June 30th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton, Obama speak

Bill Clinton and Obama spoke Monday morning.

Bill Clinton and Obama spoke Monday morning.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama talked by phone Monday morning, representatives of both sides said, as the Democrats sought to quash rumors that Clinton holds a grudge against the man who knocked his wife out of contention for the party's presidential nomination.

Obama called Clinton and they spoke for about 20 minutes Monday morning, the Obama campaign told CNN.

Clinton wants to campaign "with and for" Obama after the hard-fought primary campaign between Obama and Hillary Clinton, Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna said. Clinton "renewed his offer to do whatever he can to ensure Sen. Obama is our next president."

Watch: Obama, Clintons: Hard feelings?

Obama "had a terrific conversation with President Clinton and is honored to have his support in this campaign," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.

The chairman of Sen. Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful presidential bid, Terry McAuliffe, said Sunday the former president was angered by media reports suggesting he did not plan to actively support Obama in the general election.

"He was angry that these ridiculous stories were out here, and these supposed close friends of the president - none of the close friends ever got called," McAuliffe said, referring to anonymous sources quoted in some stories. "What happens, a lot of time, is people like to pretend they're close so they can tell the reporters that they're close, but, you know, they're just talking."

McAuliffe said he spoke to Bill Clinton on Sunday morning. The former president recently returned from a trip to Europe.

Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared together Friday in Unity, New Hampshire, where the former first lady said of her ex-rival, "we may have started on different paths ... (but) today our hearts are set on the same destination for America ... to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States."

The two had met the night before at a gathering of Clinton's biggest political donors, at which Clinton delivered the maximum legal donations to Obama's campaign from herself and her husband and Obama and his wife, Michelle, donated the maximum to Clinton's campaign - which remains mired in debt.

But some analysts read bitterness into the fact that Bill Clinton did not appear at either event and had made no personal comments supporting Obama since his wife conceded the nomination. Instead, the former president released a statement through a spokesman saying he "is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do" for Obama.

McAuliffe said Bill Clinton merely was waiting in order to avoid taking the public's focus off of Obama and Hillary Clinton's joint appearances.

"Any time that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama speak, it's going to be big news," McAuliffe said. "They wanted this out of the way first. Now that that's over, they will speak. And I'll bet you they speak within the next 24 hours, 48 at the most."

He also joked at rumors that the ex-president remains angry at Obama from the Democratic campaign.

"This man doesn't stay mad," he said. "He can get mad for 24 hours. It's his Irish ancestry."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. d2

    Look at what is happening.....speculate about the motivations all day long, if you want, but the Democratic leaders are pulling together for party unification. Like it or hate it, the Democratic super powers are pulling together.....

    Good........DO it! Bravo!!

    June 30, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Jon

    What do these two families have to do? Drink a milk shake with four straws and hold hands in the moon light......Candy and the rest of her failing team need something to do.....They have turned CNN it to a joke with Wolf, Nancy, and VH1 Reporting.....Thank God for PBS!!

    June 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. katiec

    Am happy to see the Democratic Party uniting even more.
    Just watch your back, Barack. We saw the negativity of
    the Clintons during the nomination so we must wait and
    see how sincere they are.
    Hopefully they will put the future of our country in front of
    personal feelings.

    June 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Yolanda

    Does Obama really need the Clintons to win? I think so – Why else would this article be relevant?

    June 30, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Rene D, Bel Air, MD

    Bill Clinton is still The Man in my book. So what if he and Hillary needed time to decompress from a hard year or so? Could most of your readers keep up that kind of discplined workload, even for a month or so? I daresay I could not. We are lucky the Obamas and Clintons are bigger people than much of the press gives them credit for. I'm sure we all hope Obama can restore the kind of economy Clinton's administration had delivered to W.

    If it takes Obama, Biden, Clinton, Richardson, Clinton, Kennedy, Kennedy....if it takes all Democrats to get the country back on track, back in the good regard of the people of the world, and back to an at least hopeful future for tne next generations, then all Americans should support their collaboration and cooperation in whatever ways possible.

    June 30, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Deena

    It's so strange that Obama made the call. He WON for Christ's sake. Shouldn't Bill be the one calling to congratulate him? What a sore loser.

    June 30, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Lisa

    Barack Obama the Presumptive Democratic Nominee, does that mean that Hillary still has a chance?

    June 30, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. donna4hillary

    The Real Issues June 30th, 2008 4:27 pm ET

    The Real Issue Mr. President Clinton is that people remember what was said during the campaign. You are forgiven because it was a campaign, however people do not or will not forget. With this in mind, everyone will look forward to you helping Senator Obama win the presidency. We also look forward to you doing more than you did for V.P. Al Gore and Senator John Kerry. Your actions will always speak more than words
    yes people do remember what was said during the primaries and obama has said it all by not saying anything! he aloowed his staff to call the clintons racist, even egged them on, he allowed his staff and supporters to make the clintons look like they are white supremicists! yes we wont forget that obama allowed the clintons to be dragged through the mud and then thrown uinder the bus. i hope that obama gets what he deserves, a job back in the senate!

    June 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Smarter than the rest

    Once again for all the INTELLIGENT people –

    Alot of you are saying you can't vote for Obama because he flip flops..... and that is a reasonable argument about his stance on issues. Fair enough. Now let's look at it with a little logic, ok. If you went on a road trip, printed out by Mapquest ( or your GPS) and WAY down the road you found out you got incorrect information and you are going the wrong direction ( you are lost), would you turn around or be like Chris Columbus and "search for the east by sailing west"? Well I would turn around... If Bush and Mccain take a position and they found out it is wrong they will never change course. AMERICANS WAKE UP, you must change course if you are headed the wrong direction. Flip flopping to get to the correct solution shouldn't be a crime..... We make it a crime and see what happen, the economy suffers. Bush was so scared of going back on his word............ NOW WE SUFFER. Is this why you need Mccain?

    June 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Mark Ramsey MD Milwaukee WI

    Unity is important. To that extent , it is important to unify the ticket. I have been, and continue to be, a hillary supporter and donor. I will donate to Obama when he chooses Hillary as his running mate. Obama/Clinton '08!!!

    June 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. MReed

    Its apparent that Bill Clinton still carries a grudge. However, O'bama is making him the $22 million man, as in $22 million in campaign debts paid. Furthermore, I don't understand why O'bama feels that he needs this loser.

    June 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Bridgette-PA

    OBAMA HATERS.....Listen up!- You are all losers. Most of you can't even spell. Get a grip and get a life. OBAMA will be the next POTUS so get used to it. If you don't want to vote for him, DON'T, no-one cares. You sound like idiots. If your a Republican and you hate OBAMA because you know that he's going to beat McCsame by a landslide, deal with it. But the Hillary supporters that still hate OBAMA because he won this thing "fair and square".....re-read my blog!


    June 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Jenni

    To Linda and other Pro-McCain female supporters-

    I really do not believe that you EVER supported a liberal agenda. So you voting for McCain out of spite or truly believe that he would be better for the future of our country? I guess then you all are satisfied with the economic disparities between the rich and poor here, a man getting paid more then a woman, embracing a presidential candidate that ditches one loyal wife for a rich, trophy wife, and for continuing the ideology in general that ignorance is bliss and that we should just remain uneducated about cultural relativism and creating an open-mindedness for our future generations. Go ahead and vote for McCain...let us see if you change your mind when your child gets cancer or multiple sclerosis and the newly created stem cell technology is there to save him or her. Let us see if you change your mind.

    If not, you will only look uneducated, selfish, and a sign of the past to the rest of us.

    June 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Nova from NV

    Sorry, the DNC will not get my vote because of the way they treated Mrs. Clinton. I am mad as hell and will not take it anymore.

    McCain 2008.

    June 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. AntiBrenda

    Poor "last honest man"

    You are nothing but a saddist.
    You need to move to one of the "Axis of evil" regimes or go home to crowford with Bush after his disastrous 8 years that you seemingly cherished. Your time and his is out mr.

    June 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Fred

    No Bill, stay where you are, disappointed and angry. We will do just fine.

    Obama 08

    June 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Beverly, MN

    Dear Shelby –

    You are living in dissolution!

    June 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. sas

    who cares!!!

    June 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Samuel

    Every campaign of Bill Clinton is worth 1,500,000 clean votes on Novenber 4, 2008. Mr. Bill Clinton will campaign for Barak Obama for not less than 20 times and that means 30,000,000 votes for Obama. Hillary will pull 35,000,000 votes in November 4, 2008 for Obama and Obama himself will pull 65,000,000 votes on November 4, 2008 for Obama.

    Do the above maths, taking into consideration the number elegible voters in USA. Question: Does McCain stands any chance of getting near the White House after November 4, 2008? No, he has no chance what so ever. He is finished and I am so much happy and so is all Montanas.

    Go Obama.

    June 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. a, holley

    How can anyone question someones patriotism with the way america treated native americans, jews, irish, italions, african-americans, and hispanics.

    Get Real. What does a flag pin mean anyway? Nothing!


    June 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Al - NYC

    O verrated
    B itter
    A rrogant
    M ean
    A wful

    June 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. LucieLee

    I glad this stuff was all media fodder. Even though Obama doesn't even need Bill Clinton to campaign for him, it's good that Obama asked him to be a part of the campaign. I keep thinking that maybe if he didn't campaign for his wife, maybe things would ahve not turned out so bad for Hillary. So lets all get it together and sing "kumbayah"!

    June 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Deb, Texas

    Lisa, if Obama needed the Clinton's approval for everything – Hillary would be VP and that is not going to happen.

    June 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Former Bitter HRC Supporter Coming Around

    Enlightened Voter:

    You dont know much about your messiah now, do you. Why don't you spend a little time reviewing Obama's history. He is just as much a hardcore polician as the Clintons.

    Also, if you are so enlightened, you should be well aware that Obama would not support your criticism of them. He needs them (and us) to win – it came out of his own mouth. Support Obama – even if being silent is the best you can do.

    June 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Ann, MA

    Why so much teeth pulling with the Clintons? Who cares. They would have made a big fuss over this if the roles had been reversed. But now that an African American is the nominee they want to play games. I say forget about both of them, one has her hand out for money, and the other is trying to salvage his tarnished legacy. Good riddance to both of them.

    June 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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