March 27th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
12 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. Matt Canoga Park

    Ohh Bill just shut up. How can you in one breath say “if a politician doesn't wanna get beat up, he shouldn't run for office.” and then say they are picking on your wife because she is a girl. Play the gender card a little more. If you gave one iota of your wifes feelings you would not have cheated on her so much over the years.

    "Don't you let anybody take this election away from you." Did you not hear your wife the past few days say it is OK to have pledged delegates change their vote from the will of the people. Do you two idiots even communicate? You will say and do anything to get back in power. Gues what? America does not want you liars anywhere near the Oval office.

    March 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. McCain Clinton 08

    Who in the Obama campaign said that it should be over?

    March 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. Sue

    How appropriate that Bill used the word CLIPPING, wich is a PENALTY and is considered DIRTY in football. Hillary leads the league in yellow flags!!

    We dont want a dirty player Bill!

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. Dept. of Irony

    Bill Clinton was convicted of Perjury! He has no credibility in this country! Why do people want him back in the White House?

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. D

    I've never heard an Obama supporter say anything nasty about Chelsea. She's an admirable young woman who has handled herself with grace and intelligence since she's been in the public eye. one thing about those clintons, they raised a good daughter.

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. BJ

    BILL clinton doesnt even know whom to support between his wife and mccain,maybe hillary should be mccain running mate ,how do bill say mccain or hillary will make good president,he should have said his wife instead of telling us about mccain republican.ok who is aracist now?sorry clintons it is too late to wake up ,obama is all away ahead with 171 votes,even if they win all states remaining they cant catch up which is impossible coz obama has four states to win for sure.
    bill is desperate to go back to white house,rules are rules even if you were the pres ,DNC rules has to be followed.
    sorry bill its too late ,you seem too desperate to go back to white house i wish i had powers to rigg you in.

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. David

    Seriously: everyone needs to vote? Bill Clinton wants to go back to the White House no matter what. Even if Hilary wins all- I mean ALL- 10 last states, she will not have be in front, so what's the point: she cannot win, live with that, Hilary is not your friend who is going to take of all your problems, she is a person running for office, don't be crazy about her.

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. The Rookie

    As an Obama supporter, i agree let all votes count, BUT once we find out that Hillary still hasnt won, you CLINTON supporters should support Obama, just as i would if she wins! So much anger within our party. Nuts!!! Oh by the way, you people who call Obama a racist under your breath, well what does that say about you!!!

    It must feel good to be a Republican right now, they are loving this!

    WAKE THE FRICK UP PEOPLE! The slander, the accusations all of it is nonsense cuz in the end we must move forward as a Nation or we can continue to be divided and if you think Clinton can bring Republicans to our table, THEN GREAT! Keep it real folks!

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. John

    Real impressive coming from a man who, with big puppy dog eyes, lied to the nation about Monica. And Hillary going on and on about her dodging sniper fire back in Nam (Oh, I mean Bosnia)! Come on... hey, wait a minute, getting down and dirty is fun. Bill's right.

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Terry

    Come on and get real. This thing is over. Yes this has been a competitive race. There have been some slams on both sides, but it is not even close. She is behind and even her super delegate lead will be eclipsed soon. Funny how the measuring stick keeps getting moved. There is no more room on the field to move the goal post to. Yes the daily polls say she is ahead, but the daily public opinion polls change like the wind. In fact, those same polls say she is not trustworthy. Let just be real, a 171 or so delegate lead is insurmountable. Even if she win all the remaining states (which will not happen) she still cannot catch him. Finally, there will not be a whole scale exodus of super delegates. Nancy Pelosi knows, what the Clinton campaign refuses to admit, the hand writing is on the wall. This will not go past NC. After NC, the delegate lead nor the popular vote will have changed. Expect Senator Clintons concession speech shortly there after. As far as supporters on both sides threatening to jump ship, turn the light off when you leave. You obviously have not been paying attention to the record turn outs and the record turn out for voter registrations. Just as Southwest Airline says, you are now free to move about the country.

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Timothy B. Robinson


    FINALLY, someone is calling out Pelosi about her obvious lack of understanding of how the rules work in the Democratic Party.

    FINALLY, someone is calling out the "glitterati" that are ordaning Obama as president, as well as his rabid supporters.

    FINALLY, someone mentions the fact that neither Geraldine Ferraro or Samantha Power should've resigned. Lighten up, folks. Comments like that between two white men wouldn't be given a second glance, whether they were running for president or not.

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. Its True

    “Let's just saddle up and have an argument. What's the matter with that? That's what America's about, right?"

    Good Ole "McCarthy" Clinton rings true, say and do anything to win.

    Lie, Cheat, Spin, Kill...its the Clinton Way for America!

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. JD

    "You tell 'em Bill. I'm with Hillary all the way. At least she has her own brain… Ted and John will not only try, but will have to help newby Obama out. Obama will be too focused on Africa and affirmative action."

    We see the racist sentiments of Hillary supporters.

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. JT in Dallas

    Bill Rocks! I would rather have a mover and shocker then a "almost proud American” as second person to the President any day! Can you see Michele, Wright and a few black panthers sitting around the Oval office advising the President? Yeah right!

    Bill is right. Kindergartener's like Barak don't have any business in a rough and tumble arena like Politics. No holding hands, hoping and wishing! This is an adult game not for a guy who still has diapers on!

    March 26, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. Tangerine

    Yes, all votes should count, but who is responsible for moving up the FL and MI primaries? When were these primaries scheduled? I wonder why now it matters that their votes don't count. Shouldn't this uproar been held back when they were told they were disenfranchised? Anyone from FL or MI? Were there any public service announcements that your vote wouldn't count? Was this a secret kept from you? It just seems so strange to me that after the fact, this is an issue. This should have been dealt with immediately. Sadly, the rules were broken... And, if there is only one thing that should be held true in politics, preordained rules should remain in effect, otherwise (hahaha) the citizens will not be able to trust the government.

    March 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. mary

    Desperate, desperate.... Mr Clinton told your wife to step down before the trial you and her will be in april 25 2008. The biggest fraud... you ever done or did. Can you take this as a tackled? hope yes . if it's good for the others must be good for both of you...

    March 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. Vote2008Yes

    Well said Mr. President! Hillary 08 is my choice for President of the United States. A candidate that will get the job done...

    March 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  18. James McBride

    What's this with calling Hillary a "gir" lately?

    I believe it should be woman.

    March 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. M Allen

    I agree we should let this thing playout, however it appears the CLINTONS are desparate still :).

    OBAMA '08

    March 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Kareem

    you clinton supporters are funny. first as for florida and michigan they, not the dnc broke the rules set before the primaries. they knew the consequences of their actions and still moved their primaries up.

    second, hillary and bill are liars. it has been proven for years. she will be a terrible president, she doesn't have the experience she is claiming to have.

    March 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Garth

    Way to go Bill!

    Now you can start beating up on the media! Have you ever heard of the expression, "DON'T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU"?


    March 26, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. Sunny

    Everybody is talking about "Rule".

    What is the rule, then?

    "Super delegate can not make a decision on the way of the game" is a rule.

    2024 is a rule;

    The "Super delegate" itself is a rule.

    Why Super delegates must get the same result as pledged delegates do?

    It is not a part of the rule. Even it is said by Nancy Pelosi.

    Anybody must make clear his or her position if he or she does not really keep neutral.

    Nancy Pelosi, with her position, she should take her responsibility once she makes her decision. She can not say I am netural but at the same time does any hint. I understand that is kind of unwillingness to take her responsibility of the result of the lose of the Party.

    She must admit she support Obama and take the responsibility of possible losing in the end, or , She should Shut up!!!!

    March 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. Clark

    The Clintons...they had their time, I want change.

    It's nigh impossible for the Clintons to win the popular vote, the delegate count. It should be over, but the Clintons, true to form, are staying in it no matter what it costs the Democratic party (the Clinton's historically have been in it for themselves, not for the Democratic party). Obama's helping out of local elections (Foster, e.g.) is a welcome change.

    In regards to Bill Clinton's "Let's have an argument" speech, should the political discourse stay in the gutter? Do we as voters want to hear candidates call each other names? Or do we want to hear about candidate's positions?

    You get the leaders you deserve, and reading some of these comments, some of you people don't deserve democracy.

    March 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. mike

    Bill Clinton knows all about clipping!

    March 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Winton

    Bill moaning and groaning about all the "moaning and groaning."
    Enough already! He also forgot to add "or she" when he said "if a politician don't want to get beat up, he shouldn't run for office." Or does that mean he considers Hillary his clone?

    March 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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