April 22nd, 2008
02:20 PM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton: 'I choose not to play your games today'


Watch former President Clinton respond to a question about his 'race card' remark."

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Bill Clinton denied Tuesday he had accused the Obama campaign of ‘playing the race card’ during a Monday interview. A recording of the former president making the comment during that interview has been circulating online.

Outside a Pittsburgh campaign event, a reporter asked Clinton what he had meant “when you said the Obama campaign was playing the race card on you?"

Clinton responded: "When did I say that and to whom did I say that?"

The reporter replied that the former president had made the remarks during his interview with WHYY Monday night.

"No, no, no, that's not what I said,” said Clinton. “You always follow me around and play these little games. And I am not going to play your games today. This is a day about Election Day, go back and see what the question was and what my answer was.

“You have mischaracterized it to get another cheap story to divert the American people from the real urgent issues before us, and I choose not to play your games today. …

“I said what I said you can go back and look at the interview, and if you will be real honest you will also report what the question was and what the answer was. But I'm not helping you,” said Clinton.

Clinton did not respond when asked what he meant when he charged that the Obama campaign had a memo in which they said they had planned to play the race card.

Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (538 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Bill Clinton has gone COO COO!!!

    April 22, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Adam


    He said it CLEARLY, no wiggle room.

    And he ATTACKS a reporter for asking about his comments, and then claims that he DIDN'T SAY IT?


    April 22, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. JMac, AZ

    I'm tired of hearing and seeing the Clinton's lies. Bill and Hillary bend the truth at will, with little regard for honesty or integrity.

    America needs to vote these people out!

    April 22, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Bitter Allen Hissein from Visalia

    Wasn't Bubba whining a few days ago about Obama's alleged whining? Of course, integrity was never Bubba's strong suit. Bill is going down the slippery slope of being a flawed but competent ex-president to a washed up political hack.

    April 22, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. sandy

    Have people forgotten WhiteWater? Vince Foster? Monica? The Flowers gal? Do we really want these characters back in the White House?

    April 22, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Suzanne

    So, Bill doesn't recall saying that about Sen. Obama? Well, he is over 60 and was that interview after 11pm?

    Obama in PA!

    April 22, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Jo Ann

    Maybe this is all a game to Bill Clinton since he won't be the named
    president but we all know who would run the white house behind the
    screen. The 3:00 am calls. I used to have respect for the guy but his
    true colors have come through in this campagin. Keep talking Bill.

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. granforchange

    Give it Up Bill!! We are SO tired of Listening to Your tired whining and complaining..!! To think I once admired You.... PLEASE, PLEASE, DO US ALL A BIG FAVOR AND SHUT UP!! OBAMA O8

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Hulk Angry

    Seriously... This dellusional ex-president is HILLLLLArious!

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Whatever

    In all fairness we really DON'T know anything about that exceprt. That comment was posted without the knowledge or permission of WHYY on a youtube account perporting itself to be an authorized outlet of WHYY. There's not even anything official indicating for certain when it was broadcast.

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Yea Right

    Oh Billy doesnt want to play no more, but the fun is just getting started Billy. Its time we start more questions about lies, half truths and scandles that you and Hillary have planned. I know alot of people who will vote for McCain if Hillary gets the nomination and the same people will never vote democratic again since you and Hillary have ruined the democratic process with your Dictatorship Type Of Tactics........

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |

    Just yet another "boo boo slip of the tongue, oh it wasn't anything" by a Clinton. Forget about it, Obama knows what it is and just shut your mouth and take it son...I don't think so!!

    You have to have great respect for Senator Obama who has on a continuous basis throughout this campaign exercised "GREAT RESTRAINT" from playing into the Clinton's game. You question his strength, if he's tuff enough...there should be no question. Just stand back and take some notes folks. He is one intelligent individual, who cares what the Clinton's are saying, "They are talking loud, but ain't saying nothing"!!

    If the shoe were on the other foot, they would have jumped all over it and wore it in the ground as they have so many other blurps. Talk to us about the economy, the war in Iraq, energy, healthcare...anything outside of that is irrelavant!!

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Crystal Mitchell

    Lies , Lies and more lies. Just like Hillary saw sniper fire, right, do you really think her husband president or not would allow his wife and young daughter to enter a country under fire, Nooooooooo! Lies from the Clintons, and that's all it has ever been. For all of you who are looking for the Glory days of the Clintons, forget it that was 20 years ago. A lot has change, they have changed. It's time for a new leader, a young leader with progressive ideas, and ability to bring all people together from all walks of life. How can we make anything better, if we keep racism alive. That's what the Clintons have represented through out the whole campaign. So why are we surprise when he say I didn't say that!

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Chris Chance

    I personally love the fact that a day or 2 ago clintons excuse for her ad being so negative and aggressive was and I QUOTE "it's no worse than what he'll have to face against the republicans"

    so now its ok for democrats to use republican tactics in order to give them ammo against barrack at a later date....

    This woman talks about credibility etc, yet shes already been caught lieing atleast 2 times on the campaign and then shrugs them off. her husband says stuff and she shrugs it off and shes still with him after he cheated on her....

    but obama stays with a church whos paster said something stupid, and shes all on the attack that she would have left the church....

    wow Ms Clinton thats great to know, you'll stick with a cheating adulterous husband, but a preist that says something wrong and your leaving u're church... interesting, i cant see how white evangelicals would ever vote for this woman.

    Obama for Change in '08! Just say no to Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Tony

    Go read the transcripts yourself...No wonder Obama has won so many primaries, everything Clinton is twisted by the press and Obama can do no wrong.

    Why haven't we heard more about Obama's tie to Louis Farakhan and William Ayers?

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Scott

    Democrats... Please elect the Clintons, I beg you please nominate Hillary. I can't wait until the Republicans beat the Clintons like a pinata on Cinco DeMayo

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Earl

    The Clinton's play by the rules they make up as they go along.

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Nic

    He didn't...used to be quite such a nutter, did he? I'm pretty sure I respected him once as well, but some of his behavior in this campaign has been abominable and frankly, downright bizarre. He's really talking out of both sides of his mouth, and it amazes me that it could be fooling anybody.

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. BillaryMan...again??

    Clinton might numerically win PA BUT it would be an actual collosal loss if she doesn't win by DOUBLE-DIGITS. Remember Bill said his wife must win BIG to stay in the race!

    Good news however is this would not happen! A single digit loss will be so demoralizing for Billary, she would have to abandon her ugly ambition and campaign going nowhere! But never imagine this woman has sense to know where to draw the lines!

    Oh, for BILL he is an old man now suffering from all kids of sicknesses...where is his medical report?? Whatever...but HILLARY please get out of this race already and let America and the world have some peace!!

    April 22, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Joe

    Are there two more despicable people in the world than Bill and Hill?

    How nice that they found each other. They're a match made in heaven.

    April 22, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Kim in NC

    Curious...was this another female reporter that he berated?
    The last one was.

    April 22, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. lil bill

    Bill ,you have taking some of that grand ma's cool aid again ??? no wonder , he never falls shot of suprising the press and all of us, dont't worry Bill,it will soon be over,

    April 22, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. For Obama

    Its funny how from the time they started in the Political jobs way before even Arkansas... it was Bill and Hillary who have always played the games. They just do not like it when it gets turned against them. Watch out when it does!! They are all alike, say something then they said they didnt and then ignores and avoids the questions. Sling the negatives and smear campaign then blame it on someone else... Lies then when caught blame it on someone else.. cheat the people out of their tax dollars and then when in question blame it on someone else or totally deny it.... Do something illegal.. and all the documents miraculously disappear as well as witnesses.

    Its a wonder why the nation is picking Obama 60% over Hillary 40% I hope Obama wins the Pennsylvania primary and the Dems push to end Hillarys race. If she keeps on going she will not only hurt the Dems but she will also put others peoples lives in danger with this fight.

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Terry, El Paso TX

    Race is a huge factor in American politics. Many issues are split along racial lines. Many candidates appeal to some racial groups and not to others. Speaking of racial issues in a civil manner is not inappropriate to my mind. If President Clinton said that Obama "played the race card" then we should be able to listen to him, think about what he said, and agree or not.

    We cannot pretend that we don't notice race. We cannot pretend that there are no bad feelings between Whites and Blacks, Whites and Hispanics, Blacks and Hispanics, Puerto Rican Americans and Mexican Americans, Chinese Americans and Tibetan Americans, Iraqi Americans and Iranian Americans, etc. etc.

    Pretending that your senile uncle has his pants on when, in fact, he didn't put them on this morning is crazy. Pretending that slavery never existed, that there was no Civil War over the issue, that Jim Crow laws never existed, that the Civil Rights movement never existed, and that we are all happy and stupid is very bizarre behavior.

    April 22, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. A New Low!!!!!

    This is like a Clintonista despicability "triple-word score" – Bill accuses other people by "playing the race card" by calling him out for (clearly, to anyone with a brain who heard the comments, particularly in the context they were made) playing the race card, THEN he not only denies making a recorded(!) statement within 24 hours of making it, but accuses other people of "game-playing" by asking him about his own recorded(!) statement in which he was, in fact, playing a cheap, dishonest poltical game!!!!

    I gotta hand it to Slick Willy. I really thought he could never surprise me with his dishonesty and shameless, but he may have "jumped the shark" with this one, even by his own VERY LOW standards. Didn't your mama ever teach you that "four wrong don't make a right," Billy?

    April 22, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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