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. Sioux City Gary

    You know, I've been an Obama supporter since John Edwards dropped out of the race, but I think B. Clinton is right. Politics can be a nasty business and it's going to get nastier in the general election. Supporters on both sides need to quit their whining about every little slight. B's right again about those advisors who have resigned - both should have stayed put. Do you think the party of Karl Rove is going to care if the Dems make a fuss about a little name-calling?

    At the same time, H. Clinton needs to quit whining about the Michigan and Florida non-primaries. Look. They're all adults who make the election decisions in those two states. They knew the consequences, and so did the candidates, for moving up their primaries. The two states made their choices . . . now live with it.

    March 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. LA-Ann Arbor

    Well done, Mr. President. Let's stop tip-toeing around each other and get to the issues, how to improve our country and our relationships around the world.

    It is hard to wait but the process is an important one. I want the voters to have their say.

    March 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Larry from LA

    Bill Clinton there you go again putting you foot in your mouth. Now you are saying the media should not pick on Hillary because she is a girl. They pick on her because she keeps saying different things all the time. Bill you have taught her well and must have transplanted your huge ego into Hillary. To think I voted for you in 92 & 96.

    March 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Jeanine G

    I don't get Bill's sport's analogy. Does he want a tough match, or does her want people to go easy on "a girl"?

    Yeah.....Bill believes the Michigan and Florida voters should count....but only "AS IS".

    Oh...BTW....Wonder if Bill feels BLATANT LYING is fair game in this football match? He seems to. "Girl" or no girl, a lie is a lie.

    Hillary "Misspoke". She says had 80 some engagements that year as first lady and just miss-remembered which of them was UNDER SNIPER FIRE with her running for her life, head down, across a battle torn country's tarmac for vehicle cover! Come on Hill...look back thru your diary and see if you can find ANYTIME that that EVER occured.

    Come on.

    March 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Ohiobo, J (From Canada)

    That is why Hillary will be the nominee of her party if they want to win in November.

    March 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. dAnnE

    Dear CHICANO ART from ARIZONA, just as long as it takes a Clinton blogger/supporter to mention someone that has nothing to do with the article. Can we grow up, please? Stick to the issues.

    March 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Roger

    Amen Bubba. You are the MAN. Keep up the good work Bill. I will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee. Hillary 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. Mike

    The party started united behind Hillary in the beginning but Obama divided it and somehow his people claim Hillary is dividing it.

    Obama's people say Hillary cant mathematically win because the delegates are too short. Well they are short for Obama too.

    It is a tight race and let it be that. It is happened before but in the end we will have a nominee and it is done.

    March 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. James

    HILLARY & BILL are in it, to win it!!!!

    Let's discuss the issue & fight! Enough of the racism & lies! Fight to the end & show the people who has the most experience, the ability to lead the nation & the wisdom to solve the mess that we are in right now!

    March 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Obama Supporter

    ALL of you are idiots. Get a grip AND a clue. Hillary is done because:

    1. Her idiot cheating husband.
    2. Her mismanagement of HER campaign.
    3. Her misguided thinking that she is entitled to be President.
    4. Only she can see the snipers.
    5. No one but you clowns on here like her.

    March 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Phoenix

    Bill is right. We want a tough president with the stamina for the continual grind. We want a resilient president who can think fast on (pronoun) feet when there is a crisis. We want an imaginative president because the old ideas aren't working. We want a president who will consider everyone. Personally I consider this long primary a good idea, as many new aspects about voting and media and presidents come out and are considered. Some of the aspects need to be put off for another day while we consider clearly who could be that president who is tough enough to stand up to the crazy dictators of the world and glib enough to get Congress off the dime. I vote for the chunk of raw meat method if we can't get the two of them to put on an old-fashioned joust, with the battle to the death with swords after each has managed to kill the other's horse. Just so it's all over soon.

    March 26, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Roderick

    Bill...Please....Ya wanna have an argument? Ok, Here's one, Why can't your wife tell the truth?

    March 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. ben

    Former Obama Supporter March 26th, 2008 5:26 pm ET said"

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

    Obama supporters playing the race card? Please. Obama has consistantly tried to avoid race. Race was brought into this campaign by Bill's comments in South Carolina. At every turn Obama has tried to stop race from being an issue. After the whole Wright "controversy," Hillary supporters are accusing Barack of hating white people (ignoring the fact that he is, in fact, half white). The only one's playing the race card now are Hillary and McCain supporters.

    March 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. typical,,,white,,,granny

    you go boy
    i love you
    you are so cute,,handsome and intelligent ,,,
    you were a good president and you are a good human being ,,and humen are not perfect ,,only god is made a mistake and you were forgiven by american people and hillary ,.and you are doing ur part of commitment by compaigning for hillary ,THANK YOU ,,,

    love you

    go hilary 2008////

    March 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. MJB

    CNN, you truly must be scared of the Clintons if you refuse to run FACTS about a Presidential Impeachment, but will run all of the racist vitriol on here about Obama and his pastor.

    March 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. Gayle

    And while we're at it – the voters in Michigan and Florida weren't the ones who chose the early primary dates – but are being penalized for them. Rules or no rules – the Democratic party owes them the opportunity to have their votes count as well!
    And, we surely need the next Clinton in the White House to clean up the awful mess GWB and his pals have made of things. Go Hillary!

    March 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  17. Louise

    Whatever Bill. Momentum my you know what. The only reason you want this to keep going is because Hillary is behind, period. If she had won 11 contests in a row, had the lead in delegates, popular vote and states won, you would have played the role of party elder and leaned on Obama to sit down and wait his turn, since there was no way he could win. Well, guess who else isn't a quitter - our current president, and look how well his resolve to fight until the last dog is dead - or should I say 4,000 soldiers and who know how many Iraqis are dead - has done this country.

    I was proud to vote for Clinton in 1996, but a lot changes in 12 years.

    Washington, D.C.

    March 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. Tim

    So sad all of your Clinton flag wavers. You are so blind to the truth. You view reality through the same lens that Hillary viewed her Bosnia trip through.

    March 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. Hispanic Voters - CA

    Funny how the Clinton's want the voters to decide and let their votes count, only to press superdelegates to overturn the voice of that very people? People, THINK. Something isn't making sense...LET US THE PEOPLE DECIDE. Not superdelegates, they SHOULDN'T overturn the voice of the majority. Isn't that democracy??

    March 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. Joyce

    To Former Obama Supporter, Hillary Clinton just delt a new card this morning with her rehashing the wright mess.Why did she wait two weeks to give a answer when she was asked about her 'views' on wright?Why just a few weeks back ,Bill was implying that Obama would be her VP nomination'the so called 'Dream Team"?Why now that Obama IS fighting back with reasoning and logical questions are the Clintons ready to basicly 'kill' Obamas career? Simple that's what the Clintons do best when the truth hits them right between their corrupted eyes ,they get nasty,and very irate and mean tempered ......and start distracting voters from their major LIES,such as NAFTA and BOSNIA .....

    March 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. An American in Europe

    I disagree with such dirty Clinton politics. But let's say he is right. In this case his daughter (who is 28 and a very well paid consultant) should also be able to answer questions about their family life.

    This goes to Hillary's character: you blame Obama for sitting in a church when his pastor said this or that. But Hillary has stayed in a relationship for so many years, while her husband was having numerous affairs. If she should not manage her own family while in the White House, how is she going to manage a whole country?

    March 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Paul

    Dear Bill, your good leadership still remains in our hearts. As we look back we know that the Clintons were able to improve our economy, Today, we need them to restore America. We count on you, you can count on us.

    Things must go to the Convention and it must include the delegates from both FLA and Michigan that so far have been disenfranchised both by the DNC and the Obama Campaign.

    Hillary is the best option and every delegate is free to support the most viable and capable candidate. Thus, Hillary should be the party's nominee.


    March 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. gairy

    u go Bill and Hillary–Jamaica loves u all-CLINTON 08-but good luck to Obama as well–May the best person succeed-LOVE 08

    March 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. linda

    OMG, this is the most corrupt group of folks I have ever seen. It is flat out scary. The thought of this negative, dishonest, scandalous band of hoodlums running our nation AGAIN is terrifying. Wow! There supporters probably believe professional wrestling is real too! Ha!

    March 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. deezinhilsmof

    You tell them Bill... can't wait for Ms. Powers to come back and call Hillary an old bag, a monster, and a lying loser. You know ...tell the truth.

    "I don't give a riff about all this name-calling that's going on.

    March 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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