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. Ernest

    Every dawg belong to the dog house including you Bill. Your time is up.

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

    Obama supporters=parrots
    "Bill is out of control" he showed control by refusing to play.
    "Hillary is a liar, too divisive, untrustworthy" Obama said so it must be the truth!

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. kim nyc

    Is bill losing his marbles?

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    Thank goodness they have it on tape otherwise he would lie his way out of it the same way he and Hilliary pretended to explain Bosnia.

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Blueray98

    This is just more media manipulation in trying to make the Clintons look bad again. I’m not buying it. The Obama campaign DID play the race card (and is still playing it), otherwise they wouldn’t be labeling everyone a racist who speaks the truth about this election.

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. P.S

    I can see through Bill & Hillary. If it is not their way, you take the highway. When we had the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Hillary spoke and said when she got the news that Dr. King died she went home and throw her bag down and started crying. I believe that was a lie – she is a pretender even my niece said she is lying again. They think they run Washington but it is a time for change and I support Obama all the way. Atlanta, Georgie

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Sherri

    It seems that memory lapse is a family trait of both President and Mrs. Clinton.

    We need Senator Barack Obama.

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Bata

    Both camps need some cleaning up. Obama sticking with his pastor until the news came out is not clean and Hilary's stories and memories of a war zone landing are puzzling. Having said that, I hope a democrat will be in the house.

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. John

    Lets all thank Bill if it wasn't for him, I don't think Obama would have done so well. Bill you need to start asking for a pay check from the Obama Camp, since your working so hard to elect him... lol. Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. sozzi

    Is this what America wants for the next four years in the White House. More headlines about non-governing issues.

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Greg

    Hey Bill, I heard a great quote from your favorite ex-President the other day. "If you can't take a hit, don't put on the uniform!"

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Bob

    It's a vast right wing conspiracy.....again

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Say no to the monarchy

    Yes that evil media is after the Clinton. It was the media that made Bill compare Obama to Jesse Jackson. It was the media that made Hilary lie about the sniper attack and dangerous situation that she put her daughter in. It was the media that made him sleep with Monica. It was the media that made him bring up the issue of his wife's fictional story of landing under sniper fire. The Clinton have a way of explaining everything because they never are to blame. It is like when she apologized for lying about the Bosnia trip. She said and I quote I guess everyone can now see that I make mistakes. They act like I am perfect. It is everyone's fault for thinking she would not lie. Okay, I see how she thinks.

    April 22, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Krystyna from Chicago

    Mr The Truth !!!!!
    We don't need that LOOSER in OUR COMMUNITY !!!! PLEASE !!!!!
    He can go back to KENIA, BETTER !!!!!!!
    NO !!!!!! TO !!!!!! OBAMA

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Rena

    No guys remembr everything that is done in secret has to be reveal. All that is in darkness must come to the light. Now, you are seeing the real Bill Clinton just like you are seeing the real Hillary. Hillary is gay and has used Bill to cover up her sexual preference. Trust me this will eventually be exposed as well. It want stay hidden long. Read the book "The Truth about Hillary", it tells all about her and her gay friends. Little Chel just got caught up in the mist of their hypocricy. Why do you think they only have one? Because it's a ploy for their political reign. Bill got his and now their fighting for Hillary to have her turn. Get these money hungry, greedy, selfish, and out landerous people out of the system all together. AMERICA YOU ARE BEING DECEIVED!! These people never had the good intentions for our country; it has always been about them and them ONLY. Tell me ONE thing these people did so great in office that any one of them deserve the title President. They have made a mockery out of the Presidential office and the other countries are laughing at us.

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Heath

    (Bill looking very stern and staring straight at the camera): "It all depends upon what your definition of race card is."

    Does anyone besides me notice the resemblance between Bill Clinton and W.C. Fields? Then you'll also remeber what Fields admonished: "Never give a sucker an even break."

    Obama in '08.

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. Lane

    Way to go again CNN. What's the matter? Did bad old Bill attack your baby Barrack. I'm so sick of this biased reporting. In fact, I'm through with you, CNN. Bye Bye.

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Tim from Buffalo

    As an Obama supporter I love when President Clinton brings the race stuff up. It's a guarantee that they'll play his "Jessie Jackson won SC too" video back up on all of the cable news channels further damaging his wife's campaign.

    I can't imagine how much worse he can do than lying and misrepresenting things he said on camera and on the record.

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Mac

    Spin, Spin, Spin.... as usual, take a remark out of context and it can be whatever you want it to be.....

    The former president had been asked whether his remarks comparing Obama’s strong showing in South Carolina to that of Jesse Jackson in 1988 had been a mistake given their impact on his wife Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “No, I think that they played the race card on me,” said Clinton, “and we now know from memos from the campaign and everything that they planned to do it all along.”

    “We were talking about South Carolina political history and this was used out of context and twisted for political purposes by the Obama campaign to try to breed resentment elsewhere. And you know, do I regret saying it? No. Do I regret that it was used that way? I certainly do. But you really got to go some to try to portray me as a racist.”

    He added that the way Obama’s campaign had reacted was “disrespectful to Jesse Jackson” and that the former presidential candidate had told him he was not offended, and that “we all know what’s going on."

    The only CHANGE we need is for Obama to stop lying and telling us he does not.

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Karen

    Which one of you actually saw the interview? Bill is correct as usual, and the games are a cheap attempt to discredit Hillary, again ... Get over it.

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Alice

    Who wants this jerk roaming the White House again?

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Mary

    (Transcript is on MSNBC)

    Here’s the transcript: INTERVIEWER (RE: Jackson comment): “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 along. Jesse Jackson .....

    OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE! The "CLINTONS" are liars and if you vote them (note the plural) back into the White House, you're not going to like it!

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. Mr. Gravy

    And this is the guy who many consider to be the most brilliant politician of the 20th century? He's certainly acting like a petty, low-brow politician, which is actually what he is.

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Harvey

    Bill is a brilliant guy, and he has it together--he's not out of control .... it is the news media that is out of control. It is the news media that takes his words and spins them to mean what they want them to mean. It's about getting a story, stoopid .....

    The news media would throw their own mother under a train to get a good story .... and continually nail Hillary to the cross of their twisted-postiionalities.

    I will be so glad when this over, and I am hoping that Hillary gets the nomination so the news media can make a story out of that.

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. Leericists

    OOOH GOD ! I can't believe this man is a former President !!! It's really hard to believe that Bill is this Dum. I think he doesn't want his wife to be president ! Why else would he do all these dum mistakes. Neways thank you for helping my candidate !
    Go Obama !!!

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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