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. Ugh!

    Bill, can you just keep your mouth shut? You're spewing crap!

    April 22, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. Stephen

    I would like to know more about the Obama memos that developed a strategy for calling Bill Clinton a rascist even prior to South Carolina

    April 22, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. truth be told

    Oh Oh, here he goes again running his mouth at the worst possible moment... He truly has become a liability for Sen Clinton. Shut the Man UP!

    April 22, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Kobs

    Bill Clinton has always used blacks and hespanics for his own political goals without serious consideration.
    It was not once, not twice but again and again he and his wife have shown it.
    When their friend Jordan warned them about a movement they should have heeded. What did they do ?!
    Went out totry to divide pple. on colour lines, and lastly income trying to tell us he is elitist and and weak if he does not play by their game and now this.
    Give me a break

    April 22, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. Will in Virginia

    Bill and Hillary are sick! I'm tired of hearing about them and all of their dirty underhanded political tricks. Let's retire them from politics forever!

    April 22, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. RayRay

    And so it begins.

    Here is the beginning of the last minute mudslinging to try and sway the voters.

    April 22, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Sorry, Bill. That dog don't hunt.

    April 22, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. Jayjay

    Bill Clinton is totally correct in his analysis of this topic.

    April 22, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. Sue

    Bill is a secret Obamacrat. He doesn't REALLY want to be first lady to Hillary. He should just admit it, and get help.

    April 22, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  10. Kevin

    Not again, got to timeout Bill!!!

    April 22, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. Jim Shimmer

    I am fed up of this fool and his crazy disgusting wife.
    Get out of here you Clintons.. We strongly dislike you!

    April 22, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. james harvey

    Shame on you Bill !!!!!

    April 22, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. sue

    "we all know whats going on"??!!? Im sure Jesse Jackson said that Bill.

    You have tarnished your legacy. I used to support you! No more.

    Stay out of it!

    April 22, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. Pete

    Sure Bill, your comment had nothing to do with race, you just pulled jesse jacksons name out of a hat. How bout using John Edwards instead? he won SC in 2004 and then accepted the VP spot like you guys were trying to get Barack to.

    You brought up Jesse Jackson because he was black, and you thought the only reason Obama won SC was because he was black.

    April 22, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |

    Just for your information people, guess who Bill and Hillary called for counselling when they had marital issues in the white house, after the Lewinsky scandal....

    REV Jeremiah Wright...

    Check MiCHAEL MOORE's website.

    she lost my vote...point blank....

    April 22, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. Deb, Iowa

    Really, shouldn't they put a muzzle on him? He keeps bringing up things that have been out of the news, puts a different spin on them, and then the press goes wild with how his story is different from Hillary's. Every time he opens his mouth, Obama gets another vote!

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. El Senor in GA

    .... Anyone got cheese to go with Bill's Whine?

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  18. Greg in Michigan

    It is primary day...time for the Clintons to create a controversy that might win votes for Hillary. After all, wasn't it Bill that said getting votes was more important than the truth? If Bill did say something in poor
    taste relative to race, why is he blaming someone else? This is
    another last minute attempt to discredit Obama on an issue item that
    is many weeks or months old.

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  19. chris

    Bill brings athe race issue up right before every primary. Wonder why.

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  20. Alex H

    The last few articles I've been reading have been whining Clinton campaign articles... "Waaaa they're using the race card" ... "Waaaa the rules won't let us win". But Obama's the complainer... right!

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  21. mama4obama

    Imagine that....Bill and Hillary dont like it when words are twisted. I wonder why.

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. Jack

    Amen Bill ! Don't let them bushwack you and then play the innocent bystander. If Obama wins the nomination, and then the Presidency, I think a lot of people are in for a rude awakening as to what he will do and not do as President.

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  23. Georgie Stepha-SNOT-polus

    Stepha- SNOT-polus is an idiot. He tried to resurrect his career by getting tough on John McCain, but it won't work. He was a clown during the last debate and Barack supporters and other Americans called him and, Charlie on it. George is a bogus journalist and an insult to ABC.

    When the interviewer becomes the news, guess what, the debate is a disaster.

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  24. John in PA

    I live in PA. I was at the polls to vote when they opened. In my neck of the woods, there was not one (at least not admitted) Obama supporter. I think it's Hillary in a walk today.

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. Frank

    It's hard to believe how precipitously this ex-President has fallen – and within his own party no less!

    April 22, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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