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. The Thinker


    I agree 100%. Yes, they are and the only way to diminish that in their part is to bring in something that you and I was not a part of and shout a lot to confuse everyone else about their intentions.

    April 25, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. Bill

    Velen.....Right on!

    April 25, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. EK

    Here many feel that the Clintons following a dog in the manger policy.
    If we can not get the nomination and go to White House, let the other guy be blooded enough so that he also can not go there.

    April 25, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Janet Bollero

    whatever! people need to stop playing the race card, whatever ethnicity they belong to!

    April 25, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. Canadian eh

    I believe all Americans have some form of racism within them, and unfortunately your hatred is spreading throughout the world.

    April 25, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Sarah

    Xanadude – and, how exactly does that address the issues or concerns at hand? Bill Clinton has behaved in a manner that is highly inappropriate and continues to do so.

    April 25, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Lynn

    It seems that Bill doesn't want his wife to be president...he seems to be doing alot to derail the cause. Go Bill!!!

    April 25, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. SharonR

    Just endorse Obama an d quit with the race card before every large AA vote.

    April 25, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. davidCA

    xan dont be fooled by the media this guy is right about the clintons

    April 25, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. law

    Yes. Bill is extremely bizarre on the whole thing. I hope he do some good thing to save himself.

    April 25, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Reza

    Cilinton 's behavior realy is bizarre. If she blocks Obama I will not vote to democrat again.

    April 25, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. MikeT

    Obama is already getting almost all of the black vote, who cares what this guy is saying, Obama has been playing the race card for some time. He gave a speech on race. How is that not playing the race card?

    April 25, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. RFB

    Is this his way of trying to bring Obama back to popularity, or is this just another racial dig at the Clintons?

    April 25, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Darth Vadik, CA

    Bill Clinton never used to make mistakes, all of the sudden Bill is stumbling mumblig tumbling?

    There is something very wrong with Bill, I think Hillary is driving him nuts.

    April 25, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Bob, IN

    Xandadude... wow.

    It's comments like this that really show your true colors...

    April 25, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. mike

    Who cares what Clyburn has to say,He is irrelevant to say the least.

    April 25, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Jen

    That is a lie. Bill Clinton did not do anything wrong. You guys betrayed the Clintons.

    April 25, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Florida For OBAMA

    I have to agree. he's right.
    Bill /Hillary please go away!!!

    April 25, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Mike from Westchester

    Hey, Xanadude. I think you'll probably find the 'most racist' in the mirror.

    April 25, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. North Carolina

    Its about time someone spoke up, be it black or white the actions of the Clintons are wrong. They ack as if they are intitled to the White House, we owe them nothing. Billary please go away!

    April 25, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. richard briscoe

    i find it very interesting that you have written this article but have not allowed the ability to e mail it to others. was this on purpose?s

    April 25, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Netta

    We are not racist. We would love to love without hesitation. However, as a ethnic group, we have learned to be skiddish about getting a fair equitable shake.

    April 25, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Luke Brown, Charleston SC

    Actually, Clyburn has been close to endorsing Senator Clinton several times. For those who don't know him, he is a very good congressman and doesn't just pop off without good reason.

    April 25, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. reality

    I am personally fed up with both sides pulling out the race/gender cards.

    One things for sure she can't win with out a good portion of his supporters and he can't win without hers.

    So face the facts look at the grey area of why people are voting the way they are....close your eyes and make a true decision. This is the silly season for real.

    April 25, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. matt, Philly, PA

    Xanadude, how is Clyburn being racist? Bill Clinton is acting bizarre... and even a Hillary supporter should be able to see that. Bill Clinton's comments make no sense.

    April 25, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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