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. Nice Tie Bill!

    Welcome home!

    Time to get to work! We have the American economy to fix.

    Obama 08

    July 1, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  2. Q

    Until Clinton goes into all of those rural towns with "hard working, white Americans" and retracts his ridiculous attacks I have no use for him.

    July 1, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. akc66

    Go David Goldman. The best blog phrase up there.

    Thank you for remembering the war Clinton fought and won with no US combat casualties...
    and booted that evil tyrant out of power...whats-his-face?
    oh it doesn't matter.

    Bush probably thought he could one UP him...but he sure couldnt.
    Go DEMS.

    July 1, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  4. franco

    "He is one of the most gifted public officials of our generation…"


    Obama......................the changing agent.......................

    July 1, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  5. Kathleen Opon

    This article only tells us Obama's opinion of the phone conversation, and we all know how honest HE is. He was saying Bill was endorsing him when a spokesman of Clinton's made a pretty impersonal statement from him, which obviously wasn't an "endorsement" or Obama wouldn't be hounding him for more. I hope Bill doesn't make a public endorsement.

    Bill has every right to be mad at Obama, and he and Hillary owe him NOTHING. I agree that they should distance themselves from his train-wreck of a campaign so they can be fresh in August when Hillary is elected as the nominee.

    July 1, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  6. WhoWhat

    It takes a Con Man to know a Con Man. If you do your homework look at Obama's history and voting record, he never found a tax he didn't like or a big government handout he wouldn't support. Slick Willie looks like a conservative next to this Lib.

    July 1, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  7. Ridgeway

    I agree with Ardnuas. Hillary and Obama should be on the same stage. The first one out of town.

    July 1, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. miranda harris

    I know Senator O has to do what he thinks is best, but I
    wish Hill/Bill would go away and leave him alone. If you
    saw the ads that the NRBA are running against him, and
    these words are coming out of Hill/Bill mouths it a shame.

    I don't like them and after this I never will. She praised
    McCain and trashed him and these words are coming back
    to haught him. They both should be ashamed of themselves.

    July 1, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. Len


    Not now – not ever!!

    July 1, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  10. BV

    The primaries were a two way street. Everyone dished out dirt. I have respect for the ones who join together to clean it up. Let's get over it and put together a team that can make a difference. I applaud Obama and the Clintons for wanting to clean things up and move on. We need change and we need them to help it come about.

    July 1, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  11. UNITY!!!

    puff , please don't campaign for this idiot. Do not go out on the trail for NOBAMA, he is not fit to wipe his shoes on the door mat of the white house..........SORRY to disappoint you PUFF .........Mr Obama Will be PRESIDENT ......OH yea!!! and YOU can SHINE his SHOES and TAKE the DOG OUT .......SAY YES SIR!!!


    July 1, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. Susan

    OK, Bill, time to get to work to keep the warmonger9ng, economy busting Republicans out of the White House!!!

    July 1, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. George from Toronto

    I would limit Pres. Clinton's support to TV spots in designated regional and local markets. Definitely no personal appearances on the campaign trail. Instead, I would urge the apparent VP short-list candidates – like Hillary, Bayh, Richardson, Biden, Sebelius, McAskil, Napolitano, Edwards – to address their particular constituencies and supplement Barack's mainstream messages, which would also be an added test of their VP potentials and loyalties.

    Better safe than sorry!

    July 1, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. Netty

    I agree w Linda – BE VERY CAREFUL – trouble for you can be in the works – wait until after the convention !!!!

    July 1, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  15. H


    July 1, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  16. Anne

    How hypocritical of Obama. He had every black surrogate of his out there calling Clinton (both of them) racists and he even sent out an advertisement with Bill Clinton's record on it as President criticizing him for losing house and senate seats. The Clintons will do what is expected of them as strong members of the Party and I respect them much more than I can or will ever respect Obama for wht he did to them.

    July 1, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. Sharon Minnesota

    Hillary and Bill Clinton will rue the day they hooked up with Mr. Obama. If not now, then later.

    July 1, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. Independant Thinker

    Torpedos away!!!!!

    It will be fun to watch Bill torpedo Obama's ship!!

    Oh, but he didn't mean to do it, or did he???

    July 1, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  19. Patrick


    July 1, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  20. will

    Bill please do not help this man. You have better things to do than to help this fool.

    July 1, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  21. Peter E

    Did Obama apologize for what his campaign and his surrogates did? If he didn't then it was wasted talk.

    July 1, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  22. J.C.

    Obama is Ted Kennedy's heir, certainly not Bill's.

    July 1, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  23. Peter of Oregon

    Barack Obama and Bill Clinton prior to his first term as President have a whole lot more in common than Hillary Clinton does. They're alike in many ways. They're both very intelligent, articulate, surround themselves with good people and have a clear vision.

    July 1, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  24. Kimberly

    The president should not give Obama the Time of Day!

    July 1, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  25. Sarah


    July 1, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
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