote for any of those who are running. Maybe I will find an independent person to vote for or no at all. This has been the most pety campainge I have witnessed in my 29 years of voting. I have always supported Democrates. Hillary is making me hate the party. I often wonder who side is she on.

    April 12, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. jab

    Bill's just glad to divert attention to his remarks on Friday that Hillary was tired at 11 p.m. and misspoke about her Bosnia experience. She lied three times about it Bill.

    What Obama said was true...people are bitter about their loss of jobs (the Clintons support NAFTA and CAFTA); our education system (Clinton supported No Child Left Behind); our economy (Clinton supported the rewriting of the bankruptcy laws to benefit banks and credit card companies); and, the war that Clinton authorized.

    Get a grip folks...Barack speaks the truth about people's bitterness because he does connect with the frustrations of Americans and that is why he is calling for a change.

    April 12, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Jed in Texas

    Best thing you can do Bill,just shut up.

    April 12, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. J. Johns

    If Bill Clinton said anything about this he'd be villified and everyone knows it. Suddenly the Clintons would be at fault and Barack once again the hero – with the press leading the charge, as they have all along. The public isn't that stupid, though the popular press seems to think so.

    April 12, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. HG

    I'm starting to see more clear now, that most politicians seems to be fighting against Obama.
    Bayh said Superdelegates and voters need to consider Bitter remark but when asked about what Clinton with sniper comment his response was Clinton is tough and can take the attack if the republicans bring it up...WOW...
    That preference right there.
    This election is not like past elections and I can predict that if Obama becomes the nominee and the republicans brings there "Kitchen sink" the voters will clog it up because we are tired of the same old same old and one things I like about Obama is he speaks about whatever they bring at him to the people for the people to decide and so far the voters have be realizing more and more that it's a preference thing going on right now...

    Obama will be the next president.
    If he's not we better start looking to migrate to Mars maybe life will be easier there.

    April 12, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Mr. Tom Henrickson I personally don't think Obama has "pity" for hard working people, but I think he does want to stop the hemorahaging of all the dollars going to the rich, loss of jobs, loss of homes, no health insurance, high gas prices, education cost for our children, retirement benefits that are fading. No that's not pity, it's reality today.

    April 12, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Mark Billingsley, Sacramento, Calif.

    Hillary is going to make Obama write and recite his own speech on rural issues that blows everyone away again, and she'll lose even more ground. Keep flapping your gums Hillary. Keep pandering. Keep telling people about that day your dad taught you to shoot a rifle on the back 40. Lie, distort, pander. repeat. The Hillary Clinton campaign in a nutshell folks.

    April 12, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. abu

    i am senator clinton supporter, but when i heard what Obama said
    i am really going to cast my vote to him, because he hit the nail on the head.
    i am one of those who lost their job waiting a small check from unemployment department.
    so i was waiting this word for a long time from the candidates.
    start from now on i am Obama side.

    April 12, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. When will it all End

    Obama is not a pretender. Obama is a valid contender.
    Pretentious ploys is of the old style politics. Reality Campaigning is here to stay! Obama is a natural!
    Obama in 2008!

    April 12, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. Edi

    Talk about 'typical white' grandmothers and then turn around and talk about typical small town America. My lord this man is a hypocrite. He backtracks on his Reverend so many times I can't remember what the final story is; he gets caught lying about NAFTA; he pulls the race card whenever it is conveneient for himself; he doesn't espouse patriotism; his wife says she is proud of America for the first time in her life; there isn't enough room for me to tell you how evil this man is. Hillary you aren't great but your sins are very minute in comparison to Barack.

    April 12, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. lorraine

    I love Bill Clinton and sure would like to see Hillary and him back at the White House. I went to a talk or speech that Pres Clinton gave and the whole auditorium sat for over a hour while he talked to us – he made sense and he is very brilliant, tells things in a way ordinary people understand. Hillary is the same, Hope everyone votes for Hillary

    April 12, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. ron

    Nothing to comment on at least one of the Clinton's understands the childness of trying to make an issue to bolster a campaign.

    Get out Hillary

    OBAMA 08

    April 12, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. paul oregon

    the clintons and there whole campain group must need hearing
    aides. what ihave heard obama say is not what i hear the clintons
    saying . must be some misspeaking that i missed . may be the next
    time hillary lands in bosian she will have a rifle to protect everyone.

    April 12, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  23. amanda

    he is wise at least in that sense to stay clear cos whatever comes out of his mouth are lies upon lies.God these people have no intergrity whatsoever, and these are the people we want in the white house? imagine how they'll deal with the commonest of issues.THEY HAVE NO SHAME,AMERICA IS BUILT ON THE TRUTH NOT LIES. THESE LIARS DON'T DESERVE THE ATTENTION WE ARE GIVING THEM.

    April 12, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  24. Hillary has serious issues

    When does a noncoment become a story? Hillary laughs off Bill's $800K consulting and says he's not the candidate, yet he pulls in the stories to help her campaign. How does this system of preference work? It is very convenient and one-directional. Once again, Hillary has lost too much momentum and the media does everything to let the Clintons control the news cycles right before a primary. This is objective, nonpartisan reporting?

    April 12, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  25. ben

    Sure, if you want to put importance on what he said because the Clinton campaign tells you how they interpret it, remember this.
    One of the most widely known words in the world are" Romeo, where for art thou Romeo?" 90% of the people think this means, where are you Romeo, I can't see you in the dark. Only 10% understand she was saying "Why does your name have to be Romeo? My entire family hates your family . Why can/t you be someone else."
    So, if you are going to change your vote because the Clintons tell you to,
    I feel sorry for you.

    April 12, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
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