July 1st, 2008
06:01 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama discusses his chat with Bill Clinton

Obama said he wants Bill Clinton on the campaign trail again.

Obama said he wants Bill Clinton on the campaign trail again.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are moving on.

In Obama's first comments about his widely-covered phone conversation with the former president Monday morning, the Illinois senator said the two did not dwell on the prolonged and at times divisive primary race.

Watch: Obama talks about his phone call

"We did not belabor the primary season,” Obama told reporters Tuesday. “I think what we both acknowledged is, is that when you’re in a tough primary battle you say things that afterward you may end up thinking, that may have been a little intemperate. But that’s the nature of political campaigns.”

Obama also said he wants Clinton to become a staple on the campaign trail next fall, even though the former president's periodic outbursts and at-times aggressive promotion of his wife's candidacy drew widespread criticisms.

“I absolutely want Bill Clinton campaigning for me,” Obama said, adding, "He is one of the most gifted public officials of our generation and has been one of the most successful presidents that we’ve had in my lifetime."

Watch: Obama, Clintons: Hard feelings?

The high-profile conversation came more than two weeks after Hillary Clinton formally abandoned her own White House bid and amid rumors the 42nd president holds a grudge against the man who knocked his wife out of contention for the party's presidential nomination. Some reports have said Clinton is specifically upset with Obama's criticisms of his administration over the course of the campaign and the media's coverage of the race.

In an interview on CNN Sunday, close Clinton friend and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe denied the reports that the former president is angry with Obama, calling that notion "ridiculous."

soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Former Pres. Bill Clinton is the greatest orator, strategist and John McCain's worst nightmare. Bill and Hillary are democrats first and that's all that matters to our party.

    July 1, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. LaShawn , Pensacola FL

    Barack is the new Bill, without the hoes ,of course. I still like Bill though,but he knows he was wrong for saying Obama played the race card against him. Bill put his own foot in his mouth and instead of taking responsibility for it he said the race card was played on him. He only said that BS in order to get the hard working Americans, white Americans, to be mad at Barack. Bill was wrong for that. He needs to difuse that as soon as possible some people really believed that crap.

    July 1, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  3. Marshal Phillips, Wichita, Kansas

    This is a very positive development in my humble opinion.
    Al Gore should have let Clinton campaign for him... it might have made a difference. Anyway, Obama isn't going to make that mistake.
    I supported Hillary, but will glady vote for Obama over McBush.

    July 1, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Manuel TX

    One of the most successful presidents that we've had in my lifetime?

    That's not what he was saying during the primary campaign against Hillary. He criticized his presidency and so did all the rabid Obama supporters.

    So which is it?


    July 1, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Brett

    Well, tell us something we don't know. I can't wait for all the Obama-maniacs to start trashing Bill and Hillary on here again just in time to re-open old wounds in time for the general election 🙂 Yay!

    July 1, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. mijnos

    Did you know you can change the layout of your photostream page? Fun!

    If you like, you can arrange your photostream into what we call a Set. When you're done, that Set will show up here. To get started, open up Organizr. Go for it!

    July 1, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. Patty

    Does anyone seriously care? Why does the press insist upon making our campaign a soap opera?

    July 1, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. Democrat in LA

    Clinton for Chief Justice. Full Stop.

    July 1, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Lisa

    I can understand why a man would vote for Hillary, however I cannot understand how a man would cast their vote for NObama.

    July 1, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. WoMeN4McCain

    I bet the PUMA tards are crying like little babies because their sorry excuse for a hero is siding with their arch enemy Obama. lmao Come on over to our side.....we McCain supporters will take care of you even though we think you're quite pathetic.

    July 1, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Toni

    Pres.Bill Clinton is an exceptionally smart man, and as such he is also very loyal to his party,therefore,if he is needed he will gladly stump for Barack and the party.The media should stop making up conversations,and just keep to reporting the actual news.

    July 1, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    Intemperate, indeed. Because Bill Clinton is 100 times the man and the gentleman that BO is, he will go ahead and at least pay lip service to this used car salesman.

    July 1, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. matt

    anyone notice how Bill looks like the Joker in this picture?

    July 1, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Helen

    Barack may want Bill campaigning but I DON"T. God knows I have heard enough from the CLINTONS.

    Please let them go away quietly.

    Obama 08'

    July 1, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. BP

    As a lifetime Democrat, I still haven't made up my mind.

    July 1, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Dream Team!!!

    Obama........ I absolutely want Bill Clinton campaigning for me..........
    This is exciiting!........I would like to see all 4........Obama,Michelle,BILL and Hillary

    July 1, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. KJ

    WE miss Bill.

    WE miss Hillary.

    We don't like Obama and don't think he's qualified to be President.

    WE will vote for McCain if the Dems foolishly nominate Obama.

    July 1, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. Obama 08


    July 1, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. Gene

    We should start a betting pool to see how many speeches it takes for Bill to go off the rails again.

    p.s. Lime sherbert green is NOT your color.

    July 1, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. Lynn

    Thanks CNN for keeping the Clintons in the news. It reminds me what great leaders they are. It reminds me of the l990's and how great life was for most Americans and what the future could have been. But it also makes me sad to think of the Presidential candidates who are running now and will we survive the next 4 years with either candidate. I guess if we can survive Bush for 8 and we can survive the next 4.

    July 1, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. tony

    Bubba never got 50% of the popular vote and neither will Obama-
    They have something in common-

    July 1, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. john williams san diego, ca.

    I can understand Bubbas' shunning of Bama, he has the experience and wisdom to know that Barack has no idea of what lies ahead and saying 'change' and voting 'present' will not solve problems that the regressive liberals have caused....no to socialism..

    July 1, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. Obama is a joke

    Obama is too stupid for words!!!

    July 1, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. sarah

    the former president should walk away and leave this bumbling bubble head to fend for himself. after all the bill bashing obama started and promoted during the primary, president clinton should just ignore these desperate pleas for his help. why was it okay to bash bill, and chelsea but we are supposed to leave the precious michelle alone. i dont think so.

    July 1, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  25. New Yorker in Europe

    The most expensive former President in history whose office the U. S. taxpayer finances, not to mention losing his license to practice law for lying under oath in a U. S. Court of Law is nothing to be proud of. I know you won't print this Wolf, because it's not "Clinton friendly", but it's the truth. Bill isn't as important as he thinks he is, and yes, he's got culture shock...he wasn't able to abuse his power enough to get his way and is a sore loser.

    July 1, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
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