August 25th, 2008
05:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama denies rumored discord with Clintons

Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton had a joint event in Unity, New Hampshire in June.

Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton had a joint event in Unity, New Hampshire in June.

(CNN) – Amid reports that Bill Clinton is frustrated with his speaking slot at the convention and Hillary Clinton wasn’t considered for Barack Obama’s running mate, the Illinois senator refuted both Monday, telling reporters that former President Clinton can speak about anything he likes and argued that Hillary was in fact looked at.

CNN reported Monday morning that President Clinton is not happy he was asked to speak Wednesday night when the theme is national security. Clinton prides himself on his administration’s economic success, a pillar of his 1992 campaign.

Watch: Hillary Clinton calls for unity

Obama says he told Clinton last week he could discuss whatever he likes.

“Bill Clinton is a unique figure in our politics,” Obama told reporters at a hastily assembled news conference Monday afternoon. “This is the only person, the only Democrat that has been re-elected since FDR and he is somebody who is equally adept at talking about domestic issues and foreign policy issues.”

“Wednesday night most of the focus is going to be about foreign policy, but Bill Clinton knows a little bit about trying to yank an economy out of the doldrums and trying to help middle class families,” Obama added. “It wouldn’t make much sense for me to want to edit his remarks to prevent him from making a strong case about why we need fundamental economic change in this country.”

Obama also pushed back against questions about his campaign not vetting Hillary Clinton, saying “one of the things I don’t want to do is start getting into all the details about my vice presidential process.”

“I’ve said publicly and I will repeat again that Senator Clinton would have been on anybody's short list and so I took her very seriously,” said Obama.

What she on his short list?

“I think you can draw that conclusion,” Obama responded.

Obama said he wasn’t concerned about the possibility of protests by Clinton supporters at the convention because the Clintons have been clear about their support for him and will “be active parts of our campaign for the remaining 70 days.”

“There are going to be some of Senator Clinton’s supporters who we’re going to have to work hard to persuade to come on board, that’s not surprising,” said Obama. “But if you take a look I think at this week, I am absolutely convinced that both Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton understand the stakes…”

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. BBH

    LBJ was a re-elected democrat. History?

    August 25, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. ran

    Obama/Biden will be okay. We the people will get our country back inspite of HRC/Bill/Pumas. The polls do not reflect cell phone use or internet users ,so not a good indicator of the people wants this time around. So Democrats and others who want our country back be happy don't worry we will get our country back.

    Hope and change we all need and can count on by voiting for Obama/Biden and Democrats.

    August 25, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Vote For McCain so We can have Hillary in 2012!

    August 25, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. KenB, MI

    If all parties (supporters) were smart this could be one of the greatest head fakes in political history and both the Obama- Biden camp can win and the Clinton power base will grow.

    August 25, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |

    more years of Bush, Roe V Wade beign over turned, conservitvve judges beign appointed for LIFE, McCaine was against equal pay for women for god sakes!!!!!!

    I like Hillary and if she had won i woudl have voted for her, but she didnt Obama did. I have a child and i do not want him to grow up in a world ruined by Bush adn McCain!

    I can almost bet that Hillary will get a great spot in Obamas Cabinet! She would make great supreme court justice!!!!

    August 25, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. 2012 ;-)

    Americans are pretty set in who they are going to vote for. It all comes down to the Elector Collage anyway.

    If and it could very well happen Obama loses, what will be the concession speech Race!

    I'm picking the best of the worst

    2012 Clinton 😉

    August 25, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  7. vINCe


    August 25, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. James from San Leandro, CA

    Despite the (literal) handful of disgruntled Sen. Clinton supporters that McCain's trotted out, they WILL come to the polls and vote Obama-Biden in November. Sen. Obama has been incredibly gracious by offering to have her name put into nomination; once she and Pres. Clinton return the favor in their gracious speeches this week, the vast majority of her supporters will come around. History strongly bears this out.

    I bet even "Disgusted American" will end up rethinking his/her position. 🙂

    The road to to a Dem landslide in Nov. starts in Denver!

    August 25, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Jacque

    Could you please remind again why you did not stand up and give Michigan and Florida its half delegate. Will the real slim "Obama" please stand up.

    August 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. CM

    'I am Hillary Clinton and I DO NOT approve this message!"

    Eat that PUMA and you other false Democrats! You can't hide behind her now.

    And its been said before. The media will remind us next 4 years about this if Obama loses and HRC tries for the nomination. We won't vote for the Repubs but we don't have to vote.

    Besides you think McCain is really going to give her anything? Obama has a cabinet post in mind for her.

    August 25, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. Sean

    I am a DEMOCRAT who will NOT vote for OBAMA and here's why. He knows that Hillary was the best VP candidate(yes even better than Biden) and all his talk about UNITY was all talk, the only thing he seems good at. BOTTOM LINE: If he can't even put aside his own personal feelings for the good of the country, then what kind of president will he be. True, Clintons played hard against him during the primaries, but get over it for the good of the country. All talk, No Substance, No vote, Nobama.

    August 25, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. beezy

    obama is a better president than anybody is, or will ever be

    August 25, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |

    PUMAs Unite – Vote McCAIN in 2008 – So we can vote HILLARY in 2012 !!!!!


    This is the MOST SELFISH thing i ve heard in my enitre life.

    What about all those who will die is IRAK, in the meanwhile, what about all those who will loose their home, all those who will see their job shipped overseas, all those who will die not being able to afford healthcare ?????

    what about all these people...You PUMA people really think as republicans...i mean only rich republican can afford to wait 4 more years since they can afford health care and avoid home forclosure, and gaz price !
    NS !!!!!!

    August 25, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. Northwood

    Democrats need to stop the silliness. Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton are victims of vicious rumors and nasty gossip used to get you upset and split the party. Having followed Hillary's actions after her historic race, she has went out of her way to support Obama. Obama supporters need to knock off the attacks..This women was a victim of a vicious media and now is being once agin abused by the McCain camp to cause division in the party. Hillary Clinton is a great American, and has earned our respect.

    August 25, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. brittany

    I think Obama should let Americans know that Hillary will have some part in his presidency. He should have her playing some kind of role that would bring back Clinton supporters. He can choose who he wants as a VP and I probably wouldn't have chosen her either. Obama should also portray McCain as a sexist. This will also draw away her supporters from picking McCain.

    August 25, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Deborah

    When are the Demorats going to recognize it is the responsibility of OBAMA to unite the party? When the Republican party wins in November, will the Dems place the blame on Hillary? Looks like they already have that in effect.

    August 25, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Mary

    Notice the elusive nature of Obama's response to the question of whether he seriously considered Hillary for the V.P. position. Instead of answering "yes" or "no" with elaboration to clarify, he said, "You could draw that conclusion." Yes, that's true. We could draw that conclusion, but it could and would probably be a false conclusion. Oh well, as his Pastor Wright said, "He's a politician. He does what politicians do." Indeed, and his slam at Hillary in retaliation for her "3:00 a.m." ad showed his descent to a lower, juvenile level of retaliation. I couldn't believe that he would be so stupid as to antagonize Hillary supporters like me, whom he desperately needs in November. But even with Hillary as his V.P. candidate, I couldn't vote for Obama because of the many questions about his loyalty and his lack of experience and qualifications for the Presidency.

    August 25, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Joseph Egan II

    Recent coverage on how much more airtime Obama's received as opposed to McCain. Maybe, and it has all been negative, why? Also the media insists on inciting trouble with this Clinton tiff. How about some positive out looks. I guess corporate media America is afraid of Obama being the next President. Which i believe will happen. The Clintons had their moment in the sun, move on. Also there was a good reason the Kennedys, Caroline and Ted, backed Obama, and you can bet it was for a better America.

    August 25, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. pekopper

    Typical corporate media..., creating something out of nothing to seel a story.

    August 25, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. Lacy

    I don't think Hillary even wanted to be VP. I think that's what her supporters wanted. PUMA does not speak for Hillary.

    I think she'd prefer secretary of state.

    August 25, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Willy

    The Clinton's are you're October surprise Obama.

    August 25, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. delimex007

    I hope Obama loses so that Hillary wins in 2012.Mccain is going to defeat Obama .Now, Obama needs the Clintons as the polls are tied.What a hypocrite?Candidate for change?Please!!!Give me a break!!Go MCain go...

    August 25, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. Norma D. Batson

    I was an early Hillary supporter because she was a woman.But when Barak Obama announced, gender wasn't as important as race.To me,a retired educator originally from Tennessee of mixed parentage,Barbadian,Cherokee,Caucasian, and possibly African, having lived through segregation and intergration,with friends and family of many other ethnic groups,I feel very strongly that GOD has ordained him(Obama) as our next President.Rush Limbaugh,calls him the "Messiah".He well may be. I've lived long enough to know that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! I DO belive he is ordained by GOD!

    August 25, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. A Woman In California For Obama

    GET THIS: BILL CLINTON IS A FORMER PRESIDENT. Did you get it? FORMER PRESIDENT. This is NOT his time. Who cares if he is "happy" or not? He has made his money and had his fame. Now do most of us a favor and go away. Let Obama run his own forum. He is quite capable of doing that.

    August 25, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. Patrick

    This Registered Voting Democrat has discord with O and has no intention on wasting my vote on him. McCain 08. Clinton 12!

    August 25, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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