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. cherish

    Bill has officially lost it.

    Mind your P's and Q's, buster, and remember who you're dealing with.

    Truth is, we will be sending Obama back to Illinois... TO PACK HIS STUFF TO MOVE IT INTO THE WHITE HOUSE.

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Bata Tayra

    Both camps need some cleaning up. Obama sticking with his pastor until the videos came out is not great 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 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    I'm an Obama supporter........................and this is a non-story!

    Obama/Nunn in 2008

    April 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    I once liked Bill Clinton enough to vote for him. Now I am saddened that I really did not know this man at all. He and his wife are all about ego and power.

    I am praying and hoping that Pennsylvania will retire the Clintons once and for all.


    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. DNC

    I beleive the Clintons are operatiing for the good of the democratic party and will throw everything at Obama in order to use up all remaing tactics the GOP will throw his way in Nov. I know the media says it is hurting the democratic party. I beleive we will look at Bill and Hilary in differnt light once they completely vett Obama and move forward with unifying the party.

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. shane

    Bill Clinton has destroyed all the respect I had for him- and I was a supporter of his. His constant stream of BS on the campaign trail is sickening. I read the transcript of the radio show- HE DID say that the obama campaign played the race card on him. I guess it depends on what the definition of "said" is...I will be happy when Barack Obama finally wins and Bill and Hillary are no longer campaigning.

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. JapserJ

    Same old Clintons, same old song. It's sad but when it comes to the Clintons the right was right....there is no right wing conspiracy to blame this time. So now he's blaming the media, In Minnesota, the StarTribune adored the Clintons and stood for them every step of the way.

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. becky

    Last night on CNN Iisten to campaign speeches from Bill Clinton and Mrs. Obama. Her speech was eloquent and enlighting and one of the best I have heard. She gave insight on Mr. Obama's qualifications to be our next President. His qualifications were impressive. Why can't CNN run her speech instead of this. Bill Clinton's speech is all over the news today but no mention of Mrs. Obama's speech. How can you equate Obama to Rev. jesee jaskson?. He is not,just as Hillary is not Bill Clinton. It appears to me that the news media is bias toward the Obama campaign by trying to highlight Hillary's qualifications on her husband's record. This may come back to bite you if it continues since his character is public knowledge. I would love to her speech again. Where will she speak next. EMcKinney – Maryland

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Godwin

    Must be 60yrs+ moment that he was having. Or probably another misspeak that the Clintons have come to be known about lately.

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Venus

    Don't get bitter Bill!
    Go Obama!

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |

    I think the Obama camp plays the race card. This weekend I saw Black supporters of Obama accuse everybody that questioned Barrack's bitter comments they were calling him an upity black. Nobody ever said that but they tried to make it racial. The only problem people are not buying it.

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Marie

    Come on folks – you aren't voting for Bill vs OB – its Hillary – !!

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Ilya

    Keep talking Bill. The more you run your mouth the more it helps Obama. He lies so much he doesn't even realize it sometimes. Please give a few more interviews today!!

    Obama '08

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Hope

    Pres. Clinton is right if he said that Obama did play rece card.
    All of you who can portray Clintons as racist have to be ashamed of your selves , they did so much of African American and now spitting on them – what caracters ??????
    Hope Clinton"s will learn more about many "FRIENDS" specially those called JUDAS.

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Chris, Middletown, CT

    depends on what is.....is

    Who is supporting any of the Clintons...and whats wrong with you?

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Koonding

    Yet Another Clinton lie. When are the American people going to start calling The Clintons on all these lies? I cannot even stand to watch either Bill or Hillary speak anymore. You can't believe a word they have to say. This is such a horrible state they have put the Democratic party in because there are still old die hard honest people who want so bad to believe what the clintons have to say. Wake up and all you clinton voters see what is before your very eyes. We have two very dishonest, uncreditable people in bill and hillary. From what I hear now even Chelsea is turning into back room dirty polictics. As delegates are switching from Hillary to Obama... the clintons are having chelsea call them and ask why and what they can do to change their mind. The clintons are always bringing up... "but you owe us, Hillary deserves this". So sad!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. reese

    Your game is old....

    Everytime you speak and/or attempt to clarify a mistake, your memory conveniently declines as does your credability.

    April 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Chris Banner

    Bill's comments might have been misinterpreted, I thought he gave a clear answer to that reporter. Althought I think Bill should stay home and let Hillary run the campaign on her own. He is ruining everything...

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Kerri

    Great timing, Bill. I hope you helped put the nail in Hillary's coffin today. Let's go PA, vote Obama!

    April 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Helga, St. Louis, MO

    Keep talking Bill, you talked your way in and out of the White House, and you're about to talk Hillary right out of the nomination. As for "The Truth" ... please don't tell me you are looking for that from Clinton or McCain.... the American people haven't known the truth for a long time, and that is not Obama's fault..............

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Parag Dhungana

    Comments on comments

    Well, i would just like to comment some of the above comments....

    None of the posters slagging off Bill clinton seem to have watched the full video... It is always true that reporters take a small snap of words from a wider context and just create the story they love to publish.

    My suggestion is don't fall into those traps... Bill regardless of what the question is...

    I was just amazed to read someone quoting Bills ego..

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Will

    first Bill never lied under oath, check your facts. He lied to the public when asked a question that was none of anybody's business. But never to the Grand Jury while under oath.

    He was accused of being misleading, but defended himself by saying it was not his responsibility to make the prosecutors job easier, for the onus is always on the Govt...

    Yes impeached by the House, yet acquitted by the Senate.

    So when asked a question that he has already answered, he gave an appropriate response. Check the facts, the question, context, and answer. Why would a reporter waste Bill's time or ours to ask a question and answer that is already on the record.
    Doesn't the reporter know how to read. Does the reporter have a brain? Why can't the reporter take this empirical time frame to ask a new question? The reported had Bill's attention and wasted it on an know fact , issue, or personal opinion.

    How would you feel if someone came into your work place and wasted you time like this?

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Madison , PA

    Are the Clinton and Bush the only people living in this Great country? I don't think so...Pensylvanian we are watching you

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Kim, PA

    good for BILL....

    Obamains claim to want change in Washington, what about change in MEDIA.


    1:37pm – 4 hours to go before we VOTE FOR HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The ONLY true change needed is a HILLARY in the WHITEHOUSE!

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)


    do Bill a favor and give him a taped recording of his interview. And for all of those on this post, jumping to bill's defense – listen to the interview and decide for yourself! He said it as plain as day, including his expletive at the end of the interview. Something about that family – they just can't tell the truth to save their lives!!!

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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