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. Mr. C.

    Can someone Please Shut this Dude up already. No Hold up... I hope this messes up her wife's chances in PA today. Bill keep talking, keep talking Bill.

    April 22, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. eddie

    Obama has been using the race card from day one so this is no suprise

    April 22, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. phillyPete

    I voted for the guy twice, but he has "jumped the shark" for good.

    How sad.

    April 22, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Jeff

    Hey Bill – shut up!

    April 22, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. Grant

    The more I see of Bill Clinton in the race, and Hillary for that matter, the less I like him/them. Bill would have been far better off keeping his trap shut. I went into this hoping for a Hillary Clinton win and for her to become President. Now I hope she just exits before Bill and her does the party anymore damage.

    April 22, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Anne

    Down and dirty...what a surprise...Bah. I sure hope Pennsylvania voters send these two home.

    April 22, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Adam

    This campaign and all of its nonsense seems neverending. I've enjoyed witnessing history, but its fatiguing and I fear all of the energy being expended for this Democratic bid is ultimately going to leave our nation in shambles - either by keeping us under the Elephant's thumb or by giving us a Democratic president who is too bruised and battered for the job.

    April 22, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. JLS

    Nice mouth there, Bill. He just doesn't know when to stay quiet.

    April 22, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. American Patriot

    I simply can not believe Hillary would send out her husband and daughter to campaign for her. Why can this woman not run for office on her own and her own ability.

    I think it say's alot about her and it's not good.

    Has their daughter even ever held a job. Oh that's right she went to work for a Hedge Fund company that donates to Clintons campaign and gave her a 100,000 a year job right out of college researching companies on the internet.

    Pretty much get's a $100,000.00 a year surfing the internet.

    The Clintons are a disgrace

    April 22, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. Alan

    The Clinton campaign is in full-out mudslinging mode. I sure hope PA doesn't let this pay off for them. America deserves better

    April 22, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  11. Bruce Taylor, Berkeley, CA

    In Bill Clinton's skewed and remorseless world, Barack Obama played the race card by virtue of being black.
    Bill Clinton has become a petty and tawdry man. His soul has been for sale for a long time.

    April 22, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  12. Pat Durham

    Bill Clinton is dead right. He did not play the race card in South Carolina, it was truly taken out of contex. Obama on the other hand
    used his Grandmother in a racist description. Color should not matter to any of us.

    April 22, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Truth

    Come on Bill you can do better than that. The Clinton's game is very weak. They need to create their own game book instead of using the BAU methods that have been getting by for years.

    April 22, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Anonymous

    We certainly all DO know what's going on. Must be frustrating to not be able to pull the wool over the people's eyes as easily anymore.

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. Pennsylvania Loves Obama!!

    Bill is sounding MORE AND MORE RACIST by the second! I certainly do NOT want him back in the White House!!

    OBAMA '08

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    I really can't believe someone as smart as Bill Clinton keeps saying the dumbest things.

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. Jon in Ohio

    Does anyone believe a word out of any of the Clinton's anymore? I hope no one is still dumb enough to even listen to either of them. They are the two largest political hypocrites of modern times. When will they just go away? Let's get Obama or McCain into the White House and be done with this horrific family.

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. arun

    First he tries to play down Obama's victory in South Carolina by saying that even Jesse Jackson won in a landslide there. And then he says that it was Obama who was being diesrespectful to Jesse Jackson ? Either this man is delusional or he thinks the public is just dumb.

    Boy am I glad he is not coming back into the WH

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. TAHARI in CT 4 OBAMA

    This isnt about Black and White. This is about CLINTON VS. OBAMA.

    Hillary Clinton is BITTER. She is Bitter that she is not winning the way that she thought she would.

    I wish Bill would have just left the white house nicely and stuck to his book signings!

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  20. Mike, Toronto

    Just keep talking, Bill, and the people will get the President they deserve...

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. Michelle

    blah, blah, blah. Now who's whining???

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. Jean

    Crying lying two face slick willy

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Chido Williams

    When is Bill going to learn to drop these"negatives"? Its about time. He has not learnt that going this negative is hurting potential voters for his wife who is in desperate need of the popular vote in order be the nominee.

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  24. Go away Billary

    When will they ever learn? Bill and Hill both lie!

    April 22, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. Ron

    Who's whining now?

    April 22, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
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