January 14th, 2008
10:45 AM ET
11 years ago

Bill Clinton compiles 'list' of Obama attacks

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/14/art.billclinton.ap.jpg caption=" Bill Clinton appeared on Roland Martin's show Monday."] (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign came out swinging Monday against the latest complaints from her rival, with former President Clinton announcing he has "a list of 80 attacks on Hillary" by Senator Barack Obama's campaign.

In a nationally syndicated radio interview on WVON, Bill Clinton said Hillary Clinton's way of handling attacks showed a clear difference from Obama. "She didn't complain about it," he said, citing one in particular that he considered "appalling."

"She just said 'I disagree,' and went on."

Clinton's remarks on the Roland S. Martin Show - which has a largely African-American audience - came amid a flare-up over remarks by Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson, who appeared with Hillary Clinton on Sunday at a church in South Carolina, site of an upcoming primary.

Many believe Johnson made a veiled reference to Obama's drug use as a young man, though he insists that was not his intention.

"I think we have to take it at his word," the former president told Martin, adding that "nobody knew" what Johnson would say, and "it wasn't part of any planned strategy."

Johnson was rejecting the controversy over a recent remarks by Hillary Clinton, who noted that it "took a president" to make the Voting Rights Act a law after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had led the struggle for it. Some interpreted that remark as dismissive of the civil rights movement. Obama on Sunday called the remark "ill-advised."

Full story

- CNN's Josh Levs

soundoff (617 Responses)
  1. C.Lo

    Who is running? Is Bill running or Hillary. If she wants to be the next President, Hillary should at least defend her position herself

    January 14, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Scott, Royal Oak, MI

    now that Hillary's lead in national polling has nearly evaporated, Bill comes out with more nonsense.

    the Clintons are hurting themselves and the party. PLEASE STOP

    January 14, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Jack K.


    I really hope the folks in S.C. are watching this melarchy play out between the DNC leadership and the Clinton/Obama camps!!!

    I've been a DEM for my entire life, and served under 7 Presidents in the Armed Forces.

    The only candidate who will unite the party in a positive way–and stop the rangling to appease special interests groups and net their BIG campaing dough–is John Edwards.



    He represents every American.
    He doesn't play the standard political game.
    His message doesn't change with the polls–but his flame is so bright ALL of the DEM and GOP candidates are now campaigning on an agenda for CHANGE.

    He is the only one who is serious though.

    January 14, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. darrell

    Let it Go Bill

    Unite for one Dem cause and move on.

    Dems will loose the big prize if this continues

    Turn the page like Carter

    January 14, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    Hillary Clinton should be leading even wider in the polls. This should not be a horse race. Hillary Clinton clearly beats all of her Democratic rivals on issues, which is why her rivals have to resort to demagoguery for votes.

    The Obama campaign and those who are endorsing Obama know darn well that they are trying to distort Hillary’s comments about the Civil Rights Act. What Obama’s campaign is not realizing is that black people are not as gullible, racist and superficial as the Obama campaign wants them to be when they vote. I am a black man and I graduated college thanks to the federal and state grants I received. I am now a tax paying, law abiding citizen and I am a fervent lover of the party of compassion. The Clintons will bring REAL change to the black community. To suggest that the Clintons are racist is simply ludicrous. The Clintons have done more to preserve the lives of black people than Obama could ever do. We can’t eat hope. These guys are playing games.

    Black people need to know that Hillary Clinton was absolutely right, and there is nothing sensitive or emotional about what she said. If Lyndon Johnson didn’t pass that Civil Rights Act there would be none. Why do you think Dr. King took his speech to Washington D.C.?

    If black people let Jesse Jackson, a man who has done absolutely nothing for black people, tell them how to vote then black people are accepting a complacent, superficial stance in America. Black New Yorkers threw all their support behind David Dinkins and look at the mess he made in New York City. Black people must take away emotions and petty nonsense from their decision making. Vote for the candidate that will put food on your table and not for the next black face who sells you the Brooklyn Bridge. I think that once Hillary gets the opportunity to debate Obama on issues without media distortions and the distortions and demagoguery of the so-called black people, black voters will choose Hillary Clinton. We have work to do. We have an education gap to close and jobs to fill. We want a leader that is ready to lead on day one, not an orator.

    January 14, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Andrew K

    I am so tired of Bill injecting his opinion as much as he has lately. This campaign isn't about him or his "legacy". I'm really starting to lose respect for the guy...

    January 14, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Ray

    Its funny if Obama was the one saying this it would be ok. You Clinton haters are Hatefull. He's just responding to Obama's comments yesterday!

    Hillary 08!!!

    January 14, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Lucille

    So, the Clintons come out swinging and everybody whines. This over-protection of Obama has got to stop. He should be treated just like everyone else and right now, he is not. If he doesn't want "race" to be an issue, then he has to stop bringing it up. He is no JFK or MLK; he's not even an RFK!

    January 14, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. joli

    You know Barak has no problem talking about about his teenage drug use. But heaven forbid if someone should "gasp" use it against him! PLEASE!!!! As far as im concerned... perhaps if he had been paying more attention in history class versus doing drugs he would know that the Civil Rights movement was about more than Martin Luther King Jr. Yes MLK was a huge proponent but did not act alone in the accomplishments that took place both inside and outside Washington. This is simply just a desperate use of playing the race card... and assumes the public is dumb on the topic of Civil Rights.

    You got called out Obama... You can talk about change and hope all you want and compare yourself to the likes of MLK and JFK... but in the end these great men didnt just talk about it they acted and accomplished great things. You on the other hand are arrogant enough to compare yourself to these great men without having accomplished anything... which personally I find to be a greater insult to their legacy.

    January 14, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. John, Washington DC

    Real smart Bill – break out a huge list of reasons why Hillary should not be President.

    You really do have a forgiving wife – if I compiled a long list of all the potential faults of my wife, I would not see my own bed for a month, perhaps ever. Or if I apologized for not having a younger one...

    This race will get more comical if all of the other canidates start bringing thier spouses out to whine and moan on their behalf.

    January 14, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Mel

    I'm glad the Clinton's are standing up for themselves. Barack doesn't practice what he preaches but loves to attack for any reason. I don't think he would be a uniter as he says he would. If this is any indication, I know he won't.

    January 14, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. Dave SB Indiana

    Hey Bill,

    Maybe instead of attacking your fellow members of the democratic party, you should attack the Republicans. Bill, your just making Hillary's campaign a mess.

    January 14, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. R, Boston MA

    Will the Clintons just SHUT UP with all this stuff? They will never quit. Obama is running his own campaign, and the Clintons are simply trying to dismantle it without giving the American public any good reason to vote for them (yes, THEM, not just Hillary).

    Give it a REST.

    January 14, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Billy Sayles

    Let's not let anything divert us from the lack of experience of Senator Obama. Just as Sgt. Joe Friday used to say, just the facts maam,just the facts. The country is now taking a close look at him, and he's trying to divert attention. Stay focus Hillary ;stay focus.

    January 14, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Former CNN Watcher in California



    You perpetuate former President Clinton's lies in order to improve your own ratings. You gave him the front page in your politics section with PRECISELY the headline the Clinton campaign wanted. Did they send that to you or did you come up with it yourself?

    With each day that passes, he acts less like a former President and more like a pedestrian political hack. No dignity, no statesmanship. Is this what we're going to send to the world to patch up our image?

    January 14, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Marko, Chicago IL

    The Clintons have become an absolute disgrace.

    January 14, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. anonymous

    It's so funny how they keeping saying "Obma is making this about race" "I have a list of attacks". . . and I've yet to see or hear Obama say one thing that pulls race in to this campaign. What are the Clintons talking about? Someone please tell me if I missed something, but it seems like the Clintons are fighting with themselves. This is so sad because it has nothing to do with the issues on voters' minds and Cinton is going to convince the uninformed wolrd that Obama is playing some race card that he's never played!

    January 14, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. ida

    I think they (Obama camp) are just looking for a misstep on Sen. Clinton's camp where they can go back and point fingers and accuse Hillary on the race factor.
    But don't let them get to you...........you go girl.........!

    January 14, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Shirley

    here is so much name calling now that i wonder if anyone listens to them anymore. They are like a bunch of children. You did too. Did not etc. They are hurting themselves. What I would like to see and hear is,"Now, here is what I am going to do about Iraq. Here is what I plan on doing about immigration. " Give us an insight as to what in the heck they would do about these mountainous problems.

    January 14, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. anonymous

    I'm a democrat and would vote for McCain over Hillary in a heartbeat, if it it weren't for one thing. . . .The Supreme Court.

    January 14, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Eric

    It's sad to see a former president of the United State stoop this low in order to return to the White House. I am sure the Obama campaign is eagerly awaiting for President Clinton to release that list of 80 attacks. Don't leave the public hanging Bill, release your list!!

    Let's see, we are moving to the future with a history and a possible future of: Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton?

    January 14, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Jonathan in Chicago

    First, I gotta say I truly deplore this whole mess. For me, President Clinton served this country admirably, and the attacks made against him, and Hillary, during the waning years of his presidency were unwarranted and unfair. I imagine it is from this experience that the Clintons developed their default attack posture when on the defensive; they have repeatedly found it necessary to employ such tactics throughout their political careers and have become very adept at undermining opponents through indirect personal attacks and the like.

    But, if your reading this Hillary, such tactics (particularly when directed against a fellow democrat) are counterproductive to your current campaign. You are a good and decent candidate and should allow your warmth and humanity (not your calculatedness and defensiveness) speak for you. You open yourself up to ridicule and engender distaste in those who would or might support you when you engage in this behavior. And, having President Clinton due your dirty work for you as surrogate doesn't distance you from the consequences; the electorate will hold you responsible for your husband's words and deeds in this campaign - particularly those sanctioned by your campaign and used to discredit opponents.

    Second, I found Mr. Johnson's comments incredibly offensive, and his dishonesty insulting. To suggest that he was not referring to Obama's frank and honest admission of his early experiences with drugs is absurd…as the quote clearly indicates, he begins by praising the Clintons for their work in support of 'black issues' and then condemns Obama for what he was doing 'in the neighborhood that I won't say what he was doing but he said it in his book'– the Clinton campaign and Johnson then assert that he was referring to his community organizing and state rep work — in other words, the work Obama undertook as a civil right activist, a community organizer for black issues, and a strong and vocal advocate for his ALL of his constituents — regardless of color or ethnicity. Johnson was plainly referencing his admission of early drug use, because if he was in fact speaking of what he claims he was referencing, he would be offering no contrast between the Clintons and Obama at all – and would in fact be lending additional support and credibility to Obama's considerable experience as an advocate for civil rights.

    Mr. Johnson, you were taking a very cheap shot and then lacked the courage and decency to hold yourself accountable for this failing. This is not leadership and shows a profound and disturbing lack of integrity; your lack of honesty and integrity is all the glaring, given that you attempt to do undermine another through his own courageous and admirable honesty and integrity. The Clinton Campaign should do the right thing, and demonstrate the leadership and integrity they model through a clear and unmistakable statement of accountability that disavows the comments made by Bob Johnson.

    January 14, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. Inquiring Mind

    Through all of this supposed back and forth between Obama and Clinton. You have rarely heard Obama speak about this. He makes a statement and leaves it at that. While the Clintons keep going at it, and brining it up.. Now if Hillary Clinton said "I disagree" and went on, then go on, Lead by example.
    I do agree that Bill was falsely accused of racist remarks saying Obamas campaign was a "fairy tales" because he was obviously speaking about Obamas war record, and Al Sharpton should have kept his nose of that one. But Obama remaining silent and remaining focused on the campaign not allow outside bickering cloud his focus is a sign of a good leader.

    January 14, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Dave L

    I've had it with both of them. What a pathetic show, especially from Bill – but then, he never was particularly interested in the condition of the Democratic Party. An egocentric thug.

    January 14, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Correen Schrenk

    Enough already. I'm tired. I want to go to bed tonight knowing I will wake up in the morning and know a year from now, my grandchildrens future will be safer, brighter and stable in all aspects. I want to vote. But, maybe I won't. Do you hear me me, MAYBE I won't. I'm tired of the nit-picking, I'm tired of the he said – she said. I don't want to hear what he or she might have said wrong. I want Hilary and Barack to tell me only of what they will do, to ease this heavy scared feeling I have toward all the tommorrows. If I want to hear squabbling, I'll go stand in the local gradeschool playground. Quit playing games, act like grownups. I want to see and hear strength. I can't vote for the worse of two evils. I did that in the last election. I want to vote for the best of the best, or not at all.

    January 14, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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