January 23rd, 2008
09:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Bill Clinton gets upset with CNN reporter


Bill Clinton got visibly upset with CNN's Jessica Yellin Wednesday.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton became visibly upset Wednesday over comments by a prominent South Carolina Democrat that compared the former president's actions on the trail to those of infamous Republican strategist Lee Atwater.

In an interview with CNN's Jessica Yellin, Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party and a supporter of Barack Obama, said some of Bill Clinton's recent remarks on the campaign trail were appeals based on race and gender. He said the comments were meant to "suppresses the vote, demoralize voters, and distort the record," and said they were "reminiscent of Lee Atwater."

Clinton sharply disputed the charge, and lashed out at Yellin for raising the question.

"You live for this. This hurts the people of South Carolina," he said. "Because the people of South Carolina come to these meetings and ask questions about what they care about. And what they care about is not what's going to be in the news coverage tonight, because you don't care about it.

"What you care about is this. And the Obama people know that. So they just spin you up on this and you happily go along. I mean, the people don't care about this," he added. "They never ask about it. And you are determined to take this election away from them. And that's not right. That is not right. This election ought to belong to those people who are out here asking questions about their lives."

soundoff (1,260 Responses)
  1. Kathy

    I don't like the fighting – I think we should listen to John Edwards who said today: "I'm John Edwards and I represent the grown-up wing of the Democratic Party." He has my vote here in the State of Washington no matter what happens on Super Tuesday.

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. IA

    everyone wants bi-partisan politics...I would rather see bi-partisan reporters!

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Will it Ever End

    There's that finger wagging again! I think he should patent it!!!!!!!

    How childish!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. Woz - Los Gatos, CA


    Keep it up and hand the nomination to Obama!!

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Frank

    Oh, come Bill!, what did you do to voters in NH misleading them on Obama's statement on the war? Your are a master of spinning. In any case, Obama is learning from you bro.

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Hailey

    OUTSTANDING! BILL CLINTON IS RIGHT! AND THE ONLY PERSON IN THE MEDIA THAT TELLS IT LIKE IT IS, THATS WHY HE GETS SO MUCH PRESS! YOU LOVE HIM AND YOU KNOW IT! The cries are for obama because recently his record is being put out there when mainstream media tried to keep it out! Obamas free ride is over!

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Tommy

    How sad these people think Americans don't think for themselves. How low are they gonna go to get elected back to the white house?

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. hello people

    journalists, reporters can get nasty, have to be put in place. Right? What do people expect? That one let's them do harm to him? NO way!
    reporters, journalists need as much news as they can get, They are paid for it, and some go overboard......so, they have to be put in proper place.

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Waiting for Clinton version 8.0

    Bill Clinton cares about one thing: Bill Clinton.

    The reason he is campaigning for Hillary is because he knows that a win for her solidifies his mark in history and would overshadow his impeachment. He knows that he will get credit for her win (as he should since she's practically running for a "3rd Clinton term").

    He's acting like a petulant child, not like a former President.

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Rob

    Do we want 4 years of THIS crap????????????????

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Mark

    Clinton followers are like sheep mindlessly lining up for the slaughter.

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Jim, Burlington

    Obama is correct in his estimation he is running against 2 Clintons.

    No more Bushes,
    No more Clintons.

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Maria, Houston

    No – CLINTONS LIVE FOR THIS. As Hillary said, now the "fun" starts... Maybe for you, rich, spoiled, power hungry narcissists couple who think lying and cheating is just a game... You slime everyone and than play victims... Hillary cries and attacks in the same sentence! Shame on you and shame on us if we don't get rid of you. And this is from the life long Democrat.

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Darren

    Way to go Bill! Thanks for smacking down yet another Obama worshiping media shill. We're sick of having the wishy-washy wimp crammed down our throats.

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Ant in Texas

    Well, caring about the people now? That a new one for BILLARY!!! Maybe he should find the truth from all the lies he has told the state of South Carolina. Maybe his wife should be in South Carolina instead of the Super Tuesday states because she has written off South Carolina as a defeat. And what will BILLARY spin in the South Carolina loss, "It was the press that cost BILLARY that primary" Will Hillary ever present her views? Will Hillary ever stand for anything? Will Hillary ever show up for a vote in the Senate? NO, but BILLARY will!!!

    I hope Obama can get back on message, about changing this country, uniting the people and moving us forward and away from the dark days of Bush, Clinton, Bush...ashame that I had to include BILLARY in there, but he is sad. Race and gender has been played by BILLARY to drive a wedge between South Carolina, the South and America...They play the gender card, they play the race card and hope America will fall for it. Is Carl Rove now Clinton's brain?

    If the people focus on issues and substance, the BILLARY will not win!!! No who is frustrated? Now who looks inexperienced? And he is the former President, my God!!! If BILLARY can not take the heat, get out the kitchen!!! Their inexperience is showing!!! Just because you know your way around the White House, it doesn't count as experience.

    These times require real leadership – from Day 1!!!

    Obama 08

    January 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Rico

    Correct me if I'm wrong but didnt the original headline say Clinton goes negative.

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. PaKid

    CNN reporters need to learn how to report, they are to biased. Why don't they report on Pres. Bush's manipulation of the US constitution. They report what they want cause CNN is so Pro-Bush!

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Natasha B

    This is the same person who said a few hours ago that he's ENJOYING seeing Barack and Hillary going at it.

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Mary Ann Bronson

    There was a time when I loved Bill Clinton. His true colors have now come out. He is fighting such a dirty campaign against Obama, that before I would vote for a Clinton, I WILL VOTE REPUBLICAN. I hate Bill and Hillary more than I hate Bush

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. victor

    I have been a long time supporter of Bill, but this has got to stop. It is obvious that he and his wife are trying to turn this into a racial campaign. Obviously if he gets votes to fall along racial lines then Hillary will win. I am now coming to the realization that Democarts are just as bad as Republicans.

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Tom Masters

    Thank goodness someone is finally talking about the people's needs and not the white people or black people's needs.

    We are all people.

    Way to be Bill!

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. magella

    bill clinton was the best president
    hillary will be the best president
    obama he a big talker but no action
    people dont forget to put a president like bush was that obama

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Roxanne

    Yes, Grant. You got it right. Bill see's his second chance at the White House slipping away and he ain't having it. And didn't this guy oppose welfare - for other people?

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. God Help US All, Atlanta,Georgia

    Give em Hell, Bill. The media is out of control. PBS is all I watch now.

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Pat Huntington NY

    Bill is RIGHT! Obama is trying to spin the race card every which way because he knows that's the only way he can win. He's a weak candidate, and the only thing going for him is his race.

    January 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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