June 3rd, 2008
08:30 AM ET
12 years ago

Bill Clinton lashes out at Vanity Fair reporter

Bill Clinton is not happy with the way a new magazine article portrays him.

Bill Clinton is not happy with the way a new magazine article portrays him.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton's campaign Monday apologized for "inappropriate" language used by her husband in response to a Vanity Fair article that quoted anonymous sources questioning the former president's behavior since leaving the White House. (Listen to Clinton's comments Monday.)

The article, by the magazine's national editor Todd Purdum, suggested that Bill Clinton's personality had changed since his 2004 heart bypass surgery and said that there were reports of Clinton "seeing a lot of women on the road."

Purdum quoted four former Clinton aides saying that another of his former assistants had conducted "what one of these aides called an intervention" about the reports of philandering.

A writer for the Huffington Post, Mayhill Fowler, asked Clinton on Monday what he thought "about that hatchet job somebody did on you in Vanity Fair," according to a recording of the exchange posted on the Huffington Post's Web site.

"(He's) sleazy," Clinton responded. "He's a really dishonest reporter." (Earlier: Journalist defends article slamming Bill Clinton)

Full story

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Popular Posts
soundoff (463 Responses)
  1. GCG - Austin, TX

    OMG! The article was complete and utter claptrap and horrible journalism and should never have made it past the editor's desk. That being said, this is coming way too late to make any difference in the presidential primary season, and to claim otherwise is just wrong.

    The one consistency in this entire process, starting back when Bill was in office, is that the Clinton's just refuse to accept responsibility for any of their own actions! He's doing it again by saying that it was the media in Obama's pocket that shot down Hillary. A Harvard study completely debunks that myth, but no one talks about that because it isn't "news."

    The Clintons, notwithstanding the good they did for America in the '90s, are completely out of touch with America of the new millennium and just don't know how to accept responsibility for their own failures. Everyone fails at one time in their life, and most people LEARN from those failures. Not so with the Clintons, apparently. I hope that Chelsea is able to break the mold and let life be a teacher.

    June 3, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. sherrie50

    When reporters write articles of that nature, they are exactly as stated by Clinton. No one has shame or respect anymore including the majority of bloggers. My favorite News media has consistently berated anything Bill or HC on any issue.

    June 3, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Ria

    I think the article was not reflective of tyhe whole man – the good and the bad. If you are going to write about someone – you should give all sides of the story.

    June 3, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. MannyG

    Bill Clinton nor anyone else in the Clinton camp should apologize for defending themselves from irresponsible morons the likes of Purdam. Bill called it like it is, "read my lips scumbag". I like what Dan Carter above had to say about this. No apology's needed, say and mean it.

    June 3, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. The truth

    always hurt, doesn't it Bill??

    June 3, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. LT

    Jeff D, South Bend, IN June 3rd, 2008 9:51 am ET

    Stop whining you baby. You've turned into a joke of a former President.

    Even worse the the current occupant in the Oval Office?

    June 3, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Eugene, Oregon

    What Bill does in private is his business and his alone (except for those who directly share his privacy). The reporter is an absolute scumbag for pandering to the National Enquirer market with his tired stories. Let's all boycott Vanity Fair and put the reporter/editor out on the street.

    June 3, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. Phillis B

    i just got finished reading the VF article. I didn't read anything new in there that I didn't already know. Bill makes deals behind closed doors- yes, we know that. Bill likes the ladies- yes, we know that. Bills behaviour these past few months on the campaign trail has been strange to say the least – yes we know that. Lashing out at reporters, lashing out at Obama. The man seems angry, I guess he sees his glory slipping away. How sad. Bill time to go on vacation, and take Hillary with you, please.

    June 3, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. 'Nuff Said

    Irony of the day....
    Bill Clinton calling someone else a liar.


    June 3, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Peachy Keen

    So, basically, Bill Clinton just verified what the reporter said in his story. He is off his rocker.

    June 3, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. MediaJunkie, Arlington, VA

    I'm a journalist. And Clinton's former aides probably did tell the reporter all that. And seriously, who really cares if Clinton called the guy a scumbag? People have been called worse. But I personally believe that anonymous sources are becoming far too common these days, and dealing with the political arena is the worst. No one ever wants to go on the record by name. It's always staffer or aid or source familiar with the topic if you get to attribute at all. And I don't even deal with particularly sensitive topics! I often wish every media outlet would just say, look, if you want any coverage at all, you're going to have to go on the record, period. And if they don't, ignore them. But it's never going to happen.

    June 3, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. KBest

    Who needs Clinton campaign apology at this point? Anyone? I don't think so. Obama has scaled every single political brick wall put in place by every distractor.

    First, it was about patriotism and flag pin. But nobody ever wondered why Hillary and McCain didn't wear one regularly. Second, it was about him being a muslim. But thank God for Jeremiah Wright and his dirty mouth; at least we know Obama attended church for 20 years with his family.

    Which church does Bill and Hillary attend or have attended for 20-years? Any answer? Of course not. Bill has been busy tending to his restless memories of Monica by hanging out with his adulterous millionaire kinds. Does McCain even attend church? How come nobody ever bothered to ask these questions?

    Bill, there is time for everything under the sun. Your time is spent with the American people. Stop blaming the press for your wife's inability to carry the nomination, because you're definitely going to be needing them in the future. But for now, start thinking about borrowing your wife some money to pay off her campaign bils.

    FYI, just forget the VP slot. It's never going to happen.

    June 3, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. MD Democrat

    All of this is a pile of media biased nonsense. These folk are so afraid that Hillary can still pull off becoming the nominee that they are coming back with their same old tactics. I believe it is because if she becomes president they will have less bad news to report. That is why the media love Bush and Obama. It's clear that there are a lot of people afraid of the Clintons. It is a shame that most people hearing/reading this crap fail to see through all of the bull.

    June 3, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Mark

    disgustedinAlameda – Your kidding me, you claim Obama is not as good or would not be as good leading this country as George Bush????

    Seriously??? Our president has the worst ever approval rating....

    I think my Dog could lead this country better than he has...

    Lord Knows Obama will lead this country to bigger and better and a brighter future!

    Obama 08'

    June 3, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. DemocracyNow2008

    Figures Bill you will end the Primary season with a outburst over a article in Vanity Fair that you had not even read .

    Well it looks like you have ended the Hillary campaign as it started with the Kitchen Sink cracking .

    Your anger and outbursts did not help Hillary and certainly was not the way Hillary wanted to end the campaign after today.

    Yes we will remember you Bill for all that you did to split the
    Democratic Party.

    Now the Kitchen Sink is falling apart within your final hours .

    Hillary wanted to end on a high note but it looks like what goes around comes around and you and Hillary can now face your Karama.

    Your not being given the Whitehouse as you had planned on having instead you will both be sent to a Rest Home for a vacation to reflect on your life and was the Kitchen Sink really worth it since now it is cracking before your eyes on the both of you.

    June 3, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Frank Glendale Ca

    Hey Josh,

    You are a 20 year old who is a VERY STRONG DEMOCRAT? How is that what have you done in your 20 years?

    Voted twice? Come on you are not who you say you are. You are more likley a old white woman who mad that they lost this race.

    Or you are a who a Republican who would be voting that way in any case.

    No if when Obama wins the nomination, He will be are best and safest bet.

    What America CANNOT AFFORD IS ANOTHER REPUBLICAN!!! THEY have run this country in to the Ground!

    what EXPERIENCED did Abe have what did JFK have? Come on that' s lame.

    Yes I Can name ONE thing Obama has done for the state of Illinois or the United States Won the Democratic race and then the white house in Nov! Better get with the new America.


    June 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Matt

    Go Obama

    June 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Tell The Truth

    Luis June 3rd, 2008 9:12 am ET

    "Hey Bill and Hillary,"

    Get ready for the michelle Obama video……

    I love this……………..what a circus to teh world the Dimocrats have proven themselves to be

    Vote McCain or join the insane….

    Sorry to break it to you Luis, but the tape is a hoax. You'll see for youself real soon or the talks about it will disappear altogether like all the other attempted dishonest smears. You can keep on peddaling those false hopes though. LOL!

    June 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Chris

    Good for Bill! What a bunch of lies....anonymous sources...give me a break! its just another word for baseless lies!

    June 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Hal

    Great man betrayed by his own EGO!! Given the opportunity to give the nation universal health care, given the opportunity to use the greatest economic boom in modern history to improve the nation. Given the opportunity to defeat the influences of the "unChristian Right". Bill gave into his urges and his own megalomania.

    The Clinton's had a wonderful opportunity to help the nation move forward and they decided their personal satisfactiona and image were more important than the nation.


    HIllary should be offered the VP or Sec. of State

    June 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. white woman for Obama

    Dishonest? what does Bill Clinton know about honesty? "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". Honesty? ha! PLEASE!!!! Bill, you cannot call others dishonest! you have to first know what it is to be honest, to be able to clall someone else "slimy" and "dishonest".

    June 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |

    A lot of you are asking other Democracts to unite. How can you be so stupid for asking such a thing after what the DNC did. The denocracts in Michigan and Florida were disinfranchised by the DNC.

    And now papers and magazines are bad mouthing Hillary because she had the guts to stick it out till the end.

    It just proves that Hillary is not a quiter and would be the best choice for President for ALL AMERICANS.

    June 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Hollywood Knight

    Know what's funny? Most of the leftists in this little forum would be scrabbling to defend this man, as they did for the better part of 15 years, were it not for a certain upcoming Democrat Presidential nominee.

    Frailty, thy name is Democrat.

    June 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. larry King Live

    No Body is a saint out here.....dont think Obama is a siant but people have to choose out of the these guys who would be best for them. Most of the time the choose one who is the best out of the worst. And Bill has been the best out of the worst. So people need to give him a break..come on he's dont better for your country more then any of the scumbag's around....

    June 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Valerie - St. Louis, MO

    To Hilary Speak for me – You don't mention any of your candidates problems in your list but here are a few for you to mull over:

    Why has the media left out of the controversy about Hillary's pastor being indicted for child molestation?

    Why has be media left out of the controversy about Hillary and Bill being sued for campaign fraud.

    Sniper fire!

    Claim to want all votes to count but do not count the caucus states when saying she has the popular vote.

    These are just the ones I know about, I am sure there are others that others know more about than me.

    June 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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