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. Vince

    Notice how the Clinton machine immediatly attacks Kerry. Just the way they attacked Reich yesterday.

    They use the same tactics as Karl Rove, if you don't like the message, attack the messenger.

    January 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. player9

    JOHN KERRY IS A TRUE LEADER! HE IS STANDING UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT!!!

    January 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. Pat J

    Guess who is looking for the VP spot? Hmmm – I wonder Kerry will do anything to get in the White House, even if it's only for dinners. What a turncoat - it doesn't matter who backed him when he ran for office.

    January 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Shane

    That's right, the Clintons are playing dirty, if we had John Kerry in office instead of Bush things would we a lot better. But that swift boat nonsense hurt him. Those veterans that did that aren't real patriots. Obama is not perfect but he is better than any man or woman running. It's better to be positive then negative like the Clintons. I was a big supporter of Bill Clinton but he has tarnished his image. I think Obama will be able to unite the Country instead of other people constantly trying to divide it. Thank you Kerry for being a real patriot and speaking your mind.

    January 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. TR

    Obama should be very careful having John Kerry's support. Bill Clinton campaigned for Kerry and Edwards was his running mate. It appears Kerry has no loyaty for either of those men, so I hope he treats Obama better!

    January 25, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Ed

    "Truth" from a Liar! How Ironic....

    January 25, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Tate from MD

    Back in 2004 the Clintons did not want John Kerry to win because Hillary would have waited 8 years to get her shot at the presidency. Which by then she would have been 64 with less chance of winning. Now for Kerry it's payback time.

    January 25, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Bill

    I'm as liberal as they come, but I agree that Bill and Hillary will say and do ANYTHING to get back to the White House. They represent everything that is wrong with American politics. My mind can not comprehend and my stomach can not take another 4 years of hateful politics and partisan gridlock.

    I pray this election is the one where all Americans finally stand-up and say "ENOUGH." We need a uniter...

    January 25, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. New Jersey

    Oh hush up John Kerry! You had your chance and blew it to someone who can't properly pronounce "N U C L E A R". Bill Clinton is supporting his wife just like the other candidates' spouses. There seems to be a double standard but I love how the Clintons are dismissing the criticism. What I have realized in this campaign is how sleezy people can be! Kerry didn't endorse Edwards and I think this was very low, it actually shows Kerry's character so it's no lost for Edwards and certainly no gain for Obama. Secondly, I think Kerry is bitter because another Clinton will do something he couldn't do! Hillary Clinton, you have my support all the way and we are cheering for you! I do think this is a plot by Obama to have a "top ranking" Democrat (if you call Kerry that) to attack Bill...hahaha...It's not working Obama! Everyone knows Bill Clinton's administration was progressive and successful but why am I talking about Bill?! It's about Hillary trashing you in the primaries and becoming the nominee. She has depth, experience, vision and GUTS! She is a strong woman ad the best candidate.

    This is coming from an African-American male in New Jersey.

    Hillary Clinton for President !

    Bring the troops home and make us great again !

    January 25, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Beau Philips

    Bill Clinton abusing the truth!! No way.

    Libs did not complain when he lied for years while leading their party, they knew it all along and stood in line right behind him.

    Wake up America, we can't afford to be Clintoned again.

    January 25, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Ady

    Who cares what Kerry has to say, is it his bill and hillary's fault that you did not become President, Bill was your friend as long as he could help you campaigne. What a hipocrite.

    Go bill you and hill are the best medicine for what ails America.

    January 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Jason

    Mr. Kerry,

    Thanks so much for endorsing Obama and taking jabs at the Clintons, now Hillary is a shoe in for the nomination....cause nobody likes you!!!

    January 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. mike

    That's how Kerry pays his debt and gratitude by turning his back at someone who helped him during his run st the presidency back in '04. i mean, for God's sake john kerry is a slimeball that doesnt know how to appreciate the help he was given "coz his a cry baby" and has his own personal interest that's why he's standing up for something he knows he wopuld only benefit from. Get A LIFE john and stop being a good guy coz everybody knows your not even good enough to be in your position if it was not for money!!!

    January 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Will

    When we democrats tear each other apart, the Clintons win.

    January 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. Jeff B

    Hahaha ha ha ha ha.

    Those (lyin') chickens are coming home to roost.

    January 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. VA Democrat

    Wow – Kerry would not stand up to W but he is standing up to Clinton. Nobama better not link his future to Kerry – it didn't work for Edwards. Go Hillary!

    January 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. Francis

    I voted for Kerry in 2004. But I cannot understand his criticism of Clinton. I think Obama camp started this whole mess when they saw an opening in South Carolina and tried to exploit it using the race card. Kerry, I think you have to be little more honest and factual in your criticism of Clintons

    January 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Mike Wilt

    it seems a lot of you forget that Kerry won the election and it was clearly stolen from him (and us). And you need to get your facts straight, Kerry never flip-flopped on the war. He voted for it when the war was to be paid for with oil profits, then voted against it when they changed it to American taxpayers paying for the war. Ask yourself why was he voting twice on the same thing?

    January 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. andy

    Please someone tell this looser to be quiet & sitdown?

    January 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. stan pitts pa

    he skipped endorsing edwards for a good reason, john is always too angry, he thinks going to washington with anger is the way to go, we need common sense and good judgement, we need obama, we need to change washington! edwards needs to take his mindless ramblings and anger to a boxing ring! America doesnt need him, he is a flip-flopper and goes with the wind, taking sides with hrc during the debate, what a sellout! i thought hrc was the establishment he wanted to tear down? hypocrite, willing to do and say anything just to taste power in the white house!

    January 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Hermann

    CNN IS A LIAR TOO

    January 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Nowhere Man

    VA Democrat January 25, 2008 3:12 pm ET

    "Geez – what kind of president is NObama going to be if he needs to get John Kerry to fight his battles?"

    Geez – what kind of president is HILLARY going to be if she needs to get Slick Willie to fight her battles?

    If Slick wasn't playing the lightning rod, and ranting and raving, and being the egotistical, lying jerk he always has been, her campaign would have been in the toilet after NH.

    January 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. lisa

    Don't you love politics. Just a few short years ago Kerry was extremely happy to have Bill by his side campaigning for him. Accepting all of the benefits that came with President Clinton's status. Giving the thumbs up, the back slapping, the speechs. Fast forward a few years and you have the ripping apart, the tear down and the big mouth, and back stabbing comes in to play. The new person comes to town. That person has the potential to be the new MEAL TICKET, so better latch on. Gotta love politics.

    January 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. J. Dean, Juno Beach, FLORIDA

    AS A FORMER PRESIDENT, THE WAY WE RESPECT BILL CLINTON, HE SHOULD RESPECT US, THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA. BILL CLINTON SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM UNWARRANTED AND UNRESPECTFUL ATTACKS AGAINST B. OBAMA. BILL CLINTON IS NOT A PRESIDENCIAL CANDIDATE. HIS FREEDOM MUST HAVE A LIMIT. HE HAS ALREADY LOST SOME CREDIBILITY AND WILL LOOSE EVERTYTHING IF HE CONTINUES HIS UNRESPECTFUL ATTACKS AGAINST B. OBAMA, HE SHOULD NOT DO IT AGAINST ANY OTHER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES.
    IT SEEMS SIMILAR TO JOHN McCAIN, AGE IS AFFECTING BILL CLINTON ALSO.

    January 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. CINDRA RANIERI

    I am furious at John Kerry who I contributed to in 2004! I even gave to his fund for the attorneys to sue the "Fixed Bush" election......and he never commenced with the attorneys!!!

    What a TRADER & LIAR he is!!!

    Well as the old saying goes "Birds of a Feather Flock together"!
    Kerry LOST................AND SO WILL OBOMBA.... (get it.....O bomb a)!!

    GO HILLARY & BILL!!!

    GOD BLESS THEM & KEEP THEM STRONG!!

    January 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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