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. Maritza

    HE should know the vile comments and distortions about Hillary the Obama camp directed at his wife, liberals can dish it but they can't take it , @ sneaky pete, the fact that she's more qualified and smarter ,didn't need a teleprompt at all at the Republican convention , it broke down, has your head in flames , Obama can't inprovise a single original thought let alone give any detailed plan on any one issue , just wait until the debates he will have a melt down before millions.

    September 22, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. CindyN--PA

    I cant help it. I cant stand Palin, and when I hear people that love her,it just plain makes me sick. She's unqualified, and McCain's judgement is skewed for putting her on that ticket.
    I am not attacking her person, I am attacking what she stands for and the fact that she is just plain and simply put, a terrible choice for VP.
    Not to mention she scares me to death and now has McCain singing that same tune of "Lets make Georgia and Ukraine a part of NATO, and if we have to go to war, then we have to"... No thanks! Not for my young boys.

    September 22, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. Whatever.

    Sorry, but if someone han't a clue about our failing economy and how to fix it, they shouldn't be the No. 2 person. PERIOD.

    I say call them out on every flaw, as much as possible. Its the only way people will wake up.

    September 22, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. bmontana

    Both McCain and Palin have sold their souls to the devil to win. It is one thing to "play to win" and it is another to "play not to lose". Maybe they should begin speaking in tongues to help their lost cause.

    September 22, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  5. Tom

    She would have been a better choice for prez period. You know that, I know that and 18 million plus other people know that. Because the DNC dissed your wife and Obama and his camp and supporters were so consistently sarcastically rude, most of her supporters will vote for McCain or not at all. Mostly we will vote for McCain because he's simply better than Obama and your wife was better than both of them. But we don't have that choice. I do agree with your comments on Palin, however. But the DNC, Obama, his camp and supporters aren't exactly known for taking the high road, know what I mean?

    September 22, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  6. John from LA

    To Lee from FLA-and all the other bots-you are making a BIG Mistake by attacking her-I thought "The Messiah" taught all his bots to NOT partake in the "Silly Season" of politics???? Tit for Tat won't work this time bots!


    September 22, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. election watcher

    Clinton is absolutely right. Agree with her or not, she is charismatic and has reinvigorated the Republican base. Personal attacks only discredit any attempts to intelligently counter her positions and give the Republicans fuel to criticize the Democrats.

    September 22, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. values

    Bill is playing games in hopes of Obama losing. He should be quiet or help Obama.


    September 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. davit

    Who is attacking her? Does speaking the truth, or pointing out that your opponent is less than truthful constitute an attack. Bill shouldn't have even dignified her whining.

    September 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  10. Joe Dallas/Fort Worth

    I think Bill Clinton is right about not attacking Palin. He's saying to let Palin dig her own grave, which I think she began with that Charlie Gibson interview. Don't worry guys, the Palin bubble will pop on its own. Let's just sit back and enjoy the ride to the white house like Obama is doing.

    September 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. Th3rdpwr

    You know, it's a little disconcerting when the candidate at the top of the ticket (McCain) isn't secure enough to campaign without his second, and that second isn't trusted enough to have her own press conference , or be questioned by reporters.

    September 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. Kim

    So, it's OK for her to distort her record and continue to lie, and the American people are supposed to take it?? I think the American people have been "taking it" from the Republican Party for too long!!! It's time to call them the liars (i.e., Iraq War) that they are!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Deb n Texas

    Bill Clinton needs someone to get a shovel to carry all of his s-–t! He is such an imposter – he makes me cringe. I see right through him. I will not vote for another Clinton in my lifetime.

    September 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  14. Griff

    Never let us Elect from Fear... But never fear to Elect...

    September 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. Jen

    Strategically, I think he's wrong.

    Attacking Palin for her inexperience, constant blatant lies, and scandal plagued stint as governor and mayor has been extremely effective (and totally justified). Her favorability ratings have deteriorated. The more we get to know her, the less we like her. Democrats have not been attacking Palin or her family. They've been attacking who she is as a politician, and she has deserved every one of those attacks. She's a rancid extremist, and I'm sick of her playing victim.

    September 22, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  16. Bacusla

    An unsolicited but nonetheless wedged commentary; to what effect?

    Palin and all she represents herself with are fair game in the political arena.

    It is unfortunate, but it is what it is: POLITICS!

    Go get them Team Obama/Biden '08.

    September 22, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  17. independent

    thats' like a gentleman Bill, very sauve.

    now, you must keep away from the Obama-Biden campaign that tainted you as RACIST, thay you never were.

    September 22, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. Mary

    Give me a break. The guy supports Palin more than he supports Obama. They should not attack Palin who is a meber of an opposite party but they can viciously attack Obama. Why do they want to treat Palin like a flower. She is running for VP. What is she going to do if she has to face world leaders of extremely patriarchal and sexist countries. Whine. Deep down the Clintons are hoping he looses so they can say I told you so and jump in in 2012. I was never in favor of an Obama/Clinton ticket and I have been proven right.
    Obama/Biden all the way.

    September 22, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. No Hillary = No Obama

    Bill Clinton – 1st Dude – sooner or later –

    September 22, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. JP

    agreed. I disagree with McCain/Palin on almost 100% of their policies, ideas and views of the world. No need to say anything about them personally.

    September 22, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  21. R.Deezy

    I wish Bill Clinton stays out of this.

    September 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    She seems to relish her attack dog role for the Republican ticket, but thinks it unfair when someone lashes out at her? Give me a break! If you want to play in the rough and tumble world of presidential politics, you have to expect to take a few punches along the way.

    September 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. the other jd

    Palin who?

    September 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  24. wethepeople

    Pres. Clinton seems to very soft on his supposed support for Obama. I agree though that they should not attack Palin or her family, they should just ignore her. The more attention you give her the more people will focus on her. Don't talk about her at all, then she'll probably come out and say something stupid just to get attention. Anyone who every read or saw The Secret knows that you focus on what you want, so let 's just focus on President Obama!!

    September 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. Monica, Texas

    Sarah Palin is a DISTRACTION....and McCain and his team are trying to get the attention back on "lipstick" and off the "economy"...Dems don't fall for it. The press is doing a great job at vetting her. Let's not fall for it!

    September 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
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