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. Greg

    Didn't Hillary lose the last 2 primaries?

    Isn't Hillary being forced to explain why she blatantly lied to the people of America re: her alleged foreign policy experience?

    Doesn't Obama have an insurmountable lead in pledged delegates?

    Hasn't Hillary's lead among Superdelegates slimmed considerably in recent weeks?

    Aren't many in the media and within the leadership of the Democratic party suggesting that it is time for Hillary to step down and allow the party to unite around Obama?

    If that is "momentum" I think I must have misunderstood the meaning of the term.

    March 26, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. Sue

    Hey Bill, since when is Hillary a girl??? She sure can't take any clips without whining that she is being picked on!. What is it – the' Right Wing Consiparcy" coming after her now? She just reaps what she sows!

    March 26, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Pat Dallas

    No matter what happens in the primary, let's make sure Democrats take over the white house

    March 26, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. DJ

    One good lie deserves another, huh Billy-Boy?

    March 26, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. RR

    I support the Clinton's....But he DID get impeached and had a bunch of scandals! This is FACT not fiction....

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

    This forum is a congregation of Hillary lovers. I guessyou guys were with her as she was dodging sniper bullets and doing tactical landing in Bosnia!!!

    March 26, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Todd

    Yes Go Hillary Go...Go far away and take Bill with you, so we don't have to deal with either of your compulsive lying again.

    March 26, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Amy in Iowa

    Then this politics thing should also apply to Chelsea Clinton. She has jumped out there in politics with her Mom and at first she refused to answer questions.

    Then later she is insulted about the Monica Lewinsky question. If this 28 year old adult Chelsea, who is their daughter but no longer a "child", wants to jump into the political fray then she will have to answer these criticisms too.

    March 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. NV for Obama

    Poor Hillary, hiding behind the pantleg of hubby and former pres (wants to be co-pres) Bill. “Apparently it's okay to say bad things about a girl."? HELLO? Bill? Contradicting your point about "we came to play"...if she's in this race, folks are going to say things, just like if Ms. Chelsea is campaiging for Mommy and Daddy, then she should be prepared to maturely answer any question fielded by her AND she should talk to the press...what is she 28? Again, same rules for everyone, honey.
    The Clintons are pathetic and all of this grandstanding serves to further help them in their stonewalling where Billary's tax returns are concerned...Peter Paul ring a bell, Bill?

    March 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Dee

    Nice try bill. After all the bs that hillary has piled on everyone with her great experience in foreign policy. Wow that sure was some deal with the bullets flying all around her so she had to duck huh? Actually that was just the bs she was spreading flying back at her. Liars don't get elected by good democrats.

    March 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Cab

    Translates too: We play dirty, if you don't like it don't play. Screw the rules, anything to win.

    That is called old-politics, thats why I'm voting for change.

    He should shut-up while he still has a shred of dignity.

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

    Well, said Bill. What's wrong with a little competition..
    The media have been cutting down Hillary and Bill since day one of this campaign. Just report the news and facts and stop acting like every sentence out of their mouth is some kind of fodder for a feeding frenzy of criticism all the time. And hoorah for Chelsea for telling her questioner that how she feels about Lewinsky is none of his business.

    March 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. Still and Obama supporter

    For All you Clinton lovers, just hang in there and when she fall down just pick her up send her home to Bill.

    Obama will stick to what matter to the American people, Jobs, Gas, The Economy, The National Debt, Healthcare, Education, The Cost of College.

    Oops not Sniper Fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. confused

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

    This comment of his seems misplaced to me. He's talking about how politicians should be prepared for the mudslinging, but this comment makes it seem like they should feel shame for picking on a 'girl.'

    Like he has respect for women... er, girls...

    March 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. JT

    This is rich! Is it worse to talk bad about a girl or sleep around behind her back?

    I'm glad the the Clinton campaign is getting its money's worth out of their flaks. Could this outpouring of atta-boys for Bill be any more transparent?

    And as for the shock to his conscience about it now being OK to talk smack about "a girl," his own statement about strapping on the pads answers the question. And while I'm on the subject, Chelsea shouldn't be out of bounds either. She's got her own set of pads on now, too.

    March 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. matt

    He is straight up THE MAN .

    March 26, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  17. Fair in MD

    Let them vote!!! Even though there's a slim margin that Hillary will catch up, let them vote...same thing Mike Huckabee said even though he didn't have a chance on earth to catch up. OK, let them vote for Hillary Huckabee!!!!

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

    Howard Dean as an elected official should find a way for a new vote for Florida and Michigan if the democratic party expects us democrats to vote democratic in the General elections.

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

    I love the comment that Bill made saying they were just trying to say things about a girl. Hillary trying to be the fighter and the victim at the same time. Can't have it both ways though it apparently works with some people. All the people calling for a fight on this blog will find out that they are dinosaurs.

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

    Just when you think Bill Clinton cannot stoop any lower, he does! Your wife has lost, man! What are you arguing about? Go home! Have some tea! Have some of your wife! That would likely erase some of those years of bitterness! Have you no shame? No self-respect? No regard for the Democratic party? You're only in this to hurt the nominee and help the Republicans! Shame on you! Shame on Hillary! Shame on Carville and the other cheerleaders who keep propping Hillary's candidacy up from the grave! Let it die with dignity, man!

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

    I am sure if the states that had caucusus had prmaries Hillary would have won them and been way ahead in the deligate count.

    Even if the DNC does not count Florida and Michigan when the race is over the super deligates will have to take into account all the states Hillary won and that she win did Florida and Michigan buy a wide margin even if it was unofficial. Obama was on the ticket in Florida and in Michigan his supporters voted uncommited

    March 26, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. elle7 in North Carolina

    Wow. It amazes me how stupid you Clinton supporters can be sometimes. I find it hilarious that people are really saying that everyone's vote matters. If Hillary was in the lead at this point and it seemed mathematically impossible for Barack to win, would you still be saying that everyon's vote matters? I highly doubt it. Also, I can't believe there are some on this blog that actually think Bill Clinton qualifies as a straight talker and Hillary as someone who can take getting "beat up". Are you serious? And more importantly, is Bill serious? The Clintons have yet to give it to the American people straight (ie Bill and the Lewinksky scandal and more importantly, Hillary lying about Bosnia). And after getting caught in her lie, Hillary proved that she CANNOT take the heat- she ended up bringing up the Rev. Wright issue, which only a week ago she stated she would not comment on it because it was a private issue. Whatever works right? The Clintons will do anything to get back in the White House. They think their entitled to it.

    March 26, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. KC in Ohio

    I'm an Obama supporter and proud of it, but on this I gotta say I agree with Bill. I remember hearing a joke that Politics is like a two-handed card game where spitballs are trump. So listen to big Bill. If you can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen. Oh yea, Bill, be sure to remind Hillary of that the next time she moans or groans about some low flying curve ball thrown her way.

    March 26, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. Alexander

    So let me get this straight: Hillary cares about your vote, but the pledged delegates that result from those votes are up for grabs. Right. Hillary cares about your voice and your not being disenfranchised, provided that your vote is for her.

    And then to whomever mentioned Obama playing the race card, how is "Apparently it's okay to say bad things about a girl" NOT playing the gender card? So she's allowed to say things about Obama, but we have to treat her with kid gloves because of her sex? Give me a break.

    The myopia needs to end. People need to start connecting the dots and actually holding a critical eye to the candidates instead of accepting whatever they spout off as scripture, even if it completely contradicts their other actions. It's no wonder we got stuck with 7 years of Bush.

    March 26, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Robert

    Way to tell it like it is Bill!!! Hillary is THE CLEAR CHOICE, there is nothing else to say about it.... and I'm tired of hearing about it.. Every time the Obama campaign feels a taste of defeat, they try to yank out the ol' "woe is me" race crap, and quite frankly, it's old, boring, tired, transparent, and tasteless. This is 2008, let's have a race about who is ready, qualified, and a true leader. Hey Obama, you can talk a line, sure... CAN YOU LISTEN????? ENOUGH ABOUT RACE.

    March 26, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
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