April 25th, 2008
03:52 PM ET
15 years ago

Clyburn: Bill Clinton's behavior 'bizarre'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/25/art.clyburnclinton.ap.jpg caption=" Clyburn has been critical of both Clintons."] (CNN) - The most powerful African-American in Congress again scolded former President Bill Clinton for comments he made over the course of the Democratic presidential race.

In an interview with the New York Times late Thursday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn called the former president's conduct "bizarre," and said several of Clinton's actions had deeply upset many African-Americans.

Clyburn told the newspaper that many African-Americans believed the Clintons were trying to damage Obama to the point where he could not be elected. He also made similar comments in an interview with Reuters Thursday.

"There are African Americans who have reached the decision that the Clintons know that she can’t win this," he told Reuters. "But they’re hell-bound to make it impossible for Obama to win.”

Speaking with the New York Times, Clyburn said such actions could lead to a longtime division between the former president and his once most reliable constituency.

“When he was going through his impeachment problems, it was the black community that bellied up to the bar,” Clyburn said. “I think black folks feel strongly that this is a strange way for President Clinton to show his appreciation.”

Speaking to reporters Friday, Obama said he does not believe in "irreparable breaches. "

"I am a big believer in reconciliation and redemption," he said. "This has been a fierce contest. I am confident, come August there are going to be a whole bunch of people standing on the stage with a lot of balloons and confetti raining down on the Democratic nominee and people are going to be excited about taking on John McCain in November."

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Filed under: Bill Clinton • James Clyburn
soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. Ken, San Diego, CA

    The fact is, the Obama campaign has been very clever in demonizing Bill Clinton. Clinton did a lot of good for the black community before he was in office and after he was in office. It's unfortunate that leaders like Clyburn would rather NOT give Bill Clinton ANY benefit of doubt (and clearly do so for his own political gain). Politics! Ain't it grand 🙁

    April 25, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Jack Wilson

    Is any Clinton capable of telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

    Those of us with a discerning mind know that is not possible so we are no longer surprised by when Willy or Hilly behave bizarrely or make extravagant claims. Still, we thank Representative Clyburn for stating it so succinctly.

    P.S. I am just another typical white voter.

    April 25, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. deena

    So much drama in this race about things other that the IMPORTANT ISSUES! I just wish we could all get past the created drama by the media and move on with the issues at hand.


    April 25, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. Former Obama Supporter

    Here goes the race card being played again. I am really tired of this. This is just a way to get African-Americans in NC to vote for Obama and not Hillary. What a pathetic attempt.

    April 25, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Debby

    Why don't you just endorse Obama Clyburn instead of making idiotic statements. You talk like another Rev. Wright which does not help him if he is the nominee.

    April 25, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Martin

    Wow CNN, You guys screen alot of comments but not that Of Xanadude of Velen. This person is the reason why we have race problems in America.

    April 25, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Allen

    Guess we know of what race Xanadude of Velen is...

    April 25, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Debbie, NJ

    Why don't the Clintons speak out about their calling the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the WHite House to counsel them during the impeachment.

    April 25, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. mr g

    Clyburn, make a choice already

    April 25, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. TOBY- TX

    I think that Congressman is correct. I know some African Americans who voted for HRC during the primary and now they are starting to say that if she gets the nomination they will vote for her. I think if she gets the nomination she is going to have a serious problem with African Americans.

    April 25, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Elliott - Wisconsin

    What is the difference between Bill Clinton saying that Obama played the race card on him and Geraldine Ferraro saying that Obama attacked her because she was white?

    I'm sorry, who's playing the race card? How much of this garbage have you heard coming from Obama's camp?

    April 25, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. richard, Coweta Ok

    Bill Clinton's behavior Bizarre? What else is new.

    April 25, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Clark

    Xanadude it is comments like yours that keep this nation divided in the first place.

    April 25, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. Colleen

    Why is it that when AA overwhelmingly vote for Obama it's ok, but when 50-60% of whites vote for Clinton it's seen as racist? This double standard isn't working anymore. Let's talk about the NV debate where there were stacks of papers claiming Obama's campaign was playing the race card.

    April 25, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Anonymous

    Keep on talking Bill!! LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    OBAMA 08

    April 25, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. christi

    The Clintons are running a "if I can't have it, no-one will" campaign.

    April 25, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Alex, MA

    It looks like Clintons and some other politicians preach equality but it's only talk. When they need to walk their own talk they get scared and step back into their deeply engraved inside them internal racist.
    I'm not black but I'm not white either, I'm a Jew.

    April 25, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Thierry

    The DNC chairman Howard Dean has asked the so called superdelagates to decide Now, I can understand the point congressman Clyburn is trying to makey, but I wonder why he hasn't endorsed Barack Obama? We all know Bill Clinton has been trying to play the race card since day one, that's old politics and that's why the Clintons won't be nominated no matter how hard they try.
    Go Obama!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. mitch from ark.

    i think the clintons are bitter,and clinging to their guns,so they can shoot themselves in the foot.

    April 25, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. liar liar, pants on fire

    Well said!

    April 25, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Chad

    Give me a break........ You cant be serious look at America's History. I resnt that comment and it shouldn't be posted..

    April 25, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Keep on talking Bill.. LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!

    April 25, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. NY

    To Xanadude of Velen:

    Your comment proves you're stuck in "stupid"!!

    April 25, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Scott

    I agree, either Bill is off his rocker or it is planned craziness. Please step-up and endorse Obama and silence the clintons.

    April 25, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Pistoff

    The Clintons are like moldy bread ... time to toss them out.

    April 25, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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