April 22nd, 2008
10:27 AM ET
14 years ago

Bill Clinton: Obama camp 'played the race card on me'


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/22/art.bclinton0422.ap.jpg caption="Former president Clinton campaigned for his wife in Pennsylvania recently."]
(CNN) - On the eve of Tuesday’s critical Pennsylvania primary, former President Bill Clinton accused Barack Obama’s campaign of playing the race card against him.

After the phone interview with Delaware radio station WHYY Monday night, a stray comment of his on the issue was also recorded before he hung up: “I don’t think I should take any s*** from anybody on that, do you?”

The former president had been asked whether his remarks comparing Obama’s strong showing in South Carolina to that of Jesse Jackson in 1988 had been a mistake given their impact on his wife Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “No, I think that they played the race card on me,” said Clinton, “and we now know from memos from the campaign and everything that they planned to do it all along.”

“We were talking about South Carolina political history and this was used out of context and twisted for political purposes by the Obama campaign to try to breed resentment elsewhere. And you know, do I regret saying it? No. Do I regret that it was used that way? I certainly do. But you really got to go some to try to portray me as a racist.”

He added that the way Obama’s campaign had reacted was “disrespectful to Jesse Jackson” and that the former presidential candidate had told him he was not offended, and that “we all know what’s going on."

UPDATE: At a Pittsburgh press availability, Obama was asked about Clinton's charge that his campaign had drawn up plans to use 'the race card.'

“Hold on a second,’’ he said. “So former President Clinton dismissed my victory in South Carolina as being similar to Jesse Jackson and he is suggesting that somehow I had something to do with it? You better ask him what he meant by that. I have no idea what he meant. These were words that came out of his mouth. Not words that came out of mine.’’

Related video: Watch Obama respond to Bill Clinton's 'race card' comment

soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. Mervin Malone Jr.

    This is sad! It's interesting, but I've been going to a great many blogs (by white authors and feminists); these continually site blacks as "treacherous" for not supporting Hillary Clinton in larger number, the argument being that blacks enjoyed a prosperity under her husband's presidency that was unprecedented. These commentators seem to miss the fact that Hillary HAD the black vote until she started campaigning like a Republican! We had enough of that under the Bush administration! And it's sad, but this election has proven a really big disconnect between white female voters and blacks in general. It's wierd, because more white females have been put in jobs due to things like Affirmative Action than any other demographic; but they don't actually show up in droves to safeguard it like they should. And Geraldine Ferraro, Hillary and Roseanne - who aren't really feminists - have this feeling of entitlement going on that is really eroding the feminist movement as we speak!

    April 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. Johnny

    lol some needs to shut Bill up....i thought Hillary had him under control

    April 22, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. H


    HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. T D Trent Supports Change!

    Bill, you can't be serious. It is time for you to sit down and shut-up. This is not your campaign, so why are you still trying so hard to clean up your mistakes. For once this has nothing to do with you, and as voters we would like it more if you stuck to you wife's issues and not keep up politico-mess!!!

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. Peter

    He played the card himself and now he tries to put the blame on others. Wonder if he told Hillary that Lewinsky played the sex card and not him?

    Honest people should admit there faults, neither Hillary or Bill is honest.

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  6. mama for obama

    and people still want this guy in the white house..
    this is sad if not a shame

    why is CNN so in love with the clintons??
    these are the on ly people they report on, no matter that there are two more candidates running for hte white house..

    shame shame shame
    and who cares what billy boo says..

    only imagine this guy not being president and being in the white house,
    becareful mom and dads, I would not send my daugther there...

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. John

    At one time I thought Bill was a good guy... made some bad decisions, but we are all guilty of that. Now I think the man is 100% crazy! The Clinton's are so power hungry they will do just about anything to win.

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. kentucky

    Calling Bill Clinton a racist is a joke. Was it not Obama supporter Michael Moore who yesterday called Hillary Clinton a racist for staying and fighting for the nomination?
    Why the sense of entitlement here by the Obama people?
    No wonder the McCain campaign is not cheering for Obama in the last month. The real Obama campaign has raised its head.

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Ok...

    I would like to see this information Bill is talking about.... if this is true, then voters should know they are being manipulated.

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Bitter Voter

    Please Clintons, just go away...........WAKE UP PHILADELPHIA and let's do the right thing.

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. SNOBama

    The Obama Camp should be Ashamed of themselves.
    To think that the Clintons would be racist goes against everything they have done for the community and America during their time in Public Office.

    HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. Bubba go home

    this is really getting old. can we move on now?

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. Nanc, MN

    What exactly is a stray comment? Now the world will come to an end because Bill said the "s" word. If this whole thing wasn't so depressing I'd laugh.

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. LifeLongDemocrat

    It's not PC to talk about race but there has been an aura of racebaiting all along. it's too bad but race and gender are a part of this race.

    Hillary is the better candidate for November>>>>>>>>>>

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  15. Bill IS A Racist

    I don't have to go too far to prove Bill is a racist. South Carolina is one state away.

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. Kathy from IL

    WOW The Clinton's will spin spin spin!!! The media is what made a big deal out of his statement and I do not remember the Obama camp making any comment at all about it. They just seemed happy to win S. Carolina. Bill blames Obama for everything and I'm sick of the "they are out to get us message", it is killing the party.

    April 22, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. yoshi927

    Okay... am I out of the loop here, or does this not make any sense... whatsoever?

    April 22, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. Swalker327

    LOL!!! I can't wait for Hillary to pull a Lorena Bobbit on Bill!! Keep talking Bill, just keep talking.

    Now who in their right mind would want a loose cannon like this in the White House? Again?

    The reality is that Hillary will win PA (thanks to blue collar workers that have a severe mental discomfort with voting for a black man) but the win will be meaningless - please think of your party Hillary and bow out now!!!


    GO OBAMA!!

    April 22, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. fred

    You tell them Bill, that Obama gang (cult) have been playing dirty all along. They are an evil bunch!!


    April 22, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Kay

    Shut up!! Who keeps allowing this man to speak. What he said was disrespectful, he knows and so does everyone else who heard it. I hope PA. puts us out of our misery.

    Go Obama!!

    April 22, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. SSD

    If Bill Clinton is representative of an "intelligent political figure" as the media would have us to believe...then Lord help us all...

    April 22, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Take The Country Back

    Remember South Carolina-Vote Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. Ross

    Again and again, Bill Clinton twists and lies. We don't need them and their lies and scandals back in the White House. We need a fresh start with a fresh leader.

    April 22, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. What about our Soldiers?

    Hillary voted to send men, women, son, daught , single mom, single dad, fathers as well as mothers to die in a war with no end in sight. Bill Clinton, is a disgrace to America for his lie and cheating on his wife and selling out of america.

    Hillary do not cae about america she just hunting for the same power as her husband so she can sellout america as wel.

    April 22, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  25. HEIDI

    Oh, hell....not this again. Former Pres. Clinton isn't there something you should be doing as your responsiblities to being a former President. I've seen Former Carter all this week WORKING. We've seen Former Bush FISHING. Just please find something else to do...you have revealed your true position with the BLACK community. You are no longer someone we can respect. Please exit quitely.

    April 22, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
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