January 17th, 2008
03:10 PM ET
8 years ago

Bill Clinton gets heated with reporter


Watch Bill Clinton get upset with a reporter.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton became visibly combative with a reporter Wednesday after being questioned about a lawsuit in Nevada that is seeking to ban caucus meetings in nine casinos on the Las Vegas strip.

The lawsuit, filed by the state teacher's union - an organization that has backed Hillary Clinton's White House bid - came Friday, shortly after Barack Obama was officially endorsed by the Culinary Union. Culinary Union members primarily work in casinos, and could constitute the majority of participants at caucuses held at those locations.

The teacher's union is claiming the at-large caucus sites would unfairly have more weight in terms of delegate allotment than caucuses throughout the rest of the state. The lawsuit also takes issue with caucuses being held midday at those sites – which could make it easier for culinary workers to caucus than it will be for other Nevadans.

Critics of the lawsuit say it is a clear attempt to suppress Obama’s support, a notion with which the former president sharply disagreed.

"Do you really believe that all the Democrats understood that they had agreed to give everybody who voted in a casino a vote worth five times as much as people who voted in their own precinct? Did you know that?" the former president said, growing visibly upset. (Watch Clinton's back and forth with the reporter)

"What happened is nobody understood what had happened. Now everybody's saying, 'Oh, they don't want us to vote.' What they really tried to do was to set up a deal where their votes counted five times, maybe even more."

Clinton also maintained that his wife’s campaign had "nothing to do" with the lawsuit," and claimed the reporter was taking an "accusatory tone."

"Get on your television station and say, 'I don't care about the home mortgage crisis, all I care about is making sure that some voters have it easier than others should count five times, and when they do vote, when its already easier for them, their vote should count five times as much as others," Clinton said in a raised voice.

"If you want to take that your position, get on the television and take it," he added, as aides pulled him away. "Don't be accusatory with me, I had nothing to do with this lawsuit."

UPDATE: A federal judge has ruled that the Democratic Party can go ahead with the 9 at-large caucuses on the strip. The ruling could have a decisive effect on the result in the state given that recent polls show a dead heat between Clinton, Obama, and John Edwards.

Related: Clinton, Obama battle for upper hand in Nevada

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (774 Responses)
  1. Victor

    It is definitely going to give an edge to Obama. Stop btiching about Clintons – they have nothing to do with the law suit. We had the best economy during Bill Cinton's Presidency that has been destroyed by our current President.

    It is about time to bring another Clinton back in the White House.

    January 17, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Beans

    Ya know...Bill Clinton almost seems a little too vested in his wifey getting this nomination. We are just back into the Hayfield's and McCoy's battle for the power in this country...Bush, Clinton, Bush, NOT Clinton!

    Who could ever be a VP under Hillary? Possibly Bill? Is that even legal? And there's talk of her making him a Supreme Court judge? Pleeeeeeeeeeeez.

    It is interesting to watch Bill "lose it" time and time again...how his behavior has changed since he's already BEEN prez and is not the one actually running. Their tag-teaming is disgusting.

    I'm really get sick of this coverage of them. They are 2 of the most corrupt politicians that exist. The sooner she is out of this race, the better!

    January 17, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. B. Ambrose

    What is there to be moderated in the baove statement.. Are you by some means trying to deprive me of my forth amendment.........if so let me know so I can respond accordingly..........

    January 17, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Anna

    A "third term" for Clinton is a bad thing?!?

    A third term for the Clintons is the best thing that can happen to this country at this time, and probably, to the world.

    January 17, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. jane

    Pat Huntington NY,
    The judge overturned the decision, and the votes at the casino causes are being allowed. FAIR IS FAIR. Read 'em and weep, buddy boy.

    January 17, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. shawn

    The Clinton's law suit didn't work and now red faced Bill is upset. Poor, Poor Clinton machine. Hillary does have 36 hours though to gather the media and have a good cry before the caucus starts.

    January 17, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. J.-C. Merleau

    So, the Clinton campaign had nothing to do with the said lawsuit? Now, who was it that recently talked about the "biggest fairy tale"...?

    January 17, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. richard

    Fess up lefties – as long as the Clinton Personal Attack Machine was busy slandering anyone they could get away with labeling as "$10 Trailer Park Trash" you loved them (even the so-called feminists joined the yuckfest) – now that the same tactics are used against Obama, you're horrified? Selective indignation, anyone?

    January 17, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Factor

    For having "nothing to do with that lawsuit" the former President was certainly very vehement and knowledgeable about the reasons it should prevail.

    January 17, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Concerned Voter

    Moderator you haven't posted my posting up to now..you don't like because its not anti-clinton.


    January 17, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  11. Rob

    A man of his stature should have more self-control. Do we want this behavior for the next 4 years??? Will he hold Hillary's hand when foreign male leaders challenge her. Can she cry her way out of a Chavez or Putin meeting? Will his emotions (and guilt) in defending his wife lead to an international incident? This is not a soap opera. Delivering her the presidency at our expense cannot makeup for the dirt he did to her. Somebody page Dr. Phil, please.

    January 17, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. Dee Ward Mena, AR

    Just think about this. For those of you that think it is fine to have a caucus in a casino, remember a caucus is not a "secret ballot" How many of you would publicly vote for a candidate other then the one your boss is backing. If it was a primary and a secret ballot, then fine,have them in the casinos, but give me a break. Do you really believe that the culinery workers will vote the way they want to (possibley for Edwards or Clinton) with their boss's standing by to see how they vote and possibly fire them if they don't vote for obama since that is who they are backing. If they want to vote in casinos, then tell them to go to a primary in Nevada instead of a caucus.

    January 17, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. Joyce

    What a hypocrite.

    Bill and Hill should stop the tantrums and whining. It's really geting old and they can't have it "all ways" anymore.

    Remember billary's remarks about the Iowa Caucuses when the Clinton campaign touched down in New Hampshire after her loss. She and her aides began DISSING the Iowa caucuses because they werse concerned about Iowa voters who had to work during the Caucuse and were unable to partiipate in the process. In her own words:

    Clinton said about Iowa Caucuses - "You have a limited period of time on one day to have your voices heard. That is troubling to me. You know in a situation of a caucus, people who work during that time– they're disenfranchised. People who can't be in the state or who are in the military, like the son of the woman who was here who is serving in the Air Force, they cannot be present." “Iowa is so small, it’s like a mayor’s race in a medium-sized city,” Jay Carson, the campaign’s press secretary, scoffed to the Wall Street Journal. “It wouldn’t be wise to put too much emphasis on it.”

    One has to wonder why she doesn't have the same concern for Nevada voters who have to work during the caucuses?

    January 17, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. cd

    God, Clinton looks like an idiot. Such spin. They should just drop it before they bury their chances in this election.

    January 17, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. Terri, North Carolina

    If Bill Clinton has to keep defending and speaking for Hillary, then she does not need to be President. She is proving that she cannot hold her own in tense situations. I am sick of seeing Bill Clinton on TV!! If Hillary gets elected, Bill will actually be running the country. People should remember the disgusting things that Bill Clinton did in the White House Oval Office under the desk. The two Clintons are ganging up on Obama. Americans should not tolerate this behavior. I certainly do not want see Bill Clinton on TV everyday for the next 4 or 8 years. It is time for the Clintons to go.

    January 17, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Bryce

    Factor –
    So am I (too bad we lost... well democracy lost)
    Does that mean I filed it too?

    January 17, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. gene

    The Clinton haters are out in full today. Most of them are not democrats and just old republicans doing what they do best. Swift boating! Its the Clinton's now and if Obama, by some accident wins,, they will work him over in the general election. Take my word for it, they have already vetted him and will know everything he has ever done back to his date of birth. Look what they done to Kerry.

    January 17, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Kitty

    Some facts about Barack Obama:

    Harvard Law School, J.D. 1991, Magna Cum Laude
    President, Harvard Law Review
    Illinois State Senator – 13th Legislative District, Chicago, 1996 – 2004
    US Senator 2004-Present
    Member Senate Foreign Relations Commitee,
    Senate Commitee on Veterans' Affairs,
    Senate Commitee on Health, Education, Labor, Pensions
    Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

    Quality, honesty, character – OBAMA '08

    January 17, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. winnie


    January 17, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. Paul

    Bill Clinton is the man! I wish we didn't have that two term bull otherwise I would put him back in the White House in a second, as would a lot of America. If the closest way to having him around is allowing him to speak through his wife I say do it. I can't believe people would think otherwise.

    January 17, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. Cindy

    If Bill had nothing to do with the lawsuit, why was he so upset?? You know what they say about "protesting too much."

    January 17, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. California voter

    Getting back to the issue. It does sound like caucusing where you work could be fraught with intimidation. Can you imagine voting for someone your boss is against or told you not to vote for in front of them. . . ?? You could loose your job!

    I think we need a nationwide primary, and if not that, get rid of the caucus process it.

    January 17, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. EDDIE


    January 17, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. Claustro

    Factor/Cindy/et al - If he said nothing in regards to the accusation, they'd spin that in their favor (they being the media). You know it's true, if you just give it a moment's thought, which a lot of these bloggers seem to have trouble doing. Whatever.

    January 17, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  25. Kevin

    That reporter got punked by an Ex-President... extremely funny. I don't see what all the craziness is about. Bill didn't get emotional or anything, he just told him what was up. I'm not really sure where I stand on the issue, but everyone's trying to make it fair for their side... that's the game of politics! Don't be surprised. As far as the video goes: Dang, listen up reporter, you just got pwned!

    January 17, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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