March 27th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Bill Clinton: 'Let's just saddle up and have an argument'

ALT TEXT

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. dajack

    I don't get it. First he says that anyone running for office should be able to deal with the reality of getting "beat up". Then he suggests that we should all feel bad about saying "bad things" about Hillary, because she's "a girl". Way to twist it around, Bill.

    As for disenfranchising voters – I think it's very interesting that neither Obama nor Clinton have spoken out in favor of a NATIONAL PRIMARY. If every state held their primary on the same day, we wouldn't have to worry about whose vote would count more and whose wouldn't count at all. There'd be no question of whether delegates would be seated because of breaking party rules. And most importantly, we wouldn't have to deal with the sort of interminable circus of finger-pointing and pointless indignance that this race has become.

    March 26, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Kerri

    She wants your vote to count...but she also wants pledged delegates, that are pledged as a result of the voters, to change sides? Please, Hillary just wants to win, and she'll do whatever it takes to do so.

    March 26, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Sara

    Obama 08', GO AWAY CLINTONS.

    March 26, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Dennis

    I agree that the various advisers for both campaigns that have resigned shouldn't have had to do so. Things have gotten ridiculously out of hand in that department. There used to be a time when something that was a little over the line was said was remedied with an apology–not termination.

    However, Bill's comments suggest that Hillary is somehow a victim in all of this. Best I can tell, she is giving as good as she is getting. Her campaign does have some momentum. However, I don't believe it is enough to give her the lead in the pledged delegate count. I believe she knows that. That is why she is reminding everyone, as often as she can, that pledged delegates aren't tied to the candidate they were awarded to in the primaries. That is the only way she will win the pledged delegate race. It also means the vote of the people is essentially meaningless, which is contrary to her position on the revotes in Michigan and Florida.

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

    You tell 'em Bill !

    Hilary is gonna win this thing – wait and see.

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. MP-Pennsylvania

    Bill now I beleive when your wife said that she didn't know that you were lobbying for dubai for the port deal. It looks like you don't know what she was telling and she doesnt know what you are telling. Is it a political trick?

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Ginger

    "I don't think any of these people oughta be asked to resign"

    What a total lack of values and morals. But hey, we knew that about Mr. Clinton already, didn't we?

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Chris Lockhart

    At least Bill is willing to admit, He is willing to break the rules "occasional clipping", to gain any advantage he can. Maybe some people see this as strength? I see it as a credibility issue. How does one lead the county or the world be saying the ends justify the means?

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Jennifer

    The Truth Hurts.....actually yes. Edwards should have stayed in the race. If all of the states are supposed to have a say in who their POUS is, then it's not fair to the remaining states for any candidate to drop out prematurely. People are still voting for Hillary, people are also still voting for Edwards.

    No candidate is doing our Country a favor by dropping out. If you enter to win, then stay in for the long haul. Don't just drop out b/c it's not looking favorable for you. That screams sore loser.

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. Amy in Iowa

    Hillary has lost this nomination. So the best thing for the Clintons is to "saddle up" and bow out gracefully with some dignity while they still can. If she keeps going forward even though she has lost, it may be true that Hillary is working on a 2012 strategy.

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. jyh1920

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

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

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

    Keep talking, Bill. It only helps Obama.

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. brad from chicago

    I didn't know any one asked those guy's to get out. John Edwards should have stayed in, Then Obama would have gotten out already. Come-on John get back in here and help Hillary knock this Bum out of politics. Let him go back on vacation for the rest of his life.

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. DCER

    Tell them, Bill! Go Hillary!

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Gene

    Shut up, and go away cheaters and liars....

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Brian from NYC

    Every vote count? Didn't his wife say votes didn't matter this week when she said the pledged delegates, which were based on votes, didn't have to hold true to that vote at the convention? These lies, I mean, "misspoken words" are why I will never vote for a Clinton again. Their definition of "toughness" is not the same as America's! They equate cheating with toughness. Enough is Enough!

    March 26, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Ghost13

    Our choices seem nothing more than two corrupt and power hungry liars. Choose the lesser evil? There are still states left to vote, and there are superdelegates that plan to vote against the wishes of the people. "Everyone is equal just some are more equal than others." This whole thing is reminding me of the pigs from Orwell's "Animal Farm."
    Thank God, I'm an Independent free to decide my own future.

    March 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Confused,NY

    Good!
    I have a straight question:
    When you put on the table the BIG STATES argument, does that clearly mean that what people say in small states matters less or doesn't matter at all ???
    Please explain me !!, I am a bit confused by all this stuff

    March 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. A

    Obama has a triple threat on his hands. Does it take all of these folks to prove that you're president worthy? To top it off you're still losing the race. I tip my hat to the Senator of Illinois.

    Obama 08

    March 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Jacob

    If you sling mud, you have mud on your hands

    March 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. Tim

    So who is running again? Bill or Hillary? It is sometimes hard to remember. This will all be over soon as the Superdelegates are poised to back Obama. This will not go past North Carolina. She fought hard, but cannot win. For those who would jump party on either side, why wait? You can exit stage left now.

    March 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. Confused,NY

    Good!
    I have a straight question:
    When you put on the table the BIG STATES argument, does that clearly mean that what people say in small states matters less or doesn't matter at all ???
    Please explain me !!, I am a bit confused by all this stuff.

    March 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. Obamazombie Alert

    whammo!! Right on. Let's have the debate, and if it gets nasty, big deal? What's that compared to a recession?? What's that compared to war? What's that compared to a stock market crash? What's that compared to a family losing a loved one in Iraq?? Think about it people, Nancy Pelosi and Obama want to take away the RIGHT TO DEBATE in favor of a coronation. They want you to line up and raise you hand in salute! Have you noticed how those attack zombies from the Obama campaign sound like programmed robots? INDOCTRINACTION is key for Obama. They learned it from the master.

    March 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Elle

    Bill Clinton for president. LOL, better yet Hillary Clinton for president.

    March 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. jab

    Way to go Bill – you tell them.

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Darrell

    Bill Clinton is just an idiot. I used to respect this guy, but now no way. He wants all this negativity to keep going? Especially when most of it is coming from his wife's corner?

    Obviously, with this statement, the Clinton's don't give a 'riff' about the democratic party or America. Instead they only care about themselves. They only want to stay in this for their own reasons and they're selling this as, "Don't let them take this away from you."

    Are you kidding me?

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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