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. DB

    I'm sure there is a method to Bill's madness here but I can't quite figure it out.

    September 22, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  2. Sally from Cali

    No one from the Obama campaign is attacking Palin.

    She wants to be on the front page again and she's not front page news.

    September 22, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. John

    Donald Trump has a tremendous amount of "executive experience"

    Would you want Donald Trump running the country?

    The presidency is judgement not executive experience.

    September 22, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  4. John, FL

    Bubba's right. Besides, actions speak louder... and you know they will.

    September 22, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  5. NOSS

    Obamabots are so defensive they can't see their own ignorance.
    A backlash is building against these personal attacks.

    September 22, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  6. dw

    he wants Obama to lose...its obvious

    Palin is dangerous and this reality has nothing to do with her gender .

    September 22, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  7. Karen, NY

    You finally got something right Bill. Sarah Palin drew 50,000 people in Central Florida yesterday. Joe Biden's biggest crowd ever was 2,000 and they had to give away free beer to get that many.

    Sarah is only 44 and she's a model for our daughters. Mayor, Governor with the highest approval rating in the U.S.–80%, candidate for VP, Member of the Alaskan Energy Board, and all while raising 5 kids. Few people can match that kind of performance.

    She'll be a powerhouse in republican politics for the next 20 years.

    Sarah Palin 12 & 16'

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

    Is it me, or is Bill Clinton gradually morphing into Joe Lieberman?

    The reality is that she is not doing well, except with her base, and even some of them have openly expressed their concern about her. Her views, her checkered history as Alaska's governor, and her rants are turning most people off. It is beyond dispute that her qualifications to be Vice President – or more properly her lack thereof – are fair game.

    President Clinton, of all people, should be able to recognize that it is possible to criticize your opponent without having to go ad hominem.

    September 22, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. jt

    Obama is clear family off limit, well...she is the candidate and she is full of lies, nobody is attacking her...

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

    Well what about the attacks on Michelle Obama? The double standard smacks of hyprocrisy and racism as, unlike Governor Palin, Michelle Obama isn't even running for office.

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

    I agree 100% with Bill. The Democratic Ticket should leave Palin alone. Let the New York Times and Time Magazine call her a liar.

    Let me and other outraged Americans attack her on these forums, I like sparring with the Republican toady trolls who post here, it's fun to see how inarticulate and ignorant they are.

    September 22, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. Susan

    But she's such an EASY target....

    September 22, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Tracy


    They are angry because she has more experience than Obama.

    You don't see them posting about Obama's accomplishments during his 143 days as a Senator.

    Easier to tear down other people to keep the topic of Obama: thin resume, no accomplishments, hateful spiritual adviser, Rezko slumlord, terrorist Ayers.

    September 22, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  14. sunday pavlock

    Good job,Bill.
    You can take the high road,but we don't have to. There is more than enough to laugh at,without using her family.
    McCain made a good choice alright....sure makes him look like an OLD FOOL!!!

    September 22, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  15. Rusty from Charlotte

    Based on Clinton's prior record with women, it’s understandable why he thinks Palin is "hot out there". Also, history has already proven that Clinton has never met a woman that he didn’t like.

    September 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. Luka

    I thik Bill is right over a non-issue:
    He is right because Obama does not need to attack her, since the truth about her, exposed by investigative sources, is damaging enough.
    And it is a non-issue because Obama/Biden never attacked her in the first place. If anything, both of them were extremely corteous to her, and focused their attacks on the substance of the proposed plans and policies of her running mate.
    Oh, by the way, her running mate is on the top of the ticket, in case you were not sure about it... 🙂

    September 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. Creative Woody

    Don't attack her personally. Attack her lack of credentials. She couldn't even answer her hand-picked interviewer's question about the Bush doctrine. What exactly does she bring to the table for republicans?

    September 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  18. Amanda

    Why is he praising the woman? Is he trying to get Hillary supporters to switch over to the GOP and start supporting Palin? He really has it in for Obama huh? This is EXACTLY why Hillary would not have been a good VP. Her husband is a loose cannon.

    September 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  19. Nicholas

    Is this the Hillary 2012 push? Give me a break. Palin is up for grabs. Biden needs to let her have it. Bottom line is, she was a good pick politically, but horrible considering McCain allegidly puts his 'country first.' I trust her about as much as I trust Wall Street. I do agree Obama should not attack, but the rest of the dems should do as they please. Sorry President Clinton, I'm not on your side on this one.

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

    I agree with the President. If everyone just ignores her and talks about McCain they lose anyway. She isn't important enough to talk about.

    September 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  21. Phillip Bunn , Bailey NC

    Bill, why don't you just shut-up. You're just pissed about Hillary not being chosen and this is your only viable option of complaining. Sara Palin's record "needs" attacking, for fear of her becoming second in command. Besides, if she is on the losing ticket, maybe you could offer her Monica's old position. By the way, which one did ya'll use?

    September 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  22. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    Hey, this is politics in the big leagues. As long as she is dishing it out, and much of that is untrue, she had better learn to take it. As Hillary said "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

    September 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  23. Sue

    No one needs to attack her. She is going to self destruct all by herself. Give it a few more weeks of not appearing on any Sunday morning news shows.

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

    And look what ALL that experience that BUSH has has gotten US!!!!!

    September 22, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    He's right, leave her alone, and let her get comfortable in her surroundings. Then as soon as she thinks the coast is clear, she's going to get asked questions, lots of questions, and the "experience" will then shine through for what it is – not much!

    OBAMA / BIDEN – 2008!!!

    September 22, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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