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. Frances Kogen

    Hillary will do anything to get elected–or so they say. Then Obama throws his friend and spiritual advisor of 20 years under the bus, over the hill, off the bridge to protect his electability. Ho hum! What's a blogger to do?

    March 17, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. Brandon

    No, you really did.

    March 17, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. Common Sense

    CNN... please quit with all the back and forth crap that is not relevant to the race.
    Just report on the issues that MATTER!

    March 17, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. TheLeftNut

    Gregory Mutale wrote: "Hillary decided to say that john mccain is more qualified"

    Yes, I know. Inexcusable. Guess who I'm leaning towards.

    I would like to see them say it, together, on camera.

    March 17, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. Eric S

    Bill is right. No matter what he did or what he said, AAs are going to vote for a black candidate. That's just a fact.

    March 17, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Tiffany

    Just like he never had sexual relations with that woman. Think before speaking Bill-it helps

    March 17, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Jay MN

    He says they didn't play the race card, and that they were played against them?

    Wow...he worked two outright lies into one sentence.

    But then, he's a Clinton.

    "Yes we will" lie cheat, and steal to win.

    March 17, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Lew

    "I didn't play the race card".. Bill Clinton.
    Yea right, where have I heard something like that before?
    "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky".. Bil Clinton.
    Anyone see a pattern?

    March 17, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. Scott, Ann Arbor, MI

    I see, so Rangel is the ultimate judge as to when a race card is played? How self-serving is that comment? Do either Bill or Hillary get how they come across? If it weren't for the fact that W is the worst president ever (and I'm Republican!) I think America would be totally disgusted with both Clintons by now and it would be Obama v McCain, with the Dems winning handily. As it is, I think McCain has a great chance.

    March 17, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. Clinton News Network

    The man does not know the meaning of the world honest.

    Don't waste your space CNN, even if you are a Clinton supporter.

    Obama 08

    March 17, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. m

    nobody believes the Clintons – liars and selfish people

    March 17, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Bob, Florida - RFO

    Get on with the issues!

    Go Obama '08

    March 17, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. Woz - Los Gatos, CA

    The one card Bubba plays over and over is the "Joker" card.

    What an irrelevant fool.

    March 17, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. Jose'

    It's the democrat way. Incite racism, then vow to bring 'everyone' together. The only odd part is, they are doing it to each other instead of the Republicans.

    March 17, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Mireille, Charlotte

    Yes Bill you did. Felt it in my gut.

    March 17, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Mook

    Bill's comments were twisted to get political advantage to Sen. Obama by AA black leaders. AA needed reasons to support black candidate without seen as racist and this is an excuse.

    March 17, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Rosie

    Bill, you did it, do not try to clean yourself after the Wright┬┤s episode. You did it because you belong to a generation that confuses racialist comments with racism. In other words, you think of yourself as being honest, but without facing the fact that you benefit from your race status better than people of color. But not anymore.

    March 17, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Not true

    He torn apart the Democratic party by lying to the American public nine years ago. He looked at all of us and lied!!! His lies lead to Bush! Gore could not campaign the way he should have been able to – with pride – because of Bill's lies.

    Now he is lying again !?!? Hillary and Bill will do anything for their to get power. Don't be fooled!

    Obama 2008!!

    March 17, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. Mensah Koduah, Bronx, New York

    It was the Obama camp that started playing the race card when Jesse Jackson Jr. said after the New Hampshire primary that Hillary Clinton did not shed tears after Katrina. Back then, MSM were all in Obama;s camp and would not say anything bad about him and they got away with it and instead attack the Clintons of playing the race card. Let Jesse Jackson Jr. show me a video of Obama tearing up after Katrina before he accuses the Clintons.

    March 17, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Jason

    Go Bill Go! The best Prez we've had since FDR – you Obamabots need to wake up. Your candidate is toast! A pastor who condemns the USA and a candidate who can't and won't say the pledge. Come on we are better than this. If Hillary doesn't finish him off then McCain surely will.

    March 17, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Just Say No To Clinton

    His comments in South Carolina were not spun. People simply listened to what he said, and were shocked that the "first black president" LOL, tried to minimilize Barack Obama.

    He is now onboard the PC train, but it's too little, too late. We've seen your true colors Bill, and we suggest you stop trying to serve us the Kool-Ade.

    Obama 08

    March 17, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. jessica

    Under Bush, 4000 American service men and women have been killed in Iraq, with no end in site.

    McCain is committed to continuing the status quo until the earlier of 100 years or the complete devastation of our national defense capabilities.

    Hillary Clinton is committed to tinkering with the status quo when politically expedient.

    Only Barack Obama is committed to placing defense policy under the guidance of intelligence and common sense instead of bravado and grandstanding.

    March 17, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. eddie

    Why do article listings for Clinton initially show as greyed out(like I already selected it)!?!

    Obama articles don't do this?!?

    March 17, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Stacy from Boston

    That quote is playing the race card. Give me a break your saying that they're voting for him because he has a serious chance of being elected not because they agree with him and think he's the better candidate. Once again you are bioling it down to race.

    March 17, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. dajack

    I dunno if there was ever a point where I could have said I "liked" both candidates, but one thing is for sure: I'm getting pretty sick of them now.

    March 17, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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