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. Rick in Florida


    April 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Tony in Chicago

    MONDAY: "I think that they played the race card on me,” said Clinton, “

    TUESDAY: Bill Clinton denied Tuesday he had accused the Obama campaign of ‘playing the race card’

    These two (Clintons) are a piece of work... WHEW... I have been "spinned" beyond belief.....

    April 22, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. MovingOn

    Because he has no proof. If you think the Clintons are sitting on a memo that would sink Obama's campaign while they go down you must be crazy. He threw that out there to try and grab any last minute racist votes. Typical Clinton behavior, throw a grenade into a room, leave and see what happens.

    Republican for Obama!

    April 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. booker1,durham,nc


    April 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. dave

    Hmm..flip flop, being defensive. he did paly a race card game against Obama. Bill has lost credibility in this campaign and my vote will never go to the clintons. This is the decisive politics.

    April 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. berksdan

    Bill, Bill, Bill. I worry about you. You really appear to be losing it.

    The comments – both times – were recorded. Don't try to rewrite history.

    You and your wife represent politics as it was. The American public is looking for politics as it could – and should – be.

    Thanks for listening.

    April 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Bob, NY

    Is there any doubt that Bill's greatest fear is for Hillary to have a better legacy than his??

    April 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Dan in CO

    "I'm not going to play these games today"

    "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"

    April 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Carol/Lansing Michigan

    Dear God Bill, when you hit rock bottom it's best not to dig.

    April 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. skip

    Is he suffering from 'memory lapse syndrome" or what? Obviously Hillary know of his antics on this... what's her take. If she's to have ANY chance, she'll need to keep on leash and BIG muzzle on him... when will she realize it?

    April 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Awaiting Results in Texas

    Uh, was old Billy Boy red faced and shaking that crooked finger in someone's face?

    Don't some STD's make you go crazy?

    Doesn't too much booze make your nose red and bulbous?

    Don't all Clintons misremember, get mischaracterized, misspeak or just out and out lie?

    Are we supposed to fell sorry for the victim Bill now?

    April 22, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. jennyb

    He is clearly lying. The taped interview doesn't lie. He said it and now he is back tracking. The Clintons are both liars!!!!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Special Elevator

    It takes a devious person to rely or depend heavily on the black vote to get elected. Then turn on them, when they don't follow your plan to get your wife elected so that you can return to the White House. There's an elevator waiting for a man like that, to take him quickly to his here after.

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Greg, NY

    What is he talking about? If the quote in the article below this one is accurate, then he obviously said that Obama played the race card against him. What is so difficult about this? lol

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. SLO Bear

    Attention, superdelegates: The Clintons have really brought shame on their legacy, and the cost of their tactics may be great for our kids and grandchildren. Please act courageously.

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Tejano

    Can't wait for the fireworks in Denver. The 68 convention will look like a walk in the park compared to this one. All the Radicals will be out in force. Showing America what the Democratic party is all about.

    Expect Riots if Obama does not get the nomination. A walk out from the Moderates if Obama does get it. Either way the loser is the Democratic Party.

    Let the fun begin and may the best PATRIOT win.

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Len in Washington

    I guess that "Reverse Spin" enables a better "Back Peddle!"

    Either way, this response has a definite odor.

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Angus McDugan

    Once again the Clinton's are having issues with the truth. Darn they hate it when the truth does not serve them well.

    Angus in '08!

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Kathy, Texas

    Well Obama dealt the hand first by saying that he wouldn't play the race card ; THEN HE DID just a few months into campaigning! What a crybaby Obama is and his campaign people are too...you dealt the deck Obuddy...don't cry because someone else wants to play the game!

    This is why single mothers will have a big say in just who is president next. All this whining and name calling is something single mothers deal with ALL day EVERY day and they REFUSE to hear it from adults! It's expected from kids.....but adults.....ludicrous.
    All these dem noms and ex-presidents need a time out. But I'm more the spare the rod, spoil the child on these adult "issues".

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    As someone who was supporting Clinton up until the South Carolina primary, I did not take my queue or lead from Barack or his campaign. I have my own ears and eyes and can make my own decision. Clinton's comments about Barack and Jesse came off as condescending and dismissive to me. Hillary's comments regarding MLK and LBJ were equally as bad especially considering her self-admitted "Goldwater girl" days.

    These comments prompted me to start looking at Barack and John Edwards more closely and I ended my allegiance to the Clintons at that time. I can not honestly say if I would have supported Edwards all the way but once his chances diminished, I pledged my full support behind Barack.

    The Clintons will never admit their own hand in the chasm they have created between their former supporters, of all races and genders, and themselves. Everything is a conspiracy against them, ignoring the fact that this nomination truly was Hillary's to lose, which is precisely what she is doing!!!

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. For the love of this independent

    At least when Michelle said something stupid, Obama was able to sit her down for a little while. The former president is singlehandedly giving the Race to Obama. My question is why?

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Sandra

    Shame on you Bill Clinton! As a matter of fact, shame on Hillary Clinton for sending Bill making those statements and afterward saying otherwise, acting like the voters can be played around like children. No respect at all.

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. Bridgette

    This man is a nut. That is why sometimes you should just fade into history. I do believe all politicians lie a little because that is what we as the American citizens in a sense have forced them to do but this is just ridiculous.

    And when I say we have forced them to lie is because when politicians come out and be honest with us they don't win. So they have to play this silly little game about all of the stuff they are going to do and no they have no intentions of doing it. And it is because we have trained them to run their campaigns like that. So when one speaks to us as if we are adults we jump all over them becaue the media has trained us to do this.

    Of course he said it he's on tape as saying it, but, I will guarentee when you read this blog later on today there will be some people who will call him a liar and in this case he is and then there will be some people who will blame this on Obama which in reality he had nothing to do with it. So who are the fools them or us. I would say us because we keep putting the same people in there repeatdly and keep expecting different results.

    I don't think Bill Clinton is a racisist. But I also don't think me as an African-American owe him anything. It was his job as the president to make the country better for its citizens. I don't know why black people are singled out and told that we owe the Clinton's something because we don't. They got into office because we voted for him. If anything he owed us if you think like that, but, I don't.

    The reality of it is Hilary has been busted in so many lies that is why she is loosing support. Not just from black people but from all people. It has nothing to do with Obama being black it is because she has proven herself to be a liar.

    But the American public will vote for her anyway because we like being lied too. Then if she gets in office and is proven to be a big liar everyone will have to shut-up becaue you knew it going in.

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. KAM

    Just keep on talking Bill. It will continue to win Obama votes.

    OBAMA '08!!

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. John, PA

    The same old SOUTH CAROLINA GAME is still being played!!!

    VOTE OBAMA PA!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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