January 25th, 2008
06:27 PM ET
14 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. jb

    Get 'im, Waffles! Gotta love Blue on Blue strife.

    January 25, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Jacob

    Kerry......which scores are you settling with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards?

    January 25, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. harold dominguez

    lost total respect for Kerry, I question now whether the Swift Boat incident was correct and he made himself look like a "Rambo".

    January 25, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. v.ananthan

    KERRY promotet OBAMA
    and its not a surprise that
    *** OBAMA IS KERRYS CHOICE *****..

    January 25, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Lance in Monrovia

    I am a lifelong Democrat but I'm finding it increasingly hard to ever say that I could vote for Hillary Clinton. Her husband Bill and her have become increasingly small, increasingly divisive, increasingly lying.

    Its reminding me of everything bad from the 90s. Frankly, I'll vote for Barack Obama.

    January 25, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Beans

    What they call the "Clinton machine." Too many afraid to come forward against them.

    It surprises us that Bill Clinton LIES? Yes, he lies. Let us not forget that he:

    cheated on his wife on NUMEROUS occasions

    lied and lied and lied, even after given the chance to come clean

    disgraced the oval office, the presidency, and our country

    modeled for our youth that oral sex is not really sex and is therefore "ok"

    was almost impeached

    Why do we give him credit for anything?

    How can you tell when Bill Clinton is lying? His lips move.

    January 25, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. mhanna

    what are the polls saying today because i can guess what `s hillary position on issues when polls up for change she is change when polls are up on war she is for war and when polls down against it she is against it, that is a real fairy tale president need be consistant on issues not piece of paper blown by wind all over

    american be smart think outside the box
    you have 2 other candidate that are much better obama or edward may be america have chance to move on forward.

    god bless

    January 25, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Mike Smyth, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Thanks Bill. Your wife almost had a shot at being president.

    January 25, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. MJC

    So, Obama is now being supported by the "status quo?"

    January 25, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Jyh1920

    The CLintons are habitual liars. Are we really suprise that they are resorting to twisting the truth? Status quo for Billary.

    January 25, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Tina Provencio

    May I remind Mr. Kerry when he was running for President and Mr. Clinton was helping him he didn't think back then that he was abusing the truth. This is politics Mr. Kerry. Everything goes and its up to the voter how to digest what he or she hears in the media.

    January 25, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. joe

    Kerry's big mouth has always gotten him into trouble and he hasn't learnt to shut it up.

    January 25, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Kevin

    20 years of Clinton/Bush do we want to 28 years of two family rule in America.

    Bill is out of control and he needs to shut up.

    January 25, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. john-virginia

    Kerry should take a long walk on a very short bridge. Wow, what a loser. Go Hillary!

    January 25, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Alistar

    No Monsieur Kerry no! Teach Obama haw to win will be better. You hade one great President and that's Bill Clinton, naw you will have one historic President and that will be Miss Clinton, FIRST WOMEN PRESIDENT OF U S A, this oportunity america's peapel shuld not leave to go just like that, VOTE ALL HILLARY CLINTON and make a history. And with her put Amerika on the track.

    January 25, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. myvote

    As you seen in the picture the Former President campaignd for Mr. Kerry also. He is looser and he got booted to Bush. Why not he should extend the Campaig to his wife. Why there is a negative about that. I really do not understand the picture. This looser is not even supporting his running mate, this is the reason he might have lost.

    January 25, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. tomdavie

    Yeah. I have to admit here that John Kerry isnt the best supporter for Obama.

    All the people 'whining' about Bill Clinton are Obama supporters within the democratic party. 3-5 guys whining when your membership base is HUNDREDS of senators , representatives and govenors isnt much at all.

    If the DNC had a problem with it, it would have told Clinton already. They clearly dont.

    Clinton has some pretty high profile folks on her side. This is why she is up 100 super delegates on Obama.

    She has 10 govenors. Obama has 5.

    She has the New York Times.

    I dont recall obama having USA today or any MAJOR national newspaper.

    She has the lead in every state except South Carolina (and presumbaly Illinois too) .

    I just dont know about Obama's chances here. He wont win the Latino vote. The african american vote is only 12% of the country. The latino vote alone is 14% .

    Anyways. We shall see on super tuesday.

    January 25, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Mark

    John Kerry? You mean the guy who actually did lose the election to George W. "let's scare America to death" Bush, as opposed to Al Gore who lost by Supreme Court fiat?

    What could Kerry possibly have to say that was of interest to anyone, other than Republicans, who are more interested in divisiveness than in the politics of inclusion?

    January 25, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Tyler T.

    Well, now look who is going negative. Now who is being divisive.

    January 25, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. moderate in NE

    I am saddened that Kerry would not support John Edwards in his race for the White House. While I am not currently supporting candidate Edwards, I am very supportive of the entire field of democrat candidates and only wish them well. However, I must speak out on this issue as I believe that Kerry should have either supported his previous running mate or kept quiet. Edwards took a bashing for Kerry during the last election and potentially hurt his own political career in doing so. It is unfortunate that Kerry does not display the respect Edwards deserves. Good luck dems!! Oh, and please stop bickering so much as you will only harm your race and the party!!

    January 25, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Anon

    Kerry wants to be Obama's VP? Then I'll be voting GOP if Obama gets the nod.

    It's a steep climb for Sen. Clinton than Sen. Obama. Gender is more of an issue than race.

    January 25, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Lisa

    Kerry is a mess. He is flip flopping like a pancake. One minute he is with Edwards then next minute he is with Obama. He should shut his trap and let politics play out. He is just a sore LOSER...GO HILLARY!!!!

    January 25, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Big Brother 2008

    I still dont think he has a PAIR.He got ripped off in the last election and wimpered off like a dog and never challanged the Fix.

    January 25, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. James

    The Clinton's are using Karl Roves Playbook, divide to conquer, its not about race, its not about democrats, its about power, and the Clintons will cut your throat to get it.

    Whats next: Jeb/Chelsie

    January 25, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. IndependentOregon

    You can bet that there will be allot more Senators coming out to endorse Barack Obama , because they remember the scandal's , white water , legal investigation , and SHAME the Clinton's brought to the "PEOPLES WHITE HOUSE".

    They also know that Hillary Clinton is a sure loss for the Democratic party in the General Election because , the Clinton's have more trash in there back yard then anyone in American politics today.

    Bill Clinton out there in the lime light has reminded the American people of just the kind of people the Clinton's are , and there realizing that a vote for Clinton is , a vote for another Republican in office.

    " WE" The American people want our country and White House Back !


    January 25, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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