April 25th, 2008
03:52 PM ET
7 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. Ashley

    The entire Obama campaign is about playing the race card. I can't stand all of the hypocrisy involved in the Obama camp.

    April 25, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Levae

    Put Rev Wright behind you Dave of NC

    April 25, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. John Doe

    The Clintons never like African American they pretends for their own political gains. Shame on them.

    April 25, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Derek

    Clearly shows once again the Clintons will stoop to any method to win–no matter who it hurts in the process. I once believed the Clintons were do-gooders, and I think to some point they are, but I think it all is part of a hidden agenda, and Hilary & Bill will do anything to once again reclaim power. A bit scary, no?

    April 25, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Josh

    As a white guy from Indiana, I believe Bill Clinton has said things and acted in ways that raise many questions. He got about 90% of the black votes when he ran for office, and this is how he pays them back? Wow!

    April 25, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. A CANUCK

    Can zebras change their stripes ?? Neither can the Clintons who are too obsessed with power to call it quits. Hillary has a conviction that the presidency is her birthright. Her relentless , ruthless attacks on her youthful , intelligent and decent rival are unforgiveable.

    April 25, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Daniel

    Thank-you, glad to see politicians standing up for something. The Clintons are going to say and do anything to win, and it is sad to see so many people ignore their dis-honesty because of race. I am a white man
    that is sick and tired of these racial politics that divide us, vote Obama to finally put an end to divisive, dishonest, rich politicians who play us all for fools.

    April 25, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. Angus McDugan

    The Clintons will trample over anyone in their way including "friends" and people that stood by them in tough times. The Clintons are power hungry self-loving individuals on the rampage. They will do whatever they want whenever they want for their own personal gain. Don't believe for a minute that Hillary and Bill are looking out for you.

    April 25, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. stacy

    He needs to concern himself more with Rev. Wright now than the
    former President Bill Clinton over the race factor.

    April 25, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Marshall in Nebraska

    I think Bill is not as smooth and slick as he use to be.

    April 25, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Change 2008

    We Dems need to unit behind Sen. Obama and move fwd with a strong message of change. Lets stop the political games and self-destruction.

    April 25, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Proud to be a Clinton Democrat

    I live in SC
    I am an African American
    I won't vote for Rep. Clyburn in 2010

    I want the media and party officials to LEAVE HILL AND BILL ALONE!

    April 25, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. orlando

    From what I have heard, I think that Obama and media are playing a race card against Hillary. It seems to me that Obama’s strategy is to use a race card to destroy Hillary.

    Florida for Hillary.

    April 25, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. JoanMI

    I have lost all respect for the Clinton's whom I have voted for
    and supported. Obama is a more honorable candidate, more
    intelligent candidate trying to rise above the dirt of Clinton's "Carl Rove" playbook.

    April 25, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Wayne

    Al Gore won SC in the Primary in 2000 and John Edwards won in 2004. Why didnt Bill mention those two candidates?

    April 25, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Uday

    You spoke so well on this...please keep the race card out of this campaign by speaking often if things get out of hand.

    April 25, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. John

    Why can't he just endorse senator Obama?

    April 25, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. Michele C

    i'm so sick of all the Clinton lies, i can't stand it any more. Bill Clinton started this race issue, and he is to blame for it. Obama deserves to be nominated as he is ahead in delegates and popular vote, but i believe with all my heart, that won't happen. I putnothing past the Clintons. They are corrupt, liars and will stop at nothing to win.

    April 25, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. Nancy

    We all know who the winner is in this race; and it certainly isn't the racist Clintons. Wake up folks, do you want a new beginning or the same old politics in Washington. I believe Barack Obama came along just in time to save this country.

    O8AMA

    April 25, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Jen

    This is just another example of how the Clintons will do anything to get in office. Even if that means turning on those who once supported you.

    April 25, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. monica, rochester ny

    Why don't you post my comment??

    April 25, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. ray

    Congressman Clyburn as long as we elect by the electoral college you need to convince your state to vote democratic in the fall...your state voted publican the last 4 times...including the two that clinton won so as a congressman from south carolina your views are irrelevant to this fall

    April 25, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. mary

    From what I read Clinton helped the Blacks termendously throughout the years. Doesn't that count for anything?

    April 25, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Susan MO

    Please endorse Obama and stop this madness

    April 25, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Debbie

    I do not believe Bill or Hillary are raciest. I believe they are racial opportunists. Meaning, they know the "buzz words and phrases" that will ignite a raciest person to action. Then in the end the Clinton’s benefit!

    April 25, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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