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)
  1. george\ia

    Make no mistake. The Clinton's will steal the election. They are already lining up all the mechanisms. Bill just gave it away when he said "take the election away". He is a sociopath. Every accusation out of his mouth is a projection, something he, in his twisted quest, is guilty of.

    January 23, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  2. David

    What else is new. He flies off the handle all the time. His public image of the caring concerned man is BS. The Clintons are all about power, nothing more and nothing less.

    January 23, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. Alex, Reno, Nevada

    Despite Clintons’ efforts, Obama will be the president, and I would like to be the first person to congratulate him...

    January 23, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  4. votehillary2008

    Enough with the Obama propaganda. First, the demeaning article about black women not being able to choose Race vs. Gender. Now, this misleading headline about President Clinton. Like most other posters, I expected to see Bill ranting and raving. He was calm and he stated his case.

    Bill Clinton is right. This story has been sensationalized to the hilt. The Clintons have not said anything racist. Their comments have been twisted. When the Clintons disagree with Obama, they are accused of being racist. When Edwards/Obama disagree with Hillary they are not accused of being sexist. Nor should they be. It's a political campaign. People are supposed to disagree.

    January 23, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  5. Thomas, Denver, CO

    President Clinton,

    You are truly my hero. You go boy! Set it straight!

    BTW, what is "visibly upset"? More sensationalism. President Clinton was not upset, he was emphatic. There is a difference.

    January 23, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. teresa

    it took one clinton to straighten the mess bush left behind and it will take
    another clinton to straighten the mess this bush left behind

    January 23, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  7. Hank Wilfong Jr.

    Wall Street Journal (WSJ) just had an article on the front page (January 22, 2008) “Ex-President May Get Payout Of $20 Million” and nobody seems to be uttering a peep about it.

    This in spite of the fact that it has to do with a deal that involves a principal who has close connections with the ruler of Dubai; and the Clinton’s will probably be getting $20 million more for their coffers.

    The WSJ said that “Severing the tie to Dubai will remove a potentially tricky problem for Mrs. Clinton. Questions raised about the activities of sovereign wealth funds-giant pools of money controlled by foreign governments-have become a campaign issue, as the funds have made a spate of multi-billion dollar investments in such corporate giants as Citigroup, Inc. and Merrill Lynch Co. In a recent interview with The WSJ, Mrs. Clinton said “such purchases are ‘a source of concern’ partly because the foreign funds ‘lack transparency’ and could be used by foreign governments as ‘instruments of foreign policy’”.

    Couldn’t have had said it better, myself.

    So, why doesn’t anybody but me seem that concerned about the inconsistency between Hillary Clinton’s false support for transparency and sovereign wealth funds? Does she and her husband, Bill, have something they don’t want the voting public to know?

    Oh what sticky webs we weave…..

    January 23, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. pastor sunday idahor

    Obama lacks the experience needed in this trying times. we are not talking about election into a city council but the president of the strongest nation under heaven, and Americans are thinking of electing an OJT (on job training) preident?

    January 23, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  9. rakucat

    keep an eye on the physchology of this race, The political machines are gearing up, and remember Hillary is the closest thing to a European socialist.

    January 23, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. mr.fair tax

    HE IS A NUT!!!

    January 23, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  11. Jose Card - Independent

    Christiane Amanpour for President?

    I will take Christiane Amanpour over Hillary any day.
    I respect and admire Christiane Amanpour.

    January 23, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  12. TF

    Wow 'true democrat'

    Is this the way of compaigning?
    This is the main reason why republicans win elections. Attacking is a well familiar terrain with the republicans. They will attack you and will not apologise. The democrats will whine about being attacked instead of slamming it back. The voters listen and vote.

    What Obama is facing now is dress rehearsal compared with what the GOP will slam him if he wins the democratic election. Frankly speaking, I can't see him survive their well oiled machinery. The republicans will beat him not because of his skin colour but because he cannot stand their attack machinery.

    Remember that in the debate Obama started the whole thing. He brought it up! Nobody mentioned that!

    Also remember what the slogan 'anyone but Bush' did in 2004. Such sentiments never work.

    Up Hillary '08

    January 23, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  13. Stephanie

    For eight years we all watched "What Does Bill Think". Now sit down, Bill, shut up and please let us watch "Does Hillary Think or Does Hillary Just Think What Bill Thinks?"

    January 23, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  14. Louis - CT

    This true democrat will be voting for Hillary. She has the strength and experience to run this country. Obama can't do anything but delfect questions and give speeches. The problem is that at the end of the day his words will only get him and the country so far. This campaign has been hard fought, but nothing Hillary has done has been shameful. The Obama people have distorted their words, with their "talking-points memo." This memo was sent out to get the race question brought up. He knew this would score him a win in South Carolina. That was the most shamfeul act that has been done in this campaign to date. The interesting thing is that the media only covered that for a few minutes. If the Clinton campaign had done that, they would still be talking about it. He's the media darling now, but he won't be for long. HILLARY 2008.

    January 23, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  15. Philo

    Hillary "has found her voice" -–> Bill

    January 23, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  16. neo

    Memo to Billl Clinton:

    Please make sure and keep this up so that younger generations can see for themselves what kind pathetic sociopaths you and your wife really are.

    January 23, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  17. sharon

    The media has to start this stuff what the hell would we watch or get ticked off about .I am voting Hillary because she is a woman and so am I . Plus she is really smart

    January 23, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  18. safipa

    If you think CNN is Pro-Obama, why did they post this video?

    CNN is Pro-CNN. They want to sensationalize and make $. Everything they do is based out of that motivation.

    January 23, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  19. Joojo

    Did all the Clinton haters actually watch the clip? What was wrong with what he said? Intelligent as he is, he skillfully avoided the bait. Obama is behaving like a baby urged on by the media.

    January 23, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  20. SK

    Obama has started to show his true "character". The more he goes negative, the less impressed we are

    January 23, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  21. James

    Bill is righ, the media and Obama supporters love to take things he and Hillary say and put a negative spin on it. Obama and his supporters are very much divisive. They want to continue the divisive legacy in America.

    January 23, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  22. go believe

    Bill is definitely right. Go Hillary.

    January 23, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  23. safipa

    Despite Clintons’ efforts, Obama will be the president, and I would like to be the first person to congratulate him…


    January 23, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  24. FL voter

    Bill Clinton's right. Shame on CNN.

    January 23, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. Disappointed in CNN

    I used to be a big fan of cnn for so many years. Now I believe that it is a live gossip column picking a candidate and making it so obvious that this network favors Obama. The focus should be on the issues and not on race or sex. I think the quality has gone real down.

    I'm disappointed. Need to clean up this network. I think i'll switch to PBS.

    January 23, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
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