November 19th, 2010
07:56 AM ET
3 years ago

Carville defiant on Obama comment

Washington (CNN) – Democratic strategist James Carville compared President Barack Obama to his Democratic primary rival and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday, implying in rather lewd terms that Obama needs to toughen-up.

And he's not sorry for it.

"If Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama, he'd have two," Carville said at a "Christian Science Monitor" breakfast discussion.

His comment was a response to whether Obama is taking strong enough stands on taxes and repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy.

Carville made a similar comment to "Newsweek" during the 2008 campaign season when he compared Clinton and Obama's toughness.

"If she gave him one of her cojones, they'd both have two," he said.

He reacted to the comment on CNN's "John King, USA" Thursday.

"If I offended anybody, I am not sorry and I do not apologize," Carville told CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King.

But he also said he intended the comment to be a joke.

"Of all the things people say about the president, I think this is fairly mild," Carville said. "I repeated a joke I made in the campaign."

soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. therealmarie

    Hateful, bitter man who just will never accept that his candidate lost to a black man. He needs to crawl back under the rock he came from. Is he a constructive Democrat, No. Is he an unattractive creature that craves attention that only CNN and anti-Obama propagandists can fill, You Betcha!

    November 19, 2010 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  2. Kendall

    A restatement of the obvious. Go Jimbo!

    November 19, 2010 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  3. Canuck

    Anyone else had enough of balls, huevos, cajones and manning-up?

    November 19, 2010 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  4. Mojon Bush

    Let Obama grow his own. That's the only thing wrong with his comment.

    November 19, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  5. Omar

    Carville is RIGHT; Obama needs to tighten up! He also needs to fire Axelrod.

    November 19, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  6. usualone

    Carville was crude, for certain, but the Democrats really want this President to show a tough side to him. It cannot be just inward strength, since the public seems to respect those who shout the loudest. They may be wrong in what they say, but too many people perceive softness as weakness. The President and his administration, and Democrats in power, should also scream out loud of their accomplishments. They are helping people, contrary to too many posters. But would think they are hiding in the dark afraid of what they have gained for the citizens. GM is a prime example of an institution that needed to be saved, and we will all gain with that achievement.

    November 19, 2010 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  7. Sherry in Kentucky

    I love Obama, but Carville is soooo right! He needs to grow a pair!

    November 19, 2010 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  8. Peggy Lucas

    I support President Obama 100%, but I also agree with James Carville. It's time to get tough with the Republicans. For the two years, they have walked all over the White House and the Democrats. The party of NO needs to be put in their place now before it's too late. President Obama, please show the Republicans who is boss!

    November 19, 2010 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  9. stephen

    Let's see what happens here. Carville is far to the left and it seems that when a 'lefty' says anything that is remotely close to being a phrase that takes one back to the days of 'black enslavement' they get a pass. Jesse Jackson said a similar thing during the campaign while speaking with the NAACP President. I wonder if Trent Lott had said what would have happened, let alone Rush Limbaugh.

    November 19, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  10. Marcus in Greensboro, NC

    I'm a Black Democrat and I agree with James Carville. I voted for Obama, but I feel he is too willing to compromise on things that do not have gray areas. Health care was watered-down, Wall Street bill was watered-down, CARD Act watered-down, and now he is trying to compromise on the Bush tax cuts and DADT. The people keep polling overwhelmingly for repeal of DADT, not extending Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and when the health care debate started it was also 70% for the public option. Senate Democrats contribute to him appearing weak, but he contributes to that by bringing up compromises that go against the majority of the country before anyone else offers them. People don't like Pelosi, but she has gotten through everything the American people wanted. She got through the public option, killed in the Senate, repeal of DADT, killed in the Senate, and if they would have dealt with the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy earlier, that would have passed too. There are over 200 bills that were passed in the House that the Senate won't even touch. That's why the "Blue Dogs" lost big in the elections, because they are DINOs and people felt like getting them out will create a party that's more in line with America.

    November 19, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  11. Mike Brown

    Carville appears in the movie 'Old School' as himself – probably the most un-funny part of the movie. This guy wouldn't know a good joke if it reflected off his chrome dome...

    November 19, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  12. kmp

    Carville sometimes I wish you would just shut up, but in this instance I think you are right. I support Obama but just wish he would stop and realize that the other side doesn't want to play nice. He needs to toughen up and start taking them on and show the American people what many already know that they do not care about anyones else other than themselves and those who helped buy them their seats.

    November 19, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  13. Molly

    A comment someone makes about a joke they repeated is not news, it is noise. Please report news, CNN.

    November 19, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  14. bayou2

    Mr. Carville is right, Mr. President buck up or pack up.
    If Palin runs in 2012 I will vote for the only because she is as dumb as dirt.
    Are you guys to weak do do without Pelosi?

    November 19, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  15. Jay

    I agree with Carville, Obama needs to toughen up. The Republicans are controlling the debate and he needs to stand up.

    November 19, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  16. jfinkley41

    i agree totally.President obama needs to toughen up.Stop with all the nice speeches,lectures,etc.these gop members of congress dont want his leadership and they are not going to work with him or the administration on anything.The President needs to fight and grow some toughness,because they have dug in hard and its past time for the gloves of timidity to come off.

    November 19, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  17. Kenneth

    Sorry folks, but I am absolutely and completely an Obama supporter and I totally agree with Carville. Obama does need to toughen up big time and stop trying to be so affable. This is not just for his own good but for the good of us all. I'm still with you, brother, but you have to stand tall and be strong.

    November 19, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  18. Jay,IL

    The essence of what Carville said is VERY TRUE, even though he put in a "fancy!" expression. The reason Obama is loosing (having a negative opinion publicly and the Democrats lost the mid-term elections), even though he has done many good things for the country, is because he is soft with the Republicans, and he has allowed them to misrepresent him and the Democratic party in the eyes of the public. I believe President Obama "stands" for good things, BUT unless HE SHOWS THAT to the American people (and especially to the Democratic voters) he is going downhill from now till the elections of 2012. THANK YOU James Carvile for exressing the true frustrations of many people, with President Obama

    November 19, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  19. chris

    I am a Democrat, but this is why our party will always be viewed as a weak party. Because when a of James Carville statue in the party make stupid comments like this, the party is looked at as weak and not unified!! They all wonder why they loss the House in the last election, it is because of the in fighting and lack of party unity!!!

    November 19, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  20. Ferret out the B.S.

    Mr Carville is pretty crusty hey If you can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen.

    November 19, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  21. Tangotwo

    Let's see, Rangel apologizes and gets fired but can keep his job....His life is ruined....until tomorrow.

    November 19, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  22. Ken in NC

    Carville may have been joking but the fact of the matter simply put is that the President needs a couple of cojones and a spine. I voted for him and have been pleased with some of the things he has accomplished, however, he caves to quickly and gives up to much before ever getting started.

    November 19, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  23. Steve Oehmen

    I am an Obama fan, but I'm even a bigger fan of James Carville. He tells it like it is.

    November 19, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  24. sick of liberals

    i don't like democrats....but this one, you have to love. not afraid to go against his own. and he's absolutely right!!!

    November 19, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  25. Seattle Sue

    Carville's comment is no worst than a lot of Tea Party/Republican women made during the past election. Such as Palin,O'Donnell',Angle, Bachman,Florina and Whitman to name a few.

    November 19, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
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