March 27th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
13 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. The truth hurts

    "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?

    so does that mean if Hillary was ahead he wouldn't want to end the race because all votes need to be counted. Well come on back Joe Biden, John Edwards, and the rest of you guys – Bill Clinton said let you decide.

    March 26, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. Dayahka

    He's right. Give people a chance to vote. At the end, however, on June 4, someone will be ahead; let that someone be the nominee.

    March 26, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Bob

    I love him. McCain wishes he could talk that straight.

    March 26, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Isaac, Wisconsin

    Keep up the good work Bill. Go Hillary Go Hillary...

    March 26, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Liz, Pittsburgh PA

    Go Bill !!!

    This is why I love the Clinton's !!!

    I have been saying this all along

    let the best/toughest man or woman win!!!

    Hillary '08

    March 26, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Democracy First

    The only people hurting the Democratic party are those who are trying to stop the process from continuing. No candidate has enough pledged delegates to win, so the process continues according to party rules. Every democrat should have a vote and those votes should be counted (including Florida and Michigan). People who are telling a candidate to drop out are circumventing the process and laying blame when there is no fault. Let's give democracy a chance. Stop trying to crown Obama when he has not won.

    March 26, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Thomas For Hillary

    Well said Bill, couldn't agree with you more. Sometimes I wonder if Hillary has more (you know what) than Obama. She is a warrior and fighter NOT A QUITTER. Go Hillary!!

    Hillary 2008!!

    March 26, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. George

    Amen brother!!! WE need a President with a backbone and who can't take the heat! That's Hillary. Everyone is treating Obama like a baby. What happens if he becomes President?

    March 26, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. True-Blue Democrat

    If this process is stopped prematurely by party insiders, then I will not vote for the Democratic "nominee" in November. The DNC has already messed-up with the way it has disenfranchised Florida and Michigan, and the party had better not make another mistake by stifling the primary and convention process. Let the voters vote and let the superdelegates choose the candidate that can win in November.

    March 26, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |

    I wonder how long it will take for Obamablogger to start saying more nasty things about Bill, his wife, and even his only daughter. The Clintons have been through this before. Just Remember"

    Bill you have my support and admiration.

    March 26, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Former Obama Supporter

    Let's see the Obama campaign and supporters play the race card again.

    March 26, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Steve

    Bill is right, all people should be heard all votes should count and if you want a fight over then lets fight over. This is America and people have the right to be heard and there voices should be heard.

    March 26, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. dod

    You hit right on the nail. Thank you Mr. President

    March 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. JimC

    Why don't we just settle this with one more debate. And let Jerry Springer host it!

    March 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Walt, Belton,TX

    Bill, do us all a favor. Shut Up!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. John

    Bill never played football did he, he dodged the draft didn't he.

    March 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Dinesh

    Thank you Bill Clinton for making the point that Clinton is "clipping" Obama sometimes. An "illegal" move. Thank you for pointing out how Hillary has decided not to listen to all those people who say, "we don't want democrats to be divided."

    Good arguments all around.

    March 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Eric-PA

    Very good speech and right on the money! I wonder if Obama will allow voters of Florida and Michigan to have a say in this election? Here's what Obama said recently:

    Obama: “There is no place for politics in this debate – no room for those who feel they can gain a partisan advantage by keeping people away from the polls.’ “There are some issues in this country that are inherently difficult and political. Making sure that every American can cast a ballot shouldn't be one of them. There is no place for politics in this debate–no room for those who feel that they can gain a partisan advantage by keeping people away from the polls.” [Obama Floor Speech on Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007, S 453, 1/31/07]

    March 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Ryan

    How can the Clintons go on and on about how they want everybody's vote to count, but then argue that the delegates we vote for dont need to vote the way of thier constituencies? This is hypocracy.

    March 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Hill Girl

    President Clinton is right. What happened to the Democrats message that all votes must count? Didn't we all anguish through that in 2000? It is ridiculous to even suggest that voters in the last states shouldn't have their say. President Clinton took so much heat in the past for saying that all this hoopla is the media. It is the media. Ratings go up when there is some new "gotcha" on a candidate. Let this play out and may the better woman win.

    March 26, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. Grif

    Wild Bill Clinton... How the West was Won..... Go William...

    The Blazing Clintons... Blaze the Trail, once again...

    March 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Andre

    Let's see, Bill Clinton tells West Virginia their votes should count: "I think your vote should be counted, don't you?" but scroll to the news stories to see the opposite where Harold Ickes and Hillary saying multiple times that pledged delegates are fee to vote for whoever they want, regardless of primary results and scroll on to the stories about Pelosi being chastised by Clinton campaign. The double speak and all out war the Clintons are waging is really getting old. Weeks agon others pointed out the Clinton hypocracy over Florida and Michigan in its positions from 2007 when they thought they did not matter because Hillary was a shoe-in to their positions now as the race has narrowed. Why doesn't this disgust more people. Why can't people see through this outrageous campaign of Hillary's to go against the public and its primaries? Aren't these the same people who were crying foul over the 2000 election?

    March 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. john

    Good for you, President Clinton. Your comments are the most sensible words we have heard about this topic. I'm sick of the "glitterati", as you so aptly described them trying to stop a process that needs to continue to evolve. Let all the voters have a say, including those in Florida and Michigan. Stop the stories, polls and speculation about the bickering. Go Hillary!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Phil G. , New York

    Y am i not surprised that Pres. Clinton is saying this stuff about having an argument and keep the fighting going when after last week he was saying he was saying that he wish we had a race of 2 candidates who loved the country (Subliminal swipe at Obama) instead of all this "other stuff." As a Clinton supporter I must say NEWS FLASH PRES. CLINTON!: YOU ARE ALL THE OTHER STUFF!! Your comments today are deplorable. Why should America listen to you, and destroy any chance we have at winning the general whether its Hillary or Barack? And to keep the surrogates who make absurd statements on the campaign, are you serious? Are you saying that the RACIST remarks of Ms. Ferraro are part of your "campaign line?" I am disgusted as your supporter. I still hold you and your wife in the highest regard, but i am ashamed to stand by such statements against members of the black community. You are a respected man on both sides of race and yet you say such things. PLEASE STOP DETERIORATING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY with your absurd comments. You used to be the President that brought people together to get things done and now look where you've gone since then. I still support but i am deeply shamed. I apologize to all OBAMA supporters who are subjected to this. Both candidates are strong candidates and would be 100 times better than BUSH. But to sink this low and rally your supporters to fight with dirty tactics(my interpretation not Clinton's)is a disgrace to the true americans who love this country. I think i have to look at what i am affiliated with and decide if i should support Obama. This is a day of disappointment for me, the man i once loved as president has done the unthinkable all just to win.

    March 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Erika from Atlanta

    The Clintons are bound and determined to TOTALLY destroy the Democratic party!! This might be o.k. if he were talking about the opposing party but Bill Clinton is talking about a fellow democrat!! I can not believe how low they are willing to go to get this nomination. Will no one stop them before it is too late?

    March 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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