September 21st, 2010
11:14 AM ET
4 years ago

Clinton cautions Democrats on Palin: 'always a mistake to underestimate your opponent'

Bill Clinton has some advice for congressional Democrats and for President Obama.
Bill Clinton has some advice for congressional Democrats and for President Obama.

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that Sarah Palin is "somebody to be reckoned with" and cautioned Democrats that "it's always a mistake to underestimate your opponent."

"We may be entering a sort of period in politics that's sort of fact free, where the experience in government is a negative," Clinton told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

The former president wouldn't say whether Palin is qualified to hold the highest office.

He also had some advice for President Obama ahead of what's likely to be a Republican resurgence in November's midterm elections.

Clinton said Obama should ask the American people for two more years to right the economy and put his job and those of his Democratic allies in Congress on the line.

"[He should say:] If we don't do better, you can vote against us all and I'll be on the ballot too. Vote against us all if it's not better," Clinton said.

Clinton will sit down with Wolf Blitzer Tuesday afternoon in The Situation Room, starting at 5 p.m. ET on CNN.


Filed under: 2010 • Bill Clinton • Sarah Palin
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. ex-repulican since McCain picked Palin

    sorry, that was HATE the President not hat him. lol.

    September 21, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Ryan

    President Clinton is right of course. There is that 30 percentile in this country that thinks Jesus rode a dinosaur and that Palin would make a good president..

    September 21, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Dale

    2 MORE YEARS???????????

    In 2 more years we would be totally government controlled. TOTALLY

    Slick Willie good try, another good calculated move but WE THE PEOPLE have finally opened our eyes.

    We would vote for sixth graders to run this country before voting for liberal NWO lying incumbents like BO and group, yes some republicans also but the Tea Party has been cleaning house on the repub side.

    YOUR SIDE IS IN 42 DAYS – Tell G. Soros and C. Dodd and the rest of the NWO group to "BACK OFF" the people are coming for them.

    September 21, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Greg

    So i finally found a post I can write on!! I figured this blog would most likely cause the usual anti-replublican, bush hating, finger pointing, party of no comments so I just would like to throw this one simple point out there....

    Why are all the posts here so liberal?? Do all these democrats and liberals have anything better they could be doing??

    September 21, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. Michael

    I would listen to him if I were the Democrats.

    September 21, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Marie MD

    Sorry Mr. Clinton, but I have to s=disagree with you. While you are correct that you never understimate your enemy the only way this country goes down the tubes of hell is to follow the half term governor and I don't see it happenig any time soon, or ever.
    she might think she won some states but those she endorsed have a lot of baggage and the truth is now coming out. Why not before, who knows!

    September 21, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. robertJ

    I fully agree. However it is more than time for our party (democrats) to get past the "politically correct path" and call it like it is regarding republicans. This country needs the Democrats and they are continously out shouted by the republicans twisted facts and ideologies. It's time to thoroughly assess the enemy of our country and get tough with them, one on one and as a group, or we will repeat the last 15 years or worse!

    September 21, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. AJ

    Its really always a mistake to underestimate the stupidity of the American electorate.

    September 21, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Steve- Illinois

    Sorry Bill! The voters aren't waiting two more years! People are in a panic with this administration in power. The bleeding needs to be stopped now! Two years from now, it may be too late! This election we need to vote in Republicans to put some checks and balances on the Dem agenda. Next election, it's time to continue knocking off career politicians in both parties! The electorate will have spoken. The status quo in D.C. is coming to an end!

    Common Sense!

    September 21, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. sian rose

    His point about President Obama is exactly right. Present the glass as half full. Personalize the experience and take accountality before blame is assigned. President Obama is the Democratic party leader and as such should illustrate to people that he is a leader who is willing to take responsiblity. By asking for 2 more years he may very well help to stymie the backlash that current Democrats are experiencing leading into the fall elections.

    September 21, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. katiec

    President Clinton talked about numerous subjects and spent very little time on Palin, but, of course, CNN will seek out anything they can to give her the headlines.
    Your love affair with Palin, constantly pushing her down our throats is getting tiresome, CNN.

    September 21, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. jeff, alabama

    Bill Clinton must have been reading my letters over the
    last two years.Palin is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
    Sarah Palin in 2012.
    By the way , I really feel that my LETTERS are superior to all
    of you liberal's NOTES.
    Jimmy Carter couldn't carry my key board for me.

    September 21, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Sorry Bubba. I'm not underestimataing her. She's dumb and a hateful person. Definitely not presidential.

    September 21, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. La Piovra

    Though the John Anderson factor and Carter's own ideological spinelessness explains Reagan's first electoral victory, it doesn't account for the second. Too many Americans, when stressed, prefer simple-minded self-righteousness, because it makes them feel things are simple and they are right. In like fashion, when they are feeling downtrodden and enraged, meanness and bigoted snobbishness appeal to them, because then they feel justified in venting their rage and contempt on the "inferior". Clever financial hierarchies create conditions that lead to this mindset, and clever demogogues – their pets and puppets – use them. Have reference to the last days of Weimar, for some useful examples: SEE "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", by William Shirer, and Der Fuehrer", by Konrad Heiden, for illustration.

    September 21, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Squiggs

    The problem isn't underestimating Palin. The problem is overestimating the intelligence of the American people. This woman brings nothing to any reasonable debate intellectually or idealogically. For anyone to stand up and say "this is the person I trust to lead us into the future is just mind boggling". That is the problem. If a monkey was convincing people to vote for them would you wonder about the monkey or the people who were following it. I think most intelligent people would wonder about the people following the monkey. The same with Palin.

    September 21, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Indeed. She may be a complete imbecile and a selfish, self-serving, egomaniacal, narcissistic, power-hungry moron, but that doesn't mean she's not dangerous.

    ""We may be entering a sort of period in politics that's sort of fact free, where the experience in government is a negative,"

    100% correct. Facts do not matter to people like the Teatards and GOP...just perception and making sure that they are being told what they want to hear. Nor do they matter to people like Palin, Boehner and the Glush Limbeck monster, who are making millions off being the ones to tell angry, fearful, misinformed and undereducated people what they want to hear. It's quite simple.

    September 21, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. blaine

    Your right Mr. President, never under estimate a wanna be politician, who has a high paid speech writer . I would think the media has exposed palins lack of political experience for people to use their common sense. Maybe we need another high profile,smart, media person to do a one on one with palin,like Katie did . That s the ticket. Maybe she,ll quit, like she did her job in Alaska. With the millions of smart, educated women in this country,how did she ever get to this point!! Amazing.

    September 21, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Laura, Boston

    We are already voting against him in 2010...if Obama doesn't get the message from his own supporters (like the folks yesterday) then come 2012 we will vote him out too!

    September 21, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Keith in NJ

    Very Very Good advice from someone I never voted for (but would in a heartbeat right now). MOre people read PEOPLE and National Enquirer than Neewsweek r Time. Learn about who Sarah Palin really is. DO NOT underestimate her or you will do so at your own peril and the joke will be on us.

    September 21, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Dt

    I agree mr president. but can u imagine palin debating obama without pre selective questions,lol. that would be too funny. But i know cons it wouldnt be fair for the most powerful man in the world to debate a 5 univesity going woman to obtain a journalism degree would it lol. that would be must see tv. i bet the gop want invite obama back to their retreat again with cameras in the room, lol. Remember that, even fox news had to change their programming

    September 21, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. bennie new york

    Remember Murphy's Law: everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Always remember that in politics, the worst case scenario has a good chance of playing out. Just ask Al Gore.

    September 21, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Stop obsessing about Palin. Why does the media perpetually dwell on what she says in Twitter, or have to constantly ask politicians their opinion of her. She is a nobody...just a drop-out half term Governor and propaganda cheerleader on Fox.

    September 21, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Pam

    I agree! After all, we know Republicans ain't too bright to begin with!!!!

    September 21, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Hypocricy is a Speeding Prius

    Clinton says we are entering 'fact-free' politics? Well, if true, that would still be better than the integrity-free politics of his administration.

    September 21, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. lisa

    The reason we're in a fact free period is because the media, with a few notable exceptions like Anderson Cooper, have completely abandoned fact checking in favour of letting the GOP tell huge lies on television, all in a race to the bottom for ratings.

    September 21, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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