November 12th, 2007
07:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Bill Clinton: 'Boys have been getting tough' on Hillary

Clinton campaigned for his wife in South Carolina Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton continued to weigh in Monday on intensified criticism of his wife, telling a South Carolina audience, "those boys have been getting tough on her."

"It's a great time to be a Democrat," the former president told students in Charleston, South Carolina. "Even though those boys have been getting tough on her lately, she can handle it."

The comments are in reference to the heat Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, has taken since a Democratic presidential debate two weeks ago when she appeared to hedge on a question about drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants.

Bill Clinton also came to his wife's defense last week, linking the current criticism of her debate performance to the "swift boat" television ad campaign aimed at then presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 and an ad in 2002 questioning then-Sen. Max Cleland's patriotism. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, later said he was "stunned" by that comparison and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, called "it over the top."

Clinton has repeatedly said her rivals are teaming up against her because she is leading in polls, not because she is the lone female presidential candidate.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • South Carolina
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Kate, Aurora CO

    Enough already. By saying comments such as this he is only perpetuating the stereotypical "helpless woman". She entered into this race. The presidency is the most important role in American politics. If she can't stand up to a few men then how on Earth will she run this country? Get a grip Bill. They aren't being any more tough on her than if she were a man.

    November 13, 2007 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  2. John, Washington DC

    Tough on her? If she can't handle that here in the States, how's she going to handle the 'boys' that run countries and armies all over the world that do not particularly admire us? The last thing Bill should be doing is announcing to the world that Hillary feels like she's getting 'picked on'.

    November 13, 2007 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. Mark Cross Junction VA

    Oh Willy the chivilary you show over Hillary makes me sick. You and Hillary are phonys.

    November 13, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Assuming we are stupid enought to elect this woman………

    Why not, people were stupid enough to vote for Bush twice.

    November 13, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. Jim Topeka, Kansas

    What experience did George W have, he was a graduate of a Ivy league school. Was a Texas oilman that never hit oil, a part owner of a major league baseball team that was told when to buy in with his borrowed money, and when to sell by the people that lent him the money. He had lots of experence at achieving nothing.

    November 13, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. FedUpWithTheClintonistas

    Has anyone noticed that the divisiveness and "hate" in politics only really started when the Clintons and the Clintonistas like Carville, Begala, Stephanopopopopolis, Ann Lewis, et al, came on the scene in the 1990s. All the cute phrases like "vast right wing conspiracy", "politics of personal destruction", blah, blah, blah, BLAH. They are always focused on CYA and covering up stuff than actually accomplishing anything. They are nothing but a poll-driven political machine with no substance, except to offer one gov't program after another to "buy" votes with, of course, the American people paying for all of it. They are truly despicable people who should never be running this country again.

    November 13, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. Zoe,Austin, Tx

    When the going gets tough...blame Edwards for behaving like Bush...when in actuality, it's Hillary's actions in the senate and her debate answers that resemble Bush's policies more than any of the other democratic candidates...for status quo vote for Hillary.

    November 13, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. AntiHillary

    "What experience did George W have, he was a graduate of a Ivy league school. Was a Texas oilman that never hit oil, a part owner of a major league baseball team that was told when to buy in with his borrowed money, and when to sell by the people that lent him the money. He had lots of experence at achieving nothing.

    Posted By Jim Topeka, Kansas : November 13, 2007 9:28 am"

    Hey, Jim from Topeka! Bush was the governor of Texas. Remember. Actually was responsible for "governing". Where the frick do you think most of the recent presidents have come from – governships. Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush. They had to solve actual problems in their states, and know how to run a state within a budget. Every one of them had to learn foreign policy on the fly. Unless you were a VP running, you can't really get the foreign policy stuff down until you get in office. (No, flying around "visiting" countries like Hillary did doesn't really count. That's called a vacation, not making foreign policy)

    Her Royal Thighness has NEVER governed or been responsible for anything, well, uh, unless you want to count controlling all the bimbo eruptions from her faithful hubby.

    November 13, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. Diana, Minneapolis, MN

    Oh please. How many of you idiots who are complaining about Hillary are the people who voted Bush into office?
    Get real, you wouldn't know a good candidate if she bit you in the *ss!!!

    November 13, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Brent, Fairfax, VA

    "Oh Willy the chivilary you show over Hillary makes me sick. You and Hillary are phonys."


    ...BUT,they are in "LOOOOOVVVE"! At least that's what they told us. I don't know about you people, but if I pulled the multiple infidelities this clown pulled (and, in his case, front-and-center on the world stage), my wife would have done more than just divorce me. These two suck!!! I can't think of more disingenuine politicians (I know, an oxymoron).

    November 13, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. thelinguistic

    An open handed gester is body language for "will you buy this one?"

    November 13, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Zoe, Austin Tx

    Diana from Minneapolis,

    I did not vote for Bush in either election. That is precisely why I am not voting for Hillary. The failed policies of the Bush administration must not bother you too much as you seem to be a Hillary fan. Her rhetoric resembles Bush's more than any of the other Democratic candidates.

    November 13, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Mike Denton,MD.

    I didn't vote for Bush nor would I vote for someone who has done nothing but ride the shirt tail of others as Hillary has done.What The only Bills that Hillary has brought forth is her husband.Eight years in office & she couldn't even bring Health Care Reform for America,but now she has all the answers.Her record she claims to be running on can't be seen,because there is no record.Maybe Sandy Berger knows where those records are.Vote for the facts not the myth that she is putting out there.

    November 13, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Raymond in El Paso wrote:
    "Is it just that dang left-wing liberal media, just a family values thing, be seen but not heard, or what is it exactly? Yes I know, we're looking for a president but I also think a spouse says a lot about a candidate."

    Uh, personally, I don't care to hear one peep out of ANY of their spouses, conservative or liberal candidates alike. It's not out of bigotry or s*xism... it's just that I don't care about the spouses, period.

    We're sizing up potential candidates for the job of Commander in Chief; THE Chief Executive of the free world, not playing a round of Milton Bradley's Mystery Date.

    I don't give a tiny rat's rear end about ANYTHING the spouses have to say, because the spouses are not on the ballot... or in the Clintons' case, the spouses SHOULDN'T be on the ballot.

    I'm certain the Founding Fathers would have severely disapproved of this Clintonian Co-Presidency thing.

    If Hillary wants to run for the office, fine. Great. Dandy. In fact, I'm all for it. Bill, you've had your turn already... sit down and shut up.

    November 13, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Janet, Fairfax, VA

    "Get real, you wouldn't know a good candidate if she bit you in the *ss!!!"


    I assure you, NO CLINTON is going to get near MY *ss!!!"

    November 13, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. JJ Jacksonville, FL

    Pathetic. Whenever someone has caught Hillary in controversy, Bill comes to her aid. And whenever the american public sees right through this, her supporters try to saturate the severity of her blunder by crying 'everyone else does it!' or 'Bush Jr. does it, so why aren't they writing something about him?' Hmmm...I had to take a moment and fully take in the intensity of the Hillary-supporter's stupidity, or childishness, seeing as I once used the tactic of making my flaws not look so bad...when I was nine. Geez...I would love a world whereas everything is the same as it is in this world except Hillary's last name is something other than Clinton...maybe then you idiots will open your eyes.

    November 13, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. JJ Jacksonville, FL

    And wait...Obama-Bashers are touting his supposed 'inexperience'? Well, that is valid, seeing as on Hillary's record, it shows...hang on, SHE WON'T LET US SEE HER RECORDS! SO HOW CAN SHE CRITICIZE SOMEONE ELSE ON THEIRS?!!!

    November 13, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Jose Card, NY

    After this female student spoke up about asking a planted question for Hillary, who denied knowing anything, my last desire to even consider Hillary has vanished. If the Democrats want to get back into the White House, Hillary is not electable for lack of credibility and capability, never mind having Bill as an interfering burden. They may enjoy working on a fat lobbyist job so they can better represent the American people.

    The Clintons are the D.C. establishment that doesn't know much about the American people so she will not answer voters' questions. I am afraid she answers the lobbyists' questions much faster than we know. Why did the New Yorkers even elect her? She is not a New Yorker. Her true home state is D.C. so she really wants to go home to the White House. She is not really interested in representing New Yorkers. But thanks for her patience to do it as long!

    November 13, 2007 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Anonymous, Newport News, VA

    "Clinton has repeatedly said her rivals are teaming up against her..."


    Classic Clinton. Say it enough times and it becomes least to them.

    November 14, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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