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)



    January 26, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. It's the Media

    I blame the media for twisting everything the Clintons have said. I also blame those "established" democrats for fanning the flames of divisiveness. Nothing Hillary or Pres. Clinton said about Sen. Obama was racial. The media and Congressman Clybryn, etc. were the ones who mischaracterize the "fairytale" and "MLK/LBJ" comments.

    The media knows that Pres. Clinton "was" well liked in the black community and that is the sole purpose of them twisting everything the Clintons say and on the other hand, they turn Sen. Obama into the "black" candidate.

    BTW: I like both Hillary and Obama and will vote for the one who becomes the nominee. I care about the future, esp. the Supreme Court, the economy and the Iraq war and for those reasons, I WILL NEVER GIVE A REPUBLICAN MY VOTE.

    January 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. smedleyb

    Why are my comments still awaiting moderation you pinko slime ? Ha !! I caught you and your jaundiced view of the world. You libo creep.

    January 26, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Jordan

    Hillary Clinton has no place in the White House. The fact that people are still attached to her and support her makes me a little sick. She, with Bill right alongside, has done nothing in this election but manipulate the truth and try to belittle anyone in her way, generally Future President Obama. Bill, I used to think you were the hope for America, and I stood by you while you were in the White House, but I've now lost all respect for you since you are just your wife's trained pitbull now.

    January 26, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. It's the Media

    SO, if the Clintons question Obama's record, they are bad, evil, lying, etc.? Kerry, Daschle, and the other "establishment" democrats, should butt out – they are only making it worst by choosing up sides.


    January 26, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Susan

    I am confused..can someone explain to me exactly what the Clintons have done for the African American community? What is it that you owe these two? Bill fell asleep at an MLK function and they live in all white neighborhood. It's not tracking for me. Bush for all of his failures has appointed more African-Americans to senior level positions than Clinton. Case in point Condeleza Rice, Secretary of State. So what is it with the Clintons..they are panderers.

    Mike, I think abuse the truth is Kerry speak..for lying like a rug.

    January 26, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. Jim O'Sullivan

    He knows what's in the Barrett Report, i.e., he knows she can't win. He's trying to avoid disaster for his party.

    January 26, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  8. jerzb

    What was it again that the Clintons have done for us (African Americans)?

    January 26, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Heather Peterson

    I find it interesting that Senator Obama gets the support of the educated and informed and Senator Clinton generally gets the less educated demographic.

    January 26, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. Daniel

    Parsing liberal-speak:

    "Republican-style attack" = what the Clintons do for a living

    At least a few are now willing to admit that Bill & Hillary are only after what they want and no price is too high to achieve that.

    January 26, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. hillabeans

    I liked Bill till he sold me down the river by signing the NAFTA bill and all the Walmart and China deals that screwed the American worker.

    January 26, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. Ronald R.

    KB is right.......CNN is bias....that why talk radio is #1.......CNN can't hold a candle to the sucess of AM Talk radio..........20 million listeners a day........GO AHEAD MODERATOR.........are you going delete this post since it doesn't fit your agenda?

    January 26, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. Mimi

    Seriously, someone please explain to me why they vote for obama simply because they have a problem with the "dynasty" issue?

    Why are people so obssessed with the last names? Isn't it another form of stupidity?

    January 26, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  14. James

    Abuse the truth...hmmmm... how about "lying"?

    January 26, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  15. MDWhite

    This is great ! A loser liar chastising another loser liar. Democrats cannibalizing each other...it really doesn't get any better.

    January 26, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. Hannah

    With regard to the comment by "leo", I don't quite get how one can make the sort of comment as was made in the first sentence. I vote Democratic and I don't consider myself belonging to a racist party, nor do any of my other Democratic Party friends. I would think that to be accurate in your discussions, you'd phrase your comments to acknowledge that you're incorrect about the party as a whole.

    By the way, should I start calling it the "Republic" Party? I see people like you calling the Democratic Party the "Democrat" Party, so I'm wondering if everyone is now starting to drop the last few words from the ends of the major party names. Just wondering.

    January 26, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. xpis

    A question of law: As I see it, Bill Clinton, our first black president, is now running for a third term as our first female president. Is this legal? Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks

    January 26, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. PW Va

    TO JANE:

    You emoted that beautifully and I fully agree!

    January 26, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. steve

    I think all you loosers who cant spell loser are total loosers

    January 26, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. NC Bigmouth

    Who gives a rat's fat fanny what this has been has to say about another has been?

    January 26, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. Judy

    I don't think Bill wants Hill to win. I think he is sabotaging her campaign. I don't think his ego could take 4 years of being made fun of on all the late night shows as being the white house husband.

    On the other hand, Bill probably loves the idea of having 4 more years of interns to choose from.

    January 26, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  22. aaron b

    I want a president that will actuayly use are tax money for something useful,and will stop the use of gasoline.

    January 26, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. Aaron

    i want a president who will actually use our tax money for something usefull And lower gas prices

    January 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. Ross

    A vote for the Clintons would like going to your clothes hamper and putting on soiled clothes to wear for 4 more years. Doesn't work for us!

    While Billy thinks all has blown over (pun uniintended) concerning his impeachment, "though they repaired the crack in the dam, everybody will still look to see where it used to be." That's one leopard who has definitely not changed his spots!

    January 26, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  25. enough

    Nobody cares what Kerry has to say. Anoyine else remember the elecction in 2006, when his Gaffe had everyone telling him to just go away before the election

    January 26, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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