March 17th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Bill Clinton: We did not play race card


Watch Bill Clinton speak with CNN's Sean Callebs.

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton defended his role in his wife's presidential campaign in South Carolina, disputing claims he made race a campaign issue.

"What happened there is a total myth and a mugging," Clinton told CNN's Sean Callebs in New Orleans, Louisiana, over the weekend.

"It's been pretty well established. Charlie Rangel ... the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in unequivocal terms in South Carolina that no one in our campaign played any race card, that we had some played against us, but we didn't play any."

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soundoff (344 Responses)
  1. Amy

    I'm not listening to a guy who needs an explanation of the word "is" (at it pertains to Monica Lewinsky)

    March 17, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Dan in Tigard, OR.

    Hillary stood a good chance of winning the primary.....until Bill started opening his big mouth. Somehow bubba forgot he pretty much left the White House in disgrace. Only the fools that believed him then will believe him now. Hillary should have kicked bubba to the curb like the dog he is. She still should.

    March 17, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Jim

    During his eight years as President. Bill Clinton, record's speak for it self. He provided full support two all races. Last year in August Obama, wife made all type of personal comments on the Clinton's. The Clinton's did not say one word. Folk's, let be fair about this stuff and put all plates on the table.

    March 17, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Chuck in Oregon

    All I can say is someone is suffering from a severe case of self denial.
    American and the world heard what was said, and to most it was perceived as racial. That may not have been what you intended to say Bill Clinton; however, having worked for big Corporate America, it is the perception of your words that matter, not what you intened or ment to say that counts. In corporate America you would have been fired for those remarks. That is the bottom line to all of this.

    March 17, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Dennis, Anchorage, Alaska

    Ridiculous Obama-ites! Obama and his filthy smooth campaign are the only ones playing the race card and trying to make it look like they're victims. I can't believe the blacks–they had a family like the Clintons who did so much good for their community (like the Environmental Justice Executive Order) and then they turn their backs on them and accuse them of playing the race card. Blacks are the true racists, they are only supporting Obama because he's black–he doesn't have a single national accomplishment!

    March 17, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Mac in Nova Scotia

    Bill Clinton should do the world a favor and go away. Don't forget to take Hillary with you. What is all this hubub about "Commander in Chief"? Bill Clinton and G.W. Bush were both draft dodgers.

    March 17, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. pal skala

    by (not) voting McCain the war will be here, not over there we need fighters, not liars or saynothings, McCain may not be what we need to fix everything, but he's the best we've got!

    March 17, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. ralph tyler

    Let's not be distracted by Mr. Clinton's nonsense. For starters, his wife should release her tax records.

    March 17, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Sean

    That's the Obama media using Bill as a scapegoat in getting rid of this Wright mess.

    How pathetic.

    March 17, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Vic

    The biggest issue today is not what either candidate or his/her spouse has said. It's what the voters will say at the ballot box about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. What we know about each of these two should reflect who we the people elect to be our candidate next November.

    The actions and the results of our current President, who continues this murderous war and a spiraling economy, should be the voter's main guide when choosing his successor. Which one has the background and judgment to get us out of these two quagmires should reign supreme over any other consideration.

    The fact that Hillary Clinton is by far more qualified and has exhibited the most electable qualities, including judgment, has nothing to do with Bill Clinton. She is the one who has shown time and again that she is her own person based on her personal and governmental life experiences, with no reliance on personal or political controversial mentors. With her in office, America will stand tall throughout this country and the world

    March 17, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. Jason

    Its interesting how you all at CNN allow hundreds upon hundreds of comments on anything Clinton, but the other day when the wacko minister of Obambi said his crap you only allowed a couple dozen replies. Guess we wouldn't want to have any truth about Obambi on line, now would we?

    March 17, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Chris Mannoia

    This from a man who denegrated the Presidency at every turn; Shame on you, Bill Clinton!

    March 17, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. A.M. Saqib

    Tell this to Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton; "You can make some people fool all the time, you can make all the people fool some time, but you can make all the people fool all the time".

    Grab on to the facts, and get off the road of pretence attitude and get on the with the honest and straight compaign. The compaign of issues and concerns to the nation.

    Obama is the bright future of this country!

    A.M. Saqib
    Houston, Texas

    March 17, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Peter

    Maybe Bill and Hillary are both frustrated that Obama is getting 80-90% of the Black vote for no explicable reason other than that HE'S Black. Do we honestly think he'd get those kinds of numbers if he weren't? I can't blame them for being frustrated, considering how much work Clinton has done for the poor in the inner city and for Africa, all of which is now completely overshadowed because the other guy has the right skin color.

    March 17, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. dajack

    There is an excellent song from the Broadway musical "Avenue Q" which states: "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist".

    And you know what? WE ARE, and this applies to sexism too.

    Both camps need to face up to it, and so does the public. Maybe if we, the people, could take some responsibility for these things in ourselves, we wouldn't have any more use for the kind of witch hunts that have been going on in the media.

    March 17, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. lym

    Of course its our business to see her tax records. Obama has already disclosed his tax returns. If you have nothing to hide then why would it be a problem. We need to be able to trust our future president.

    March 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Spiritual Advisor?

    Over the years the "spiritual advisor" to the Presidents has been the Rev. Billy Graham. It has always been my impression that his faith and teachings revolved around love and not hatred. He has been able to support these Presidents on both sides of the aisle without negative and hateful rhetoric. He hasn't found it necessary to demean others while sharing his message.

    Barack on the other hand, has Rev. Wright. Take time to view his sermons or just watch the news and look for this story. Barack sat in the congregation of Wright's church for 20 years, do you really think that he hasn't been influenced by the divisive and offensive rantings of this Pastor. It's naive to think otherwise and he has the nerve to lie about it.

    Do we want someone in the White House who is inspired by a man like Rev. Wright? If Barack's followers share his beliefs than I'm "scared to death" to have him as our next president.

    If you haven't voted yet, keep this in mind. Don't let our country be pulled into this web of deceit.

    March 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. Dick Pittenger

    In Sioux Falls, SD. No amount of Clinton spin can change the obvious intent to marginalize Obama's appeal by noting that even Jesse Jackson carried South Carolina twice in previous primaries.
    Bubba's previous truth inaccuracies throughout his political career belie current protests about Hillary being unfairly cast.
    Also, I wonder how Hillary's reaction to the question, "Is Obama a Muslim?" "Not that I know of." squares with the present spotlight being put on his Christian Church. Also, although I am a white retired United Methodist Pastor, I well understand how a black preacher might be led to point out how ill America has treated the black race in our history, and still ongoing.

    March 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Raman


    Margie Gavin Woods, a superdelegate from Illinois, announced she is supporting Senator Barack Obama for President today, citing his ability to unite the country

    With Obama's pastor spewing hatred towards America and wishing America would go down, I bet it is time to elect Obama for Unifying America.

    March 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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