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. Marcia

    Hillary knew exactly what she was doing. I watched her with my son as we watched her at a rally in New Hamsphire. We were watching CSPAN, not Fox News, when she made that remark about the impact (or little impact as she implied) Dr. King had in making the Civil Rights a reality. She was trying to down play Senator Obama's way of inspiring those who attends his rallys with his message of hope. She then went on to say that though Dr. King was a great American, he spoke words of hope as well. "It wasn't Dr. King that made Civil Rights a reality, it took a president to make civil rights a reailty. Okay, she's right about that part. Dr. King wasn't the president, so Lyndon Johnson had the power to take a pen and sign his name to the bill. But, let's not try to rewrite history. It was Dr. King and others who crafted the bill. And it was Dr. King who had to strongly encorage President Johnson to sign it because it was the right thing, to do. But, lets think about that time. The republicans were strongly opposed to the signing of that bill into law, especially Barry Goldwater who was running against Johnson. And wasn't Miss Hillary, a Goldwater girl at that time? So, please if she doesn't get why African-Amercians are upset and offended by her remarks, it just shows how she can dismiss African-Americans as people who are affected by insensitive remarks. She was and is absolutely wrong. And she is the one who owes all who fought for civil rights during those time an apolgy, not Obama's campaign to her.

    January 14, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Lisa

    Is an attack an attack if nobody heard it?

    January 14, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Lisa

    Hillary – are you having fun yet? Is this what you meant by now the fun begins? You do not deserve to represent our country, or New York. Please go away.

    January 14, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. Eric in Massachusetts

    Hillary will win the nomination. Barack Hussein Obama (I refer to him as Nobama), will self destruct. From his wife Michelle's comments of "Ain't no blacks in Iowa" to his Friends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, the NOBAMA campaign will not make it past Super Tuesday. The American people will have had enough. Enough is enough. It's clear that Barack cannot stand to play on an even field. It takes true leadership to perservere in the face of difficulty. Hillary has proven she can do that. Obama, not so much.


    January 14, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. Deborah

    Bob & Ray, I agree with you all, people are quick to always judge Sen. Clinton for attacking back, but they don't stop to listen to why she gets defensive, "Enough is Enough" and it's only right for her husband (regardless of the fact that he was once our President) come to her defense, that's what husbands should do, and he is in his right to do so, especially when it's a public issue. So people, stop the attacks and be fair on your judgement. Fair is Fair.

    January 14, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. Kjackson227

    Well, the smear tactics have begun. I never hear Sen. Obama's campaign throwing nasty attacks-only the Clintons. This is no way to win elections, Sen. Clinton. If your record and experience speaks for themselves, then stooping to this new low is unnecessary, don't you think? EVERYONE stick to the dang issues, okay??? There's no way I'm ever voting for another Clinton. If Clinton and Huckabee win the nominations, I'm voting for Huckabee.

    January 14, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    I've followed both campaigns closely, and I am wondering what "list" our former president is referring to.

    From my perspective, it is the Clinton campaign that began down the road of badmouthing Senator Obama. Obama supporters have been asked to be respective of other candidates, and I haven't heard the senator spew any personal attacks against Senator Clinton. If he has, then he, too, should apologize.

    Our former president accomplished a great deal during his terms. It makes me very sad to see him so defensive and mean-speaking.

    As for Senator Clinton, I admire much of her accomplishments, but I find her attitude very patronizing. I just will not be able to vote for her if she wins the Democratic nomination. I'm praying that Senator Obama will be our next president!

    January 14, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. heartlight 3, Maui, HI

    I agree with Lauren and OC. I have not read anything other than a quote from the Clintons that said Obama's campaign was the ones reacting to the comments. It is sad that they all think mudslinging is what the public wants. It all seems so contrived to me. In order to perpetuate this, words are twisted and motivations manufactured, and mountains are made out of molehills. Who cares who said what about whom? The press seems to focus down so closely on trivial matters that everyone loses sight of the big picture. I would really hate to see this get so nasty that it destroys the possibility of whoever ends up as the nominee being able to use the tremendous talent in this field in their administration.

    January 14, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Bob - Florida, RFO

    Attack the political issues, the policies or the detailed plans!

    Neither Obama nor Edwards attacked Hilliary Clinton on the dirt issues! I hope Barack remains above this and continues to drive on.

    Hello Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg are watching all of this because the Democratic party might just have a melt down!

    On thing that the Clintons are doing and I am certainly pleased about is that they are doing the dirty work that the GOP would have done in the run up to the General Election.

    Thanks Hillary for "blooding" our candidate! If he [Barack] wins the Democratic nomination he will win in the November!

    Go Obama '08 & '12

    January 14, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Kevin - ID

    Pardon? nobody comes to Hillary Clinton's defense when she is criticized? In my experience about 60-75% of the comments I see on these pages is people saying how dare anyone criticize Clinton and how they are terrible people destroying the country for the audacity of running against her for the nomination.

    Clinton's online following is almost as bad as the Ron Paul supporters making half the political message boards on the internet unusable from spam.

    January 14, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Leslie, SC

    I find it unbelievable that ANYTHING in Obama's past is being considered "off limits" after the way the press has dragged up every piece of Clinton laundry dating back more than TEN years.

    Nothing is off limits when people are slinging mud at Hillary. Nobody complains when somebody throws the failures of her marriage out in public, but for some reason, everybody GASPS when somebody refers to Obama's admitted drug use or that his middle name is BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA!! That stuff ALL matters if her dirtly laundry matters. Let's make sure the mud is spread evenly!

    The forked tongue here is not with Hillary. Every politician in history has OBVIOUSLY done whatever it took to get elected, OR THEY WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ELECTED!! Wake up people. If Obama had been scrutinized and demoralized the way she has been by this media community, he'd be back in Illinois right now with his tail tucked!

    January 14, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. John New York, NY

    Obama has a slight lead in Nevada and a big lead in South Carolina.

    BTW- the polls in New Hampshire were actually accurate- they predicted Barack would get the same percentage that he actually did. Mrs. Clinton eked out a victory after last-minute undecided women voted for her out of sypmathy for the crying backlash. She can't rely on such luck each time.

    January 14, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Richie, Grand Rapids, Michigan

    I am not so much of a Obama supporter and I have been following keenly to see if he keeps his stance above race politics and unfortunately, so far he has, Mrs. Clinton was the first to declare herself the women candidate, others ignored, of which i though was a ploy to lure Obama to a trap to raise the race card, and when all this didn't work, she pushed the issue to him by claiming that his campaign was twisting her statement, she is learned, make clear and concise statements and no one will twist them.
    For the Clintons to earn the trust and maybe a vote or two, let them tell who of Obama's staff said what, we have her on tape, at least tell us who said what. Former President Clinton is not only stooping too low, to the level of calling on radio shows to explain himself but he is undoing much of what h did for America leave alone to the African-American community, or maybe MAYBE you are showing us a side of you we didn't get a chance to know/see.
    Obama on the other side don't waste your time responding to idle/looser talk, "when arguing with a fool you may not notice the difference"
    And Finally for Mr. Johnson, what were you doing to help other people when Clinton was "for the blacks" and Obama was helping the poor and a civil rights attorney in the streets? I know you were busy, very busy profiting from the promotion of violence, drug use and the exploitation of young women in your network? Do you know that your network has done more de-service to the African-America people than any other known organization in modern history, most of the racial prejudice and the negative perception of the African-American is perpetuated by the picture you have been displaying. Shame on you. Just shut up and save your face.
    I am still shopping for a candidate and I am not wasting my votes, it will got for the best and in the absence of that against the worst...Bravo CNN for the reporting, its excellent.

    January 14, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Tara

    This is getting insane. The candidates are beating up on themselves. This is going to place another crazy conservative in the head office – where we do not need them. Why can these candidates try to work in a respectable manner? Ordeals like this make me almost ashamed to admit I am a democrat.

    *Sigh* of disgust.

    January 14, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. C.Lo

    Eric from mass, please go get a life...

    January 14, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. BMC

    Let's all agree to disagree.....Let's start over.....fresh.....now let's get two things clear.....Obama is NOT ready for the presidency of these United States....Hilllary is....well that's about it.....do we all understand one another......hope so!!!

    January 14, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Lisa, Central Florida

    "He did it first!"

    "Everybody else is doing it!"

    "I'm telling!"

    Candidates for President of the United States should really have progressed beyond these schoolyard shenanigans.

    January 14, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Citizen

    Most comments I read tell me how uninformed people are. Next day after New Hampshire primary and clinton's win, it was Obama's campaign manager came on TV and claimed "bradley" effect in New Hampshire. In addition, three other African Americans did the same that I personally watched and heard.

    If Obama was the real leader and "uniter and not a divider" that he claims to be, why did he not come out next day and take the high road. Do not forget – it was Hillary who took the high road in "Meet the Press."

    We are watching the history being made – black nominee or woman nominee. But we need to really be objective and follow the facts.

    Also, Obama writes about his drug use in his book that made him a lot of money so when BET founder talks about it what crime did he commit?

    Wake up America.

    January 14, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Duop Chak, Colorado

    Mr. President, I thought “fairy tale” was very powerful enough to turn off the cable television. Therefore; it could be equal to thousands of attacks from Obama camp—what do you think Mr. President?

    January 14, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. Julie, Phila, PA

    BET, Bob Johnson, has ruined a Generation of Minds. And, frankly, as an American, that disturbs me greatly and also disgusts me.

    He has made a fortune by peddling smut, sex and violence on his TV station which has had a profoundly negative and damaging effect on our youth both in America and other countries which air his shows. It is fair to say that he did not care about the damaging effect this would have on our youth, as sexual and violent behavior has soared due to such explicit and visual behavior which could be calledX-rate, and which is frankly embarrsing. These programs are shown daily, all day, over and over again, programming our childrens' minds and behavior. It is obvious as a billionaire, acquiring money and wealth was more important to him than the ruination of a Generation of Minds. His shows have had a direct effect upon our youth for the last 20 years, an it will take years to undo the damage his shows, and shows like this have had on our youth.

    In contrast, Obama has been meeting with rappers in an attempt to get them to put out positive messages for our children and to denounce the negative and demeaning messages to date. I believe his campaign and presidency of hope and all people coming together as a until will have a positive effect on a Generation of Minds.

    I do not think many people of character are putting much store into what he is trying to insinuate about Senator Obama. And I wonder, has Senator Clinton sunk so low as to need him as her surrogate, a man who has ruined a Generation of Minds?

    January 14, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. paul

    Wow, the Clintons couldn't do a better job of reminding the American people why they don't want to go through another one of their administrations. This pettiness and brutality needs to end. If Obama wins the nomination he will be a true giant killer.

    January 14, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Elly

    It's very sad that the democrats are continually engaging in mudslinging as the republican continue to debate about issues that are affecting the American Public like the economy. We all know Bill Clinton is an intelligent man, but his and his wife's latest utterances has left many like me baffled and begging for answers and wondering if this is the same Bill we used to know. He needs to realize that he should be the last person to attack OBAMA! Need i say More!!!!!!!

    January 14, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Virginia San Francisco, California

    My Friends,
    Please do not feed into the media frenzy.
    Fact: Senator Obama did indirectly did attempt to compare himself to MLK and Pres. JFK mean who actually made change therefore "had' the experience. If it wasn't for these men including the signing of the "Civil Rights Act" by then Pres. Johnson that Senator Obama would not have dream.
    Fact: Senator Hillary Clinton did say that without Pres. Johnson signing the "Civil Rights Act" it would not have become law even after the 2 best political inspirational speakers of the 20th century.
    Fact: I disagree with "how" Michelle Obama or how ex-Pres. Clinton not necessary what they have to say as any good partner ought to be able to do.
    ALL the candidates are part of the political system NO ONE is an outsider please folks don't be fooled. All is equal when running for the highest office in our country.

    January 14, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. tracey

    "Speeches are not all a President should be good at...how 'bout some exerience or substance" Baracks a liar. He couldn't wait to play the race card. After all he does'nt have much substance. All he can do is give great retorical, preacher style, speeches. In a debate or interview, he's a stuttering fool. What's he going to do as President, "speech people to death, until they get his point". When he's not giving a "speech" Barack is sooooo...ah...ah...look...ah...ah...ah...frustrating to listen to..ah!!!.

    January 14, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. Jake, California

    CNN Obama leads Clinton 2% in Nevada but you don't make this a headline...
    Clinton leads Obama by 2% and you make it a headline...


    On the Democratic side, it’s a three-way race, with Barack Obama at 32 percent, Hillary Clinton at 30 percent, and John Edwards at 27 percent.

    January 14, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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