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. LisaMpls

    Bill gets more media attention than Elizabeth and Michelle because he was our former President, for crying out loud. Don't fault Bill for this...fault the media if you need someone/thing to blame. Michelle has said some pretty nasty things, but the media just doesn't provide her as much coverage.

    Obama himself said that the Republicans provided all of the ideas during the 90s (Bill's presidency). That is a direct statement that Bill was not a strong president. Obama himself also said that Reagan, more so than Bill, was effective at bringing about change (albeit terrible change). Bill should have addressed Obama's statements. Sorry you don't like it, Obama, but you knew what you were getting into. Start having a greater command of the issues, and I will start to believe that you can be a good leader...until then, you have some work to do.

    January 22, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Hedy

    He is campaining for his wife and I see nothing wrong with it. It's no different than Edward's wife or Obama's wife doing it for them. He just has a lot more experience.

    January 22, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Erik

    How can Obama's spokesman deny that they targeted Repulicans and Independent during the Nevada Democratic Caucuses when in fact Obama said as much during the debate last night. The need to get on the same page.

    Personally I dont think Republicans should be coming to Democratic Caucuses to pick our nominee.

    January 22, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Charles

    Bill Clinton is willing to split the Democratic party to ensure his wife's success.

    January 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Kim

    I, too, am disappointed with Bill – and am fast losing my respect for both him and his wife. Please, focus on the issues.

    January 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Joseph

    I used to really like Bill Clinton. But he's proven himself to be the worst kind of liar. He and his wife have shown themselves to be completely unworthy of the Presidency.

    January 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Sad to Say

    Bill this is not a game for the voters because you are not only a distraction for Obama which I notice Edwards name never comes up. But you are also a distraction for the voters, and I can understand you hanging on to Obama's every word. I know you are bored but we would like to learn more about Hillary's policies can you answer that for us Bill? See Bill what you do is say something stupid and wait for a reaction I hope Obama just ignores you from now on please go find some other way to bring attention to yourself, Thanks.

    January 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    I am SO BORED hearing about Bill and Hill. Wake me when the stupidity is over.

    January 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Texan for Hillary

    Obama needs to get over his issue about running against Bill. Hell, all candidates have their spouses pulling for them. Obamas' wife certajnly has not menced words about the Clintons. What about Oprah. She is running for Obama after a decade of being behind the Clintons. Race doesn't have any place in politics and I wish the media would not keep brining it up. It seems they want the people squabbling back and forth. Quit the bickering both you Hillary and Obama. Lets pull the democraty party together as we need to unite as a people. My choice for Hillary is because I think this country is in for some very hard times in the future. We are on the verge of a depression thanks to Dumb-butt Bush and the republican party. Hillary is the only person with the qualifications, and don't forget she has Bill behind her, to lead this country back to economy recovery. Can't you remember even if Bill did have an illicit affair he did balance the budget and leave office with three-trillion dollars in escrow that Bush quickly gave away then declard war on Iraq. Real smart wasn't he. You people need to be smart and – VOTE FOR HILLARY.

    January 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. George from Minneapolis

    The Clinton's will say and do anything to win the nomination. The sad thing about it is that if they do win a republican will win the white house. That would be just what the democrats would deserve if they let Hillary have the nomination.

    I was glad to see Obama stand up for himself last night. Let the Clinton's know that they cannot continue to distort/lie and not be called on it.

    January 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. Erin

    Once again, a confirmation that Bill Clinton is running for office through his wife. When will he give it a rest? For those of us who already found Clinton's presidency leaving a sour taste in our mouths, he has given us and even some who supported him in the past a new reason to dislike him (riding on the coattails of his wife).

    January 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Ann, MO

    Obama is running against Bill Clinton. I thought that Hillary was running on the premise that she is a strong woman, a leader, a woman with a record of "35" years of experience! But as a woman Hillary's age that has had to fight the same battles that all women have had to fight over our lifetime, I find it appalling that when the going got tough, when she realized that there really was another viable candidate out there that she couldn't just use the feminist edge on, she turned to Bill to do the heavy lifting.

    I didn't get to where I am today because of my husband. I didn't use his credentials on my resume. I voted for Bill Clinton twice, but I will not vote a woman into office just because she is a woman. I want one that has accomplished things on her own. One that has REALLY had to fight discrimination in the workplace. Not one that claims her husband's career as her own.

    She doesn't want us to bring up the disgrace that he placed on the Office of the Presidency, or the fact that he lied to all of us, or the fact that he brought us NAFTA that has destroyed this economy much more so than she is willing to admit. She won't admit that SHE was the reason that health care reform was not achieved during the early years of the first Clinton administration, and that it cost the Democrats the House and Senate to loose to the Republicans in 1994.

    If the women of this country think that voting for her just because she is a woman, then we are a very sorry sort. We are telling the world that we can not do it without the men. That is exactly what Hillary is doing. She can not win this without Bill. She needs to tell Bill that this is her election to win or loose. As long as she relies on him to do her work for her, she will not win my vote.

    January 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Alex

    oh boo-hoo Obama. the biggest problem with Obama is he has no experience. No experience as in the executive branch, no experience in Washington, and apparently no experience in a contested campaign. If he is gonna cry about Bill Clinton holding his feet to the fire, just imagine what he is going to do when the Republicans start to go after him.

    January 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Rays

    Both of them are doing their jobs and the respective families are playing their roles ........ Definitely making a difference......hope and wait for the better and let's move ahead with unity and decide being Americans

    January 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. former Clinton supporter

    as a woman who grew up in NY and voted for/supported the Clintons, this election is difficult to watch. Bill is an embarassment and you can't help but get the feeling that they both are outraged that anyone has had the nerve to challenge their dynasty. he is losing whatever little respect he had left at the end of his humiliating run as president.

    i have voted only democratic all my life but i will never vote for hillary. i'd decided a few weeks back that, if she is the nominee, i'll sit on my hands. as a result of bill's behavior i'd now actually vote republican, depending on their nominee andd= i know many others who feel as i do.

    way to go bill – too bad you can't get your egos out of the way and focus on what is good for the democratic party!

    January 22, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. Debate Watcher

    I have to admit that by watching the debates I am now in full support of Hillary Clinton and NOT Barack Obama. Im sorry I voted for him to become a Senator for Illinois... he has done nothing but hit the election trail and leave us behind while pursuing HIS dream, not ours. Get some experience first man then run. What have you done for us in Illinois?

    For all the individuals running for this great office: (1) stop illegal immigration and benefits to illegal immigrants (2) just because you dropped a baby here should not mean your an automatic citizen (3) stop the flow of jobs out of this county by outsourcing and offshoring (4) bring jobs back to the USA not to lower cost labor markets that stop living wages, and (5) WORRY about US first not some other country, thier citizens (they can take care of thier own) and protect our boarders!

    Hopefully, with this new election, we will win this 8 year civil war of Congress and the president against their OWN people. We deserve jobs, healthcare, education and strong boarders and trade! We need to return to having a right to live in this country and our states with a decent and living wage and benefits.

    Mark Jakielski

    January 22, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. justpaul

    Bill wants to argue about Barack Obama's opinion of him as if his standing is a matter of record. But the only record Bill has is a criminal one. He is a known liar, and the "facts" are that it was the Republicans who forced the biggest achievement of his administration, Welfare reform, down his throat. What Obama said is essentially true. Reagan did take this country in a new direction, Clinton and Nixon did not.

    January 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. Citizen

    Bill Clinton is right. Obama needs to decide whether he wants to have a title to help Americans or he can do it without a title like MLK.

    Poor guy is confused and was lost when issues were debated last night.

    January 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. Obama 08

    Sad... Bill Clinton is sacrificing both his national stature and his global stature with his quest for power. I have renewed respect for George Bush Sr. who supported his son with his presence but has consistently stayed out of the debates both during campaigns and throughout his term...not that I am a Bush fan...

    Bill has made this campaign a 2 Clinton campaign mainly thru' the "2 for one" slogan.

    Support your spouse by spreading her platform and strengths but stay out of the critcism of other candidates. Hillary needs to stand on her own two feet and not call on her big, bad husband to help her out with her fights....

    January 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Phil Wimbish

    Bill and Hillary are both running for the office

    January 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. John

    Bill Clinton should stop running his wife's campaign. This should be Senator Clinton's campaign, stupid. It's a wonder if you won't start sleeping with more interns and bickering with congress instead of Madame President if you are both elected. This is her election and not yours.

    Nobody seems to realizes that Senator Clinton has not credentials outside of being a famous wife. She could not give a better resume than Governor Richardson, Senator Biden, or Senator Dodd. Why does her campaign thrive? Because she married a political phenonenon. He should retire and let her fight her own battles.

    Bill, you show that feminism is a joke when your presence is the only reason why she wins primaries. Let her reclaim her feminism before you make a joke of the entire feminist movement.

    We are no different than India, Pakistan, Argentina as far as political dynasties are concerned. If you have a name in these countries, people love you without realizing that you are somebody different. This is not good. I thought that we would be judged by the content of our character yet the Bush and Clinton "dynasties" prove that Americans don't care for principles but want royalty. Hail to the Queen and her court jester King.

    January 22, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Steve

    The baby boomers have screwed this nation up enough, it's time for them to quietly walk off the stage and let the next generation, mine, take charge and right the wrongs of this country. Though Obama is technically a boomer he speaks more to my generation, those of us born between 1965 and 1980 than Hillary. And he appeals more to the up and coming generation, those born after 1980.

    With Hillary we'll just continue the extension of the culture battle between those who opposed the Vietnam War and those who supported it, the hippies and pseudo hippies and the aging silent majority. Take your pettiness to the retirement home folks, it does nothing for the Republic but stagnate us.

    January 22, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. New Jersey for Hillary

    I agree. Bill Clinton has every right, as an American citizen, to speak his mind and remain active in politics. He understands what is at stake. He also lives in this country and votes. Let the man speak ! If Michelle or Elizabeth had any clout they would take it to the bank and cash in ! Stop discriminating against the former President because of his accomplishments! His wife is running and I'm supporting her ! Yes, I am a proud ! Obama needs to stick to the issues and it does seem like he is running against Bill Clinton. I am guessing that Hillary is too much woman for him to handle.

    Stick to the issues and give us substance and specifics and not some vague speech about "change" and "unity", which I think sounds likes a broken record. Hillary has staying and fighting power. She has plans and has proven works.

    Bill Clinton, continue to be a chamption for Democratic values and keep on with the endorsement of your wife. Hillary. I understand he made mistakes by cheating on her but so has a lot of other husbands. He is human like all of us. He too have sinned and have fallen short of God's glory. If his wife forgives him and loves him then who am I to condemn him.

    Hillary for President !

    January 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Ray

    Obama and his supporters are splitting the party.

    January 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Omar

    Bill's wrong and the more he keeps talking the more the party divides. Only Die Hard Hillary supporters refuse to see this.

    January 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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