January 22nd, 2008
11:22 AM ET
14 years ago

Bill Clinton: Seems like Obama's running against me

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Barack Obama said Monday he felt as though he were campaigning against both Bill and Hillary Clinton. On Tuesday, former President Clinton said he felt the same way.

“I thought he was running against me for a while there in Nevada when he said that Republicans had most of the new ideas, and you had to challenge the conventional wisdom of the 90s. I thought we challenged the conventional wisdom of the 90s,” said Clinton.

He also hinted again that Obama specifically targeted Nevada Republicans in hopes of securing a win there - a charge that has been denied by Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Clinton said Sunday that his wife Hillary Clinton had “won a victory in spite of a very well-organized, and I might say a very well-executed, strategy by the Obama campaign. Which included doing well in the north of Nevada, where his demographic of upscale voters lived, and by making an explicit effort to get Republicans to come and vote for him in the Democratic caucus."

Related: Watch Bill Clinton's latest remarks regarding Sen. Obama's campaign tactics

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. Mike, CA

    Chris makes good points. I think the difference with Clinton and Obama is that Clinton is more concerned about simply winning the election and Obama is more concerned about how his campaign is run.
    Personal attacks have consistently come from the Clinton camp. Does anyone think that Hillary would even be up there if she was running on her own merit and not Bill Clinton's wife? If you remove Bill from the equation, what has Hillary really achieved?
    It's okay to have your spouse campaign for you, but unfortunately John and Obama don't have an ex-President for a spouse. I love Bill Clinton. I don't like Hillary. There are people who love Hillary and those who don't like her. There's really no middle ground with her. She's too divisive and Bill Clinton just needs to chill.
    You were not the first black President. The writer who said that owes black people a big apology. What an stupid thing to say when you look at it in retrospect. Bill Clinton should stay the respectable President he was and he's pushing it here. He wasn't all over the place attacking another candidate until his wife lost in Iowa. No other Candidate's spouse attacks other candidates except for Bill Clinton. Stop it Bill, let your little wife fight her own battles.

    January 22, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. J Love

    Where are the Clintons's ethics? Bill and Hillary you should be ashamed of your selves. No former president has actively attacked other candidates basically because as no former president would dare to use undue influence to get another person elected. It is improper even if she is your wife. You both have had your time in the White House and should not be involved in Presidential politics at all. Bill you need to get a hobby other than tearing apart the party just to fill your desire for power. Go to your room and stay there you need a time out. Hillary the real question is who is running the family Bill or his surrogate candidate.

    January 22, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Mac

    Chris in CT – Dude, your crying is starting to depress me. Can't someone get the baby his bottle?

    January 22, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. Dan, NJ

    You sullied the office of President when you were there.

    Yor are doing it again now. George H.W. Bush, though I disagree with his ideology, at least had enough respect for the office and power it gave him to stay out of his son's campaigns.

    Bill, you did many good things, but your insecurity and lack of class are a disservice to the nation. Your wife should win or lose on her own.

    "Its not whether you win or lose, its how you play the game..." unless your a Clinton.

    January 22, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Patrick, New York, Ny

    Yes, Bill CLinton is absolutely right! It does seem like Barack is running against CLinton. He is praising Ronal Reagan and saying the GOP is the party of ideas.

    This guy is a joke!

    CLINTON 08!!

    January 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Rose

    We have heard from the spouses bashing Senator Clinton. I admire President Clinton coming in defense of his spouse/ As a woman married to the same man for thirty nine years, I would expect nothing less from my husband.
    Hillary successfully brought out what has been reported and justifiably. Obama folded last night and that shows he is far from ready to fight the Republican fight.
    Go Hillary!!

    January 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Neutral No More

    Slick Willy is LOVIN' this! He's back in the game–the game he loves best–politics. He will stop at nothing to get back into the White House.

    January 22, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Acadia

    Mscarol13 – Go do some shopping if you need a change and upgrade your wardrode or something!

    Its the nation we are talking about here...and if it is someone from before – but who can do a great job – then we select him/her...not because it feels great to have a new name in the White House!

    January 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Tina

    You know what drives me crazy is the free pass some of you guys give Obama! Why isn't he or his campaign held to the same standards as Hillary's?? So are you people saying Bill Clinton is the only spouse of the presidential candidates on the campaign trail stumping on the part of their spouse?? I do not think so, I hear Michelle Obama speak at rallies, just as we have seen Mrs. Edwards doing the same thing. Moreover, both of these women constantly question Hillary's record, so what is the difference?? WHY THE DIFFERENT STANDARD? So Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Edwards can attack Hillary, question her record and stump on their spouses’ behalf, but if Bill Clinton does the same things as these women for his spouse, he is accused of being the one running for President. How is this fair? Make sure your litmus tests are fair and given equally to each candidate. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    January 22, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Bruce

    I am a 60 year old life-long Democrat. I will vote for McCain if Senator Clinton is the nominee. The basic building block of the consent of the governed is trust. I trust Senator Obama. He is the real deal.

    January 22, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Leonardo

    America needs to be reminded that it was Bill Clinton's impeachment that gave us 8 terrible years of George W. Bush.

    January 22, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Petey Pablo

    As much as it pains me to say, the Clintons are starting to make some Republicans look good. I'd vote for McCain over Hillary any day, but Obama or Edwards (or Kucinich or Bloomberg) over any Republican. Dems: this is your chance to not f' it up...anyone but Hillary!!!

    January 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. slinkymalinky

    Bill's playing the attack dog so Hillary's hands stay clean. It's the same old game uncle Tom use to play. She knows she can't win without the black vote.

    January 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Mary

    Each time I respond to the nonsense on this page, my comment gets put into moderation. I am a teacher of history and I can tell you this: Few people can find fault with the peace and prosperity of the 1990's. If anyone tells you that President Clinton didn't do a great job running this country, they would be lying. Could he have done more? Of course. Especially, if the Republicans hadn't spent all of the taxpayers money dragging him and his wife into court on charges they couldn't substantiate and trying to impeach him on charges that he had sex with that woman and was afraid to admit it to his wife. Do we really need to talk about all of the past Presidents who had extra-marital affairs? Because if we do, it will look really bad for any man trying to get into the White House.

    January 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Proud Member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

    Yes, Bill, it's all about you. Like everything else in life, it's always about Bill.

    This man's ego is so vast even light cannot escape its gravitational pull.

    January 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Peace

    Mr. former President Bill Clinton, Will you please show your Good Wisdom and not act as you are doing now, leave alone that you are helping your wife.

    A lot of people respected you but the way it looks at the moment, am afraid your respect wll vanish sooner if not later!

    January 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. S. Porteur

    Hillary was looking for a fight on Subday night. She is letting Bill do the dirty
    work for her. It some point, it will smack her in the fare. Maybe it will not happen now but if she makes it to the White House, it will get her them. The voters might
    put her in but what will she do when she has to deal with congress and the others? They will do things behind her back quicqer than she can close her eyes. The boys are out to get her if she gets there and there are not enough women there to protect her.

    It will not surprise me if she never gets a health care bill passed,what will she say then and who will take the blame when the nation starts banging her? If she
    keeps letting Bill do her DIRTY works she might not get there.

    January 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. AS

    Well Bill, the reason why it seems that Obama is running against you, is because you seem to be running against him.

    Please remove yourself from the stage. You are now the "Spouse". You may go and serve tea to the press corps with Cindy McCain.

    January 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    More lies and distortion coming from the Clintons. Get use to it people, they are just showing you who they really are and have lied their way out of every legal entanglement they've been involved in.

    January 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Focus

    Roger how can people still say he hasn't explained the "present:" votes. He clearly stated that he voted present because if somethings were changed on the bill then it would pass but it wouldn't pass the way it was. I swear a lot of people have selective hearing and keep asking the same questions over and over. Americans love drama.

    January 22, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Peg

    I voted for Bill Clinton both times.............and have been a long time Democrat, but I will not vote for Hillary if she is the nominee. I am embarassed for the Clintons and how they have conducted this campaign. I've finally realized I would be voting for Bill again, and his time has come and gone.

    Hopefully Dems, Independents and Republicans can put aside politics and do what is best for this country. Nominate Obama!

    January 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. Alexandra

    I was turned off by the bickering between Obama and Clinton. However, i am proud of Obama for standing up to the Clinton machine for once.
    Obama started the campain with intergrity and respect. However the Clintons' panicked when he won Iowa and decided to do whatever they could to derail his chances. Hence, he has to defend himself as well as call her out on the holes in her record.
    I wish they didn't resort to cheap jabs, but for last night it was VERY neccessary for Obama to answer back to all the manipulative accusations the Clintons' have been shamelessly spreading since he won Iowa.
    I am proud of Edwards conduct – but lets be honest – he is just to boring..
    Obama '08

    January 22, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. max

    Not another 4 / 8 years of same-old-same-old. We've had enough of these so-called political dynasties. Not Bush. Not Clinton. Vote Obama 08.

    January 22, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. The Red Baron

    To: Ann in MO

    Amen, Sister, Amen. You assessed the whole situation perfectly--thank you!

    January 22, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Jay

    Bottom line............By putting Bill Clinton in the white house to be second opinioned on everything Hillary says is going backwards not forward. FACT....his bully pulpit is much larger than hers will ever be!!!!

    January 22, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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