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. Veronica

    What is divisive?

    “Let’s just saddle up and have an argument. What’s the matter with that? That’s what America’s about, right?” — the words of Bill Clinton.

    The Clinton campaign is full of madness: Lie, sabotage, and then defend your methods.

    THIS IS DIVISIVE!!!! But all you Clinton supporters call Obama divisive because the MEDIA was running clips of Rev. Wright. Obama never said one divisive thing, but because he defends himself against the Clinton rhetoric he's divisive.

    You people need to get your heads examined if you think this is what America is all about.

    March 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. What-A-Mess?

    I wonder how Mr. Clinton's comments would change if Hillary was ahead by nearly 200 delegates? Just the usual crying foul when they are getting attacked while at the same time committing all penalties that could be committed.

    Hillary supporter Mr. Carville the other day was using a basketball game analogy for his support of seating Michigan and Florida. In that analogy, he was crying that the Obama campaign is trying to end the game when there are 3 minutes left... I guess someone forgot to tell him Florida and Michigan got fouled out after not playing by the rules of the game.

    March 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Glenn

    The race is over & Obama has crossed the finish line ahead. Let the Clintons run till the end but do so knowing they have finished second.

    March 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. Chuck in Oregon

    He said, she said... its all part of the Old politics. I hear you Bill, but then again, it would appear to me that your talking out of the corner of your mouth. You claim your gaining ground but yet you (the Clintons) have your backers kicking Nancy around for stating her position which falls inline with the democratic idea of an election. If the situation was reversed you would be taking a different positon all together, it would be nice if you (the Clintons) too the high road for a change and stuck to one position instead of all this hoopla flip flop stuff your pulling.
    Granted both candidates have said a lot of stuff I am sure each wish they could unsay, it's all part of the game, but lets play by one rule book that remains consistant and not a rule book that you seem to believe you can change when ever the need suits your situation.
    Just remember your wifes words, delegates can vote for who ever they want in November, do you really want to take the that chance, it could go against you instead of for you.

    March 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. d


    We are not in a hurry to end the primaries....... Every vote should count, even Florida and Michigan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. papadibite

    Obama osey..yiee...
    please take another vacation. You need to be well-rested before you take on McCain's narrow talk express bus..

    Go OBAMA '08

    March 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. jeff

    Everything Bill said is true,but HIllary's campaign crossed a line when they essentially endorsed McCain over Barack. HIllary would not be where she is if it wasn't for name recognition. The Democratic party is imploding because the Clintons are not having their way. I'll vote for Hillary if I have to, because her policies are better than McCain, but I still think she is a horrible person. I used to care, now I don't. Thanks a lot Clintons.

    March 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Jay

    The DNC is taking away people's right to vote for who THEY want to vote for.

    March 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Susan in San Francisco

    Hillary can't win. The math is NOT there. Bill & Hillary Clinton are tearing the Democratic party apart. They should fold and go home.


    March 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Ms Liberty

    Yeah Yeah Yeah! If you can't take the heat, get Obama outta the kitchen! Hillary 08

    March 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. North Carolina

    You're the First Man, Bill! Hillary in N.C.! MY VOTE SHOULD COUNT TOO!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Veronica

    True, I guess. But as a commenter on another blog I read put it: “Most football players don’t count on being on the receiving end of personal fouls committed by other members of their own team.”

    March 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. PhilT

    So now poor Hillary is just a girl.

    Yet she has the experience to be Commander-in-Chief and answer the 3 AM call (though she may misspeak because she could be "sleep deprived".

    Illegal "clipping" has left people maimed for life.
    Just as the poor judgment to authorize this war has helped to take 4,000 lives.

    That's not what America is about to me, how about you?


    March 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Paul, Chicago

    I agree that all people should have a chance to vote that's what we will do. However it is just postponing the inevitable that Obama will win the delegate count and end up even more than he leads now.

    March 26, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Jim

    I absolutely agree, Bill. Everyone should have a voice in this primary and nobody has the right to say who should quit in the middle of race. I remember Kings' game where they were blanked out for two periods, losing 7 to 0. Third period Kings came back won 8 to 7. If someone said quit the game after two periods, Kings would never have the chance to comeback and win. Obama, you wouldn't be where you are if you said what you knew about Rev. Wright. It is also true, superdelegates can do whatever they want to do unless you change the rule again. Why have the superdelegates if they nothing but the dumb follower. Unless we change the rule by choosing our nominee based on popular votes, Obama has nothing to say. Count the Michigan and Florida and lets see after Pennsylvania who has the most popular votes. Should Clinton, then ask you to stop running so that she can be the nominee. I am sure you would be crying foul.

    March 26, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Hillary Supporter

    Way to go, Bill. I agree with everything that you said.

    March 26, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. MC

    Quit blaming the DNC and Obama for Michigan and Florida. Those voters only have their elected officials to blame. In Florida, the Republican governor and legislature are the people who should be taking the heat as they moved up the primary date.

    Hillary had no problem with the excluding Michigan and Florida when she was the presumptive nominee. Now that she has fallen behind she all of a sudden cares about disenfranchising voters.

    March 26, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. King of NJ

    its over Bill lay on your sword!

    March 26, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Common Sense

    Technically Bill, this morning when she said that the delegates could vote however they wanted to reguardless of the outcome of previous primaries, she advocated the disenfranchisement of every state that has held their primary already. So which is it? Do you want to count the votes or would you rather just let the delegates in power decide like you said this morning?

    Jeeze the Clintons are a confusing bunch of gangsters.

    March 26, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!

    Enough with FL and MI....The states decided their fates long ago and everyone agreed with those decisions.

    Now one question....

    If Clinton was in Obama's position....that being in the lead. He would have been put out of this election months ago. Why is it that since she is behind, the democratic party has to be held hostage.

    This crap is just ridiculous....I have always voted democrat but honestly after this crap. I don't know what party I am....I do know that I want no part of this mess.

    Simply ridiculous....

    March 26, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. B.Brown

    This isn't about clipping or an argument. On the playing field there are also rules. You are taught to play the game honestly and learn to win and lose with dignity and to show good sportsmanship. Florida and Michigan did not play by the rules and thus experienced disqualification. North Carolina would have loved an earlier primary date too, but chose to play by the rules. Our delegates will be rightfully seat at the convention. You don't get to change the rules after the game has started. Accept your defeat with some measure of dignity.

    March 26, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. sam

    What Bill Clinton said is very very right – after all he is one of thegreat American Presidents – if you are going to be a "cry baby" you should have kept away from a hard and long political battle. Its all about democracy – let the contest for the nominee continue and let the rest of the country have its say – specially when two of the larger state have been deprived of their democratic right in voting for their nominee.

    March 26, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. J

    Sheesh, I sure hope Senator Clinton does not stop! If she does not get the nomination I will not vote for McCain. I simply won't vote.The way you Men cover this campaign is unreal! It is clear you must be Obama supporters and that Cafferty man, seems to have problem with women in general.. This is 2008. If you covered the Obama "lies" like you do Clintons it would be little more fair. Obama has lied about teaching at the University and making legislation and STILL contiunes to defend Rev. Wright and gives him money to support his crazy views. Read Obama's books. He clearly lied when he said he never heard Wright's views before. He wrote about them in his books. I know that most are afraid of saying anything negative for the "race " card to be played. Why is it that African Americans can voice their opinion and white America cannot. If whites dare to disagree you have people like Roland and Cafferty etc. calling us racists. Please guys stop being so partial to Obama. Why not talk about Michele Obama's remarks about America ( which coincides with Wright's view) instead of asking a daughter how her mother felt about her father having an affair. I mean wow, this was in the 90's. How would Chelsea know what her mother thought. I was 17 years old when President Clinton was elected and Chelsea was younger.I only wish there was a news channel that really was "FAIR and BALANCED." P.S. Wolf has stepped it up some. He is not as partial on most things to Obama as he was month or so ago. Thanks Guys for putting my two cents in.

    March 26, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Ann in Iowa

    YES... let the people vote... in every state...the media needs to get out of the way of the people.
    Thanks for taking this head on.

    March 26, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Chris in Va.

    Bill Clinton is a liar and an idiot. If not for the internet boon of the 90's her would be one of the worst, most disgraceful presidents ever. Just sit down, shut up , and play with your cigars you moron.

    March 26, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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