February 9th, 2008
10:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Wilder: Bill Clinton not forgiven for South Carolina salvo

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/09/art.wilder0209.ap.jpg caption="Doug Wilder is backing Sen. Barack Obama."]
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) – Doug Wilder, the nation’s first black governor and a prominent backer of Barack Obama, told reporters Saturday that Bill Clinton has not yet atoned for his attacks on the Illinois senator during the South Carolina primary.

“Barack Obama is not a fairy tale,” Wilder, now the mayor of Richmond, said before the state’s annual Jefferson Jackson dinner, where Clinton and Obama were set to speak later in the evening. “He is real, the real deal as some would say. He is not just a good speaker. Jesse Jackson is Jesse Jackson. Barack Obama is Barack Obama.”

Wilder remains an influential voice among African-Americans in Virginia and throughout the South. He appeared at a press conference before the fundraiser with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, also an Obama supporter, and former Gov. Mark Warner, who is now running for Senate.

Wilder pointed to Obama’s overwhelming victory among black voters in the Georgia primary as evidence others shared his lingering resentment over the former president's remarks. “It’s not just me feeling that, any number of people feel that.”

“Talking on radio shows and talk shows, people are asking the very question you ask,” he said. “A time has come and a time goes. Mr. President has had his time.”

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Candidate Barack Obama • Virginia
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. SB


    February 10, 2008 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  2. Mary

    If Bill Clinton would have kept his mouth shut and focused on his wife – she would not be neck and neck with Obomba – but you dis a Black person – even if it's true – and you pay and Hilary did.

    February 10, 2008 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  3. Anonymous

    no its just da racist truth ... can u explain y u think BARACK has no experience...

    February 10, 2008 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  4. Brenda

    Referring to the Mayor Wilder statement made to the public about Bill Clinton: Were his comments really necessary to gain support for Obama? Or necessary to say excuse me, I'm endorsing my race. He has a large constituency and must show his sameness to them and for Obama. I have always liked Wilder but he fell from dignity today. He divorced his wife.

    Hillary and Bill ARE married NOT divorced and he supports her desire to serve in public office just has she supported him. Our country has never had this husband/wife political team of such success. We should record this time in our history as a new exciting display of married life/professional/political advancement in our new millinium culture.

    Political reality is ( if you are an elected official) "always take care of your base".
    And by the way, Wilder is not the only one obeying this rule: Senator Landeau of Louisiana is one doing the same.

    Read her statement of "non support for Hillary". "The country is not ready for a Woman as President." She has always spoken and supported women as she has climbed her political ladder. Yet this time she "took care of her own political base "to protect her own reelection". She should remember: her brother was defeated for mayor by "a majority of which race of her Senate base"? The people of our country should ask WHY and look at the "political endorsements" and the urban and rural locations demographics and they will have a more clear understanding of why these folks are speaking in the negative while supporting their
    chosen candidate. It does not make it right, but it is the way it is. They may say their choice of support is really whom they want to endorse but I ask everyone to look and ask carefully. Where is the sincere honest dignity in the process and with our other elected officials, The Super Delegates?

    February 10, 2008 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  5. Kelley Beverly

    It is rediculous to say that black people voting for a black person is racist, and yet white people voting for a white person is not. Racist will be truly shown if democrats vote for McCain instead of Obama. People constantly refer to Hiliarys experience and universal health care. She has the experience of trying to get universal health care for 15 years, what makes people think she can do it now.
    I am a black woman(my true color), I have looked at all the candidates. In my opinion Barack Obama is the best candidate out there, but I will absolutely not vote for McCain if Hilary wins, that would be idiotic.

    February 10, 2008 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  6. Dave

    I will jump ship on the Democratic Party and vote Mcain before I vote for a Racist.

    February 10, 2008 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  7. Peter Damoah-Afari

    Hey Curliss!!!

    You don't know what you are talking about? Experience from being a firstlady qualifies someone as a president?? Please come again with a different point. You are racist yourself.

    February 10, 2008 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  8. Avis

    I'm sorry, but I"m reading these coments and these people don't have a clue. As a woman my self, do you think it's racist to back Hillay because she's a woman? You want experience because you say that's what count. Wake up people, George Bush is experienced! If you vote for McCain you will get more of the same. Bill and Hillary Clinton are experienced, that being said I would think they'd have more common sense than to make stupid comments. Black people aren't playing the race card and neither did Barack. The only thing any of you got right was that the media has made a big deal of the matter. However, they are doing their jobs. Hello, it is news! It's these kinds of comments that make me believe even more that we need someone like Barak.

    Go Barack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! November 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 11, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  9. Integrity Counts

    I also agree with Curtis.
    If it comes down to Obama and McCaine I will vote for McCaine.
    If it comes down to Hillary and McCaine I will vote for Hillary.

    I think Obama has excellent potential going forward but I don't think Bill Clinton should be criticized for describing Obama's campaign as a fairy tale. It really is. The latest issue of Time Magazine says the problem is Obama's campaign is about Obama's campaign.

    After all, Obama wrote his AutoBiography in his 20's. I admire his ambition but I really don't see any results here in Illinois to justify the hype. Time magazine compares it to the individual who does all the preparatory work for an exam and comes in prepared and the person who studies the night before and tries to bs their way through it.

    Hillary has payed dearly to get this opportunity and I think we should all get behind her, including Obama, and make sure the most qualified person for the job gets elected.

    February 11, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  10. Enough08

    I just have a problem with once again having what Bill Clinton said taken out of context and in this case totaly distorted.

    He did NOT say Barack Obama is a fairy tale, as Wilder would lead you to believe. He said that Barack trying to illustrate that he and Hillary are at EXTREME odds when it comes to the Iraq war. (They have the same voting history on it since Obama has been in the Senate, please remember Obama was not a member of the Senate at the time of the vote to give President Bush the authority to go to war) So I strongly feel while Obama may or may not have supported the war at the time, we cannot be certain what his actual vote would have been. It is very easy to say, Oh, I would have..." when there is NO way of knowing for certain.

    In my mind that vote is not as much of a factor as to what happens as we move foward.

    February 11, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. pressure

    voting for tthere own race if white people knew how stupid that sounded they would stop saying it along with reverse racisim or racial tolerance it just a way of manipulating and justifying the myth of racial superiority

    February 11, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. norma

    Its so amazing – do you think anyone is surprised a black governor or town leader or State leader is going to vote for Obama?. Its an affront to our intelligence – to think otherwise. Don't give Bill Clinton credit for your choices, if you'd never heard of Bill Clinton before – your vote would have been the same. Its a given.

    So glad that there is no racism involved in our election! Women were/are considered to be a minority group – and it looks like a large number of women want to keep them there. Find an original reason to vote the way you do – don't blame it on the person who gave you 8 years of prosperity and peace. Below the Mason-Dixon line lies a whole bunch of religious buildings. I hope when you attend – you put on your faith face, take a deep breath and and dig into your heart to find the real truth as to who's actually going to be able to move this country forward.

    February 11, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. citizen

    Hope all this is not a surprise for you all. Rowland Martin of CNN and Eugene Robinson of Washington Post strated talking about "Bradley Effect" just second after Hillary was projected as the winner in New Hampshire. Also, during debate in Nevada Tim Russert waved four pages of race card documents sent by Obama's campaign manager tells me who is promoting the race card.

    Something else: check exit polls in Louisiana that shows 48% blacks voted and 85% of that went to Obama. This means he received about 40.8% of his total 56% votes from blacks. On the other hand, Hillary received 7.2% of her 36% votes from the blacks. Bottom line – Obama received about 16% of other votes when Hillary recieved around 30% and that is a lot more than Obama got.

    February 11, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. Prakaithip

    Wnen does experience count?
    When do we pull in someone who is experienced?
    Does experience matter in a crisis?

    I guess we'll let kids and celebrities decide. They know best.

    February 11, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. shelly

    His position was referring to his positon regarding the Iraq War.

    February 12, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |