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. Eric Richardson

    I swear every single day Bill Clinton almost is on a mission to see if he can completely erase the way Americans were starting to look at his term as President. On his way out, he was the worst. THEN people got to see George W. in all his "glory" and started to think back to the Clinton days as "Camelot"

    Fast foward to this election and he's back to reminding people that there's a reason we called him Slick Willy.

    April 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Chris in SC

    Same here Richard. I used to like him too. He has become more and more obnoxious lately.

    April 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Darryl From Arlington TX

    Bill Clinton is the Daddy of all liars, the way this liar told american people, and congress that he did not sexual relation with Monica Lewsinski is the same way he is lying now.

    This man is a liar, Hillary is just like him.

    Now, do we want another liar in the White House?

    April 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. LJ New York

    Of course they are going to pick apart everything he says...he is a prominent figure and an ex president for petes sake!
    Besides, with Hillary's superior recent debate performance and ability to demonstrate she is the best person for this job, the media has little else to focus on. After all...the media dare not rustle little baby Obama feathers!

    Hillary 08!

    April 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Debby

    Prior to this election contest I had supported and very much admired Bill Clinton ~ even with his lapse of judgment on personal issues. That has changed 180 degrees now and I couldn't be more supportive of Barack. He truly is running against two people ~ it's not a Hillary campaign, it's THE CLINTONs' campaign. Bill has done his own damage to his legacy this time ~ just when he was considered one of the most popular and effective presidents.

    Obama is our future. . . .

    April 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Petra

    Go home Clintons!!!

    April 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. Tokyo2night

    Heidi: "unless….you can get your story straight."

    And what "story," exactly, would that be, Heidi?

    April 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Jennifer

    Before you lash out at the press for "attacking" the Clintons check out the link on YouTube. This guy is an absolute moron. He just doesn't get it. I for one am sick of the Clintons and their "win at all cost" attitude. It's time for a change! Yes we can, Hillary. And we will!
    Obama 2008

    April 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Emmanuel

    And to think Hillary supporters jumped on that article where bill was accusing obama of playing the race card saying it is truth. Tell me how you like Bill and your hyprocritical selfs now? Gosh! To think these are the same democrats that cried foul when Bush used scare tactics and now want to play the same game. This is hypocrisy at the best and may Hillary never WIN because if she does we won't have any moral standing to accuse the repubs of bad tactics since we have adopted it too.

    Penn put an end to these fake democrats and elect Obama.

    April 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. A H

    That's right you tell them Bill. No more games, that reporter should go play with the other side since they are whining childeren!
    Hillary 2008

    April 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. bp

    People, stop the craziness! We are all on the same team here! The democratic party continues to screw things up all on their own.

    Let's end this bickering, pick a nominee and focus on November.

    April 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. catjax

    Obama's supporter's are up and ready to distort every word that
    the Clintons says. I just can't vote for this guy who I barely know.
    All talk and no substance. Where's the beef? This country will
    need a leader that have been tried, tested and have a proven experienced on how our government worked. All foreign, and domestic alike. Your Obama does not have any of this!! Think twice
    before you put anybody in that white house, and before we have another four years of disaster.

    April 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Kristina, Seattle

    Bill: We choose not to play your games this year.

    We are chosing Barack Obama.


    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. mama for obama St Paul MN

    read read this is the truth, too bad PA does not want to see this:

    April 22 (Bloomberg) - Hillary Clinton criticizes Saudi oil wealth while her husband benefits from its largess. She opposes a Colombian trade agreement that he supports. And she condemns China while his foundation solicits donations there.

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Julie M

    I hope we will not hear alot of negative remarks if hillary wins PA, as in ,she cheated, votes rigged, I cant help but think how FL and MI 's votes are being blocked by Obamas legal team, Howard Dean needs to either step up, and quit his bias attitude for Obama or step down.The Dem party has become a joke.

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. SaneTexan

    So true...just like CNN's headline...Bill Scolds Press. CNN and MSNBC are a big joke. Here's a message for you- NO YOU CAN'T!
    Anyone but Obama in 08!

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Devon Fort Myers, Fl

    Ok and who is exactly whining? Bill should stand by his own words, if you can't take a hit then don't suit up. The Clintons are now Soft Republicans and John McSame is a Medium Republican, we need a Democrat to run against a Republican and nothing else. Hillary please you and your husband really are doing A LOT of damage to our party, please please get out of the race. If Hillary keeps on knee capping Obama we'll make sure she NEVER becomes President of The United States.

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. DLB from AR

    I am from Arkansas and Bill is our Champ. Now that being said this guy is becoming I mean has become a total train wreck and I almost have to wonder is he deliberately submarining Hillary campaign? I am for which ever Dem wins the nomination (Obama first really) but after everything Bill has done over the course of this campaign I am starting to wonder if he subconsciously or even consciously doesn't want her to win and is helping the competition. Really how many South Carolina moments can you have as the spouse of a Presidential candidate. After the first one he could have become Michelle Obama and just disappeared or at least be seen and not heard. I really hope he isn't afraid a win for her would diminish his legacy and therefore is trying to derail her campaign. Bill sit down and be quiet. We still love you in Arkansas but you really are testing the loyalty of the most dedicated Arkansan.

    Go Dems 08
    Obama first!

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. T

    Bill Clinton should debate Pastor Hagee about the Catholic Church.

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. Ken

    Bill Clinton is a hypocrite. How can he say that someone is not focused on the real issues. That all he has done was to make up trivial issues.

    Bill Clinton, shut up, before you lose more fans.

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Hal

    The more the Obama people keep running down the Clinton's the more votes McCain will get if he runs against Obama. I am tired of all the bad comments being made in both campaigns. I will vote for McCain if Obama wins.

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Isaac

    You people are so quick to accuse Bill Clinton. This is why I like him in fact. He won't take being toyed with. Why don't we go look and see what the context of it was like he asked. I am quite sure there is a good reason he said that, however unlikely it may be to get reported on. They just like to stir the pot.

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Paul

    Just so CNN political ticker readers can have it straight...here's a transcript of the interview (that is just two stories below this one on the ticker:

    Interviewer: "Uhm also one more question. I heard a story on morning edition this morning which talked about how philly's black political leaders came out early in support of Senator Clinton, ah, but several have switched. And one was quoted as saying that the turning point for her was during the South Carolina primary when you referenced Jesse Jackson and what she interpreted as marginalizing Obama as the black candidate...I mean, do you think that was a mistake, and would you do that again?"

    Clinton: "No! I think that they played the race card on me. And we now know, from memos from the campaign and everything that they planned to do it all along."

    So, ah, clearly Bill is lying today. What he said is ON TAPE.

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Phil

    Bill is losin' it. Why can't he just fess up and say that he made a mistake? It's not the end of the world, and it's not like his statement is going to lose him any more African American voters. I mean, it doesn't get worse than 9:1.

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Cathy

    Hey Billary, I'll send you a quarter so you can call 1-800-WHAAAAAA...!

    April 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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