June 30th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
6 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. crab_selector

    I used to weigh crab for a living. When we don't have the scale, we have to sense if the crab is going to be meaty or not. Often the large outer shell would not guarantee that the crab will be heavy. What we often do is use a stick and press down on its legs. If it shows strength, it often indicates that it is solid inside.

    Obama is a large, decorated shell. When weighed he has little experience; when challenged, he offers a lot of talk. When confronted, he emits multi-faceted lies.

    June 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. DIZIZI31

    let's see the conversation goes something like this...
    Bill – You know i didn't mean all those mean spirited things I said.
    Obama- yes, I know. You were trying to save your legacy as President and didn't want to be upstaged by the wife. Got it
    Bill- Thanks man. Anything I can do to help let me know.
    Obama- Would you like to be Secretary of State?
    Bill – Sounds good. CYA at the Convention Buddy.
    Obama – Oh yeah!!

    June 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Hispanics for McCain – Please, the man can't even give a speech without it being stopped by Hispanic hecklers four times. You are just a Republican trying to stir up trouble. We know you when we see you!

    June 30, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. white people for Obama

    SOmeone please tell Terry to shut up!! I am tired of that political hack. He is such an idiot.

    June 30, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Lynn in NM

    Obama has sold his soul to the devil, when he starts talking with the Clintons. What is their payoff going to be? After all, they don't do anything unless there is something in it for them.

    June 30, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Joe in StL

    IF MCCAIN STEALS THE NOMINATION FROM ROMNEY, I'M VOTING FOR OBAMA. THE RNC CAN'T TELL ME WHO TO VOTE FOR!!!!

    ROMNEY VOTERS FOR OBAMA!!!

    June 30, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Oregon calling

    It's about time Bill. I am sorry but I don not feel that the Obama camp nor his supporters owes Bill anything. He needs to think ahead of time before he speaks.

    Obama / anyone HE chooses '08

    June 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. DNC Dropout

    After the gross disrespect BHO and the media gave the Clintons and is still giving them, the former president doesn't owe him a thing. Now Obama is practically demanding help from both the Senator and the President. Neither owes him or the DNC a thing. He's very lucky to have them in his camp and must remember it's HIS job to unite the party, not theirs.

    Regarding Hillary's debt, I personally got an e-mail from Bill Richardson to help pay off HIS campaign debt after he left the race. Can you say Double Standard?

    I wish McCain could give me at least one reason to vote for him. Can't a valid and more successful third political party come to surface?

    June 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Peggy - Tx

    Even the husband of the Democratic loser gets as much press as McCain. All Obama has to do is call someone and it is big news. Obama's innate ability to command the attention of the press is a subtle indication of his future greatness as a leader. I feel sorry for the McCain people, their candidate sounds good in well choreographed adds, but lacks charisma, lacks conviction, and lacks a vision for America. The McCain people attempted to piece together a platform that can win an election, but they also created a flip-flopper- with a long history of contradictions fundamentally lacking creditability.

    June 30, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. Paul Lennon

    If I was Bill Clinton, I would do zero for Obama, period.

    June 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. Neil

    I wish Bill Clinton would NOT support him, it makes Clinton look bad to be seen with such an inexperienced, unqualified candiate that accused you and your wife of being racists throughout the campaign...

    Bill – tell this guy to take a hike.

    June 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Carol

    Let's get real. Of course, the man holds a grudge. That horse has already left the barn. It's human nature when you think your spouse got the short end of the stick. The question now is how much do both men have to swallow in order to present a united front?

    June 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Lee

    Nothing can help Obama. He has built a cult-like "base" out of white males between 18 & 45 and AA, and then proceeded to piss off the rest of America.

    Now, here it is almost July and he is at a whopping 44% percent. Oh yeah, that sounds like a real winner in November to me. NOT!

    Thanks for making it so easy for us come the fall. You DEMS are going to need all the hope you can muster.

    McCain in 2008

    June 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. Tapsiru

    ANTON you are just as CHILDISH as RITA said. You claim you cannot vote for Obama because of the Obama supporters comments? Well let me reveal this to you, there are Republicans posing as both Obama and Clinton supporters to confuse such people like you.

    Obama 08

    June 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. It's a done deal

    Just smile Bill. Just smile.

    June 30, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Michael Shea

    I've had it with Bill Clinton!! He was my last choice for the nomination in 1992.

    Then he sold the American worker down the riveer and a million union manufacturing and textile jobs down the rive by promoting and endorsing NAFTA, GATT and WTO.

    If Bubba wants to cut some tv and radio commercials in Arkansas, why not

    June 30, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  17. Jan

    Go Hillary!!

    This is about the best candidate, not the best Democrat and Obama isn't either.

    Never Obama

    June 30, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Henry, NJ

    Jack,

    Who knows, who cares? He suffered for 5 years, leave him alone. It will not sway me one iota from my resolve to vote for Barack.

    New Flash: Barack is a good man, and so is John McCain. We don't have to denigrate either one of them to make a choice–unless you're playing a silly game.

    June 30, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. California Voter

    I'm not a Republican and I don't support Obama, not because of his race and not because I am bitter. I just don't trust someone who for 20 years sat in a black liberation church pew and listened to a preacher that preached hate and racism and never batted an eyelash. I question his judgment, honesty and core values.

    June 30, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. Desiree

    If President Clinton doesn't want to endorse or support Sen Obama he should not have to, this is America he can choose to support whomever he wants or not support. I don't know why everyone is making such a big deal about this. Our we really stupid enough to believe in this lovefest, there is no love lost between the two and I don't blame President Clinton, Sen Obama wants to be what Bill Clinton already was, Obama needs Bill Clinton more than Blll needs him.

    June 30, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. jimmie.brenner

    Why oh why do the Clintons feel so entitled? The more publicity you give them, tge deeper the dagger goes. Barrack, they would love nothing more than to throw you under ther bus. They are "has-beens" but refuse to believe it.
    jimmie

    June 30, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. Bill

    President Clinton show help Dems get elected to Congress. However, in the McCain and Obama race he should stay out of it. Therefore when Senator Obama looses he will have the last laugh on the party that stabbed Senator Hillary Clinton in the back.

    June 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. Debbie

    Bill Clinton owes the Dems nor Barack Obama nothing. I hope he keeps a low profile in his "support" of Obama. Let the Empty Suit make it on his own...or not.

    June 30, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. Agnes

    It does not matter who "comes out for " or endorses Sen Obama, I will not vote for him. He is lacking on so many fields, that I can not simply vote for him based on party unity. I must have a history of action, not words, in order to make an informed decision. Where do I place my vote, in the candidate or the candidate's advisors? In the end only one makes the decision and I find him lacking. I will write in Hillary. Nobama!

    June 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. Texas Trail Dog

    BILL CLINTON IF YOU AND HILLARY SUPPORT THIS IDIOT YOU WILL HAVE WIPED AWAY ANY SHORT OF LEGACY YOU MAY HAVE LEFT TO HONOR YOUR PRESIDENCY. YOU KNOW THIS MAN IF NOT FIT TO HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE. I SUPPORTED YOU AND YOUR WIFE, BUT THIS WILL BE THE ICING ON THE CAKE THAT FINALIZES MY PARTING OF THE WAYS FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. IT IS NOW CALLED THE NAACP PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES WITH ALL IT'S VOTERS AND SUPPORTERS. THE MORONS RULE. LORD FORGIVE THE CONTINENT. BECAUSE IT IS SINKING. OBAMA AND HIS SUPPORTERS ARE THE REAR END OF THE DONKEY THEIR NATIONAL SYMBOL REPRESENTS.

    June 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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