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. Ronald R.

    Two Deadbeats calling each other out ........this is good stuff here ladies and gentlemen...........both of these disgraces are nothing but smoke and mirrors.........and the ignorant Dems voters actually believe the Clintons........one can only hope if Hillary is elected............heaven help us............that her tax and spend schemes, will drive this country into a s Depression........sounds negative huh?.......Clinton is a socialist, her policies are not good for America and the ultimate price to be paid could be an economic meltdown............bring it on, can't wait!

    January 26, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  2. Michael

    You know, if Kerry had chosen to SPEAK UP in 2004, we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with! Instead, he chose to run his campaign like a patsy. Who cares WHAT he has to say?

    January 26, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  3. Ricky

    Some men see things as they are and say, why? I dream things that never were and say why not? Bobby Kennedy

    January 26, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  4. Nanci

    Hooray for John Kerry! Someone who's not afraid to call Clinton on his attack dog tactics in the Democratic Party.

    January 26, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  5. Renato V CA

    -kerry is obviously going with the mob in responding to bill's political strategy and for his own personal agenda, whatever that is. in the 2004 presidential election, i made a mistake voting for him -now i am voting for EDWARDS in support of the issues he stands for and his concern for the poor and the downtrodden. he is the best example of living the American dream -born poor himself but worked hard to earn a living and become a brilliant lawyer defending people treated unjustly by corporate giants.

    January 26, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  6. Allison- Mclean, Va

    Hillary and Bill are awful. I can't believe the things they do to try to get elected. Its disgusting. I don't know how they even live with themselves. I actually used to like Bill, now I feel used, (like many interns must feel after "supporting" Bill). If SC doesn't go for Obama I'm switching to McCain. At least he has some integrity. Hillary is in this for personal gain, she and her husband abuse their power, and I can't live through another term of lying, cheating, arrogant politicians who will say and do anything for power.

    January 26, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  7. Nobama No No No

    With or without Kerry endorsement Obama is Obama. Shallow. Obama is where he is simply because of luck.

    January 26, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. Davey

    Time to face reality Kerry – Your not relevent anymore, so stop acting like you are

    January 26, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Kerry is the biggest loser in politics, loser can't show Obama how to win, he wants to join with his cabinet because Kerry knows Hillary will not hire any stupid expert in her ministry. Smart voters don't care about Kerry's view, he will lose again to Hillary Clinton. Obama, A drowning man will catch at a straw.

    January 26, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  10. Other Brother Darrell

    Hey morons:

    Learn to spell. The word is "loser" (not "looser").

    The word is "traitor" rather than "trader."

    No wonder our government is such a mess. We have so many illiterate voters. Do you know what a dictionary is?

    January 26, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  11. David from MD

    I was a fan of John Kerry. This articles sometimes have made me so upset enough to move off his email list. I used to respect John Kerry, but now he is throwing out more accusations which is not helping us come together in Unity. Although Obama is a nice man, I'm sure Obama requests that his action has to be taken, but it's not be ready to helpe the American people.

    GO HILLARY!!

    January 26, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  12. Justin Tyme

    And After all the rambling...Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the US in Jan 2009.

    Nice end to a story...don't you think

    January 26, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  13. Ferrie Veen

    For me and us in Holland it's very exciting to see this political campaigning.

    January 26, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  14. Don Scroggs, Many,LA

    Where has Al Gore been hiding during all this?

    January 26, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. DN

    Love that show of loyalty by Kerry – Bill campaigns for him in 04 and Kerry attacks the Clinton's in 08 – I have a feeling that the swift boat members didn't get all the facts right – Seems they left out the part out about Kerry kneeling on the back with the Vietnamese and shooting at the US troops during the battle.

    January 26, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  16. wmadew

    Wonder why he doesn't hold Obama to the same standard? Is OK to be evasive and to blame the Clintons ever time they try to make him run on his record or lack thereof because he represents the largest special interest group in the Democratic party? In any case Kerry continues to act in ways that help the Republican candidate succeed in November.

    January 26, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  17. gene atlantic beach n c 28512

    THE FACTS ARE SIMPLE EVEN THE OBAMA NUTS CAN UNDERSTAND IT IF HILLERY WAS NOT RUNNING OBAMA WOULD BE ON HIS KNEES BEGGING FOR BILLS HELP SO NOW HE HAS BILL IN THE OTHER CAMP AND HE IS SWEATING BULLETS HE CAN NOT WIN IF HE IS THE DEMS CHOICE WE (AMERICA) WILL KEEP ON THIS PATH DOWN WHERE THE RICH GET RICHER AND THE POOR GET (WELL YOU KNOW) WAKE UP OBAMA SUPPORTERS BEFORE TOU FIND OUT YOU BACKED A LOST CAUSE

    January 26, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  18. bob florida

    Can anyone tell me what the clintons did to help african americans?

    January 26, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  19. Don, Rochester, NY

    Kerry is being boligerant and perhaps it is HE who needs to tone it down. It sounds to me as is someone is a little bitter. Bill has spoken facts. Maybe they're facts Obama's campaign and supporters don't want to hear, but they're facts nonetheless.

    Listen people, I would encourage you all to do your own deep research. Read books...more importantly, read the plans each candidate has outlined. BE INFORMED! So many of you sound so blind and hateful in your comments. Is that what you want for yourself...for our country?

    Hillary '08!

    January 26, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Phillip Hailston

    John Kerry – the man who gave the 2003 race to the Republicans, by running the worst possible campaign, should keep his nose out of the 2008 race. This man, who basically said and did nothing for a month after winning the nomination in 2003, shows a complete lack of "mateship" for ditching Edwards now. You would think Democrats would be asking this man why he chose Edwards as his running mate in 2003, and yet has dumped the poor man already in 2007.
    With a friend like Kerry you don't need enemies.

    January 26, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  21. michael

    Funny, nobody is noticing the irony of how the Democrat attack machine is waging war against one of its own. I'm not even a Democrat and I despise the Clintons, but I think it's ironic that they (the Clintons) were media darlings just one year ago. I'm having difficulty trying to figure their motives. Are the Democrats really putting all their eggs in the Obama basket? Are they accepting the fact that Hitlery cannot win because of the fact that she voted in support of the war? Or are they trying to keep the Clintons at bay with the media until they switch their support back to them in the final stretch?

    January 26, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. michael

    Funny, nobody is noticing the irony of how the Democrat attack machine is waging war against one of its own. I'm not even a Democrat and I despise the Clintons, but I think it's ironic that they (the Clintons) were media darlings just one year ago. I'm having difficulty trying to figure their motives. Are the Democrats really putting all their eggs in the Obama basket? Are they accepting the fact that Hitlery cannot win because of the fact that she voted in support of the war? Or are they trying to keep the Clintons at bay with the media until they switch their support back to them in the final stretch?

    January 26, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  23. gopackers

    The Clintons are doing what they ALWAYS do. Blame everybody else for doing exactly what they are doing. Then claim to be the victim. I cannot think of one thing the Clintons have said the truth about ever. But this all needs to be laid at the feet of Hill, ignore Bill, he is just doing what his wife tells him to.

    January 26, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. W L in Delaware

    The bigger question for me is who will be running this country, Hillary or Bill. Will Bill have to step in and fight his wife's battles or will she step up and be the strong independent woman she claim to be. I was a Hillary fan but if she has to run to her husband every time she has a foe to fight I will be giving my vote to someone else.

    January 26, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. Mr. Yank

    John Kerry must be working for the "right wing conspiracy." If you want someone who lives in a fantasy world to be your next president, then Hill's your gal.

    January 26, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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