April 22nd, 2008
10:27 AM ET
7 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. T Mitchell

    Bill Clinton is at it again. He's soooo not credible!

    April 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. JIM

    With all do respect former President Bill Clinton shut the hell up. You have done nothing but tarnished the reputation you had with some of the the young people in my generation. Y

    April 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  3. Corey

    It's been said before, now I must ask it. Is he intentionally trying to sabotage Hillary?

    April 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. MG

    This is why the Clinton's do not need to be back in the Whitehouse. How stupid do they think Americans are? Please Bill go back to doing good in Africa and leave America to more truthful and sincere people.

    April 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Clarence

    While I don't believe Bill Clinton is a racist, he has not exactly been helpful to his wife in this election. I was on the fence regarding whom to support in my state's primary, however when Bill Clinton made the remarks in SC, I permantently decided to support Obama.

    April 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Are you Serious?

    Wait...what? The Clintons are getting more pathetic by the second.

    April 22, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Smith

    Stay on the porch, Bill!

    You guys are losers! Your day is done. We've had enough of you.

    April 22, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Truth...!

    Dear Ex-President:

    A kid in primary school will understands what you ment by the comment. You and your wife are big liars...I will not be able to trust either one of you...

    Sincerely;

    "I did not have sex with this woman" and "Sniper fire"

    April 22, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. Vince

    So Clinton now claims to have internal memos from Obama's campaign staff? Have the Clinton's planted spys within Obama's team. Is this not Richard Nixon all over again?

    April 22, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Vincent, TX

    Bill go somewhere and sit down!! Don't you have a female intern to entertain?

    April 22, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. dEMOBRAT

    FINALLY!!! The Obama camp has played that card, and they did play it on Bill Clinton. The media bought Wright into it.

    April 22, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Sanchez Is A Clown

    Rick Sanchez is a clown. He uses minorities to boost his ratings, and is so condescending to fellow minority journalists.

    Take that clown off the air CNN, you can do better.

    April 22, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. ***AMERICAN***

    Bill at his best. Bill is looking a little rough. I am still impressed with his spin. A true master of saying nothing and making it sound important. Thanks Bill for one more reason not to vote for your wife.

    April 22, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. no2clinton, cambridge, MA

    I used to like Bill. Now he just repulses me. Guess Bill thinks people will never get tired of him. He should've just stuck to conning people with his speeches (50 million reasons that words matter) and "communicating" with interns.

    April 22, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. Rick from Bowie

    Please do not put another camera or microphone in front of this reprehensible womanizer. CNN...back to the issues PLEASE. The dumbing of America continues....

    April 22, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. Princess Dem

    Oh shut up Bill and be happy he didn't play the intern card!

    April 22, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Bad Judgement Obama

    Go Bill!
    We all know it was Obama's camp turing everything racial – playing the "poor me" card!

    Wake Up America!

    April 22, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  18. Elizabeth

    Go sit down somewhere Billary!

    April 22, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  19. NonTypical

    Bill.....Its time to keep quiet. The more you talk, the more you dont help. When asked that question, you should of said "I mis-spoke" and then move along to the next question. You are just adding fire to the flames by saying they played the race card on you.

    April 22, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. Brett

    This is stupid that they would continue to bash Bill Clinton. Have some dignity, CNN – shame on YOU.

    April 22, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. wycliffe

    Shut-up Bill, you are now annoying me a stauch supporter of your wife. One more time and I switch my affiliation and support.

    April 22, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Sean

    What memos? He keeps making things up. "She'd be up by 300 delegates..." Nope. "She made the comments once when she was tired at 11 o'clock at night." Wrong again.

    If it wasn't a racially motivated comment, he would have said John Edwards won South Carolina and didn't go anywhere. I don't think Bill Clinton is racist, but he sounds tone deaf on this one.

    April 22, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. Roger

    Does anyone think this bickering helps the Democratic party? I bet the Republicans are planning the victory parade already.

    April 22, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. HSNP

    This has the ring of truth. The Obama campaign is very manipulative. It smacks of the Bush campaigns "black baby" charge against McCain a few years ago. It's the Obama campaign that's racist, not the Clintons.

    April 22, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. Bev in DC

    Oh please. Get over it Bill.

    April 22, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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