January 23rd, 2008
09:00 PM ET
10 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)

    Why is CNN trying to deny the people the right to chose a president? Why will they not stop at any cost. They have received literly thousand and thousands of requests from their viewers to stop this bash Hillary Clinton campaign and still they won't. Why CNN? I can't be manipulated out of my vote, but I can be pissed off enough to stop watching CNN.

    January 23, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  2. calvin

    its funny when things dont go bill way he wants to get mad i am a big bill fan but now i see the true bill its time for a new face and someone that can and try to bring both sides together and work together and get what we the people need them to do for us all now thats why obama gets my vote

    January 23, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. Truethis

    Who's really running for president? Why Hillary isn't in South Carolina? Where is Howard Dean? Shouldn't he put a stop to this? Is it smart to piss off the media? Who do the Republican really wants to run against? The Answers: Billary. And you seriously think the Democratics will win the White House in November? PLEASE.....The Republican/Independent, the Conservative Democatics and the supporters of Bloomberg will UNITE because the Republican have so much on the Clintons that the Karl Roves are ready and very prepared .......so go ahead you dedicated Democratic to the Clintons keep supporting the Billary rather than what's really importaant to this country and lets see how far your party gets in November 08.

    January 23, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. jen-in-ca

    GO BILL! If Obama can't handle the heat then he needs to get out of the race.The Republicans will eat Obama alive with his past and inexperience. How did Obama get anointed from not being called on his record? Obama can say whatever he wants but no one else can? The Media does have a slant towards Obama and love to beat up on the Clinton's. Anyone with half a brain can see that. Hillary will be the new hope for the United States.

    January 23, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |

    Yikes! The Clintons might be more disingenuous than Bush. The sheer shrewd nasty dishonesty of Bill & Hillary. Now I can see why Republicans have been howling about them all these years. They really do have quite the awful side. They keep hammering home things concretely proven to be lies, and otherwise repeat intentionally flagrant distortions. I used to like Hillary. Now she makes me sick. Obama more than ever.

    January 23, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. earl illingsworth

    Their is an old strategy in politics as in war ,something to do about the "Trojan Horse",but evolving just like Napolean's "Waterloo", being outflanked? Bill has infiltratred Obama's home turf, ripping ,slashing, with seething cries of deception which only manifest diversions ,amongst Obama supporters. Diversions, diversions, diversions , emphatically confusing and arousing disloyolties, where questions were never asked, are now being asked? Oh how sly and coy these Clinton's are, but wait ,the message has resonated to a deafening pitch that victory goes to Obama in South Carolina, for honesty trumps corruptability!!! GO OBAMA!!!

    January 23, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  7. natasha,NY

    If only the Clintons were so agressive in 2000 and 2004! We would never have the Bush administration!
    However, if they continue to abusively attack another Democrat we'll have 4 more years (at least) of Republican administration.
    And this indeed will be "enevitable".

    January 23, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. Patrick

    Apparently the clean campaign that everyone wanted to run doesn't apply to the candidates' supports (or spouses). I am really hoping to see a Obama/Clinton ticket, Obama for President and this thought is becoming more of a dream in the past!

    January 23, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  9. Young Liberal

    If Bill wants to talk about the issues then why did Hillary just come out with a new radio attack ad today?

    January 23, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. james cooper

    Bill is correct. CNN should just state that they want Obama to be the next President. Is Wolf Obama's campaign manager??? I am a 60 year black male liberal and I think those right wings at Fox News are right about one thing and thats CNN is bias. Tonight one of your guest implied that Clinton not Obama added Ronald Reagan to the debate.

    January 23, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  11. cgrg

    Don't you people get it? It's the spin – to get our attention. And VOTE! Witnessing the terror of 9-11 up close and personal – I don't think I could ever elect a person to the most powerful office in this world, as president of my United States of America with the middle name of "Hussien". Maybe that's just me.

    January 23, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. bc

    Time to post another item that CNN won't let through! eventually, I'll get one through. I used to respect CNN, but now I'm not sure I'd trust them to give me an accurate weather report or sports score. Certainly their extreme Obama-favoring bias renders them unsuited for any trust on a political issue. Fox, of course, is well known for its lack of integrity, but I used to think CNN had some. Now I see they just hide their lack of integrity a little better. MSN is better, but only slightly so, so I'll keep looking for a decent site – if someone can recommend a truly objective site it would be great!

    I think the best thing we can do is refuse to watch these yellow "journalism" networks, refuse to visit their sites, except maybe if we want to know if some actress had a baby or whatever (and even then we can find a better source), and keep in mind who and what their "journalists" are in case they ever try to establish themselves on some other network. Even if CNN decided to start telling the truth, I'd have trouble ever believing them again.

    January 23, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. kim

    I have never felt so strongly about two politicians as I do about Bill and Hillary. I often wonder what lies in one's soul to act out in such a dishonest and disgusting way. Time and time again, their lies are corrected by the media and the American people. I am livid when others say the "rank and file democrats" care very much about what he says. If we want to preserve any sense of morality and integrity, we have to make a wise choice using both our heads and our hearts. Obama or Edwards 08!

    January 23, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  14. TOm

    BILL CLINTON is aliar

    January 23, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. sam

    go bill
    we are tired of the obama-media machine

    hillary is the right person for this job

    January 23, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  16. dem

    CNN is playing kingmaker with the voters, their bias in favor of Obama has been obvious for months and Wolf Blitzer is one of the most biased against Hillary. I believe the American people are smart enough to vote for who THEY want not who these political punditstry to pursuade them to.

    January 23, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. M. Elle

    President Clinton comes off as a craggy old man. He should go somewhere and take a nap.

    January 23, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. Jim

    Which Clinton is running gor President Bill or Hillary.

    January 23, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. teri

    i am sick sick sick of bill clinton!!!! is this how hillary would run the white house? no thanks! he is taking over now and will take over if she was elected. think of all the lies he told the last time around ("i did NOT have sex with that woman!") and ask yourself do you want this again? don't forget the past. we need CHANGE!

    January 23, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  20. Hal Singer


    January 23, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. cjvwise1

    California voter
    I lived in NM when Richardson was just becoming a Clinton flunky. Every time they came to visit us in NM, drug traffic increased. Before he became governor, we voted on everything. The Dems want to take away all freedom of thought and replace it with government mandates. Not a good endorsment for Richardson.

    January 23, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. Jerry

    All you Obama lovers, name one president that actually balanced the budget. Answer: Bill Clinton. You can spin on his name anyway you like, I personally am tired of the taxes and loss of fellow service men due to incompetence like Bush and not experienced people like Obama! This is not a kids election, we need someone with experience known to do the job. That would be the Clintons. No one else. Republicans will fight for Obama all day long because they know they can defeat him. They fear Clinton. Wake up America.

    January 23, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  23. ray

    Someone should warn these democratic candidates! If they keep going like they are we will end up with another republican pres. but hey with all the candidates for gun control on the democratic side I am willing to bet that is they way it will be anyway!!!!!

    January 23, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. D.S. Delfin

    If you roll back the debate tape, you will see that Obama actually started hurling insult to Mrs. Clinton. This is a competetion, like boxing you have to strike back...it is fair game. Hillary is right, everytime you strike ( which is again fair game in any contest) at Obama he immediately plays the victim game.

    I actually like Obama also, but I think he is still raw, untested, not yet battle tested. It seems like he is so clean because he is still new in the game. Besides, I think he always play safe in his voting record in Illinois. But you know what! he can be fantastic after 8 years as Vice President to Hillary. We will have guaranteed 16 years of Democrats in the White House.

    January 23, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. cjvwise1

    Does anyone have an explaination of where the money came from for the Clinton Partnership in Dubai or the accounts in the Camen Islands or his retreat in the Dominican Republic? Just from the secret dealings with the King of Dubai he stands to receive $20 million. Has anyone questioned the source of the initial investment?

    January 23, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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