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. WoMeN4McCain

    This comment is to FROM HILLARY TO MCCAIN.....listen....if Bill and Hillary can get past this, why can't you? I'm supporting McCain, so of course I welcome your support for him....but I just don't get your deal being so overdramatic over the Hillary – Obama primary. He won fair and square and you should not be such a sore loser. All you sore losers and whiners need to suck it up and move on. If you want to vote for McCain....do it for the right reasons....not spite and envy. I want himi to win in Nov. but not if it takes help from whiny brats like you seem to be.

    June 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Casey in CA.

    This sort of struggle often happens between strong personalities... you don't see it when two people are not similar or wanting to be the best at what they are doing. Did ya'll not learn anything in school?

    Regardless of any personal opinions Bill Clinton may have about Obama and the campaign, he's a politician first and foremost. He will do the right thing because it is best for HIM and for the Democratic party and, in third place, because it helps Obama win. That will not detract from Clinton's presidency in any way.

    I am a realist when it comes to politics. I have hope for change and support Obama fully. I believe he will make a truly GREAT president. A realist understands that you cannot change the system from outside – while Obama is more of an outsider than anyone else in the race, he realizes that you effect change from within.

    It doesn't mean you become that which you seek to change.

    June 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Joe in DE

    Hillary would help the ticket more than anuy other available canidate. I doubt that Obama will select her because he seems to lack the self-confidence, maturity, and judgement necessary. He may still win or not.

    June 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Ivory

    I'm trying to remember the last time a presumptive presidential nominee had to beg the loser – and their spouse – for political support, pay off their debts and be pressured into choosing the 2nd place candidate for VP.

    June 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Erick R Williams, Walkersville, MD

    People know that this is an orchestrated dance. Does anyone doubt that Clinton is not an Obama fan?

    June 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. pam Eugene OR

    Please Bill just stay put. We appreciate you saying you support Barack so thank you for that. I think you did a lot of damage to your wife's campaign and helped her lose the nomination. Barack does not need that kind of help.
    I think it helps a great deal that Hillary is campaigning for Obama but Bill needs to sit this out. He has a very hot temper and a ton of baggage for the Republican to drag out.
    Obama 08

    June 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. ChaosAura

    i think its wierd how Bill and Obama had a talk on the phone but, it happened... ah well = D

    June 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Dennis Zackerman

    I knew Bill would come around, and I don't go along with the various media outlets fanning the flames of the idea that Bill was still bitter over Hillary's loss to Obama. The Clintons are professional politicians who love their party and would back any Democratic candidate regardless of the heat of the primary campaign. Frankly, I don't believe that the Obama vs. Hillary campaign was any more bitter or devisive than any campaign. Of course each fought hard against each other....They both wanted to win. Duh!!!!! Zack in Brevard NC

    June 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Barack Uda

    C'mon, we all know Bill's smart , but more than smart, it's the ultimate in patriotism to want what's best for our country. The Repug brand is elephant dung and we've got to get a new and improved Democratic
    government in place.

    June 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. DM, Arlington TX for Barack Obama 08

    Democrats Unite for Victory......

    June 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. HELEN-NC

    Bill...no need. We're doing fine. You will only mess thing further up.

    June 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Iroko Nija

    Thanks Bill, we have always trusted your wise judgement. Now all hail President Barak Obama and the most beautiful family to belong to in political history all over the world.

    June 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Gabriel

    I wouldn't be suprised to see BC throw down some straight up trash talking in the days to come. I still think the Clintons have a card or two up their sleeve to insure another possible Clinton presidency.

    June 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. A Democrat No More

    Obama and Obama supporters showed absolutely no respect to either Clinton. He can court the Clinton's now but the voters matter and I am one who will never support Obama. Obama took my vote for granted throughout the primary season believing that female voters would automatically vote for him. Wrong.

    June 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Cj

    Say what you want about Bill Clinton. But I would gladly take his 8 years of president than the past 8 years. I think he would be a great Secretary of State. He is idolized around the world and he definitely has the credentials.

    June 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    The picture coming together. How about hard feelings for the 2000 elections? Hillary the intended victim 2008. Fine!

    June 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Debby

    Well Bill Clinton is well liked abroad it certainly won't hurt Obama for him to campaign for him. I don't get Obama though he is the candidate for change so the first people he turns to is the Clintons how ironic. Do you notice Richardson, Edwards, Kerry, Biden, etc etc. are all on the back burner now and the Clintons are front and center. Lets face it Obama needs old time politcs to get elected.

    June 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. obama girl

    HRC is not the nominee.....she lost...simple math....

    You HRC supporters need to grow up and get over it...You all who say Obama is not qualified, I don't think any of our Presidents were Presidential material until they got in....

    Did you know EVERYTHING about your job before you started it.....Give Obama a break....never heard so much negative chatter in all the Presidential elections I have been thru and it's been more than a few....I just think the whole hopla is Obama's race...and we as americans should be ashamed it that is the case.....

    I am an 50+ white female, who was raised aroung bigotry but I'm glad I did not let that cause me to be bitter and hateful.....

    June 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. goodcitizen

    Bill Clinton's legacy forever shines no matter what other fools try to distroy his reputation. He is a truly American hero for the modern world!

    June 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. MIMI

    BILL, IT'S ABOUT TIME YOU DID THE RIGHT THING. BARACK OBAMA IS A BRILLANT, RESPECTFUL AND HONEST PERSON WHO WANTS TO DO THE RIGHT THING – HE IS A TRUE AND HONEST POLITICIAN (unlike any others in this day and age) AND I BELIEVE IF HE IS ELECTED, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL HAVE SOMEONE THEY CAN TRULY TRUST AND BELIEVE IN SOMETHING AGAIN –

    I AM TRULY GRATEFUL FOR SOMEONE ON THE ORDER OF BARACK OBAMA TO COME ALONG IN THIS DAY AND AGE-

    MAY GOD BLESS NOT ONLY AMERICA BUT ALL NATIONS.

    June 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Rick FL

    It would be great to see Bill Clinton & Barack Obama debut together for the general election in Florida.

    Dem '08!

    June 30, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Linda

    Well Bill, I was proud of you when I read he London Telegraph at the weekend. Now I am just disappointed. I will still be voting for McCain as Hillary has not got the nomination and I am sure many of her supporters will do the same. BHO does not have the experience to do the job and now he is lecturing us on patriotism. How can he have the "audacity" his patriotism is identified by his old church, his previous pastor, his connections with people of concern and his wifes comments.

    The Democrates have let us down!

    June 30, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. What?

    To: "From Hillary to McCain"...right, Hillary was a saint in all this. We get it everybody, hell hath no fury like a woman/Hillary supporter scorned...blah, blah, blah.

    June 30, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. DJ, LA, CA

    Much to do about nothing. Yes Obama shouldn't get TOO cozy with Bill.
    Baggage from the Vanity Fair article, impeachment, Lewinsky, all the alleged womanizing et al

    June 30, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Wow. Obama talked to Clinton on the phone. Earthshaking news.

    June 30, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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