September 22nd, 2008
10:36 PM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton says Dems shouldn't attack Palin

Bill Clinton said Dems shouldn't attack Palin.

Bill Clinton said Dems shouldn't attack Palin.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton said Monday the Democratic ticket should steer clear of launching personal attacks on Sarah Palin over her relatively thin resume, and instead acknowledge she was a "good choice" for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket.

"Why say, ever, anything bad about a person? Why don't we like them and celebrate them and be happy for her elevation to the ticket? And just say that she was a good choice for him and we disagree with them?" said Clinton, who faced repeated charges during the primary season he was overly negative toward Obama on the campaign trail.

Clinton's comments appear to echo advice Karl Rove gave to Barack Obama in his regular Wall Street Journal column last week, when the former Bush strategist noted attacking the VP candidate has rarely proven to be an effective strategy.

In one of the former president's few extended comments to date on Palin's surprise VP candidacy, Clinton also told reporters in New York Monday he knows why the Alaska governor is attracting massive crowds on the campaign trail.

"I come from Arkansas, I get why she's hot out there," Clinton told reporters in New York, according to the Associated Press. "Why she's doing well."

"People look at her, and they say, 'All those kids. Something that happens in everybody's family I'm glad she loves her daughter and she's not ashamed of her. Glad that girl's going around with her boyfriend. Glad they're going to get married,'" he said.

Referencing Palin's 5-month old child who has Down Syndrome, Clinton also said voters will think, "I like that little Down syndrome kid - one of them lives down the street, they're wonderful children.”

Earlier Monday, Clinton suggested his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, would have been a better political choice for the Democratic VP spot than Joe Biden.

“She would have been the best politically, at least in the short run, because of her enormous support of the country,“ he said on the daytime talk show The View.

soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. brian

    Um, he's married to Hillary. Why does it continually surprise CNN that he's got a Hillary bias?

    September 22, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. heidi

    i still don't trust bill clinton

    September 22, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Desiree

    President Clinton is right and if Obama wants to win he would tell his surrogates to stop attacking Palin and keep the focus on McCain.

    September 22, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |


    September 22, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. Kim

    I agree that it is a lost cause attacking Palin, although I haven't heard Obama or Biden attack her. But all I've heard from Palin is attacks and snide remarks. I wish Bill had given that same advice to his wife when she started her relentless attacks on Obama.

    September 22, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. meme

    Who cares Go Dems!!!

    September 22, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. McHoover Would Destroy What's Left of America

    Every time someone expects her to answer questions from the public, they claim she is being attacked. I'm not about to ignore the fact that she is THE most UNQUALIFIED person to run as VP in this nation's history.

    She is also the only candidate that has ever avoided being interviewed for weeks.

    Sorry Bill, she is bringing most of this on by her own actions.

    September 22, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  8. judy mitchell

    clinton likes anyone in a blue dress.

    September 22, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Mary

    why is it that we are not suppose to attack Palin but she can spread lies about Obama and she never even met the guy before.
    She is a liar and she is a fair game.
    If she has nothing to hide than cooperate with the investigation.
    I think she will put her foot in her mouth more and it will help Obama.
    I can't believe that Bill Clinto would defend her and yet she said mean things about Hillary.

    September 22, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. Joy

    Bill, if you are not going to help Obama then be quiet and not help the repubs. The Repubs know that Palin is not qualified, but you don't hear them stating that. They will back Palin all the way to the end.

    September 22, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Adrienne

    That's a slap in the face Bill. Hillary was a better 'political' pick but not a better 'governing' pick? A political pick is cheap. It lacks integrity. Maybe that is what Bill was saying. Obama did not use Hillary in a cheap way. I agree with that.

    September 22, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Goran

    Everyone, just ignore Bill! Praising McCain on "The View" and now saying Palin is good too; Bill Clinton may as well be spoke person for Republicans. Still bitter, Bill? Let it go! Bill keeps giving Hillary's supporters subliminal messages to vote for McCain and hoping Hillary will have a chance at the White House in 2012!

    September 22, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. environmentally blue

    Final vote tally? Hillary received 300,000 more votes than Backtrack Obama and he received a mere 17 delegates. Most of his wins were in caucuses.

    This should explain why Backtrack Obama is pulling out of Georgia and North Dakota and only concentrating on Swing states.

    ...oh wait, there goes the air out of more delusional supporter who kept repeating..."but he's going to campaign in all 50 states." ROFLMAO

    September 22, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Learn Geography Pete

    Uhhh Sneaky Pete have you ever looked at a world map? Last time I checked Alaska was the largest state in the union. Learn the difference between population and physical size.

    And yes Sarah Palin does have more executive experience than Obama accept that fact. And military command is executive experience so McCain has that as well. If you fail to see that then you are dense.

    Next time think and fact check before calling people morons.

    September 22, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  15. Army LT

    Why is Bill talking about Palin and her kids instead of the issues that are facing Americans in this economic crisis today?

    What the hail do we care about her and if someone likes her or not?

    I am on my way back to Iraq for the third time and my wife and children are going to be broke when I leave, as usual.

    Talk about that, Bill!

    Instead of helping the ticket you are too selfish to see beyond your own ambitions.

    Bill and Palin have a lot in common. Both are selfish and both lie a lot.

    September 22, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. Don

    Bottom line is Obama's numbers are absolutely horrible considering this was to be the year the dems slaughtered the republicans. I'm a democrat and I can tell you straight up Obama will not win this election. Personal attacks on Palin have hurt us. Why not keep the attacks issue based instead of being so personal? Trust me it is turning independents off big time. If we lose for the 8th time in 11 tries (and everything looks like that will happen) I will officially give up on my party as one that doesn't get it. It sure isn't the party I joined 18 years ago. Not even close.

    September 22, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  17. Laughing Repub

    Look at the comments. Look at the fear. Go get 'em Sarah. They are runnin' scared!

    September 22, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. Roger

    Obama-Biden democrats are attacking Palin just like Obama democrats attacked Hillary.

    September 22, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. Carol

    As citizens, we have a responsibility to investigate all of the political candidates. To close our eyes and say, we should avoid talking negatively about them, is not only stupid, but irresponsible. As Palin has never worked in Washington D.C. and has only experience at the state level, and a state with a very low population, she deserves very close scrutiny. She is relatively unknown to most citizens of the other 49 states. A candy-coated background with little substance, or truth, is not adequate with today's voter. Both positive and negative aspects of a candidates career must be closely scrutinized. After all, she is only a heartbeat away from the Presidency. I find that scary, don't you?

    September 22, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. chris

    what little respect i had for bill clinton, just got flushed down the drain.

    September 22, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  21. jm from sc

    I wonder if Romney and Hucklebee's wives are upset with Mccain for picking someone like Palin as VP when they were candidates for president as well? Why can't Bill leave this alone and realize that Hillary was not entitled to be the nominee.

    September 22, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  22. chris


    Seriously, dude. I couldn't understand a single word of what you were trying to convey. You must be a republican. Get thee to some kind of education institution, posthaste. I feel sorry for you.
    No offense. It just seems like every time I read a comment that is all misspelled or makes no sense, it's in defense of Palin or McCain. And that speaks volumes about their supporters.

    September 22, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  23. PSK

    I agree that she and her family should not be attacked. and McCain should insist that people who support him should not personally attack the Obama family. But she has been misstating her position on numerous issues, and we are oblligated to hold up a mirror.

    September 22, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Bill, why did you say to stop attacking Sarah Palin? Everytime the press and the liberal left including Obama and Biden attack Palin, the more it brings good attention to the McCain/Palin ticket. I did get a good laugh tonight watching Fox News when Obama was called a centrist. I guess that means all the Senate democrats including Teddy and Vermonts Socialist Senator are centrist since Obama voted left of them.

    September 22, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  25. Amanda from GA

    Well said, President Clinton. You fellow dems should take note of his eloquent intelligent statements and stop your "shout-you-down" antics. This ticker is full of that nonsense. It just makes all of us dems seem bitter and immature.

    BOTH sides lie and misrepresent the facts – not just the GOP.

    September 22, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12