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. Tired voter

    By now, both Hillary and Obama have had bad times.

    What did Obama do when he had a bad time: handled the problem head-to-head in a cool, intelligent manner, without demeaning anybody.

    What did Hillary do when she had a bad time: had constant panic attacks, got dirty as of no end, threw the kitchen sink at her opponent, attempted to threw away democracy (haven't succeeded on yet though, but she is on her way)!

    Now, you tell me who is more electable, who is tougher, who as the president would be better able to handle our crisis?

    March 26, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. matt in austin

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

    Just like Bill just played the gender card? HRC supports are blind.

    The Clinton's are just plain unethical, even for politicians.

    His "clipping" remark shows they just want to and try to play dirty.

    March 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Larry Buchas

    How's this for name calling:

    Hillary is a disgrace for exaggerating running under sniper fire on her visit to Bosnia. That's disgraceful and insulting to every troop that had to face real sniper fire.

    She was caught with the evidence and everyone should be outraged!

    March 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. Mike wilson

    I love you Bill, but this stupid name-calling shouldn't be what this primary is all about, and that's what it's become, and I see the majority of it on the side of Hillary's campaign. It should be about issues. We as the electorate should not tolerate "a little clipping" as "part of the game". It's unacceptable in football, and it should be unacceptable in politics.

    Let's all step back from the emotional distractions and focus on the issues the candidates face and make our best judgement call.

    March 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  5. Yan

    I am from China and a new US citizen and I am used to hear how Americans ridicule the Chinese political system for fixing the vote for the power seats. You know what, the so called peace-keeping Democrats are doing the same thing – If Hillary should quit for the party unity, then what's wrong with Chinese fixing the party leader for the Communist party unity??

    Let the true democracy play out! Obama, if you want to be the nominee, fight as hell by the rules and earn it!

    March 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. Linda of Atlanta

    Bill Clinton is messing up what would have been a great legacy as President of the United States. He is increasingly demonstrating behavior that is not becoming of a statesman. I am very disappointed.

    March 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. Steve

    To all of the above,

    According to Hillary, there is no need to continue, just seat the delegates and they are free to vote for whomever they want. According to "Billary" there are no such things as "pledged delegates". Why go through all the expense and time of continuing the primaries, just seat the delegates and let them vote. I wonder who is disenfrachising the voters, with her comment about pledeged delegates being free to vote for whom they want.

    March 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. Laurie

    “Apparently it's okay to say bad things about a girl."

    Did he really say that? Wow. So now HE'S playing the gender card.

    March 26, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. ANN

    Everybody's vote must count, including Florida and Michigan. Like it or not Obama if you want a legitimate candidacy support the people from Florida and Michigan and agree to a vote. If not and if you become a candidate Obama your candidacy will be illegitimate. just like Bush stole the election in 2000 Obama would steal the candidacy in 2008 by supressing voters.

    Obama did not win a single major state !! Obama can not win a general election!!! McCain would beat him by a landslide !

    Bravo Bill we support you and Hillary!!!

    March 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. Dave

    Interesting how Bill is saying that voters should not be disenfranchised. Yet Hillary is saying that pledged delegates can vote however they please in the convention. Sounds like a little bit of double talk to me.

    March 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  11. karen charlottesville, va

    I really wish that some of you who are talking about Obama and "the race card" or Obama and "affirmative action" would do a little research about Hillary and Calvin O Butts. Find out how much of your money she got for him after his 2005 UN speech. If only you knew what your girl has really been up to....

    March 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. WH

    I think Bill Clinton now gets to say exactly what is on his mind and is loving every minute of it.

    Bill, the true person of change...........then and now.

    March 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Terry from VA

    Bill says his wif has momentum. Did she or did she not lose the last two contest. Did she or did she not lose the last 14 out of 17 contest. Is it me or they embellishing the truth again.

    March 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. Brandon

    Let's sling as much dirt as possible at one another, while separating the party, and then say you whole heartedley support that candidate for president if you lose.

    Yeah Bill that makes sense, kind of like Obama's not fit for prez, but he would make a hell of a VP (rolling eyes).

    March 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. Independent Observer

    Sure Bill no regards for the party, this is the selfishness the Clintons have become known for. Well Bill even if you manage to steal the nomination with super delegates, Hillary will be humiliated come November. How are you going to win any of the big states you talk about when a solid portion of the democratic party (African Americans) is voting 90% against your lieing wife?

    Think about it, there will be enough of them in November to neutralize your blue collar and white women votes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Florida, plus she will win no Southern state. If you had any credibility you will pack up and go home now, it just won't happen for Hillary not in 2008, not in 2012, NEVER. No more Clintons for the foreseable future and you can play any card you wish ti will be in vain.

    March 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. John

    This election has just proved to me an ex-pat Brit what a bunch of ignorant racist pigs Americans are. Black and White.

    March 26, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. kessey


    March 26, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. Bob

    Has been wannabe president for another 8 years so you can commit adultry in the oval office AGAIN. You disgraced us once we dont need 4 more minutes of you. How desperate can two people get to cheat, steal and lie their way to high office. How disgusting will you get!

    March 26, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. derrick

    Just imagine the president of the united states of AMERICA....sleeps with your daughter, sister, aunty or mom while he is married and in office.

    Now imagine your daugther, sister, aunty or mom been called a lier by the same president after he had been exposed by either of them, that he slept with them....that they are only witch hunting him....that they have issues in their lives and he is just a scapegoat...and he is far mush better than them to even sleep with them.

    Now go tell your daugther, sister, aunty or mom that this man is fit to go back and live in the white house....i trully feel sorry for the women cleaners/janitors in the white house....or your safety go get another job all ladies in teh white house.

    Simple fact is you only sleep outside with another woman if you have no interest in your wife.

    March 26, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. Juan from L.A.

    ohhh God here he comes again!!!

    March 26, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  21. VM

    Wait – wasn't it Hillary's campaign that asked for someone to be fired for calling her a monster. Where were her football pads then?

    March 26, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. charlotte

    I agree, and one thing we know Hillary is not a quitter. McCain is the one we have to beat in November. Let all the states vote before we give it to McCain. Hillary is our best debater and we are going to need the best. Pretty speeches won't cut it in November. How important are the republican votes now? They won't even bother unless there is something else on the ballot and even then the turn out is low. There are about 800 superdelegates to be heard from and they need to know who can win in November not just the primary. They need all the states to be heard from and they need to take Florida and Michigan into account, even though they don't have state delegates, they have millions of votes to be weighed, even though Obama wants them to remain uncounted

    March 26, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. TexasVet

    Former Obama Supporter will you and everyone else please let me know what this race card is and where I can get one? I'm African American and I must've been absent the day they were issued. There is NO freaking card and frankly I find the term offensive and dismissive. Secondly, I agree with "Slick Willy" let the battles continue. I just hope the Democratic party can survive all the ugliness.

    Current Obama Supporter!

    March 26, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Les

    So then is it right to say that someone should expect their opponent to cheat in order to win? That is after all what clipping is in the game of football. It sounds like he is admitting to playing dirty to me. Bring it on, Obama has never back down from this "fight." He has always taken the high road, for both himself, and his party. Lets see the Clinton put the party back 20 years by continuing to insist that they should stay in the race. I like it, I hope Hillary is ostracized over what she is doing to the democratic party.

    March 26, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. christie,tx

    Did you notice that her NEVER said at the end of the primaries whomever is behind then should back down and let the winner( who the people decided with their votes) take the prize. NO you didnt hear him say that because they are determined to get the nomination anyway they can. Even if they have to get it through the superdelgates or as Hillary said just yesterday.................that the pleged delegates don/t have to vote the will of the people. Geeze.........

    March 26, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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