May 20th, 2010
10:52 AM ET
4 years ago

Bill Clinton to head back on the campaign trail

Bill Clinton is heading home to Arkansas to try and help out a fellow Democrat battling for her political life.
Bill Clinton is heading home to Arkansas to try and help out a fellow Democrat battling for her political life.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton is heading home to Arkansas to try and help out a fellow Democrat battling for her political life.

The former president and former Arkansas governor will campaign with Sen. Blanche Lincoln on Saturday at an event in the Little Rock area.

The two term senator will face off against Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in a June 8 runoff election in the battle for the Democratic nomination. Lincoln won 44.5 percent of the vote in Tuesday's Democratic Senate primary, with Halter, who's gained the help of union and progressive groups as he challenges Lincoln, grabbing 42.5 percent, and conservative Democrat DC Morrison at 13 percent. Since no candidate won a majority of the vote, a runoff between the top two candidates is necessary.

"I'm extremely grateful for President Clinton's support in this campaign and look forward to our 'Countdown to Victory' kickoff event," says Lincoln, in an email released by her campaign Wednesday night.

Along with the star-power that Clinton brings to his former home state, he could also play a pivotal role in bringing out African American voters, a key constituency group that Lincoln will need to beat Halter.

"Blanche is fighting the special interests and standing up for Arkansas," states Clinton, in the same release. "She has written the toughest Wall Street reform proposal to help Main Street businesses. She has fought for Arkansas farmers, ranchers, and foresters. Arkansas cannot afford to lose Blanche's leadership as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee."

The former president campaigned this past weekend for Mark Critz, the Democratic candidate in Tuesday's special House election in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional district. Critz ended up beating Republican Tim Burns in the battle for the seat of the late Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Steve (the real one)

    I am sure she is glad it is Bill Clinton! Now, she has a great chance to win!

    May 20, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Riley

    Blanche is toast. Clinton cannot save her, as she has gone against the will of her constituents too many times.

    May 20, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. Dave

    Bill Halter supports the public option and that makes him the real Democrat in the race. Lincoln pulled one too many crony acts.

    May 20, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. conniesz

    If the Dems in Arkansas want to keep that senate seat in their column, they would be wise to support Senator Lincoln. The urge for ideological purity tends to sink whichever party subscribes to it at any particular time. In this case, Senator Lincoln can actually win in the general election – Halter cannot. Time and time again this happens – one group goes for ideological purity and the other for the win. Trying to actually win seems to work almost every time – the purity thing, not so much.

    May 20, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Gordon Shumway

    Which definition of a liar is Clinton going to use? Must admit though, he's liable to be a bigger help than Obama, but that's really not saying much...............

    May 20, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. stevetall

    Don't do it, Bill. She's the wrong person at the wrong time for the Democratic Party.

    Don't do it, Bill!

    May 20, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Michael Ford

    This is Great News and I look forward to seeing the President Back in Arkansas. Blanche is a Great Person and I hope everyone votes for her!

    May 20, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Good, that is a sure sign that whoever he campaigns for will loose.

    May 20, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. GI Joe

    She favors corporate america like the party of NO.

    Vote her out. She's not a politician for the people. She's FOR CORPORATE AMERICA.

    May 20, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Layla

    This poor, tired old man doesn't even know he's finished yet. Just like McCain.

    May 20, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. co citizen

    Blanche Lincoln is a female Bill Clinton. Like him, she will abandon any principles she may have to win an election. It does not surprise me that he is campaigning for her. Monkey see monkey do.

    May 20, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. PJP

    Oh geez man, you have had your turn in the spotlight so go away! No, I ma not saying this because I think he will help the demo's, I am saying this because this man has no morals. If you really thing someone can run a country that has few morals then you had better look around, between him and peanut brain, Carter, that is where this country started going wrong. For all the wrong that Nixon did, he didn't do nothing compared to the dems we have had in the White House in the last few years, especially this dummy we have in there now. They have all been "YES" men. You cannot say yes to everything, it will blow up soone or later.

    May 20, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Enough

    Good idea, this will be a big boost for the Republicans. The more these has beens think they can influence us, the more we vote the opposite direction.

    May 20, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Michael

    I understand Bill Clinton's intent, But Lincoln would be a weaker candidate in the general election. I say that because it's an anti-incumbent election year. This seat looks like a good one for Republicans, especially if Lincoln wins the runoff. If she wins the runoff, the liberal base which is very critical for her chance to hold the seat might sit out on her, and allow Boozman to beat her in a landslide. If Halter wins, it will still look like a Republican pickup initially, however Halter could be more competitive with Boozman, another Washington individual.

    May 20, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. PalmReader

    Whatever else you think of Bill Clinton, he DID hand Bush a 289 billion dollar surplus, which - as we are all aware of - Bush and his conservative cohorts managed to turn into a 3 trillion dollar deficit in no time at all . . .

    There are consequences, GOPers. Unfortunately, we the people seem to be the ones suffering YOUR policies most. In spite of this, GOPers are still insisting THEY have the right policies for America.

    Somehow, I can't seem to grasp why . . .

    May 20, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. DON'T !!!!!!

    DON'T DO IT !!!
    Bill Clinton is heading home to Arkansas to try and help her out. NO !
    That will back fire Lincoln.
    ANTI-incumbent, ANTI-establishment, ANTI-D.C. fevers are rising from the both parties, Republican & Democratic, through out the Nation

    May 20, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Boycott Rush`s Sponsors

    Clinton the closet republican helping this fruit cake?I should have expected it from this Corporate job seller.

    May 20, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. blancheispoison

    Bill is a savvy politician, but this move is a huge blunder. Lincoln is a DINO with strong ties to Wall Street and a reputation for dirty campaigning.

    We need change, not a Republican in populist clothing.

    May 20, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. stevegee

    Go smoke a cigar Bill!

    The American People are tired of you, and your liberal views. We've been awakened from our "change" coma and we're fed up with Obama and his socialist agenda.

    So no matter how much you campaign for Democrats, we're throwing them all out in November.

    May 20, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |