March 27th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
14 years ago

Bill Clinton: 'Let's just saddle up and have an argument'


Bill Clinton said Wednesday his family doesn't like to quit. (AP Photo)

(CNN) - Bill Clinton took aim at critics of his wife Hillary Clinton Wednesday, adding that “if a politician doesn't wanna get beat up, he shouldn't run for office.”

"If a politician doesn't wanna get beat up, he shouldn't run for office,” the former president said in Parkersburg, West Virginia. “If a football player doesn't want to get tackled or want the risk of an occasional clip he shouldn't put the pads on."

“Clipping” is an illegal football maneuver where an offensive player blocks a defensive player from behind, or below the waist.

Clinton added that the recent rough tone of the campaign didn’t trouble him. "I don't give a riff about all this name-calling that's going on. They've been going on ever since Iowa. I've heard them say all these things about her,” he said. “Apparently it's okay to say bad things about a girl."

He added that the advisers on both campaigns who’d been forced to resign because of controversial comments should have stayed put.

"I don't think any of these people oughta be asked to resign. All these guys that say bad things about any other campaign, they say, 'Should they resign?' My answer is no; they're repeating party line. They oughta stay right where they are,” he said. “Let's just saddle up and have an argument. What's the matter with that? That's what America's about, right?"

"All this moaning and groaning - none of these politicians are gonna have anything like the tough time half the people in this audience have already had for the last seven years. This is about you. Don't you let anybody take this election away from you."

West Virginia votes May 13. Clinton complained today that the “glitterati” wanted to end the campaign before the state’s voters had a chance to weigh in because his wife had momentum. "In spite of the best efforts of a lot of the elites in the media and other places it looks like we are gonna have an opportunity for everybody to vote in this primary, and I think your vote should be counted, don't you?

“I know Hillary's gaining on them when they say, 'Oh, let's shut this down now; we don't want to be divided. Let's just disenfranchise several of the million people who could vote.

Wouldn't you like to vote and have your votes counted? Wouldn't you like to have a voice in this election? Don't you think that your vote should count as much as the people who voted in Iowa first? Yeah, well so does Hillary."

Related: Watch Bill Clinton discuss why Hillary won't quit

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (410 Responses)
  1. Clinton Supporter?

    Wow, not sure if he's changed, or I've grown up, but Bill just isn't the same. America is about arguing, a good fight, scorched earth poitics? – maybe this is what its all about – Cal it weak, call it soft, call it whatever you need to, but many of us are so ready to have a respectful political climate. I want my government to grow up and have intelligent debates about the best policies, not waste my taxpayer money on silly political arguments and fights.

    March 26, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. Kathy Ritch

    Bill is totally right. If you can't stand the heat in this pretty tame Democrat primary season, how will you hold up to Karl Rove (who's now working for McCain) in the general election - not to mention the Islamic terrorists, Putin and the Chinese if you get to be President. I'd much rather have someone who can roll with the punches and give as good as she gets. Go Hillary.

    March 26, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Mark

    Bill loves the negative campaigning...I can't think of a better reason to vote for Obama than the tired old politics of the Clinton family...after Hillary most recent lie about Bosnia, expect her to lose a lot of approval in national polls...

    March 26, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. ELC

    The current leader of the democratic party is already HRC, she is the one who stands for what democracy is about and isn't afraid to stand up for the voters. It's shameful that the democratic "party leaders" are not as clear and committed to the democratic process.

    March 26, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Lilian

    Good for you Bill, you are the best , hillary has brains and is courageous in front of all these nasty men. She is a fighter and her persistance will pay off. Obama should be so lucky

    March 26, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Val, Pennsylvania

    Why are Clinton supporters such angry people??
    All they do is spew venom and hate.
    It's so stupid and ugly.

    March 26, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Ron B, surprise AZ

    Bill Clinton is right its time Jack and the rest of the leftist regime side at CNN pay attention. The far left side of the Democratic Party is tying to put another McGovern / Carter type looser into office. The end results will be that the US will be held hostage again for 444 days while all Obama will do is talk about it.

    Look where the world is today by emboldening the terrorist and not taking care of there threats back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. If Obama is the democratic nominee then I am switching over to the Republican Party like so many people did years ago....

    March 26, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Maxine

    I am neither a Obama or Hillary or McCain supporter. What I am is an American that is tired of the crap.

    It is funny how Bill uses the illegal terms in football to describe the election. I also wonder if she was the one leading if she would be as hard hitting on all the votes counting. Considering she has already told over have the country their votes don't count.

    I am from a state that has already voted and voted for her. But after she lost our state she through us out with the bath water. I felt very used by this. I drove 45 minutes to vote; and later heard "those states don't really count". Thank you Mr and Mrs Clinton for that.

    March 26, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. santy

    Finger Pointers scare me.Isn't that what Bill said to Hillary when she found out about Monica?

    March 26, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. alex from Seattle

    Nice work for a former President. Too bad Hillary can't speak as genuine or as well as her husband. Oh, and you can bet that Bill wouldn't be talking like that if Hillary was ahead. I say let the thing drag on til Puerto Rico, that way we as democrats can support our candidate whole heartedly. BTW I think that Hillary needs to re-qualify her "life-time" of experience in light of her sniper dreams. And Barack needs to play Rev. Wrights sermons in full on his website if he intends to be transparent.

    Obama 08'

    Ps. I dare you to watch one sermon in its entirety before you jusdge Rev. Wright.

    March 26, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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