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

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

,
CNN

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. patti

    I am soooo over the Clintons!!! I am a 61 yr old WF professional college grad, former Hillary supporter, who has been very turned off by the Clinton campaign tactics......and Bill just seems way too eager, it's unseemly.

    Go Obama 08 !!

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

    Deny, deny, deny – Then change the subject.

    We do need a change – It is not Hillary and Bill.

    Obama 08

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

    Wow ! Not only are they willing to destroy the party ,the tag-team is willing to diminish what legacy Bill had. Bill take your Ginko or is it plain old JUST QUIT YOUR LYING ! You did ok. It's ok if Hillary doesn't win. You just have to be good & stop chasing other women & she'll forgive your vow (after Monica) to get her in the WhiteHouse.I know you played your sax on Arsenio ,carpetbagged NY & even moved to Harlem to insure the black vote .But it's ok. .Shhhhh. Quiet.She won' t hit you anymore.It's those boilermakers.

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

    Barack Obama is full of energy, charm and personality, almost as endearing as the pied piper. He is a likable man because we cannot find anything not to like about him.He spent most of his younger years in Asia and then asked permission to return to the US to complete his education. It appears he tried to find his place in the black community of South Chicago. It's all good.However, my neighbors need jobs, we are paying over $3.00 a gallon for gas after 8 years with two oil men in the White House. I don't know what charming Mr. Obama can do. I do know what Hillary and Bill have already done after the last Bush. They motivated jobs and our unemployment was one of the lowest in history. They helped us pay down the national debt for the first time since Jimmy Carter. With all the problems our nation is facing at this time we need someone whose record we know. Barack Obama has time to run for President again but now is not the time for a trial and error administration.Abbie in NC

    April 22, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. AJ, Ft. Lauderdale

    I had and sill have a lot of respect for Bill Clinton. I think he was one of the best Presidents we ever had, but he does need to restrict his comments as I am not sure he knows what he is talking about sometimes. It is giving Hillary's campaign a real black eye

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

    Wow. I used to have the greatest respect for Bill.

    It sort of makes you wonder where the race would be now if Bill had just taken the last year off somewhere in the little latitudes.

    I went to Obama in part based on the increasing negativity of the Clinton campaign leading up to SC.

    By the way, we will have a democrat in the WH come Jan 09, so no need for panic....

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

    This is another dirty tricks ploy by the Obama campaign to bring in controversy with President Clinton into this PA Primary day. Discussing conduct by Obama's team for again playing the race card.

    You already have 90% of the black vote and you want more. Well if you win the nomination 90% of the black vote will never help you win the Presidency and it will come back to you in November.

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

    Clinton is doing it again and the media is playing right along.

    On this day of voting. There you go playing the race card again.

    wow!

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. justin from LA

    Bill was such a great politician what in the world happened to him? i read this in all the posts and hear it from people in the street. People who used to love Bill and thought him to be one of the most intelligent and savvy politicians of the 20th century are amazed to find what idiotic mistakes he's been making. Maybe it was his heart problems that caused this? who knows but homeboy is NOT on his "A" game at all and hasn't been since this race started.

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. j. tonton

    I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT WOMAN. DO WE NEED TO LISTEN TO THIS MAN ?

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Obama Supporter

    Bill is a real politician. This family does not care about lying because they know they have always prevailed after lying so now why stop?
    He knows he could say whatever and people will not keep up with all the lies as the will have to pick one to mention. In the meantime a lot of people are fooled before the truth comes.
    They should make this old politics illegal and arrest those who are caught lying to the people.

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. Kim, PA

    well said JOE!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. Kathy

    Hillary wins her White House bid, kindly remember this includes Bill too.
    This is down right scary. He is so out of control.
    I have no respect for Bill Clinton.

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. HEIDI

    In all sincerity, I don't think Bill wants to be back in the White House. Never in my life have I heard my father refer to my mother as "she" and "her". His comments pertaining to Hillary is alway she is the better...Her plan is this and that.

    Even Chelsea reference her mother has "My Mother" or "My Mom".

    I just want to say thank you Bill for the HELP in getting Sen. OBama elected.

    Could not have done it without your comments.

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. andrewfl

    To quote the article only two posts down the ticker:
    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.”

    To clarify, he said, "No, I think that they played the race card on me and we know from memos from the campaign and everything that they planned to do it all along."

    But, now, he says he did not say the Obama campaign played the race card.

    No one can revise history - and very recent history - like Bill Clinton. I'm glad I no longer have to make excuses for his mistakes.

    April 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Roger

    Is it just my imagination, or does Hillary cry and Bill lie going into an election day? The international community must be busting their guts laughy at the inability of America to tell the Clintons to pack up and go home!

    April 22, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Kathleen

    Pennsylvania, are you listening? Superdelegates? PLEASE save this country from these serial liers. What gets me is that each and every lie can be proven to be a lie on tape. The Clintons are not dumb, ergo they think WE are.

    April 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. 17 yr old democrat from kansas

    OK I BELIEVE YOU... NOT!!! THATS RIGHT BILL DONT PLAY THE GAME BECAUSE IT WONT BE A GOOD LOOK FOR YOU AMERICA IS CHANGING AND BLACK AMERICA HAS TAKEN BACK YOUR CROWN ALTOUGH I DONT KNOW Y IT WAS HANDED TO YOU....

    Obama will prevail because he is ordained to do so. altough i STRONGly support OBAMA i will vote for hilary if getting the nomination was IN HER FUTURE but I doubt that... What Obama stands for is change and this so- called BELOVED country will discontinue the path that only white men can lead or nation... I do believe that if OBAMA were a WHITE man he would have this nomination with all that he has brought to the party and the people... It would be absurd if hilary were fighting this late and hard in th game. ITS OBAMA"S TURN LIKE IT OR NOT "HATE OR LOVE IT"
    OBAMA 08

    April 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Bademus

    I second the comment of the person above. Where is the reporting of Hillary's words today saying she would use nuclear weapons to "obliterate" Iran. How about some political analysis on the recklessness saber rattleing there. Doesn't she realize we are not the only nuclear super power and it's likely that Russia and China are not going to sit idley by why we tarket nations that they do buisness with threatening nuclear obliteration?
    That is real news. We already know Bills gone goofy.

    April 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. merle 7

    I get it it must be old age! to think this man was highly respected once,I don't know why he and Hillary don't take some of their millions and retire to an island some where. They have made their mark,though this primary season they are working hard to erase it please quit now why there might be a slight chance of saving some dignity.

    Obama 08!

    April 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Penn State

    CNN moderator, you are posting and recycling these same crappy comments over and over again!!!!!!!!!!!! You must be an Obama supporter!!!

    April 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Bubba Speaks

    "Any other day, sure, I'll play your games. But on Tuesdays, I normally play 'hide the salami' instead."

    April 22, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. Sallie Mae

    Stop playing games Billary! Does PA look dumb to you?

    OBAMA '08

    April 22, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. Scott Long

    I wish that this article actually put the question posed to Bill Clinton and his answer into the article. What did he really say and what was asked?

    April 22, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. EG FROM TORONTO

    HERE IN CANADA WE USED TO HOLD BILL CLINTON IN HIGH ESTEEM. THAT IS NO LONGER THE CASE. BILLY BOY CAN SAY GOODBYE TO HIS SPEAKING FORAYS INTO CANADA AT $250,000.00 A POP. THE MAN HAS DONE MAJOR DAMAGE TO HIS PERSONA AND REPUTATION. THE WHOLE CLINTON FAMILY IS A DYSFUNCTIONAL, OUT OF CONTROL, POWER HUNGRY CLAN.I HOPE THE AMERICAN VOTERS CAN SEE THROUGH THEIR PATHETIC PLOYS AND BLOW THE CLINTONS INTO OBLIVION.

    April 22, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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