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. Mike in Kentucky

    And to those of you who will point out that the offensive comment did in fact "disappear", I would ask what if someone had not called CNN out, over and over again, with many different wordings: Would that post still be on this page?

    Fair and balanced...you decide!

    January 25, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  2. Williams

    Bill Clinton, your presidential election has come and gone. You made a fool of yourself and your wife before, and now your trying to discredit an honest mans record. Leave politics alone, it is time for a change! You used the black vote to get in the white house last time but you won't USE the black vote again. You care nothing about blacks except a ballot.

    January 25, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  3. Howard, Westport CT

    My god. When are people going to come around to the fact that a vote for the Clintons ,or the Republican party for that matter ,is endorsing business as usual in Washington?? All these people, with the exception of Obama and Edwards have been lifelong politician and are friends of the Washington establishment both Democrat and Republican. We need to throw these people out, look at the situation they have got us in. We are hated throughout the world.
    We are occupying two countries. We have illegal jails in Guantanamo Bay where people are being held without due process. Every human being deserves due process. We kidnap people using rendition and then torture them in foreign countries. We have a huge deficit. We are the only developed country without healthcare for it's citizens. Do I need to go on??This what the Washington establishment has done in the last 20 years. Bush, Clinton, Bush. We do not need more of the same.

    January 25, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. SN

    The Clintons have already cost this country through the impeachment saga...Bill has already shown poor character while President; he is doing so again. Is this a reality that the Clintons are in fact not pro Black as they played out to be in the past.

    January 25, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. Jenna

    CNN- also seems to weed out anyone who says anything intellegent against OBAMA and for the Clintons. I have it with you Ticker and your dis-honest Jerry Springer news reporting. Stick to the facts, quit throwing fuel on fires that do not exist! Clinton's racist, you have got to be kidding me!

    Get some real reporters and start being nuetral like reporters should be!


    Disgusted with CNN

    January 25, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |


    You know the central media reporters and news casters; they all have mud on their faces for being disrespectful of the American electoral rights. They keep overstepping its boundaries by overplaying & over-exaggerating political events, forecasting irresponsibly winners & losers. Let's not forget how they played Hillary Clinton's political death after IOWA. Just to be proved deadly wrong later on, by the way, NOBODY from the press has been honest enough to apologize for that miss-information of the public.

    People from the MEDIA, please don't tell us who is more likeable, who is more funny, who is more religious or not, or who is more positive or negative. These are all superficial and insignificant things. We need to know about their substance, about their personal experience. We need to know about their personal accomplishments, also their fundamental differences and whether or not their campaign promises are things that can be accomplished given our current situation; of course by being FAIR AT ALL TIMES. That should be your commitment to us the people.

    In America, we all have THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO ELECT AND TO BE ELECTED, Yes even MRS. CLINTON please, let's NOT forget that people from the sensationalistic media.

    NOBODY and much, much less the MEDIA should be allowed to play with serious issues like race & gender that impact profoundly the POLITICAL FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY. They need to remain NEUTRAL & show more respect for the people in South Carolina & the entire USA

    January 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. angel lv

    i have written two coments this week and none have been posted, i guess what i write against cnn and the coverage you have on obama and yes wolfe you are the worst of all of you reports on cnn . i said the black people were voting on color and nothing else , you dont belive me . then explane whats happening in s.c. with the black voters. cnn you are disgusting , from now on i will look to onthere news station to watch. who pays you to say such garbage on the air. i guess you will censor this coment too, but thats ok i am glad some one will read it before its thrown in the trash can

    January 26, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  8. olive

    a vote for Hillary Clinton is no longer a vote for the first woman president, it's a vote for the first 3 term president since FDR and Bill Clinton is NO FDR.
    Hillary is depending on her husband, she is not acting like the independent woman i would want for president.
    I am sick and tired of Bill Clinton and his dirty politics.
    i used to be a Bill Clinton supporter, in fact i was one of the millions who kept supporting him while he put the country through so much–for so little.
    With the way the former President is behaving on the campaign trail–.it's clear they have become egomaniccs only out for themselves. I will vote for Barak Obama and a new future away from all this attack dog politics.

    the way hillary laughed about 'Bill Clinton being the first black president'–I found that offensive, even though I am not black myself. Who do they think they are?

    January 26, 2008 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  9. SOHAN


    January 26, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Alice

    That's what their "supporters" like to see. Bill! I don't think Chinese and Saudi government would be happy if you throw their money into the sea.

    January 28, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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