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

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

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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. Beignet

    And he's saying this WHEN?? Right before the Pennsylvania primary?

    Bill Clinton is out of control. We saw signs of this when he was in office. No one in control lets an aide give him sexual favors. He's out of control now with his verbal attacks and tantrums.

    I already know that Hillary is not presidential material. I also know he is not first lady/man material.

    OUT with the Clinton's!

    April 22, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. Maureen

    Both Bill and Hillary appear uppity and the race card was brought up by him to begin with not Obama. But it has worked in Obama's favour. Bill's reputation as the first black president was always a big joke on the world stage......................is he racist = probably.

    April 22, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  3. Divanto

    Common Bill. You know better.

    April 22, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  4. Typical white woman

    Clintons lost all the respect they had from me. I thought that they are better than others but they are all the old Washington folks who will do anything to cling to power.

    Dying to get into White House Bill? A lot of fresh interns are waiting for you with cigars in their hand.

    CNN, post this. you ignored my previous posts. Don't be afraid of Clintons.

    April 22, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. nikki

    The Clintons are desperate and are taking desperate measures. BILL CLINTON IS A LIAR. Obama tried to avoid the race card.

    OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT!!!

    DOWN WITH THE CLINTONS!!!

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. rajah kahn

    Clinton is suffering from AMNESIA, apparently he does not remember his prior statements. Now he acts like a CLOWN. IS he and his wife that desperate to be in the WHIITEHOUSE???The littke sacredness of the whitehouse will again disintigrate if they ever go back there....She is a pathological liar, Remember Vincent Foster, he and Hillary had a very close relationship. Why he committed suicide? Both of them know. She also LIED in court, about their relationship, but evidences showed otherwise. Hillary and Bill think they can FOOL the people and they have been successful all the time, so they laugh at how stupid the American people are.....Come on slick Willy,,,,,pot calling kattle black...CNN and his crews are all for these wicked people.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  7. Cammi317

    Yeesh, I am an Obama supporter, but PLEASE do Hillary a favor and STOP interviewing Bill.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. Jamey Columbus

    Bill Clinton, maybe "slick willy", but this is really sad that he is being portrayed as a racist by Obama the Baiter ... (please post this cnn... I know you filter anti obama statements, but this is an accurate opinion)

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  9. MediaJunkie, Arlington, VA

    How about we see those memos? And seriously Willy, you need to shut your trap. You've done more damage to your wife's campaign than you've helped it.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  10. WHAT?

    I think Bill has finally lost the rest of his mind!

    OBAMA 08 & 12

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. Alex H

    I think we'll let Jesse Jackson decide what's disrespectful to him.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. Fendley

    Bill Clinton, you are absolutely right. Everyone who supports should research Kenya's problems and Obama's connection to it. Be afraid, be very afraid. Of course CNN wont print this.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. marty

    Wow! On a daily basis the Clintons play either the race card, the fear card, the gender card or the joker card. They need to learn to fold or get a new deck.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  14. RC

    Still delusional and narcissistic...too bad for Hillary, good for Barack.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  15. Paulette, Cincinnati, Ohio

    If the shoe fits wear it. Of course the race card is being played. We would be stupid not to notice it. The only thing is can we admit to the fact that the race card IS being played.
    GO HILLARY '08 OR MCCAIN'08

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  16. democrat

    hahahahahahaha gasp! let me catch my breath! Bill and Hill should do the country a favor and go back to Little Rock or better yet just crawl under ANY rock.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. ralph tyler

    Do people really want the Clintons in the White House? Gross.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  18. aPuerto Rican

    ONE THING I HAVE LEARN IN THIS ELECTION, THAT THE CLINTON HAVE SHOWEN THIER COLOR.. THEY HAVE USE PEOPLE OF ALL RACES AND THEN TALK ABOUT THEM. TRUE SOUTH!! NEVER AGAIN WILL I VOTE FOR A CLINTON, NO ATTER WHAT!!

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  19. Yusuf Raleigh, NC

    Oh come on Bill is that the best you can do. We all know you tried and failed to play the race card in South Carolina stop trying to spin.

    It only makes you lose credibility.

    April 22, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  20. SayNoToHillaryBillaryCheslaryClintrous

    Shut up Billy no body cares if you are racist or not there many like you out there. The beauity of this date of age is there is a few of them like you out there that it used to be.

    April 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. Kristy

    He's delusional if he thinks anyone is going to believe that load of bull.

    April 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  22. judi

    Clinton's use of Pearl Harbor and bin Laden photos for self-promotion against a fellow Democrat is despicable. Every time I think she has reached her low, she surprises me and crawls even lower. Shameless.
    Judi, San Antonio

    April 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. bill pike

    the more we see of the clintons the more we understand how sick they really are, the more we pull up their sheets we see how the lies and love of power dominates all aspects of their lives. as i grow older i realize i don't have all the answers, but if billary gets the nomination i will do all i can for obama to start a 3rd party to get rid of all the clintons in washington. AGAINST NAFTA AND MAKING MILLIONS PERSONALLY WHILE PEOPLE LOSE THEIR JOBS, AGAINST THE WAR AND VOTED FOR IT, THIS BEAT GOES ON AND ON with the clinton/bush ticket of royalty-we have had 20 years of bush/clinton. enough

    April 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  24. jason

    does fabulous Bill EVER shut up ? like his wife, the mouth never ceases to utter garbage. money and power and to hell with the average non-rich americans !! was that way when he was president, and will never cease. go away and hide somewhere both you Clintons, we're sick of you both.

    April 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  25. Karen

    I so agree with President Clinton. The Obama campaign always wants it "both ways." They play the race card when it suits them, and cry racism when it doesn't. They say that Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with the "good" that her husband did while President, but then say she had everything to do with anything that might be considered a negative.

    Senator Obama...You can't have it both ways!

    I was really open-minded when this campaign started, but I am now completely behind Senator Clinton. You say "Yes we can," I say..."Yes we will."

    April 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
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