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.

β€œI 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 β€œwon 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. Bob, Virginia

    Bill Clinton is giving us a preview of what to expect if he is the 1st Man. It seems clear to me that if Hilary wins the Whitehouse, he will say and do whatever he wants to whomever he wants. If the outcome is good, she takes the credit. If the outcome is bad she avoids accountability. My concern is that the world needs to trust our leadership, which in part means consistency, predictability, and accountability. Bill Clinton is having too much fun playing with mis-information/disinformation. He thrives on creating confusion and uncertainty.

    I voted for Bill Clinton twice. If Hillary cannot or will not control Bill, the DNC needs to step in and give them both some counseling . Their win at all cost behavior is disgraceful and does not serve to build or strengthen the party. I have already decided to vote for Obama. If the party leadership does not intervene, I may vote Republican.

    January 22, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Joe

    Un...be...lievable. I am an independent that is still looking at different candidates and their stance on issues. I saw the debate last night and was absolutely disgusted with Hilary's performance. All she did was point out things that other candidates have done, and twist around the facts so it appears something wrong occured. She just lost my vote.

    Hey Hilary, before you point the finger, pull the thumb.

    January 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Tatiana

    This is what I want. Both Clintons to disappear and Edwards and Obama having a REAL, legit run for President. Seriously, be gone.

    January 22, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Twigster75

    The fact that Republicans are coming out to vote for Obama is only a testiment to his ability to appeal to people across party lines and probably unite this country. How is that a charge? That's one of Obama's assets.

    January 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. aware

    You are absolutly correct Bill!

    Obama has essentially taken Bill's comments out of context to tell an inaccurate story. Newsweek has reported on this concerning Obama's adds.

    This was a very revealing debate! Maybe voters will begin to realize that Obama used poor judgment with his premature run. Obama doesn't handle scrutiny, confrontation or accountability well. He sounds arrogant and controlling.

    The spotlight was on an obfuscating, divisive, manipulative Obama last night. He will have a difficult time overcoming this. His strategy backfired big time. I thought he was smarter than this? I also thought Barack might be ready for VP but not after last night. πŸ™

    Obama isn't ready for the Republicans or 08

    January 22, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Dennis

    Of course it seems like Obama is campaigning against Bill. President Clinton is about as big an endorsement and presence one can have on the campaign trail. I can't tell you if Bill has actually campaigned for Hillary, as all that is reported is how he campaign's against Obama. So, if he is actually talking about Hillary's stance on the issues or her policies, I couldn't tell you. Everytime I see him quoted, it is about Obama.

    I don't have any problem with Bill supporting his wife. I'm very surprised with his rhetoric. I respected his message during the 2004 campaign. This time, there is no message. I found him to be inspiring. I wish he would get back to doing that.

    January 22, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Sandy

    Obama is too dry and calculating for me!

    January 22, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Louis - CT

    Its very interesting watching Obama debate. He seems to be able to make non-denial, denials to just about everything. What makes it more interesting is the fact that the moderators never push him on it. They never question him further to get to the bottom of things. I felt that two weeks ago, when Tim Russert had the talking points memo in his hand, they didn't ask him directly if he knew about it. That piece of paper had more to do with the "race" issue that came up than anything else. Again, Obama was given a pass. I agree with Hillary that it's frustrating and impossible to debate him on the issues. I hope people see how paper thin his candidacy is. He has nothing to offer the American people other than his ability to give a good speech. He does it well, but when there's nothing else to back it up, it reminds me of what we have now in the White House. The only difference is that Obama can pronounce words correctly. Hillary 2008.

    January 22, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. SY

    What has Obama actually acoomplished?? He talks big, but his record is pretty small. Definitely he is NOT ready to lead. Maybe in a few years.

    January 22, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. andrew

    I had the chance to see Bill Clinton in our town, Eureka, CA, last week. Half of his speech was geared towards trying to prove that Obama is inexperienced. Though he is clever. He never mentioned Obama by name, but called him Hillary's "main opponent" over and over again. It was a sad sight. He didn't mention one thing of relevance to voters in our region. Honestly, I dont think he even knew where he was. Didnt take time to answer our questions after we waited in line for six hours to see him. I thought Hillary's campaign has changed to be more geared towards the people? I didnt see that.

    Obama has proven that the people are his focus time and time again. The Clintons are playing hardball political tricks. I think Obama should just ignore them and keep his focus on the people.

    January 22, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. bbb

    Someone running his/her mouth????
    Last I checked, still a FREE country and speech particularly FREE.

    January 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Sandra

    Bill Clinton's antics and comments in this race are an embarrassment to him, this wife and the party. Bill you should be ashamed of your self. Bill, you have helped convince me to vote for Obama.

    January 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Guil

    Reality one: You can't separate Hillary from Bill. Hillary has the two-for-one advantage: you elect Hillary, and you get two experienced people in the White House to deal with a very complex world in a difficult moment in History. Obama knows that and is trying to deal with this fact. If he can't deal with both, then he shouldn't be the president.

    Reality two: Whether you like Bill or not, his years were marked by the longest economic expansion in America history. Also, since after the WWII, the U.S. image has never enjoyed such higher ratings than it it did during the Clinton years. That alllowed for the use of diplomacy to deal with difficult issues, rather than resourcing to arms and wars. What's Obama's record?

    Reality three: As a result of this administration's policies, the U.S. was never so unpopular around the world. If before there was one Obama, now there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Obamas out there. They created an unjustified war (WMD?) that killed thousands of our troops and hundreds of thousands more civilians. Oil is expensive, the economy is a mess, instability and uncertainty are everywhere, the world climate is changing, etc...That's what the next president will inherit, which very closely resembles what Bill inherit when he was elected. Is Obama prepared fot that?

    January 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Marion

    The only successful "ideas" Bill had during his presidency he ripped off the Republicans, or passed because they reinforced the Republican agenda. The attacks on Obama by the Clintons and their surrogates are tasteless, ignorant, and embarassing. They will divide and ultimately destroy the Democratic Party because they are so power hungry and unprincipled. What has Hillary ever achieved.? There are dozens, if not hundreds, of women far more deserving and accomplished. Her record is the flimsiest of any candidate in either party.

    January 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Lisa

    I don't know if any of you noticed, but it was Obama that started the personal mudslinging last night. He did not even answer the question about fiscal responsibility. He wanted to come out swinging against Bill. Hillary had every right to shoot back. I agree with the comment above that if a white man had made the statement he made about needing to see how well Bill Clinton danced before deciding if he was America's first Black president, the Black community would be going balistic. What hypocracy we have in this country. I was appalled by that statement. The double standards we have. I felt Obama belittled the entire black population with that comment, but will we hear from Al Sharpten. I think not. Obama is handled with kid gloves by the press and has definitely been given a free ride. If he wins this nomination, the republicans will eat him alive. Hilary has been tested, and put through the strainer, there aint no dirt to be found and no crumbling to be done on her part. She's tried and true. Go Hilary!! Clinton/Edwards!!! p.s. I would like to see Obama again in another 8 to 12 years. I just don't think he has the experience.

    January 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Tracy Albany NY

    I adore Bill Clinton, but lately I can't help but roll my eyes. As for Obama campaigning against him, to some extent, he has to. Dangle a carrot on a stick, and you invite the horse to take a bite, you know?

    Hillary IS running, in part, on her experience in the White House. She has no qualms talking about the successes of the Clinton administration, what was accomplished during the course of those eight years. None of us really know just what part she played because neither is willing to push for quicker document release, but even so, it's not a stretch to say those accomplishments were Bill's. Bill loves the limelight, and is very involved in this campaign - he's vocal, he's visible. You can say this of all the candidates' partners, but he has an advantage they all lack and gains attention that they don't, and he's had a tendency to talk about himself and what HE's done when he's supposed to be speaking on her behalf. If Bill doesn't wanted to be treated as an opponent here, perhaps he should tone it down a bit.

    January 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Jack

    Barak Obama for President!! Not the Clinton's again...please.

    January 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. wild schield

    Obama is running against hillbilly and the she half is a politcal opportunist who was a GOLDWATER girl and her comment about that it took LBJ's signing of the civil rights acts of 1964 is HOLLOW to realize MLK'S DREAM....... LBJ specifically left out VOTING RIGHTS that didnt come until after MLK and the BLOODY SUNDAY march...THE POLITICS OF THE MOMENT ...obama has it right on the money her and her dishonest husband talk out of both sides of their mouths.
    btw if she is taking credit for bills presidency then she also has to take responsiblity for the screw ups ...those children burned alive in the school bus in waco texas ...al queda operatives training in the united states ... the slaughter in serbinica ...the massacres in sarajavo ...not going after terrorist camps in afganistan because bill was to busy chasing skirts in the white house when she and he were supposed to watching OUR HOUSE.
    911 it was under HER watch those traing activities took place ..not bush two
    losing the congress because of her and bills policys of "common ground"ha what a joke .....bill was voted in because america wanted a change from the world war two generation ie:bush senior .....now we need a change from self indulgent do nothing baby boomers ...and just exactly what does hillary know about the REAL WORLD she is the epitomy of liberal eastern elitist just check the new york times comment string all her old hag friends from the eastern prep schools with trust funds.

    January 22, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. dee

    Dems are not ready

    08 GOP

    more slander

    Gop 08

    January 22, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. The D-man

    Obama screwed up by running too early, and now he's been shown how the big boys (and girls) play. He needs to go back to the playpen for a while.

    And as for his "dancing" comment, maybe his mommy needs to teach him some better manners.

    January 22, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. TENI

    He is running against you Bill. We knew that from the start. What a disservice to real feminism.

    January 22, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Jose (Chicago)

    Talking a good talk does not equate to experience. Why after almost eight years of bungling, corruption, and human rights violations - when the next president faces such formidable domestic and global challenges - would be elect someone (Barack Obama) for president who lacks the experience necessary to tackle the challenges of our nation's future. Not to mention, a thinner skin on a politician I have not seen in far too long...

    January 22, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Wolf

    Bill has every right to support his wife. So stop whinning Obama.

    January 22, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. Nick

    Obama's wife campaigns with him.
    Edward's wife campaigns with him.
    Why should't Clinton campaign with his wife?

    We know why Republicans are coming here screaming they voted for Clinton twice. No you didn't. You want Obama to be the Demoratic nominee because you know your candidate can't beat Hillary in the General Election.
    Twice Hillary beat the Republicans in New York despite all the Right Wing Radio Talk heads attacking her 24 hours a day.

    Democrats, don't let the Republicans fool you with their fake "Obama Support".
    And if you are a Democrats supporter of Obama, there is nothing wrong with that. But don't fall for the Clinton haters' game.

    Go Hillary Go!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. Tlc

    I find it profoundly disturbing that Senator Clinton feels it acceptable to complain about the tactics of her opponents while simultaneously allowing her husband, who isn't running for anything, to become the focus of her campaign. I find it particularly distasteful that she has said numerous times that her gender should not be a factor and yet her husband continues to bring up her gender and use it as a political tool.

    January 22, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12