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. Independent Voter

    Disgusting!. Just shut off and go home!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. CB

    Ha Ha... Ummmm Bill? You do realize that it was your wife's campaign that started requesting the resignation or termination of advisers... some one give this guy a card to read off of. What a character. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman!" Lies, Lies, Lies

    March 26, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. ConsiderThis, Florida

    What Bill Clinton is saying is precisely what's wrong in American politics. Infinite arguments are the reason why nothing ever gets done in Washington. We can't agree on anything; except to continue to argue and disagree. As the problems in this country mount and reach higher levels of seriousness and intensity, we're still ARGUING. He should know that the arguing has to stop before we can come to agreement on how to best solve our problems. What we don't need is a President who's political philosophy is "Let's saddle up and ARGUE" for another 8 years. By then, there will not be an America left to argue about.

    March 26, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. Jim in Colorado

    Hillary is a "girl" now? I thought that went out of vogue 30+ years ago with the modern-day advent of feminism.

    March 26, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. MP-Pennsylvania

    Mr. Clinton
    We had enough, Please go away.

    March 26, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. jacksmith

    HILLARY 08!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. ds

    "Don't let anybody take this election away from you." "I think your vote should be counted, don't you?" These words from a campaign that also thinks that the voters don't know enough to decide the results and superdelegates should, therefore, overturn the popular vote?

    March 26, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. mimi de la cruz


    March 26, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Phil in Texas


    March 26, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. I love CNN

    It's official- he's gone crazy.

    He can't stand the thought of only having 8 years in the White House and not 16 years.

    At least he didn't wag his finger this time, did he?

    March 26, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Veronica

    Thins is the problem. The Clinton's are NOT fighting for the country, they are fighting for the Clinton's. THIS IS WHAT AMERICA IS ALL ABOUT? That's the problem. We don't have to fight but the Clinton's WANT to fight. This is very sad that people are supporting this!

    March 26, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. Jen in NH

    I remember when the economy was great and we weren't at war. Oh yeah, Clinton was president then.

    Thanks Bill. Keep saying it like it is. Thank you for being a true democrat.

    Let's give the voters and superdelegates a voice. Why are democrats so opposed to democracy in this primary season?

    They know that Obama cannot win in November and want to stop the process before the superdelegates have to realize it.

    March 26, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Jack, Michigan

    It's perhaps very telling that Bill Clinton uses a football metaphor for politics saying it is okay to break the rules and make an illegal block (e.g., clipping). Clipping is a penalty for a reason.....another example of the Clintons feeling that they are above the rules.

    Even Peyton Manning wouldn't want to be on a football field with someone that was going to "occasionally" clip him from behind.

    March 26, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. monica

    shut up bill. nobody likes you.

    March 26, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. John

    This guy is a sleaze and a total con artist who will tell you black is white and wet is dry and then mount a flawed legal argument to try prove it. Don't believe a word he says. The best thing he can do on his wife's behalf is to lay low and keep his mouth shut.

    March 26, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Bill, Covington

    Listen up people, Pay attention.
    Be very carefull how you speak to or about that Clinton woman. You could wind up on the wrong side of the Clinton machine and end up like Vince Foster in Fort Marcie Park. They retain quacks like J. Carville to make their problems dissapear.

    March 26, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. jeremy


    im so sick of obama ppl insulting hillary then the next second go "we dont want the same old politics". in fact it just happened when hillary was asked a direct q about obamas pastor and answered it. then they claim shes desperate, will sink to terribly low levels just to win and did it because of the bosnia comments thing. its hypocritical and sounds like the "same old politics" to me.

    guys, the scandals and the insults are gonna come in the general election and we need a candidate tough enough to take the hits from the republicans and hit back harder. hillary can, she has for years and years and come out stronger. really doesnt seem as though obama can do the same.
    HILL '08

    March 26, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. sam abraham

    Go Hillary! you'r the best

    March 26, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. N. Straussburg , PA

    . . . BILL, I will have the Rev. Wright pray for you again.

    Obama 08.

    March 26, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. tony

    it s' right. no one has enough delegate and when the race is going on, some people just want it stop. Why? Does it make sense. It likes I play a tennis game and when I am ben leading, someone jumps in and tells me that out. Come one. when Obama has enough delegate he game will be over. Now, Just go on Hillary.

    March 26, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. tant

    Go away cheater.....

    Obama 08, Obama 08...

    March 26, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. gail in chicago

    The biggest disappointment of this entire Democratic primary for me – a lifelong Democrat, is the dispicable action of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton campaign. Before the Nevada primary, I would have defended Bill Clinton with every ounce of my being – I thought his impeachment was a witch hunt. But I have lost all respect for him and that is sad. But what is worse is that I am only one of many who feels this way – as far as I'm concerned Bill and Hillary, along with a few select others like Lanny Davis and James Carville, should be expelled from the Democratic Party. Bill, your legacy is forever sullied.

    March 26, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Jack - Miami

    What a joke!

    Just spoke with an Obama supporter in Texas. Apparently, HRC's campaign has been robo-calling pledged delegates to try to convince them that they can switch to her at their leisure.

    Has anyone else or someone they know had this experience?

    Seems underhanded in that she is now basically saying that individual voters no longer count. Yet her husband is yapping about votes counting. They should really get their plan together.

    Sure hope the DNC leaders know this as well as the media outlets.

    BTW – how does HRC have all of the contact information for pledged delegates? Is this public information?

    March 26, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. jyh1920

    He's a liar and Iof course he wants dirty politics because this is all he knows and it works for those who attracted to those type of lowly tactics.

    Counting all votes and not just the votes for Hillary Clinton is something most democrats want. Be far.

    I'm sick of the despicable lies and half trues.
    That's Clintonian politics for you.

    Keep talking, It only helps Obama.

    March 26, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Chris from NY

    The rancor and name calling does nothing to solve our problems, I don't want the toughest person to win. I want the best person to win. Is it any wonder why some our nations best avoid public service.

    March 26, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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