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. Not an Obama supporter!!

    President Clinton did not play card. Obama has played and continues to play the race card. He makes such an issue of what Pres. Clinton said but downplays the ignorant and hateful comments his beloved pastor of 20 years has said. It is getting to the point where, if you criticize Barack Obama's campaign, you are a racist! This is not we what we need right now. He has turned this campaign into something so ugly. His constance game (playing the race card) is going to cost the Democratic party the election in November. Obama 08 (whatever!!!)

    March 17, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Meesha6

    It is quite clear that the democratic nominee will be decided by the media. I for one could care less about this he said this and she said that kind of politics. The truth of the matter is that everyone has said things in this campaign that have been offensive to someone. I personally find both Ferraro's comments and Rev. Wright's comments offensive. However, what matters to me is what Sen. Clinton and Barack Obama say, and for that matter what they have done not only in the senate but in their community. You can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. If the public would stop stiring the pot about all of these race relations we can truly get down to who will be the best Democratic Candidate. Isn't that what the election process is all about?

    March 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Tafoya A. Hubbard

    @Rick and I will go to Nadar if Hillary is the nominee so now we are even I see. McCain is more than likely going to be the next President regardless of who wins. Why is it that Barack is un electable? He is just as qualified as Hillary.

    March 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Mark

    Like I'm supposed to take Charlie Rangel's word for this? He has been in the Clinton camp lock, stock, and barrel all along. I might give more credability to a completely neutral source, but not from a Clinton "yes man" like Charlie Rangel.

    March 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. gurarro

    When is CNN going to announce in BIG BOLD LETTERS that Barack picked-up more delegates in IOWA and HRC lost some. I read that on other sites on Saturday but have seen absolutely nothing on CNN. That is more news worthy than listening to Bill Clinton lie.

    March 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Matt

    Dear maynard,

    If you're implying what I think you're implying with your "Second Amendment might be used yet" commen, then you can expect a knock on your door by the secret service.

    March 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Lew

    Neither Brotha Bill nor Sista Hillay seem to understand that most Black folks find it rather irrelevant what Charlie Rangel or any of the other so-called "Black leaders" they trot out think about whatt he said. The fact is we can make these kinds of judgments for ourselves. And most of us are of the opinion his statements were racist.

    March 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Rick in Florida

    jerrywayne, engawyer and all the others of you who blindly buy into the Clinton spin-machine are just like the Koolaid drinkers of Guyana. You never question, just accept what they say. Absolutely amazing!!

    March 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Ron, Las Vegas

    Bill is right, he did not play the race card, he just played demean the other candidate card. The Clintons are playing the same old politics. Blame everyone else for attacking them and ganging up against them, say your winning when your losing, and tear down your opponent with half truths and innuendo. The Clintons have a history of only telling part of the truth and those things which make them look good. Everything else they try to sweep under the rug. Just more of the same old politics.

    March 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Nando, Florida

    CHARLIE RANGEL is FROM PR !!!! That wasn't a good example BILL

    March 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. mary

    What kind of a president would Hillary make if she has the opinion that only the big states count? Mary from Fitchburg

    March 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Lora B.

    Since Obama has a habit of voting "present" on bills or going on vacation to Hawaii, he can speak out all he wants about the Iraq war but we will never really know for sure how he would have voted on Iraq if given the chance. Therefore, Clinton was right to call Obama's record on Iraq a "fairy tale".

    Why is the media bringing this up again? It's old news – perhaps it is an attempt by the media to deflect attention away from the racially motivated comments made by Obama's minister....

    March 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Michael "C" in Lorton, Virginia

    Both Hillary and Bill can be characterizes as "knowing the price of everything, but the value of nothing."

    March 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Anyone but Hillary!

    Let's not forget that Bll Clinton also misrepresented the truth under oath in the Monica Lewinsky case. Are we supposed to believe anthing he says. And under his watch we never found out what realy happened to Ron Brown and VInce Foster (Hillary's confidant and long time friend). Are the Clintons scared to stand up for the truth or are they whimps. We need a brave leader in the white house. Help us out CNN.

    March 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Kimberly Beasley

    Come on superdelagates, make this stop, please. Let's go Edwards, Richardson, Pelosi, Gore. Either tell Billary to quit causing problems, and if they don't cast your votes, please. Hillary has lost supers since Super Tuesday, Barack has gained 40.

    March 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. Dan , TX

    I think Obama's pastor will be pleased if he torpedoed Obama's chances to be president. To him, it just proves his point that whites reject blacks. If Obama did win the election, Wright's entire view of the world would be destroyed. Obama is a grave threat to Rev. Wright, he must be destroyed.

    March 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. cc, Chicago

    Sorry Bill, but it's simply true. You played the race card. I simply cannot find any rational way to interpret your comments, unless they were taken wildly out of context by the media. And frankly, if that were the case, you'd be making that case.

    March 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Wayne

    Bill and Hillary used the race card only because it benefits them to do so. Obama's loud mouth pastor has put him in the hot seat which is odd. People are acting as if Obama has said those things. This thing wont be a story a week from now.

    March 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Sara

    Slick Willy, my foot. At his age, he's probably more like limp Willy. His photos make him look like an old coot who can't keep his zipper up because he forgets to close it.
    Past his prime, in denial, and we really don't need him(or his wife) in high office any more.

    March 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. mrsqohelet

    The Clinton$ (pl) shouldn't play the race card. Why? Because it's not an issue.

    I am a 35 yr old WHITE working mother of two kids who will vote for BARACK OBAMA because I've got more in common with him than with Hillary.

    RACE isn't the issue for me. It's about MONEY and INTEGRITY. The Clinton$ might have some of one but they've got way too much of the other.

    Rich soccer moms might carry the primary, but I hope not. Obama represents people like me more than she does, and I haven't seen anyone like me run for office in my entire life.
    - The Clinton's got my first presidential vote back when I was in college, but Barack's going to get my next one.

    March 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. D N DC

    LIAR AND LIAR and LIAR..... I will vote for John McCain b4 Hilliary!!! Black people have survive slavery WE can survive another 4 years of the Replican Party. I will never VOTE 4 a Clinton again for what they have done 2 Sen. Obama a7 the Democratic Party...... LIARS!

    March 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. prakash chand for HILLARY

    Clintons never play race card.

    Obama is black ,so if any one calls him black whats wrong with it?

    why he gets so angry? he aint white.

    March 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Kathy, Andover

    Is this kinda like it depends on what the definition of is is, Bill? You can be so lame.

    March 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. Wow

    Having read the posts here, I just realized that Obama's supporters are complete idiots. My only hope is that if Obama is somehow able to weather the storm surrounding the racist comments of his pastor, and ends up winning the presidency, that he is a lot smarter than his supporters, because otherwise America is in for some even darker times than we are facing right now.

    March 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. b. jones tulsa,ok.

    i guess you can beat a dead horse..............

    March 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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