January 25th, 2008
06:27 PM ET
15 years ago

Kerry blasts Bill Clinton for 'abusing truth'


Bill Clinton campaigned for Kerry in 2004 (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - John Kerry, the Democratic Party's 2004 nominee for president, took aim at Bill Clinton Friday, telling the National Journal the former president does "not have a license to abuse the truth."

The Massachusetts senator, who endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid earlier this month, said Clinton's criticisms of the Illinois senator have been "over the top," and suggested the former president is getting "frantic."

Targeting Clinton's recent spate of attacks on Obama, Kerry said, "I think you had an abuse of the truth, is what happened. …I mean, being an ex-president does not give you license to abuse the truth, and I think that over the last days it's been over the top.

"I think it's very unfortunate, but I think the voters can see through that," Kerry added. "When somebody's coming on strong and they are growing, people get a little frantic, and I think people have seen this sort of franticness in the air, if you will."

The former president has faced criticism for aggressively interjecting himself into the race between his wife and Obama of late. On Monday, Obama said he feels as if he is running against both Clintons, a charge the New York senator’s campaign said was borne out of frustration. The former president himself later dismissed Obama's comments, saying “I thought he was running against me.”

Campaigning in South Carolina Friday, Obama said the Clinton campaign has stepped up its attacks since his Iowa win, and joked that it's good practice for him, so "when I take on those Republicans I'll be accustomed to it."

Kerry formally endorsed Obama on January 10, saying then that Obama "isn't just going to break the mold….Together, we are going to shatter it into a million pieces."

The endorsement was seen as a blow to both John Edwards - Kerry's running mate in 2004 - and both Hillary and Bill Clinton, who had campaigned on behalf of Kerry's presidential bid.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Bill Clinton • John Kerry
soundoff (1,583 Responses)
  1. Scott

    >Denise January 26, 2008 1:16 pm ET
    >Hey Everybody….Watch the last debate when Obama stated that he, like Hillary >VOTED FOR THE WAR and then later had second thoughts. About a half an hour >before he said he opposed the war from the beginning…Which is it? WHY HAS NO >ONE CAUGHT THAT??? Are you all so mesmerized that you can't hear?

    Denise, how could he have voted for the war when he wasn't a Senator at the time of the vote?

    January 27, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Jose Card - Independent

    Some of you said that since Bill helped Kerry during his last election, he now betrays Bill by endorsing Obama.

    Kerry is not returning his political favor by sacrificing the American people. I did not like Kerry before. Now I like him much better.
    The future of America is much more important than the political future of the Clintons.

    January 27, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. David Martin

    Maybe if Hillary had supported Kerry with more than just words, Kerry would have been President for 7 years now.

    Is it possible that Edwards, Kerry, Kennedy and Gore all dislike the Clintons so much they will all support Obama?

    Don't be surprised if Gore supports Obama within the next 2 months.

    January 27, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. M algorer

    I hate to think that I might have to vote a repub to do my part – AMERICA CAN'T TAKE CLINTON – STOP THIS MADNESS NOW!!!!!!!!

    January 28, 2008 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  5. RM

    Salida, I agree with you as well. There is some flawed reasoning out there, and I think we all need to become more aware of that "reasoning."

    January 28, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. Ronald R.

    Lets face it, The Clintons have hijacked the Democratic party. I have a hard time believing the average working Democrat actually supports the positions Hillary proposes.........Here is what you would need to support to vote for this women...Raise my taxes, I'm not paying enough........Leave Iraq a mess and just keep blaming Bush........Confiscate Exxon's profits since they are evil corporate pigs in the disguise of re-distribution of wealth, this one is great since nobody apparently in America needs a private sector job, meaning why should we stop with Exxon.........why not Walmart, Merck, Kraft Foods, Microsoft etc.........hell nobody works for these companies anyway.........Poor people provide all the jobs in America.......Rich people never created jobs anyway......LOL......Raise my taxes to pay for health care for the non-working deadbeats, hell we all know they would work to pay for their own if Hillary provides the jobs she lied about creating while a Senator in NY........did I mention Bush is to blame for anything that may go wrong if she were to be elected.........quite honestly this women is so delusional if you listen to he long enough you would think she was running against Bush.......she has a sick fixation with him, I think its jealousy...Over and out for now!

    January 30, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Jim

    I think that cnn and msmbc are trying to elect the canidate of their choice.instead of letting the people of the USA do it. On all debates that I've seen, you let your canidates run off at the mouth for several mins. Then when one of the others do get a chance to talk, you stop them. Why don't you look at the records of your choice. Like these!
    Clinton- Missed voting in the 110 congress 104 times of 443 23.5%
    Obama– missed voting in the 110 congress 167 times of 443 37.7%
    KMccain- missed voting in the 110 congress 248 times of 443 56%
    You check it out.
    Can we afford a president that dont show up 23.5 % of the time?

    February 2, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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