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

Bill Clinton says Dems shouldn't attack Palin

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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. Roger Johnson

    Bill Clinton, I am going to vote for McCain, but I would support a constitutional amendment which would allow you to run for a third time. You just HAVE it.

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

    I do not like her policies or her personally, so I do not get what he is saying. I can not be happy she might become president oneday, the thought blows my mind .Bill clinton must stick up for her because she is cute, he never said how talented and smart obama is ( and he is way smarter than everyone running). Bill is still mad hillary did not make it, to bad she did not make it because of him. he destroyed her, now he basically attacks obama by what he does not say, I think this man is kind of pathetic. I am feed up with Bill clinton his time is done!

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

    Obama and his supporters seem to be in their element when they are demeaning women, so I doubt they can stop!

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

    Yeah, let's stop attacking her and look into tony rezko, ayres and rev. wright. There is alot that we can learn by a candidate by the people they hang out with. By the way 4 years of Obama as President would be like 4yrs. of rev. Wright as our president. You decide, I guess the U.S will have to change it's name to Obama"nation". "ABOMINATION:

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

    WHY ISN'T BILL CLINTON CAMPAIGNING FOR OBAMA?

    IF HE WANTS THE DEMOCRATS TO WIN, HE AND HILIARY
    SHOULD BE A LITTLE HARDER FOR HIS PARTY.

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

    When it comes to anything related to Hillary Clinton, Bill is not a reliable source. Even CNN's "journalists" should know what a conflict of interest is. Yet they still source him as a viable third-party source. If I showed that kind of journalistic integrity when I got my degree, I would have been expelled.

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

    Nonsense. Of course you shouldn't attack her personally (only Republicans do that to their opponents), but I don't see why her policy or her record – or her refusal to be questioned about them in the first place – is not up for criticism.

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

    DOES ANYONE EXPECT ANYTHING LESS FROM BILL CLINTON.........."I GET WHY SHE'S HOT OUT THERE"....ONCE AGAIN, BILL'S NOT THINKING WITH HIS HEAD ON HIS SHOULDER.....

    September 22, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. Erin in Oklahoma

    Thanks but no thanks. She put herself out there, so she will get the same treatment as the boys.

    September 22, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  10. Beachdog

    So Bill is already positioning for 2012; that was pretty transparent.

    September 22, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. Observer

    I totally agree that Hillary would've been the perfect choice for VP...
    She carried nearly 50% of the delegates, and Obama carried about the same. They easily would have the election all wrapped up now.

    He was betting he could win the highest job in the land– However, if he loses, he'll have the biggest FALL of his life.... back to the lowly first-term Freshman Senator he was when he started. I think he blew it!

    September 22, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  12. 12 HOUSES to 0

    BILL GETTING HIS SIDES CONFUSED AGAIN.

    HE HAD PLENTY TO SAY ABOUT OBAMA.

    SOUNDS LIKE HE IS WORRIED ABOUT AN

    OBAMA WIN HERE. WE WILL ONLY CONSIDER

    HIS WIFE AFTER 8 YEARS OF AN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION,

    AND ONLY IF WE ARE CERTAIN OF THEIR SUPPORT.

    September 22, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  13. Jacob

    The other facet to the experience debate that the right doesn't want to talk about is the EIGHT YEARS Obama was a state senator.

    September 22, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  14. Lynn:60 yr old Obama supporter

    Unless the media is willing to take on Palin for her outright lies, than what she says is left there as truth. Unless the media is willing to step up and quit with everything must be balanced it looks like both sides are equally at fault.

    The only option is for at least the surrogates to get our there and call her on her bridge, her lies about international "travel" her fiscal incompotentcy leaving a debt free town of less that 7 000 people with a 22 milion dollar debt...the list goes on. It was only then that the media did start investigating.

    The irony is she keeps lieing!! I just shake my head wondering what goes on in the "bus" when they make this up!!

    September 22, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. Michigan Chick

    As an independent I really didn't like President Clinton....well I stand corrected on that. He was a great President....it took Bush for me to see that. God help us if the GOP wins. Those arrogant, intolerent Republicans have changed my whole thinking. Go Obama!

    September 22, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  16. Jim in Virginia

    I agree with him but I haven't heard/read Obama say anything negative about Palin. He reacts to McCain's silly lies and should continue. Now the surrogates are another matter but Clinton is wrong to suggest that Obama and Biden are attacking Palin because I just don't think its so. Of course, by suggesting it he implies it is happening, keeps the Palin folks riled up, and begins the HIllary '12 campaign. They don't call him slick for nothing.

    September 22, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  17. Garrett, Seattle

    "Why say, ever, anything bad about a person? Why don't we like them and celebrate them and be happy"

    What?! Please...as if Bill never said anything bad about Dole or Bush 1...or Obama.

    When the McCain campaign is personally attacking Obama with lies and smearing Biden, and the Obama campaign has had a recent misleading ad attacking McCain, it's pretty sexist to pick out the only woman on either ticket and say "don't attack HER!" as if women should be held to a different standard in politics. Especially when she has received the least and lightest attacks lately of all the candidates.

    Oh, I forgot, you want McCain to win so you're trying to suggest that the Obama campaign is disrespectful to Palin/women.

    September 22, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  18. Robert

    And we all know how sensitive Bill is to women. HA!

    Where's his self-righteousness about Palin's trivial, dishonest attacks on Obama?

    You're old news, Bill. Deal with it.

    September 22, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  19. indipendent

    bill shut your mouth if you have noting good to say! both you and your wife is a looser.

    September 22, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  20. Evelyn, Raleigh, NC

    She is a good choice for the GOP ticket, but not a good choice for this country. McCain/Palin.....no how, no way!

    September 22, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  21. No Palin

    Bill is getting old. Obama got this Bill. America knows Palin is a fake and dumb and doesn't care about women rights. Americans aren't stupid.

    September 22, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  22. NO PALIN

    NO WAY! NO HOW! NO PALIN!

    September 22, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. lol

    bill clinton is so correct. people can relate to gov. palin and her family. i am glad is speaking out against the sexist treatment gov. palin is being subjected to. hillary had to put up with it, and he can see they have a new target now. thank you president clinton for having the courage to speak out honestly.

    September 22, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  24. just want toknow

    Excuse me .........what was it that Bill said to Obama after he was attack from folks about what he said about Obama?

    September 22, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  25. Independent

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for working with the Bush family to deregulatie the financail institutions and thanks for NAFTA and CAFTA too! :-)

    September 22, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
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