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. R. Churchhill , PA

    . . . Bill, you need to put a saddle on your wife and ride her home.

    Obama 08.

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Rom,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 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Patrick

    The candidate losing ALWAYS shouts about "voters rights".

    The only thing new here is that, traditionally, if a candidate can't win, they pull a Romney and withdraw, give their support to someone else, and do it all for the good of the party.

    Mark my words, even when it IS truly mathematically impossible, all votes are in, and all options are exhausted, the Clintons will STILL be disputing the outcome, screaming about rights.

    Anyone want to take that bet?

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Joe

    Of course Billary says anything goes. When you are a Machevellian politician using every dirty trick and breaking every rule. You would love to throw out the rule books. Prediction. Just before the PA primary vote, Hillary will launch another dirty trick attack like she used to fool the voters in Ohio. Yesterday she first said we should heal the party. Then just hours later she brought up Rev. Wright to distract from her Bosnia sniper lie.

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Bring Back Bill

    Bill for UN General Secretary!! Go Bill.

    NOBAMA-MCAIN'T

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Saad

    He is right in what he says. And I know a lot of people hate him... mostly the ones who are jealous of his charismatic personality. The fact is that he was a President with a very charismatic personality, fewer catastrophic policies, and lesser stupidities than Bush.

    No one man makes or breaks the country. Instead, the key to a successful President is good communication skills with a head on his/her shoulders. Again, the ones who will disagree with this Bill having good communications skills are the ones who are jealous.. that's all.

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Bayou Joe

    Amen to that Bill. The day that we silence people because we don't agree with them is the day this country dies. These people should not have been forced out by thier respective campaigns. If you can't take the heat stay out of the fire. This is a nomination process not a coronation. Let the voters decide who they want as their Democrat
    nominee. No more backroom politics. Don't you hear us mighty
    Delegates.

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I guess Bill knows what he's talking about. He did say he wasn't having sex with "that woman".

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Yes08

    Yea! Bill! Go after them. You tell them what democracy is all about! Wasn't it your camp that sued in Nevada to try to overturn what you'd already agreed to (when you thought it would advantage you) regarding letting the voters vote in Las Vegas. Wasn't it your camp that agreed that Florida and Michagan out to be punished for breaking the rules and then changed your mind (when you thought it would advantage you)

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Ronnie Lopez in South Texas

    Hillary's gaining on who? Not anybody I know....

    March 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Funny

    I love him.

    March 26, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Rom

    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 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Keith

    Very well put Mr. President. Hillary '08 & '12

    March 26, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. Mike

    Is "having a voice in this election" and "having your vote count" in agreement with Hillary's suggestion that PLEDGED delegates should vote their own way, regardless of the voting outcome??

    I'm trying to hear through this nonsense, but there are far too many contradictions. I hope everyone realizes that the Clintons are hiding behind "every vote counts" rhetoric, just as Obama uses "Hope and Change" rhetoric. Wake up, people. . .

    March 26, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. Gene, Dallas, TX

    You go Bill! All these Obama supporters cannot possibly be thinking of what will come if he's elected. Talk about affirmative action! They think they're going to get their comeuppance when one of their kind gets in. I shutter to think about it.

    March 26, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Alex

    Just because politics has turned into a monday night wrestling cage match, doesn't mean it has to be that way. American Politics at one time was more sophisticated and civil. The degredation into what it is today is one of the reasons we're stuck with career politicians who happen to be the best at bullying and mudslinging. With that attitude, we should be at war with the world....oh wait we are. Hillary in 2008 for more of the same!!

    March 26, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. Karen P

    Hillary is LUCKY that Obama wants a clean campaign. The Clintons have been nasty ever since South Carolina. If Obama had wanted to "beat up" the Clinton campaign, they could've stopped her a LONG time ago because there's so much smut on the Clintons, including Hillary. What I don't understand is how anyone can stomach the Clintons at all. But of course, Slick Willy will twist everything to make it look like poor little Hillary is being attacked.

    March 26, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Jim H.

    This is the type of activity that has gotten the Clintons, and particularly Hillary, most of her negative marks. The voters in the states that violated the rules have no one but their party leaders to blame. If Florida and Michigan had played by the rules, they would have had a LOT to say about the election, instead of nothing. It's the same with the Clintons. If they can't win by playing by the rules, they try to change the rules.

    I'd be happy to seat their delegations as long as 50% were pledged to Hillary and 50% were pledged to Barack. Hillary is willing to seat the delegates only if doing so benefits her. If it doesn't benefit her, she has no interest, just ask her. She would rather disenfranchise the voters than take a neutral position that seats the delegates equally.

    March 26, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. justobserve

    Of course anyone would want his/her vote to be counted but the tone of the "argument" has gone negative and that is what voters don't want seeing of the two candidates of the same party doing. The Clintons can spin to make it look like it is business as usual but it is only usual for them to play dirty. There is something fliflop about on the one hand, saying votes must be counted then on the other, saying that pledged delegates can change their votes! So what did people wast time voting for? The pledged and super delegates just vote and ignore voters's wish!
    Critisizing Hillary is "say bad thing about a girl?" Hillary, a girl? Gender card again? Oh yes, he knew they had use smoke and mirrors to make women think they are just like Hillary, having to fight to get ahead. But she will forget about them once she used them for her own purpose. Look at how she treated her supporters where she didn't win (SC), she didn't come on the night to thank them but if she won (FL), she came to thank them even the votes were not supposed to be counted (and she didn't protest when she agreed to it when she was the "inevitable") . Women didn't know that the way to get ahead like her is cling to his coattail? Or the thing she did to prove she is tough has been to defend Bill of what was indefensible? Listening to her recalling the trip to Tuzla, it was so real that I am very afraid if she should be the one to answer the phone at 3am.

    March 26, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Dave, SC

    LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LIARS LAIRS LAIRS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. D Taliga

    It god if America go to monarchy,Clinton or Bush.
    Mr Clinton you and your wife using very bloody and dirty gamsjust to continoue your monarchy.

    March 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. RYAN IN TEXAS

    Go away cheater, go away cheater. Americans 're tired of the same family, the same old Washington politicians, who lies and say anything to win election....shame.

    Obama 08...Obama 08....

    March 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Meg

    Do you think Hillary will divorce Bill after she loses?

    March 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. Hillary for President

    THIS is why I'm a Clinton supporter.

    March 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. Sara

    Smoke and Mirrors, Bill. What he is really saying is superdelegates should overturn the pleged delegate outcome to favor HRC. OBAMA 08'

    March 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17