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. Cheryl

    "WE KNOW THAT SHE IS CAPABLE OF BOTH UNITING AND LEADING" QUOTE FROM NEW YORK POST ABOUT HILLARY. IF OBAMA CANNOT TAKE THE HEAT HE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN! GOD ONLY KNOWS WHO HE WILL BRING OUT NEXT TO HAVE A PITY PARTY FOR HIM. THIS IS GETTING OLD AND OBAMA LOOKS WORSE EVERY DAY. YOU GO HILLARY! WE ARE BEHIND YOU GIRL!!!!!!!!!!! HILLARY CLINTON 2008

    January 25, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Get Over It

    At the end of the day, everyone has already made their choice...whether it is Hillary or Obama...for the most part, no one is going to change their mind – of course, this is my opinion...I am sick and tired of the media and others like John Kerry making a stink of this "strategy"...It takes the media to put a spin in the matter and then it becomes a big deal...people seem to bite at the bait...all politicians are not angels and that includes Obama...he is far from being an angel but the media likes him...and of course he has less history since he is new to the arena, but give him time, he will make bad decisions...it is also funny how Obama puts a different spin on tough questions – he either does not answer them or goes on to another subject...in regards to the debate the other night, I belive it was Obama that started the punches and hillary threw them back...anyway, go Democrats.

    January 25, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Cheryl

    JOHN KERRY CAME OUT AGAINST THE VERY PERSON THAT HE CHOSE FOR HIS VP, AND AGAINST SOMEONE WHO CAMPAIGNED FOR HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE FACT THAT HE WOULD ENDORSE OBAMA TELLS ME HES A LITTLE OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OBAMA IS A CANDY BUTT CRY BABY AND NEEDS TO CRAWL UP UNDER OPRAHS BUTT AND STAY THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHE HAS NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE EITHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HILLARY CLINTON 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 25, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Hillary Supporter

    Mr. Kerry is exactly right! I have been the biggest Hillary supporter for 20 plus years, but I can't vote for her anymore. The Clintons are no better than the Bushs, and I HATE the Bushs. She has lost my vote. I am now voting for Obama. He is a real candidate that actually has ideas that don't need to be backed up by attacks on the opposition.

    Bye Mrs. Clinton, Hello Mr. Obama!!!

    January 25, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. sef

    Iam a black man who's very proud of Obama. Iam also equally proud of the Clintons for what the Clinton years in the white house meant for this country. Great 8 years all arround. Let the Clintons haters just calm down. I pray everyday that my daughters grow up to become strong women like Hillary. Brother Obama, stick to your game plan. You dont need Kerry or anyone to distract you.

    January 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. harold in cleveland

    abusing the truth is called lying!!!! when will we stop being afraid to say the word lie??? the clintons are liers!!!

    January 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. LINDA KLAAS, MARSHALLTOWN, IA.

    WELL, I VOTED FOR JOHN WHEN HE RAN FOR PRESIDENT. I STOOD IN A LONG LINE AT THE IOWA STATE FAIRGROUNDS IN DES MOINES, IA. HOPING TO SEE HIM AND JOHN EDWARDS AND IT WAS SOOOOO COLD. WELL HE DIDN'T WIN THE PRESIDENCY, AND I'M GLAD. AND I THINK HE HAS DONE JOHN EDWARDS WHOM WAS HIS RUNNING MATE AND HILLARY CLINTON A VERY BAD INJUSTICE. SO JOHN KERRY, YOUR NOT VERY LOYAL, ARE YOU?

    January 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. E. C., Houston, Texas

    HO, HO, HO...... So how is Clinton any different from Kerry and his War Stories?

    January 25, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. JB Boston MA

    People want examples of how the Clintons lie. . . .

    They admit that Obama was against the war at the beginning, but, he then took his speech opposing the war off his website. The Clintons say this means he is for the war.

    Since when did taking a speech off your website mean you are no longer against the war. Sure he did vote to fund the war, but, if he voted against funding the war, soldiers would not have what they needed to be safe.

    It is this double speak that gets people frustrated!!!

    And also remember, Kerry is a member of the Democratic party. Just because he lost his bid for President doesn't mean he has no right to express his opinions.

    If he was backing Hillary. all of you Hill fans would be praising him!

    You Hilliots are a joke!!!

    January 25, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Vast Right Wing Conspirator

    Clinton / McCain 2008! Or will it be McCain / Clinton?

    Just like a Clinton / Obama ticket they might be unstoppable... in the damage they can do to us!

    Down with America!

    January 25, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Dryden01

    It takes a liar to tell a liar in politics! Kerry Cong-boated his brothers in arms in order to step over their dead and broken bodies into a political career with lies about atrocity and war crimes. Niether of these two politicians have any remaining dignity so let us hope they duel til the final death of their political careers.

    January 25, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Lou

    Kerry's accusing Bill of lying! How about Kerry's congressional testimony back when he returned from Vietnam? This is one of liberals major failing. All statements are relative to whatever is going on at the time. There are no absolute truths.

    How about Bill's recent statement that he has always been against the Iraq war. Has he forgotten the Iraqi Regime Change bill he signed into law in 1998.

    He reminds me of that old lawyer joke that says 'he must be lying, his lips are moving'.

    January 25, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. M. J. Shaw

    I find these statements from the article interesting....

    "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......"

    Hmmm, so Barack needs "practice" to take on the Republicans. Am I the only one that sees this as proof-positive this dude isn't ready for the job he's seeking?

    "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........"

    Together? What does Kerry mean by "together"? Has he got it in his head somewhere that he and Obama are of the same mold? Wow, please do not make me laugh that hard. Or does this mean that Kerry knows something that the public doesn't know yet?.. Like him possibly being a possible VP running mate? Holy hell, please don't scare me like that......

    January 25, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Cathy

    What an obviously vein attempt to try and get in the white house. Poor Kerry will try anything to get his foot in the door! What now, you will even take the VP??? Wow, what a shocker! You are still a faker to me. No integrity. If he can't be faithful to his prior running mate, then how can he be faithful to you, me or AMERICA. A man with no loyalty is no man at all!!!

    January 25, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Al, FL

    Please keep in mind that just because someone says they are african american doesn't really mean that they are...P.S. Not all liberals want someone to do something for them...as well as not all african americans want someone to do something for them as well....no need to mention your race...

    January 25, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. JLM

    Why can't we all just get along?

    Well because some of us are big fat liars willing to do anything and say anything to get elected President.

    It speaks volumes when a loser like JF Kerry criticizes another loser like William Jefferson Clinton speaking about another loser Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Where do you begin when the rats start turning on themselves and each other?

    You want change, America? You want change? YOU CAN'T GET CHANGE FROM THESE LOSERS!

    And, hey, have a nice day, please!

    January 25, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. alice

    KERRY IS NOT THE ONE I WOULD GO TO FOR A COMMENT
    HE SOUNDS LIKE A SORE LOSER WHO IS STILL LICKING HIS
    WOUNDS FROM THE LAST FIGHT. I HAD NOT NO REGARDS FOR
    HIM THEN OR NOW. HIS ENDORSEMENT COULD BE A HINDER
    INSTEAD OF A HELP

    January 25, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. DJK...NEW YORK CITY,NY

    shut up JOHN KERRY....did someone forget get to tell you that you are a loser

    January 25, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Sebastian

    "Abusing the truth"? Well, guess so, but back when I was a kid, it was called "LYING"!

    January 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. Matt from Il

    Let me get this straight....Bill Clinton attacks Obama and Kerry attacks Bill Clinton because he feels it is wrong of Clinton to attack Obama. However Kerry feels it is ok for him to attack Clinton. Sounds like a double standard to me.

    Kerrys song....."I'm a loser and I'm not what I appear to be...." The Beatles

    January 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. Attaboy Johny

    Attaboy Johny! You tell 'em. Kick Hillary in the nuts and hope she stays down! LOL!

    January 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. LIZ

    Is Kerry going to be on the ticket as vice-president–he's sez WE"RE going to break the mold...I didn't know he was a candidate for anything–he LOST his bid for President.

    January 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. Shane

    Ben, Columbus, Ohio January 25, 2008 1:05 pm ET

    "As an African American, what has John Kerry ever did for us?"

    Race politics just leads to more racial prejudice. Is that what you really want?

    January 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. EsqCPA

    Bill is frantic and desperate. He needs to be back as the co-president. If Hillary does not win, it's divorce time for them – they won't need each other anymore and the fake marriage will crumble.
    Now I see the real Bill for the pathetic fake that he is. And I thought only Hillary was the fake.

    January 25, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Frank

    This is pretty much all you are going to see from the Clinton administration (if it would happen) . They would be under attack, because both Bill and Hilary Clinton has a closet full of skeletons ready to pour out. Bush-Clinton-Bush- ? Clinton again? When are you americans going to notice a trend there? You have been living under the same dynasty for the past 20 years! Either Bush or Clinton.
    Brake the cycle for Christ's sake!

    January 25, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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