January 25th, 2008
06:27 PM ET
13 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. Greg T

    As you can see Kerry is a traitor to the Clintons just like a traitor to his service for his country in a war. Kerry shows his cannot commit to anything but his own personal gain. Looks like Kerry will want the VP spot on the ticket. That will be Obama's mistake to take him.

    January 25, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Ned in Florida

    O.k. all you Clinton haters – just chill out and remember who is doing the talking – it's John Kerry afterall (yes, the same backstabing John Kerry that threw his former running mate under the bus). How can anyone believe anything that he has to say...?

    January 25, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Sharon in FL

    Crybaby Obama calls on loser John Kerry to defend him. Both of them should shut up. Keep talking, President Clinton, we love you. Go Hillary '08.

    January 25, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Murry

    Thank you, Kerry, for speaking up for Senator Obama. The Clintons' tactics seem to be to throw rocks and then point the finger to say, "He did it!" It doesn't fool people like myself who have been following the news stories closely.
    From reading this blog, it seems like many people prefer to have aggressive bullies rather than gentleman run our country.

    January 25, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Mike

    Oy. You know, they all need to shut up. The Dems and the Repubs. Even if that means not voting for anyone! Look how the Bushies and and the Roves divided us using this same tactic year after year. United we are not as a result. Enough already. It's an insult to our collective intelligence to think that these schoolyard antics will actually sway someone's opinion. We need the smartest person to be president, not the one with the best insults.

    I challenge everyone to join me in not voting for any candidate from any party who continues to resort to negative campaigning, from heretofor. And lets email each of them to tell them so.

    January 25, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Willy

    Have you really ever known a democrat to tell the truth while their lips are moving?

    January 25, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. MORRIS

    The Clintons are splitting the party and at what cost to see his wife in the Whitehouse. The DNC need to step in before they lose more than the WHITEHOUSE. If Hillary receive the number of delgates to lead the party. I will switch party and she will not get my vote.

    January 25, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Jorge

    Tino!!! Tha's why you need to read more!!!!

    Under Clinto's Afican amercans salary rose 7600 ddls. average per person.

    Under Bush administration 2300 ddls average less per person!!

    January 25, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. Ilene

    Democrats need to untie against the lying Clintons. Why can't some people see what liars they are. Hillary can't win against any Republican. There is way too may lies, way too much dirty laundry. I am so very sorry to say if these blind Americans give her the nom, the smart Americans are going to vote against her. We already have a liar in office. Why would we want another one??

    January 25, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. Mike

    Oy. You know, they all need to shut up. The Dems and the Repubs. Look how the Bushies and and the Roves divided us using this same tactic year after year. United we are not as a result. Enough already. It's an insult to our collective intelligence to think that these schoolyard antics will actually sway someone's opinion. We need the smartest person to be president, not the one with the best insults.

    I challenge everyone to join me in not voting for any candidate from any party who continues to resort to negative campaigning, from heretofor. Even if that means not voting for anyone! And lets email each of them to tell them so.

    January 25, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Zohreh

    John Kerry is a really bad looser. He is a kept man. Sitting there in comfort of his wife's money and blowing hot air. He should play in the monster movie.

    January 25, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. MIKE (HOUSTON)

    NOBODY SHOULD BE SUPRISED THAT KERRY BETRAYED JOHN EDWARDS AND WENT AGAINST THE CLITON'S WHO SUPPORTED HIM DURING HIS RUN IN 2004. KERRY HAS A RECORD OF BETRAYAL. HE BETRAYED HIS FELLOW VIETNAM VETERANS WHEN HE RETURNED FROM THE WAR, WAS A DISGRACE WHEN HE RETURNED HIS MILITARY METALS. OBAMA, YOU ARE WELCOME TO HAVE THIS LOSER AND BETRAYER ON YOUR SIDE.

    January 25, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. James Brown ( Independent )

    The Clinton's have lied and cheated the American people long enough . Time to take this country back , and put someone in the "peoples" White House ,that actually cares abourt us.NO MORE CLINTON SHAME !

    January 25, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. yams

    LOL @ the "Sore Loser" comments. The Clintons are just as dirty, if not more, as the GOP.

    January 25, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. TT

    Edwards is the only one that can win an election against the GOP

    January 25, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Kay

    Kerry's a patriot, a true statesman and he is showing real courage, much like he did during and after Vietnam, by stating the truth about the Clintons and their despicable behavior.

    For those who would like to diminish Kerry's role, " You can't handle the truth!"

    January 25, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. George Basham

    Waa waa. John Kerry has no credibility. Obama, as Truman once said, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Every statement the Clintons' make is exaggerated and distorted by their detractors. The Daily Show had a good take off on that last night, playing several actual clips of commentators exclaiming "Bill Clinton lost his cool with a reporter and raised his voice!!!" yadda yadda and in the actual clip Bill Clinton was calm and did not raise his voice one iota. There is about as much depth to the average talking head as a puddle. Obama would make a great Vice President, and if you want to cut off your nose to spite your face, vote for "we'll stay in Iraq for 100 years if we have to" McCain as the war continues to take precious lives and drain our treasury.

    January 25, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. bob

    So Kerry is blasting the Clintons. I wish he had blasted the Republicans for the swift boating he took. We would not be in this mess right now. It is fair to question Obama on his record. He is pretty good at being agressive himself.
    Hillary is still my choice.

    January 25, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. ttj

    Bill Clinton can get frantic all he wants and John Kerry can endorse the man on the moon, but that's not going to help get Obama elected...If the democrats are serious, they will look at their real candidate...yeah, that guy who's been ignored by the media...WAKE UP DEMOCRATS!!!

    January 25, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Cheers from NY

    Mike are you LOU DOBBS?

    January 25, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Ralph

    The Clintons are honest about one fact, government will remain the same under their control. Obama, don't stoop to their level.

    January 25, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. Greg T

    Mike, you're an idiot. I'm voting for a Republican. Dems are dreamers and do not relate to the real world. That's why we are in a war with terrorist as it is, because the Clintons wanted to ignore them and believe they would just go away.

    January 25, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Tou, Minneapolis

    I voted for Kerry in 2004 and proud of it. I'm sure those who speak out against him now are the same ones that voted for that winner that's currently in the White House. With this current administration, we're all losers! Aren't you all proud of yourselves?

    January 25, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. Oliver

    If John Kerry had only displayed so much energy and vigor in his own presidential campaign, we would not be in this situation right now to begin with.

    And endorsing Obama over Edwards (his former running mate) or Hillary is just a way to see his name in the news rather than on something like a ketchup bottle.

    January 25, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. Sam Rechi

    Guys, cool down, I have just begun to like politics more than ever before. What's the fun watching debates and speeches if there is no intensity in it! Politics got be little dirty in order to make it fun. I am enjoying it, Go Bill, go Hillary and go Gobama....go all the way and make it as intense as possible. I know who I am voting, but until that time comes, lets have fun...

    January 25, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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