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. Gina, Los Angeles

    Go Bill Clinton! Can't wait to have you guys back in the White House! This country miss your leadership skills! Hillary 2008. Otherwise, it'll be another 8 years of Republican rule again. We can't take that.

    Go Hillary! 2008 and 2012.

    March 26, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. seriously?

    Obama didn't play the race card. In fact he never infused race into his campaign until it was forced on him.

    He went a whole year of campaigning without bring race into it.

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. SexyMe

    Or better yet, let keep changing the rules until Lie- ary wins!

    Good strategy......

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. Joyce in Florida

    Democracy First, way to go. Totally agree with you. I believe the Obama camp wants Hillary to bow out because deep down they are losing. I sincerely hope Senator Clinton becomes the nominee. She is the best candidate and Florida is behind her 100%. I have always been proud of the Clintons; they listen to the people and can get things done. Senator Obama, on the other hand, doesn't have the experience, especially abroad.

    Senator Obama, it is time for you to concede so we no longer have to listen to your gutter campaign tactics. You are so divisive it is insane. The only thing you are accomplishing by your garbage tactics is destroying your chance to be the nominee along with how America views you. Yes, you sure are changing things for the worse; the people's vote will not go to you. Of course, some people out there will not see the true person you are and vote for you anyway. Lord have mercy on their souls. You are not the second coming, nor would I EVER equate you to JFK. You are an Obamination.

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Illinois

    It's true.....Hillary has more b_lls than Obama could ever hope to have!

    And it doesn't surprise me that the DNC is trying to run interference in an attempt to come up with a deal in order to prevent "splitting of the democratic party". Yea, right. That's code for setting it up so that Obama gets the nomination.....never mind the fact that he WILL lose the GE.

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. Mathat

    At last a man with a backbone. USA needs a strong leader, a fighter, a doer. come on people.

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. christina from selma

    you go hilary shoe them what you are made of youre tough and resilent two characteristerics that needed in a commander in chief if you are not thenomine both my husband and i will jump ship and vote for mcain obama although a great guy is not seasoned enough right is no time for on the job trainees. the learning curve is too high.

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Rob

    Does Bubba know that clips cause serious injury and are prone to being penalized? It is considered dirty play and I guess that is fine will all you Clinton supporters that have drunk the Kool-aid. If you had your way, this country would be much worse off.

    There are two outcomes to this race:
    Obama gets the nomination and preserves the Democratic party or the democratic party will be destroyed.

    I will be pleased with either outcome. Democrats have a great shot at redeeming what little power and opportunity they have. If they cheat and lie and defraud the voters of this nation then they deserve to go away permanently and allow for a rise of a new second party.

    Good job Bill, keep destroying your party and country for all your disingenious selfish intent. You disgust me as does Hillary. Ironically, I would not have said that 3 months ago.

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. MerryCran

    And if the girl can't take the political heat, then what is she expected to do? Oh, wait ...

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. rese

    hillary said that mr wright would not be her pastor but in fact he was something to her husband .he was one of many ask to come to the white house by Bill

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. Yvone

    If the situation were reverwsed, trust me Bill would be screaming at the top of his lungs to shut the campaign down. He would be screaming that Obama is hurting the party and so on and so on. I seem to remember that it was Hillary who first whinned about being beat up on by the press now her cheating husband has the nerves to get up and speak on the subject! Give me a break! I am so sick of Billary and their daughter making up rules that doesn't apply to anyone but them. How can Chelsea expect to campaign for her lying mother and her IMPEACHED father not get asked sensitive quetions? How can she campaign and only take questions from college students? Clinton's it is all or nothing!

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Shelley

    Hillary is having bad things said about her because of her own actions.
    And do you really think he would be saying this if Hillary wasn't in 2nd place? Give me a break.

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. Nathan

    What hilarious here is the contention that super delegates can "foresee" who will win in November. In actual fact, they cannot. If you look at the history of elections and party conferences, it becomes abundantly clear that NO ONE can project who the general population will support in a general election. In the past, candidates that did very well in the primaries got their butts kicked in the general election...and vice versa. If super delegates decide to go against the popular choice, it's their right, but there is no way they are making a rational decision based on knowledge.

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Chanel

    Yep, let the voters vote through June and then we can all stand behind Obama and take the white house.

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. amir cali

    this has turned into a train wreck. the longer this goes on, the worse it gets. Each candidate is becoming more unelectable by the second. McCain and the right are loving this. I hope the superdelegates end this soon.

    Obama 0r Hillary 08 !!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. Gram

    Bill is correct. The Democratic National Committee has already commited the greater sin by disenfranchising Michigan and Florida. If they expect to beat McCain, they need to give them back their votes. If Barak was stupid enough to take his name off the Michigan ballot, that's his problem. The only rules should be every vote counts. DNC's stupid disenfranchisement of 2 states was just pig headed.

    March 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. Ken, LA California

    I think Bill is setting ground work for going nasty, he feels everyone should go nasty. We want change. Instead Bill should be encouraging democrats to vote for the eventual winner be it Hillary or Obama.

    March 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |

    America was founded on one man one vote. People used to be proud to cast that vote, people used to be proud of America. The system was set up to count every vote availabe until 2000. I want my (our) country back. everyone has a vote that gets counted in every state.

    March 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. a supporter of common sense

    I love how Clinton supporters accuse the Obama campaign of playing the race card...when they are always the first to bring it up.

    It's alright Clintonites...better luck next 2012. Because your time is up. Just let it go and find a new hobby, because that is exactly how Hillary's campaign was a hobby.

    Obama '08

    March 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Andy

    Lets saddle-up. Its time to bring back-up the Commodity money Hillary made, its time to bring back White Water, it time time to bring back the impeachment of Bill, and of course lets not forget Monica Samille Lewinsky. Yes lets have a little dust-up; where are those tax returns and the list of Library donors, Hillary?

    March 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Chris in Va.

    Correction: her to his, though during the time I wondered who was actually running the show while Slick Willy was chasign skirts through the White House.

    March 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. vic nashville,Tn

    Good Job Bill
    never say die
    Obama can't face FL,& MI votersHe is covered Obama shield is media we will break that

    March 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. stephanie

    The media tries to smear the Clintons, but they keep givin' 'em hell!!
    The media should take note that with all the anti-Clinton news, Clinton should be out, however most of the democratic party wants her as their president!! Obama should thank the media for all its support, as she would've beaten him along time ago without media's help.

    Bravo, Mr. Clinton!

    March 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. MAry

    GO BILL!!

    March 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Well, now the potential VP is sounding off, trying to help us forget his spouse's ridiculous daydream about her frightening trip to Bosnia.

    Man, this is one crazy campaign!!!

    March 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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