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. Mike

    They will say anything to get elected. She brought up Rezko and there her and bill took a photo with the man. Shes a liar, Bill's a liar Chelsea is ugly. If she is the nominee then I will sit it out and really make em pay.

    Obama 08

    January 25, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. denise

    How do you abuse the "truth" ??? At least it was the truth ! Is that like cramming the truth down someones throat or what ???

    What about the last debate where Obama said he opposed the Iraq war all along and then later, in the same debate, stated ..."I, like Hillary, voted for the Iraq war and later had second thoughts..." How is it that no one has caught that ?? Are some of you so blinded by his fluff that you are not listening to his words?
    He sounds just like any other politician...razzle dazzle 'em.
    What about the fact that he voted against a cap on the credit card interest rates !!!
    Did you hear his reason ??? He didn't like the way it was worded......so he votes in FAVOR of the credit card companies...???? What kind of crap is that?

    January 25, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Pokerface

    I am a Vietnam vet and I hate Kerry and in my book he is the biggest loser...go off with your second wifes millions and leave us alone you flip flopper!!!! Gosh he is such a big jerk!!

    January 25, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Lee

    Kerry! Who is this guy? The forever loser. Who is he endorsed will lose, too!!!
    He'd better shut up!!!

    January 25, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. Rigo

    I voted for John Kerry because the only other choice was W. He didn't and does not seem to know what he is talking about and he is still just pandering to what he thinks is the most popular thing right now: Obama. I would be scared if he had endorsed Hillary.

    January 25, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. DavidS

    The chickens are coming home to roost with the Clintons...even their own party are turning against them...I truly believe Hillary is not going to make it in the long run of this campaign....

    January 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. Duane

    When was truth ever a necessity with this (Clinton) pathological liar?

    January 25, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Tim

    .........and who else would be an authority on abusing the truth but old "Swiftboat Kerry" . The man who threw his madals away, then mysteriously had them years later adorning his office walls. The man who said “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” Yes folks, he knows abusing the truth when he sees it ! But hey, he sometimes forgets, like the time he was on covert operations in Cambodia on christmas eve 1968, he said under Pres. Nixons orders. Unfortunately Nixon wasn't the President in 1968. Abusing the truth? This guy is a friggin' master of that folks.

    January 25, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. Vicky

    Kerry if just hopeful of becoming Obama's running mate, if he wins the primary. I voted for Kerry in the last election, but he is getting on my nerves this time.

    January 25, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. Viet Nam vet's wife

    Kerry is a liar. Takes on to know one. Go away, Kerry. Once a fraud, always a fraud. The Swiftboaters who served along side you know the truth. The MIAs & POWs wives know the truth! (Remember that MIA's wife you tried to get a date with after you "declared all the MIAs & POWS dead" when you were a jr. Senator?) You're a pig! YOU ARE A FRAUD. YOU ARE A LEACH. GO AWAY. Strong letter to follow...

    January 25, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. Jesse

    I have been voting democratic since 1968. If Hillary Clinton becomes the candidate for the Democratic Party in the November elections, I will sit on my hands or vote for the Republican candidate.

    January 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  12. Michael Jones

    A socialist calling a communist a liar, big deal. We know for a fact that they are both liars.

    January 25, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. anita

    I would like to ask John Kerry why didn't he fight back during his own campaign with the swift boat ads? Why?

    January 25, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. Laurinda

    Personally I think that they both look like mannequins. Kerry has alot of nerve criticizing Clinton when he himself acted like a wimp when he let Bush get his way about being the president. He disqusts me.

    January 25, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. NickNas

    WOW you Billary people are REALLY Bothered by this aren't you! Your comments range from Childish tantrum to downright BITTER.

    Tellus the REAL reason why this bothers you so much.

    January 25, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. watcher

    oh, i'm at the bottom of the list

    January 25, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  17. David L.

    John Kerry?!

    The guy who couldn't beat George "Lie, lie lie, invade, scare the electorate, screw-up the economy" W. Bush?"

    Good luck with that, Senator.

    Kerry is such a joke – an unfunny, sad joke.

    January 25, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. flo jones, san diego, ca

    Why can't kerry say that bill clinton is a liar, always was, always has been and always will be. And, he's the one going to restore America's image? Sure, send a LIAR out there. World leaders just love a liar...sheeeeesh...give me a break!

    January 25, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. Virginia San Francisco, California

    Kerry please step out of the picture. You had your chance and "BLEW IT" so just sit down, watch from the sidelines and vote. Please I ask the media to keep to consider the voters. As far as I'm concern Kerry is out of the picture and as far as VP are you kidding me?

    January 25, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. James A. Webster Santa Barbara CA

    Well, let'ssee. Who likes McCain? The New York Times. Time and Newsweek magazines. John Kerry. Bull Clinton. Need any more reason not to vote for the man if you are a Conservative? Moderate that comment liberal!

    January 25, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. No Socialism

    Kerry is a looser, Oboma is a dreamer with no proven ability to get the job done, Hillary is power hungry and will say what ever is popular at the polls, Edwards is just trying to hang on becouse he is only a shadow of his two democratic nominations. The whole democratic party has turned it's attention further and further to weakening our national security, economy and social structure.

    January 25, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. Barb 4 Peace

    All this vitriol makes me even more convinced that the best choice is John Edwards.

    January 25, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. Aaron

    All of you on this blog hating John Kerry....because you know he's right. Some
    people just can't take the truth.

    January 25, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. Laura

    I hope Obama has enough sense not to have Kerry as V.P. As George T pointed out, Kerry has a lot of skeletons in his closet which could hurt the Obama campaign. One of which is his illegitmate African -American son. Kerry said in an interview with South carolina affliate that he is for the AA advancement, yet he (Kerry )won't acknowledge his AA son nor help him pay for his college education. ?? Kerry is a joke!

    Now to Clinton, he is acting like he is insane. The way he is carrying on....If Hillary HAD a chance..it's gone now. That's okay, because Barrack will get the nomination and face of with either Mccain or Romney...and Barrack will win.

    So Obama keep this in mind--winning will be the best revenge against the Clintons. Stay the course and please don't choose Kerry as VP!!!!

    January 25, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. J in San Francisco

    II don’t care who Clinton has slept with, if his wife doesn’t care, why should anybody else? ( you know America you got let go of your bourgeoisie mentality)
    I do care whoever that he left a country, which was sliding down hill when got into power, in pretty good shape when he left
    If his wife can do 75 % of the job he did, we would be so lucky to elect her
    but somehow it appears people have very short memories, as they are so very critical of the Clinton's.
    Now even more estrange is that I don’t see anybody asking for Bush's blood after he put us in this horrible place we are in right now
    People wanted to impeach Bill when he lied about sleeping w/ another women( and I dare any man to say he would not lie about that either), but I don’t see anybody doing the same to a president that lied to us and got thousands of American's ( and Iraqis) killed, so I guess Americans are more concerned with other people's sexual lives then with murderers, because that's what you are when you get people killed by lying .....

    as for Kerry, he should shut up, he couldn't manage to get us rid of Bush, so don’t get in the way, because I tell you as much as Americans have a really messed up relationship w/ sexuality, it is even worse regarding race, and it come from both sides ( blacks and whites) so if Obama gets picked, HE WILL NOT BE ELECTED....

    It is sad, but it is the true, people forget that most of people voting in elections are not liberals in big cities
    Mind you it will be hard enough to push Hillary through, and the only reason she will make it through, is her so reviled husband
    As a lot of people miss the lives they had 8 years ago and will vote for her on the weight of the Clinton name, in the hopes she/he will get a hold of this mess and clear it up.
    And yes it smacks as unconstitutional, but so is lying to a entire country so your cronies could get billions in public monies, which is what Bush did, and I don’t see anybody screaming on the news about it, yes CNN that includes you too….

    Having said that, too bad this contest is being treated and run as if only Clinton/Obama were present, as John Edwards, would have a lot more appeal realistically speaking, and he got his stuff together ( I would have voted for him, and I am a colored women), but alas it is not to be either( Sorry ED, this is a country obsessed with Brittany Spears, not many grown ups here)

    So yes of all evils, the lesser is still the Clintons, so Shut up Kerry, and go home to Teresa ( too bad she didn’t get to be a first lady, Hillary got nothing on her)

    J in San Francisco

    January 25, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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