April 22nd, 2008
10:27 AM ET
6 years ago

Bill Clinton: Obama camp 'played the race card on me'

,
Former president Clinton campaigned for his wife in Pennsylvania recently.
Former president Clinton campaigned for his wife in Pennsylvania recently.

(CNN) - On the eve of Tuesday’s critical Pennsylvania primary, former President Bill Clinton accused Barack Obama’s campaign of playing the race card against him.

After the phone interview with Delaware radio station WHYY Monday night, a stray comment of his on the issue was also recorded before he hung up: “I don’t think I should take any s*** from anybody on that, do you?”

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."

UPDATE: At a Pittsburgh press availability, Obama was asked about Clinton's charge that his campaign had drawn up plans to use 'the race card.'

“Hold on a second,’’ he said. “So former President Clinton dismissed my victory in South Carolina as being similar to Jesse Jackson and he is suggesting that somehow I had something to do with it? You better ask him what he meant by that. I have no idea what he meant. These were words that came out of his mouth. Not words that came out of mine.’’

Related video: Watch Obama respond to Bill Clinton's 'race card' comment

soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. Jay

    Bill-

    Just let it go. She is finished and you two are just making yourselves look worse. Stop trying to destroy the other campaign. Help the dems win the white house and stop acting like Hillary is some-how entitled to the position.

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Kimberly

    Bill, just shut up and go away!

    April 22, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Alex from IL

    Oh god, not again. PLEASE, Pennsylvania, end this drama. I really never want to hear from this couple again.

    April 22, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Zoey

    As an African-American, I really don't see how Clinton's comments were a racial issue. I respect Bill Clinton and I know he isn't a racist. But Bill needs to let this topic go. He only makes himself look bad when he just doesn't know when to keep his trap shut.

    April 22, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. Ken

    Shut up Bill! This election seems about you and your wife.
    I am just so tired of this family!

    April 22, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Millie Bea

    Will someone tell Bill Clinton to shut up? His wife obviously has not been able to do it- but she will be able to "handle the call at 3AM"....puleeze.

    April 22, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Richard

    He's so true. I hope people understand that what he says is the truth.

    April 22, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. Katie

    ... And Bill continues to shame the Office of the President of the United States. Thanks, Bill. Now will you please just go away?

    April 22, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. Glenn Doty, Columbia, SC

    So the Clinton's continue their slash-and-burn negative campaign tactics.

    Sad.

    April 22, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Umpire

    He hasn't changed, has he.

    April 22, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. McBomb

    ====is CNN on Republican Hillary Clinton Pay Roll or something????

    April 22, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. BCarlisle, San Ramon CA

    OBAMA FRAUD..CNN you should post this, and thank you for letting the former President speak the truth.

    CNN its about time you expose Obama for the real him!

    Thank you for this...please post my comments they are not getting through!!!!

    April 22, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. Erikab

    I have totally lost all respect for the Clinton's now. I can't understand why anyone would vote for them. What the hell does this have to do with anything. Bill is an idiot.

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. anonymous

    I agree with Mr. Clinton and have actually seen some of the insider emails from his campaign fundraisers which are absolutely focused on using race as an issue in a diabolically subliminal way.

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. Erik B

    He's still trying to dig a hole for his wife.

    I thought that she told him to shut up, already.

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    Bill, Bill, Bill.....stop whining and just go retire somewhere. You and your wife are the epitome of what a crooked politician is.

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. laura b. (D-GA)

    Bill, please shut up!

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  18. Brown

    Bill sounds real presidential here

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. Larry Buchas

    There he goes again. He brought up Jesse Jackson compared to Obama. No one else did. Why did he do that? Why Jesse Jackson?

    Shut up, Bill.

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. Rob

    It is sad to see a former president behaving in this manner. Perhaps he should have taken the cue from former presidents like George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford and maintained some dignity in retirement.

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. Noah

    Billary Clintons; you are free to join the republican party at any time. The depth of your hypocrisy if akin to that of the republicans. And this in not an observation by the vast right wing conspiracy

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. quippa hip

    This proves he does not belong in the White House.

    Shame on you, Mr. President! Your wife will never win the general election without black votes.

    April 22, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Mike

    Bill Clinton sounds like a drunk used car salesman!!

    I can't believe Hillary supporters want to damaged the country by helping Bill Clinton get back in the white house.

    April 22, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. Ron Las Vegas

    Bill should just be quiet. We have heard so many distortions and falsehoods from him how can anybody rely or believe what he says. He is an old political hack and should retire.

    April 22, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  25. Jordan

    Here we go again!

    April 22, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13