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

Kerry blasts Bill Clinton for 'abusing truth'

ALT TEXT

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. Anonymous

    I am glad that Obama got the African American voters in South Carolina, but isn't that well know issue? However, I believe those votes from those groups still won't get him that far.

    January 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Scott

    As an African American, what has John Kerry ever did for us? He needs to stay out of this and just SHUT UP! At least the Clinton's have actually done something for African Americans!!! He couldn't even fight in the last election! Just be quiet and go make some Heinz.

    As your writing dictates you are not that smart, does the name Sister Souja mean anything to you? Look it up and get back to a real brotha

    January 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. dennis

    WHAT?! Bill Clinton is abusing the truth? That can't be possible, can it..........:-))

    January 25, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Confused: When you find out what the Clintons have done for AA would you please inform me. AA that have been interviewed on the news seem to only say they are voting for them because of what they believe, which still hasn't answered my question. Pls advise me when you become informed.

    January 25, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Paul Williamson

    Kerry is a sore loser, a far left liberal who couldn't win the presidency-he's just jealous of Bill Clinton, who had two very successful terms (67% approval rating, balanced budget). Democrats need to remember a little US history-most of the bloggers are too young to know much of anything. In the last 40 YEARS, (since LBJ) we have only had 2 Democratic Presidents, Carter (4 yrs) and Bill Clinton (8 yrs). Clinton was a winner, and the way the Democrats are going, it may be another 40 years until a Democrat gets in unless they nominate Hillary.. Obama does not have a prayer in the general election, it will be worse than McGovern., he will caryy a few Southern states. By the way, I am a lifelong Democrat who has voted for every Democrat since Stephenson, and who voted for Kerry last time.

    January 25, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    John Kerry did a good job as a B.S., hope he is not running for vice president later.

    January 25, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. SarahJ

    Did anyone not see the comment left that said "John Kerry got more votes in 2004 than Clinton did in 1992 and 1998?" He may have lost the election, but the guys a great senator (smart for not giving that up to run in 04) and can even had the endorsement of the Clinton's in 04. A lot of you are saying "who cares what John Kerry has to say" and well, apparently a lot of people or he wouldn't still be in the senate.

    As far as Obama answering the Clinton's questions...well he did. Hillary said that Obama praised the republicans, and well no he didn't. READ THE FREAKING INTERVIEW...guess what, we may not want to face it, but they were the party of ideas...Obama was right...in the debate on Monday he said "they were bad ideas but they were ideas."

    Hillary is now saying she has to defend herself...against what? Obama defending himself?

    I'm sick of the Clintons being power mongers. Everyone calls Obama a cry baby when he strikes back, but isn't that exactly what the Clinton's are too then?

    January 25, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. aisha

    KERRY WHO USED CLINTONS TO CAMPAIGN FOR HIM NOW TURNING BACK ON THEM ,THAT TELLS YOU WHAT KINDA PERSON HE IS .IF CLINTONS WERE THAT BAD WERE THEY NICE IN 2004 .HE IS NOTHING BUT FULL OF IT

    January 25, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Edd

    Usual inept bumbling Kerry, a Vietnam veteran who lost the the election to a group of "chicken hawks" who has never been to war ever in their lives. The topic of the election was national security.

    January 25, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. veronica lynne

    John Kerry lost the last election!
    Why?
    Because he didn't play hardball.
    Now he adds to the whining chorus of Obama.
    How stupid does he think we are?

    January 25, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. Jenna

    My view is that Kerry will align with anyone that might promise him the Vice President seat. Obviously, the people did not support him when he ran for the last presidential seat and becuase of his lack of popularity among voters he could not beat the republicans. Kerry is directly the reason why Bush won and destroyed our economy! I will give no support or thanks Kerry.

    Does anyone remember Kerry's mis-speaking when he was endorsing Governor Shwartsniger, he stated he wanted people to get an education so that they did not end up like our serviceman who are fighting in Iraq. He insulted the very people sacrificing their lives, what a guy!

    Signed,

    Disgusted with Krazy Kerry

    January 25, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Alan Nguyen

    Can someone give me a definition of truth? The one that i already knew , never told me that truth can be abused.

    January 25, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Cortney, Ashburn, VA

    Moby: Learn how to spell L-O-S-E-R before you start calling others as such. John Kerry didn't lose the election in 200 - it was stolen from him.

    January 25, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. charlotte

    Kerry must be looking and hoping if Obama gets elected he can get a job maybe VP..

    January 25, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. sunrise

    "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."

    what a mess they want to do! And who is gong to clean up and put it back together?

    We cannot be without some "mold" = rules, discipline, laws! They even do not know what the new"mold" would be.....very scary....

    January 25, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. aisha

    KERRY IS A LOOSER ,,,,ALL THE WAY
    HE TURNED HIS BACK ON JOHN EDWARDS
    HE TURNED HIS BACK ON CLINTONS WHO HAD CAMPAIGNED FOR HIM IN 2004
    HILLARY 2008

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Tim

    Congratulations to the democratic party! After 8 terrible years of GWB this election was supposed to be an easy win for the dems but the childish infighting has split the party and taken away any chance of victory in '08. And now just as it was starting to settle down a little bit John Kerry of all people feels the need to stir it back up. John Kerry needs to GO AWAY!

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Libby, Reston, VA

    Just for the record: Kerry didn't lose the election - it was stolen from him.

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Joy

    Sen. Kerry,

    Just go away. All of your comments strike me as a feeble attempt to get some attention for yourself.

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Trev

    Hey Truth Squad, ever hear of a real 3-person race. That is why Clinton got fewer votes. I recommend that Senator K. check out factcheck.org. There he will find that Senator Obama is just at good at distorting the truth as the other two candidates. Silver-tounged lies are still lies. If you are going to bash the Clintons for talking out of both sides of their mouths, you should be prepared to go after Obama for doing the same. I am voting for Hillary because she has the best plan on a variety of issues (health care especially).

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. Allen

    Abusing the truth"? Doesn't that imply actual truth? What does that mean?

    Statements like these are more reasons why this character was unelectable. Kerry proves over and over again that he's a buffoon.

    Clinton is over the top, however.

    Vote for Obama, not Chelsea's momma.

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. backbone

    Kerry goes from one to another one – no loyalty. where is his backbone?

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Harold

    Hey is this Kery reporting for duty again...NOOOOOOO.

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. Vincent, Tamaqua, Pa

    HAHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHAH john kerry!? HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHH

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. obama 08

    I think it's funny that so many LOSERS with their comments can't spell LOSERS.

    January 25, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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