April 25th, 2008
03:52 PM ET
6 years ago

Clyburn: Bill Clinton's behavior 'bizarre'

 Clyburn has been critical of both Clintons.
Clyburn has been critical of both Clintons.

(CNN) – The most powerful African-American in Congress again scolded former President Bill Clinton for comments he made over the course of the Democratic presidential race.

In an interview with the New York Times late Thursday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn called the former president's conduct "bizarre," and said several of Clinton's actions had deeply upset many African-Americans.

Clyburn told the newspaper that many African-Americans believed the Clintons were trying to damage Obama to the point where he could not be elected. He also made similar comments in an interview with Reuters Thursday.

"There are African Americans who have reached the decision that the Clintons know that she can’t win this," he told Reuters. "But they’re hell-bound to make it impossible for Obama to win.”

Speaking with the New York Times, Clyburn said such actions could lead to a longtime division between the former president and his once most reliable constituency.

“When he was going through his impeachment problems, it was the black community that bellied up to the bar,” Clyburn said. “I think black folks feel strongly that this is a strange way for President Clinton to show his appreciation.”

Speaking to reporters Friday, Obama said he does not believe in "irreparable breaches. "

"I am a big believer in reconciliation and redemption," he said. "This has been a fierce contest. I am confident, come August there are going to be a whole bunch of people standing on the stage with a lot of balloons and confetti raining down on the Democratic nominee and people are going to be excited about taking on John McCain in November."

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Filed under: Bill Clinton • James Clyburn
soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    You Clinton Haters are so ridiculous. All you do is complain and wine.

    April 25, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. tommy perkins las vegas

    please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. suzanne

    Is Bill Clinton serious?!! How can he deny his "race card" comment when it is on the record?!!!! It would be laughable but this is serious. Let's get behind Obama, the frontrunner, right now and show him the respect he deserves.

    April 25, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. DNC

    Its as usual, Blackman supports black. No wisdom is needed

    April 25, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Zoey

    Can we just talk about the issues such as the Economy, Global warming, Social Security, and etc. Is it that hard? All these major media markets are giving the people a bunch of fluff instead of the issues that matter.

    April 25, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. marek

    I think Bill does not want to have Hillary become president.

    April 25, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Zoey

    Can we just talk about the issues such as the Economy, Social Security, Global warming, etc? Is it that hard?

    April 25, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Michelle in Philly

    He's doing the same thing he did in South Carolina, you are playing the race card and it's not the Clintons. I can see right through what he's trying to do.

    I really hope the American people arent that stupid not to see it.

    HILLARY 08

    April 25, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Doug, GA

    Blame who you want Bill but race had not been mentioned until it came from your mouth in SC. Goes to show the Clinton team will pander to any individual or demographic to promote their cause and dump at the drop of a hat!

    April 25, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. christina

    Has anyone noticed that Hillary and Bill have southern twang in the way they talk? Once again will do anything for a vote! Rep.Clyburn endorse Obama!

    April 25, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. Peridot, Atlanta

    And while you're at it Rep. Clyburn, please get Al Gore and John Edwards to endorse Obama too.

    April 25, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Tamika

    why isnt the media covering the reason Mr. and Mrs. Clinton had to go to Los Angeles today? google Paul v Clinton

    April 25, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Spencer

    Clyburn is right. Who was there when Clinton was looking for supporters? Who was the first to be thrown under the bus? Compared to Obama's loyalty to those around him and support him, I would say that the Clintons are a self-serving brood. They're not racists, I agree. They are just greedy and egotisical. We already have those qualities in our president and it ain't working out.

    April 25, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Tangie

    I agree with the Congressman, the Clinton's has forgotten who stood with him doing his unfaithful times.

    April 25, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Brattleboro, VT

    The lions have begun taking off their sheep skin coats! Wait and see who are the Clintons.

    April 25, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Bob

    Wow, only one comment so far. I'm second in line!!! I'm an Obama guy but I just think Clinton was saying that lots of African American voters will vote for Obama because they relate to him. Is that a bad thing? No. There are plenty of African American voters nationwide who are not voting for Obama.

    April 25, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. SueB

    Bill Clinton, a racist–no. Bill Clinton, an opportunist–yes. And, an opportunist of the worst kind. This Clinton "strength" of never quitting; is not a strength in my book. It's a power grab the likes of which I don't think any of us have seen in our lifetimes. The Clintons are ripping the democratic party apart for their own gains. I have completely lost any respect I ever had for either one of them.

    April 25, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Charlotte

    I think Bill is out to sink Hillary. Deep down he does not want to be First Gentleman. He wants to retain the title of ex-president, not First man...

    April 25, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Emmanuel Che

    And he lied again that he never said it.

    April 25, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. albert

    Bill probably is not a racist. But he does believe everything is about him (along with his wife–a liar) and thus thinks whatever needs to be done to serve his purpose is okay. The Clintons have clearly demonstrated that they will do anything to be first.

    April 25, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Joanne

    Yes, yes, Pleaseeeeee Rep. Clyburn, endorse Senator Obama – Please before the Clintons completey ruin him with their smear campaign. She is a snake.

    Joanne PA

    April 25, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Matt

    Bill Clinton WANTS the divide!! You all are walking right into his game! Talk about a wolf in sheeps clothing!

    April 25, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. karenm

    I am very disappointed in both Clintons.

    April 25, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. sacto joe

    Why did you never stand up in defense of Senator Obama, Senator Clinton? Why instead did you use this controversy for your own political gain?

    What if the shoe were on the other foot? Senator Obama would NEVER have sunk that low!

    April 25, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Nora

    Bizzare behavior, you are kidding, I thought was normal for the Clinton campaign, well ok atleast Bill Clinton. He says one thing on one day and denies it the next, that too is SOP. I think Bill is having more senior moments than John McCain, I feel sad about that.

    April 25, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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