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. victor charles

    John Kerry is a traitor to those who backed him in 04, he bites the hand that feeds him, I have no trust in him.

    Victor Charles
    Cranston, RI

    January 25, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  2. Steve

    Bill Clinton – presidential elections won = 2

    John Kerry – presidential elections won = 0

    I'll side with the 2x winner over the loser. Thanks.

    January 25, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  3. carolina

    Go Hllary! Shut up Kerry! Stop winning Obama. And another thing, I am sick of CNN rooting for Obama.

    January 25, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. v.ananthan

    To KERRY:


    January 25, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  5. evangelos pappas

    Since when have politicians stopped twisting the truth and then all of a sudden the only one doing it is Bill Clinton. And if he stops doing it from then on we will hear nothing but the truth from the others and especially from the Obama camp.And as for the Republicans as we all know since they are the only true believers in God and Country everything they say is nothing but the truth.

    January 25, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  6. vince,



    January 25, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  7. Cathy

    Where are my well thought out responses??? Darn you CNN, anytime I write the facts that make HILLARY shine, and OBAMA faulter, you don't show my entry. What a joke, you only want silly comments that repeat your crap.

    January 25, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  8. foo

    Kerry is the kiss of death to pretty much anyone who receives it. Too bad Obama was the one to get it this time.

    January 25, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  9. Angela

    Maybe Kerry's still mad about losing in 2004 and he's bucking for VP if Obama gets the nomination.
    Just a thought.
    Go Hillary 08

    January 25, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  10. brenduh

    tonights the last time I watch cnn. I'm sick of them trying to prove their Not racist by backing Obama. As usual they've gone overboard. For years we've heard from Bush, if your not with me, then your unpatriotic. I can see it coming. If your not with me, then your a racist. Enough is enough. Lets have some fairness here.

    January 25, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  11. CT

    By Bill getting all the publicity, he's taking the heat and spotlight off Hillary. She needs to avoid answering as many questions as possible because each time she opens her mouth, she puts both feet in it.

    January 25, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. dogtired

    If Obama does not receive the nomination, I will vote for any Republican before I vote for Hillary. But before that happens, we should write in Obama on election day. He is the true agent of change.

    January 25, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. Bruce

    When will the public wake up and realize the truth about the Clintons? When the media descides to report it!

    January 25, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Sounds like Democrats are finally admitting what the rest of the country has known for years – that the Clinton's will say and do anything to keep their grip on power. Kerry's comments are a good sign for the Democratic party... admitting you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery.

    January 25, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  15. Doug, Denver, Colorado

    Clinton is second only to John Kerry as the nations most prolific abuser of truth.

    January 25, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. brian


    Why is CNN not reporting that Obama changed his vote 6 times because, get this, he didn't mean to vote that way or accidently pushed the wrong button. I don't want someone in charge of our little red buttons (weapons) who might accidently or didn't mean to set them off. Do any of you?

    But no,that's not getting reported on. No one was reporting on Rezko until Clinton brought him up at the Debate. If he has nothing to hide talk about it. 5 hours my foot.

    No one reported on his voting record of voting "Present" 130 times. His explanations just blew me away, as did his response to the cap freeze on the credit card interest. It was to high, so vote against the 30% cap and let them charge a higher interest. My 17 year old caught the craziness of that answer before Edwards called him on it.

    He agrued he'd never endorsed single-payer healthcare. When in fact he did.
    He's been back and forth on so many issues, He probably doesn't know what he opposed or doesn't.

    I'm glad some they have brought factcheck, back.

    January 25, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  17. Bimmer

    Kerrry has no sense of gratitude.

    January 25, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. Bimmer

    Kerry did not defend himself against the attack from the Republicans.

    Clinton by defending herself is showing that she is not going to be another Kerry in Novemebr.

    January 25, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  19. Bag the Billster

    And, once again, Sharon: The CLINTOONS are CROOKS, CROOKS and more CROOKS!!!!! How can any of you CLINTOON supporters even utter a word of support for such TRASH!!!! You CLINTOON supporters and your candidate Shrillary and the great SLICKSTER (aka the Hil Billy) are so pathetic, pathetic, pathetic……get the picture?? You people have SCREWED up MINDS!!! But, no wonder, you support Shrillary and the Hill Billy…..no WONDER!!!!

    January 25, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  20. Vicki

    Anyone who questions how Clinton has abused the truth obviously has their head in the sand – or somewhere else! If they are breathing the Clinton's are lying. It's a fact of life.

    January 25, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  21. Jim

    Look who's calling the kettle black. The self addressed phoney war hero. I spent over 30 months in the South Pacific aboard two ships, three invasiaon and only got three little stars on my Asiatic combat ribbon. I didn't get to come home in three months of combat either like Kerry the self made cry baby. He should keep his cry baby mouth shut.

    January 25, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  22. DB in SD

    Ben in Columbus...explain to me exactly what is is the Clinton's have ever done for Black people.

    They tell you they care but their only objective is to keep blacks down and dependent on the government.

    Please explain with some examples. I'll be waiting.....


    January 25, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. Bob

    It's simple folks...
    I have never voted for anyone other than a democrat.
    If hillary were to win the nomination, I will.
    If that happens, I will vote for a repub or an independent, and that's the case with many others.
    We (our nation) are better than those who blind sheep who embrace dynasties.
    If we are no better, America is a disgrace and deserves what happens.
    Keep in mind... a nation with hillary at the helm will NEVER have more than 45% of its populace behind the president – even in times of stress. w was better than that. hillary will never have that.
    We've got to be better than this. I'm not alone in this view. In fact, I'm in the majority. If you vote hillary, be afraid.

    January 25, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  24. LRutherford

    As is the case with one lie, the second comes easy and in the case of those who abuse their power soon they turn on each other.

    January 25, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  25. Chris, Wisconsin


    January 25, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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