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. Kate Johnson

    Kerry is the most opportunistic plastic politician around...next to him and John Edwards, I'm not sure who is more of a fraud.

    January 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Tony V

    It all depends on what your definition of "is" is...

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

    He was not complaining when Pres. Clinton campaigned for him in 2004, was he?

    January 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Chris, Portland, OR

    Perhaps I shouldn't be but, I'm a little shocked at the nastiness of the Hillary Clinton supporters posting here. Should these people be allowed to control the future of the Democratic party?

    January 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. astounded

    Kerry is irrelevant, his endorsement actually will hurt Barack Hussein Obama.

    Furthermore, all this talk about Obama being able to "unite" Americans is hilarious, and disingenuous at the same time. Yes, he could "unite" Americans, as long as those who disagree with his socialist nanny-state "ideas" align with those who already are on board the income redistribution express.

    Obama is an empty suit, a poser who has no business even running for President. Of course, for that matter, neither does the shrill harpie Hillary Clinton, who has never run anything in her life, perhaps excepting a dysfunctional marital agreement.

    January 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Pat Owen

    It is funny to me that everthing the Clinton's say is racist, but Obama and his wife can say it , and it is okay. John Kerry welcomed Bill's support when he needed him , So now he is a trader. It is all aabout Hillart being a woman, so go out and vote women,, Let's show them what women can do.

    January 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Neil

    I wonder, could it be that Kerry is suffering from a case of "Sour Grapes"? As to Edwards, perhaps it's a situation of ' since I lost the election, I'm sure as hell not going to support my then running mate' .

    January 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Jaik , chicago, IL

    Kerry needs to keep a low profile, he can only kill what he touches. He was a disaster as a candidate, he lost the easiest and most important election in US history, and his support of Obama only hurts him. This barb against Bill will come up in the general election and hurt Hillary's campaign WHEN she is the candidate. Obama is not going to pull out of his tailspin at this point, and neither will the Democrats. McCain is already president, we just have to wait and see who he picks for the Supreme Court, that's the only question at this point. 2012.

    January 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. scorpiodsu

    Bill Clintion needs to stay out of it. I mean he's holding forums on "behalf" of his wife. He thinks he's running for president. He just wants to get back in the white and he'll be the first president since it became law to be in office more than 8 years. I don't have anything againse Bill, in fact, I voted for him both his terms, but I see him more than Hilary. I understand he is the former president so the media will always have him on camera, but I also think he puts himself on the camera a lot of times to get the attention. I'm a democrat, but this is the reason I won't vote for Hilary if she gets the nomination, because she fails to stand up and set herself apart from her husband. If I can't trust her to stand up on her campaign then I refuse to trust her to run the country because it will be Bill running it, not her!

    January 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Rich

    Wow! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    January 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Jodi

    Kerry really ought to learn to keep his mouth SHUT (as should President Clinton). Neither have any credibility anymore and both have been proven time and again, liers. ENOUGH ALREADY!

    January 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. di

    as a free american john kerry is free to endorse anyone.. he does not owe anybody anything. to accuse him that he,s betrayed anybody is very foolish... he never signed any pact with edwards or the clintons. so its normal for him to back the clintons and edwards but betrayal to vote his conscience... hypocrites.. i,ve said it another republican victory is possible.

    January 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Mrs G

    What do you expect.....Clinton abused the truth and morals while he was governor of arkansas and president of the country. The thought of having him and her in the white house again nauseates me.

    January 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Max Vaynerov

    Bill Clinton has shown his true colors: Grey hair, red neck and white trash. He is acting like a ward boss in Chicago in distorting the truth rather than acting as a former president.

    January 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. Tom

    Mrs. Clinton is just Mr. Clinton's pupet. Obama is running against Bill.

    January 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Ted K.

    Attaboy Herman Munster!! Keep "helping" Obama !! Way to go!! Keep up the back stabbing!!

    January 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. jim

    Nothing like getting pointers from the last loser

    January 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. bannon

    He is a looser . Who care what he talk and whom he endorse. He has no loyalty. Do american voters care for this looser i bet even his wife dont care.

    January 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Don

    What have the "Clinton's" done that you people keep talking about? Its all media hype and has little truth and even less fact. If that makes me part of the Clinton Machine, then I am a darn proud member. GO Hillary. SC loves you.

    January 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Ricky

    The Hillary's should take a brake. Give Obama a chance to win for a change

    January 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Flaka_MD

    Whine whine whine. That’s all I hear from Obama’s campaign. Oh, yes, and the race issue. Is this will be our next president?

    January 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Reggie

    I cannot say I am a fan of Kerry but my hat is off to him this time. I wish the Clintons would just go away. I live in New York and Sen. Clinton has done nothing for our State. Unfortunately we have to put up w/ the people who live in the big cities who love what she stands for and both times voted her in as our Senator. Fools!!!!. She talks about experience....what has she accomplished? Obama needs to nail her on this and so many other things.

    January 25, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. joe

    Thank God, I change my email address from last year, else I have to read this moron's lies.
    Now, he has a spine to attack his fellow democrats now while he was spineless in 2004 against the GOP. Spineless idiot.
    And funny thing, this guy has the gall to using lies or fudged the truth to attack clinton alleged lies. I am sorry I gave money to this spineless moron in 2004.
    What a loser! Obama is mad when people attack his wishy washy cam paign for CHANGE. How can you expect to bring change while he was Illinois state senator, he did not know his friend of 15 year, Rick Riozo, built a slum housing in his own district. He cannot provide the people in his own district a decent housing, how can he expect to change in DC? How can we trust his judgment when he made that "bonehead" land deal with Rich Riozo.
    I still vote for Obama if he got nominated unlike some of those losers who support Obama who rather see the evil GOP presidency than Hilary. Grow up
    Hillary is gonna get the nomination, if those losers want to see another 4 years where 47 mil American have no health care coverage, tax cut for the rich 1 percent, continuing war in Iraq that costs more lives and trillions of dollars, go ahead Vote GOP loser.

    January 25, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Ike

    Can't believe I voted for this loser in 2004, what a waste of a good vote. Clinton bent over backwards to help this guy and this is how he repays him. Well John, why don't you just shut up and disappear. You had the opportunity to speak four years ago when it matter, but you didn't. No one cares to hear you now so just disappear. Aren't you running for reelection this year, I hope the voters of MA wake up and kick you out. Any other Democrat but this loser..

    January 25, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Pick Your Plastic Candidate

    Dallas Guy who's threatening to vote GOP if Hillary is not the nominee,

    I thought Clinton supporters were the "real" Democrats. What a farce.

    Actually, come to think of it, Mitt Romney is the only candidate in this race who is more of a fake than Senator Clinton. So, perhaps he'd be a good person to throw your vote to. If it's Senator Clinton against Governor Romney, whatever is one to do? Who's the better looking pander-bear?

    January 25, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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