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. Cowards

    The Superdelegates are not that super. They are cowards hiding behind their undeclared votes.

    Any Superdelegate who waits until after the end of the primaries is a superbum.

    April 22, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. William Golis

    We all know Bill Clinton is a liar.

    April 22, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Stop that Woman!

    I am so sick and disappointed in Bill. He knows that Hillary consistantly plays the the gender card. Obama does not play that much attention to him being black...it is just that the media does....

    April 22, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Clarence

    This election is the Democrat's to lose. If the bickering continues all of the energized people will be turned off. The election will once again be served to the Republicans on a silver platter. Bill Clinton was my hero before this election. I vastly disappointed!

    April 22, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Bob

    This is a contact sport, Bill. You have to expect to get hit ! If you don't want to get hit, don't put the uniform on. Isn't that what YOU have been saying ? I guess it's different when you are the one getting hit ? But Bill ? If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen !

    April 22, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Yemi

    Oh my God! Bill is trying to use the race card AGAIN!!!
    On the day of the Pennsylvania vote! Good grief, I hope he steers away from tha course. He's an elder statesman and he should be very conscious of what will happen to his legacy and how history will judge him.

    April 22, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. Phillip Bunn , Bailey NC

    Is Bill Clinton ever going to shut-the-hell-up? He had his time and chose to use it giving the country away (NAFTA), playing with girls, and getting impeached. Now he wants to help elect his wife by any means necessary – even accusing Obama of playing the race card – and keep her busy, so he can get back to "the usual things." It's time to send ALL the Clintons home, or wherever they need to go – I have a suggestion on the going process, and the destination.

    April 22, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. American Patriot

    Boy if Bill get's back in the white ( slick Wioly ) will come out again.

    I wonder who he will try and grope this time.



    April 22, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  9. I.D. from Brooklyn, NY

    The Clintons continue to stick their foots in their mouths. Their greatest fight is not against Barack Obama... it's against themselves. And they're losing.

    April 22, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. dhill

    i cant deal with this for 8 years.

    go away clintons!

    April 22, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. McBomb

    ===billy go to hell, NO Respect for you any longer====
    =====SHut your Big Mouth======

    April 22, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. tigerakabj

    Bill, what you just said is a "fairy tale" and you just need to "chill out" and "get real." That is not an event you can remember, it is an event "you can xerox." Pennsylvania, brothers and sisters, put this thing away.

    April 22, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Mick Rogers

    Can someone please get this guy to shut up?

    April 22, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. Independent

    And didn't Hillary play the gender card? Women superdelegates get heckled for not supporting their "sister" Hillary and that is ok? Obama is the democratic front runner. Please Hillary, no more Kamikaze attacks on Democratic party. Drop out, for all of our sakes.

    You know, John Stweart was right last night when he told Obama, that when he gets to be inaugarated to be the next prez, Hillary would still be running......

    April 22, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. Frances Fields

    Bill Clinton has shown Black people his true color. He has used us for years and let him. That man doesn't care anything about Black People. What he needs to do is go sit down and let his wife run her race. I don't care for her either and will be glad when the rest of the Blacks people wake up to those Clintons and see that they don't give a darn about out race. They lie thru their teeth. I don't have a thing for either of them. Bill just want to get back into the White House. He doesn't want Hillary.

    April 22, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. Julie

    Ugly, ugly, ugly. I hope this is the last we will hear from the Clintons.

    April 22, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. Ron Paul

    Bill, . . . . Your wife has lost. She's lost in the delegate count, popular
    vote(majority don't like her), and number of states won. Go home.

    Obama 08.

    April 22, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. Archie Bunker

    Still can't tell the truth, can he?

    April 22, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  19. karen from va

    Yes, "we all know what's going on", and its called spin. Bill, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    April 22, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. Ed

    We thought that Bill Clinton was the one to bring change to Washington. He brought disgrace. Rather than a Messiah, he proved to be a Neandertal.

    April 22, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. Elly

    my my Billy boy we are jealous of Obama arent we
    go back to travelling around giving your speaches, bye bye
    We all know who really played the race card so please dont try and twist it in your favor!
    Good luck today Senator Obama!
    you have many *wise* Americans who want to get rid of the Clinton Bush monarchys and really opt for change
    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. Mike

    Ummm. sounds like a clinton to me.......

    And why was he president? Mr. I'll let Bin Laden get away...this family is a joke......

    April 22, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. Judy

    Bill Clinton you are NOT a racist! It is really low of the Obama campaign but expected.


    April 22, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. Yokosuka

    Just close your mouth Bill. Your legacy is over and you're ruining your wifes. Go Obama Go!!!


    April 22, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. George, Palm Springs

    Hillary has lost the nomination. Bill Clinton's pretending not to be racist
    won't change that fact.

    April 22, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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