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. Wallace Young, Atlanta Georgia

    I'm a 32 year old college educated, southern African American male and I feel compelled to comment on the latest political dust up between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. I admire the Clintons for their service to this country. One of the reasons that they are so disliked by the right is their commitment to African American and minority issues. Their positions on affirmitive action, the economy, grants, student loans, planned parenting, taxes, and other issues are pro minority. Now, I understand that the Clintons are not perfect, but as an African American I appreciate the fact that have shown through their actions and deeds that they are for racial equality and fair treatment of all citizens.

    With that said, I partially agree with Mr. Johnson comments regarding the Clintons committment to African Americans. I too, am insulted that some would think the Clintons are racist or somehow do not respect African Americans. "Actions speak louder than words."

    In regards to Mr. Johnson's comments about Senator Obama's activities, I beleive he was referencing the Senator's drug use. While this may have been tacky, the fact remains he did not say it. Therefore, although he implied it, he did not say it.

    I am one to speak my mind and the truth is, Senator Obama did use drugs and it might be an issue for the Republicans to use in the fall. "The truth is the light" Thus, Senator Obama and his supporters should acknowledge the fact that their candidate does have flaws. At the end of the day Senator Obama is still a human being.

    Senator Clinton has taken a stand on issues that have not always been ppular,. She and President Clinton stood by African Americans when there was no "Senator Obama". I know my view is different from alot of fellow young African Americans, but I am not going to toss Senator Clinton and President Clinton aside for Senator Obama's likeability, charisma, and eloquence. I appreciate Senator Obama's positions and I feel he represents African Americans very well. He is a great representative for our people. No one can take that from him.

    However, Senator Clinton and President Clinton have fought a good fight and I believe they will continue to fight the good fight for all Americans.

    GO HILLARY GO!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 14, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Dave

    Bill Clinton has completely destroyed any and all of his positive “legacy” that he had been working so hard to build up since leaving office. I’m so disgusted with both Clinton’s that if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination I’m voting for Bloomberg.

    January 14, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Matt

    I was a campus organizer in college for Bill Clinton's first campaign and always a big fan. The way he and Senator Clinton have behaved and conducted this campaign has certainly dulled my admiration for their work. They seem so craven on winning, that they forget that we all aren't required to vote for her if she is the eventual nominee. When you attack a candidate like Obama in the way they have been doing, it really makes it very challenging to support her in any way should she win.

    January 14, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. SecondSage

    It's getting worse and worse. The Clintons are dating themselves with their politics. Mud slinging was appropriate to combat Bush in '92. Bill, you should see yourself we forgave you for infedelity in the late 90's, that era of mud slinging should be over. People of today don't want someone perfect but of impeccible integrity.

    Obama is not stepping down in the trences with you. He's not playing that game. He's not even trying to be a black president but just a president. He only referenced MLK as a homage to those before him, Hilary tried to spin it.

    Message to the Clintons, Obama is flying all over you with the high road. Keep in mind however, he does have the right to defend himself.

    January 14, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    When will this end. Two Clinton against one Obama. The Republicans don't need to launch any attack ads on the Democrats….They're doing a good enough job on each other.

    January 14, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. mike

    It seems a stretch to me that many of the comments being deemed as "racial" are premeditated – it is a no win situation for any candidate. Some may be, and seem "clever" or "calculating" but can't be effective in the long term. All candidates want to be seen as the person who "brings us all together". The candidate who is able to stop this in it's tracks would deserve the nomination.

    I believe the smart Obama campaign will attempt this because of his bargaining strategy. He is the bargainer, while the supporters of Obama are the challengers. It is the only way he can win. The challengers' anger can spur guilt and anger among whites. Sad, but true.

    Hillary is also smart. I wouldn't count her out of this strategy. If she is smart, her message should emphasize a "community of faith" with unique individuals that are not individualistic – which can transcend any squabble, racial or not, as small – and also opens the door to forgiveness which is the only thing, in the end, that can truly bring us all together.

    January 14, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Marge Smith

    I think that there is a black/white issue in the campaign. I don't think that America has moved that far away from racism that we are ready to elect a Black man as
    president. Iowa, as we have seen. does not represent the U.S.
    Senator Obama talks about uniting the country. He needs to approach the Black
    radio stations and convey that message to them. They spend a lot of time dogging
    out Hillary Clinton and then become very sensitive about any remarks she makes.
    They take such issue with her remark about Martin Luther King. She is right.
    The political process was needed to bring that" dream"to fruition. She is not taking
    anything from Martin Luther King. She was just saying that the political process and the activist process go hand in hand. I realize there is a lot of excitement
    in the Black community about the possibility of a Black president. They must realize
    this is light stuff compared to what the Republicans have in store for Obama if
    he gets the Democratic nomination.. Furthermore, were he to win the presidency,
    is he going to be a president for Blacks only, or for the whole USA?

    January 14, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Dessa

    I'm so tired of hearing "so-&-so said this bad thing" or "so-&-so said that". For crying out loud, maybe the media should be paying a little more attention (I've noticed that since NH the only press coverage I'm really seeing is the Clinton's whining, and nothing really on Obama or Edwards) to the real issues instead of the hollywood-gossip-style complaining that they have been.

    Bill put together a list? Good grief, could we get out of high school and return to the presidential campagin?

    January 14, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. luis

    I love this... THIS IS DEMOCRACY!!!! let them fight for my vote.... please people relax is just politics... WE ARE MAKING HISTORY IN THE DEMOCRATIC SITE!!!! ENJOY IT... They are playing for keeps and fighting for your vote...

    January 14, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. TiredofNonsense

    Wah Wah, I'm tired of hearing the Clintons are being 'picked' on.

    January 14, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. joli

    This is ridiculous. Obama shouldnt be comparing himeslf to MLK or JFK these great leaders both spoke and accomplished a great deal. And its not rocket science that MLK wasnt alone in the civil rights movement when it came to change. So for Obama to say Clinton should step back because she attributes others to helping the movement as well... makes him look like and idiot. For that amount of stupidity OBama perhaps was preoccupied back when he should have been paying more attn in history class.

    Obama is arrogant to even compare himself to the like of such men... because out side of just talking he hasnt accomplished anything leadership wise in moving this country forward.... and that... to me... is in itself an insult to the legacy of both JFK and MLK.

    January 14, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Phillip

    Sorry, but I just don't see how Hillary's or Bill's comments diminish in any way the legacy of Dr. MLK. This uproar over the remarks sounds to me like the Obama people are just jumping on whatever they can to play the race card in SC.

    No one is a saint here, but those comments on MLK were blown way out of proportion.

    January 14, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. danielo


    January 14, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Rich In Seattle

    This is just what we don't need, more of the same. A Clinton in the white house will be more of this, over and over again. Every day I dislike Hillary more and more and I like Obama more and more. At this rate Hillary and Bill will do more to make sure a Republican is in the white house than all of the GOP put together.

    January 14, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. McCain-in-4

    Former President Clinton is usually more savy. If this were his campaign, he would never allow public finger pointing to this extreme to a fellow democrat – any such list would have been used to keep his campaign on the same level as his competitors. But now he looks to be a very agressive advocate for whom he wholeheartedly supports.

    A good piece of advice – make up with Barack Obama with the same level of publicity, and keep it civil. If McCain makes it to the General Election, there cannot be any remembered animosity between an excellent P/VP pair and instead must be capable of working together.

    Barack & Hillary cannot play this to win any all costs, because we have seen seven years of this attitude and it's sickening.

    January 14, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. Sara

    Please stick to the issues that concern us...we the people...character bashing is non-productive...there are more serious issues at hand...anything thing to win? It's the how you played the game!

    January 14, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Shawn, Cincinnati OH

    As nice as an 'issues' primary would be going forward, the total difference in positions between the two when it comes down to it is nil with the exception of Hillary's war vote.

    So, with no real advantage to them, the Clintons go back to what they do best.. destroy the opposition. Let's not forget who coined the term 'vast right winged conspiracy'.

    The notion that Hillary will unite the nation, even if she does win, is laughable.

    January 14, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Prayu

    There isn't a thing the Republicans can do to Obama, that Hillary isn't attempting right now.

    He's got more Republican cross-over votes than any other Democratic candidate, he's got a firm hold on the youth vote, and people in Washington genuinely like him.

    And Bill Clinton is full of garbage as usual. Hillary doesn't complain about attacks? Please, she whines about getting picked on and has run the most negative campaign out of any of the Democratic candidates. Even in her "emotional" moment, she goes on the rabid attack against Obama.

    I'll vote for either Edwards or Obama, but if Hillary wins the nomination... 3rd party for me.

    January 14, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. PW Va

    This is how "expereienced" politicians like Hillary muddy the waters by attempting to take the focus off of the REAL issues that every day Americans are needing solutions for.

    Hillary and her husband started this whirlpool of lies and innuedos and then upped the ante by insinuating Bob Johnson (a disaster waiting to happen) into the mix and ...voila...we now have the divisiveness that the Clinton's have prayed would happen going into SC., leaving the door wide open for the Republicans to win in November.

    THANK YOU, Hillary and Bill...you have just single-handedly thrown the entire nation under the bus...in one fell swoop!!!

    By the way...the "35 years of expereience" that Hillary is always touting ALMOST (she'd NEVER tell the real truth) add up to the 33 years she's been married to Bill. Is that the "expereience" you're referring to, Hillary??? Heaven help us, if it is!!!

    January 14, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. ANTI-Republican/PRO American

    Something about Obama really scares the Hillary camp, I don't know what it is, but something has them terrified.


    Having said that, of the top three Democrats are head and shoulders above to anything (whatever the heck they are) on the Republican side.

    January 14, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Angela

    I am really glad that Bill brought up a list of attacks the Obama campaign has been hurling. they have been subtly proding Hillary for a while now and she hasn't reacted until now.

    Mr. Obama, this business of accusing the Clintons of race-baiting when there was clearly none, just shows you up to be using the same underhanded, tried and true tactics that all politicans have used in the past. nothing new. no change.

    If you were smart you would have used this as an opportunity to show that you are different and are willing to show the Change you speak of so much and prove to your your opponents what real Change is.
    You should have not reacted at all and that would have been real Change.
    Instead, you feigned being insulted on behalf of Black voters just to push their buttons. And consequently stirred up this squable between you and Hillary.
    You, at some point said you wouldn't run a negative campaign but you seem to be doing just that.

    A swing and a miss Mr. Obama. Your showing yourself to be just another politican.
    No Change here.

    You and Hiilary better kiss and make up or we will have more Republicans wrecking this country.

    January 14, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Noel Bynum, Winston Salem, NC

    All of you have to realize that these politicians all lodge complaints against eachother, that's their job. But it is our job to evaluate these claims. The Clintons have done great things for America, we should be so lucky to have smart talented leader like Hillary for president. And they are not "mudslinging", Obama is. Obama has consistently tried to attack her personally, on a character basis, rather than arguing her about experience or public policy. Because he knows if he does that he will lose. Hillary has simply taken these attacks, and disproved them because they are dumb and illogical, and have little legitimate reasoning. The more people try to attack her the stronger she seems to become. People try to dehumanize her and make her out to be some awful despot but more and more Americans are seriously looking at her now and changing her mind. She has dedicated her life to public service, expanding health care, education, and women's rights. And has taken the brunt of much undeserved criticism because she has dramatically changed the role of women in the U.S.

    January 14, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. SD

    The Clinton campaign is the one perpetuating this ugliness, but yet again they take no responsibility for their divisive actions. It's ALWAYS somebody else's fault. They do not act in an adult manner, and instead choose to malign Senator Obama, a candidate who does behave and has behaved in exemplary fashion. By spewing their invective garbage they want to taint everyone around them in an effort to obscure the truth.

    They have lied about Senator Obama's CLEAR and CONSISTENT oppostition to the Iraq war because Senator Clinton's record with regard to the war just doesn't bear up under close scrutiny, nor does former President Clinton's assertion that he was "against the Iraq war from the start." They made their choices but do not want to be held accountable, instead preferring to pass their MISJUDGEMENTS onto others rather than own up to them and move on.

    Rather than promote her own agenda, Senator Clinton & the Clinton campaign prefer to invoke an appeal to people's worst instincts. After all, if you tell a lie long enough it becomes the truth...or so they hope. They make unfortunate comments that under the most innocent interpetation are insulting, and instead of simply saying they meant no disrespect, they pass the blame onto the Obama campaign, who stayed ABOVE the fray. After all why take responsibility for their choices when they can sully ( or attempt to at any rate) the reputation of a good man.

    I keep thinking of a line I first heard in the Disney movie Mulan: No matter how much the wind howls, a mountain cannnot bow to it.

    The Clinton campaign seems intent on trying to lessen Senator Obama's stature, but in the attempt, they merely shame themselves.

    January 14, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. David, Dallas Tx

    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."

    This is sad. At least the two previous times Clinton campaigners slung dirt, Hillary admitted it, even if she spun it as “unauthorized” afterwards.

    But on occasion #3, they're trying a new tactic. "That? That wasn't dirt."

    Three times is a pattern. You don't see any other campaigns repeatedly dishing out "unauthorized" dirt. Methinks I see a campaign slinging dirt while pretending to cleanliness.

    Besides, even if Slick Willie is right, what does it say about a campaign that's criticizing someone's community service!?

    January 14, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. caywen

    Clintons are underhanded and driven solely by the desire to live in the White House. Seriously, do you think America will elect Hillary Clinton? I don't think so – she firmly has a third of the population dead set against her, so she'll lose to any of the Republicans. She has game against other Democrats but has absolutely no game against he Republican attack machine which will make her campaign a joke.

    Seriously, when a huge number of Democrats fail to vote this November because they can't stand their own candidate, the Republicans will crush us. And, honestly, even as a Democrat, I'd rather have Huckabee than Hillary in the White House.

    January 14, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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