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. Pat, Renton, Washington

    Listen carefully to what he has just said. Know the behavior of your Bill is reflected upon his wife, just as she wants to use her time as First Lady as experience.

    My vote will not be cast for Clinton(s) – write-in. Do know, there is a greater possiblity that there is actually more Obama's supporters that will not vote Clinton.

    April 25, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. max

    Finally, its seen how these two have played in the mud and we are sick of it, back when he was disgracing the USA as the worst president in history got impeached, the white community portrayed AAs of supporting him for his disgusting acts, now you support them in fact glorifying them.................. you think this is any better than Obama!!!! And he an Hillary stood side by side and straight out lied...people please.................. he will do the same again because you are giving them permission

    April 25, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Kyle

    It's nothing new from the clinton's rule book, do whatever it takes to win, say whatever the public wants to hear, so they "appear" as though they care. When in reality, they only care for themselves.
    There's too much credit given today in "appearances"; If one appears to care that's all that matters. Truth has become a dirt word in Politics, and the Lie has over taken every aspect of American life.
    Our founding fathers predicted this before the constitution was written, we have proved them right regrettably. And there is no sight of the truth ever regaining control, thanks to those like the clinton's.

    April 25, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Chinny

    I guess in America, it is always about race... no matter how hard we try to pretend or ignore, it always boils down to race :(. The Clintons just want to give minorities fish, but when minorities learn how to fish, clintons try to sink their fishing boats. "No you can't go out to fish on your own, until we say you are tried, tested and ready". Hypocrites. I have lost all respect for the clintons and I can't understand why anyone would vote for Hillary. Run a fair race. Doing anything to win is definitely not noble. Hope I don't get censored.

    April 25, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. Anonymous


    April 25, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. John McConnell

    Clyburn is correct: Bill Clinton's behavior is bizarre. In fact, he is acting just like a raging alcoholic. The irrational outbursts, the self-deception, and his physical appearance–bloated face & flushed complexion–are good indications that he has a bad drinking problem. There is also a family history of alcoholism, and the disease is genetic. Do we want an uncontrolled and uncontrollable drunk running amok in the White House so close to the nuclear trigger? It would be Dr. Strangelove in reality.

    April 25, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. 1man1vote

    No one is accusing the Clintons of overt racism, but rather fanning the flames of ignorance in people who are.

    April 25, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. yoshi927

    Spot on, right there. Bill's remarks didn't even make any sense in the first place, and then he started denying them. Bizarre doesn't begin to cover it.

    April 25, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. rose

    Bravo to you sir!

    April 25, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Corey S

    Right on. There is nothing else to say.

    April 25, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. vic nashville,Tn

    Give me a break
    What about San Francisco close door talk?
    What about Rev. Jeremiah Wright G.D America?

    April 25, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. Phil

    Clyburn is totally wrong, it was Hannity and Fox News that stirred this up. They are hurting Obamas chance of winning, he had Fred Thompson talking about Obam last night. Not the Clinton's this is an effort to stop Hillary's momentum by another Obama supporter. If you can't see this then your blind. The Clinton's just happen to benefit the fact that Obama was not correctly vetted. If anything Clyburn is being racist and sexist attacking a white female candidate, did anyone stop to think about that. Let's rewind Obamas comment (typical white person) that did not nearly draw the attention of the sniper fire comment. Lets be transparent and not bring up race in this race. It's getting uglier by the minute and all the supporters need to let the candidates dictate the outcome.

    April 25, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. Trina

    I agree with Mr. Nelson 100%.

    April 25, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. No Obama Social state. ( Chicago voter)

    Clyburn is a whiner. All these Obama supporters do is just whine and whine. All hope, change, but if there's no action. It's not going to happen, people.
    get out of the ghetto and do something good for your life.
    not just whine ane whine and hope this Obama is going to solve all of your problems. It's not going to happen. Everybody is equal in America. So stop whining and waiting for hand out. I'm so sick of Obama. He didn't do a darn thing to better Chicago politics like he promised. And now he promised to better US politics? Dream on, people. I want a doer, no talker.

    April 25, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Julious

    We all know Mrs Clinton winning the Democratic nomination will be one of the biggest upsets or call it “camebacks” in the history of the presidentials primaries.
    I do not think the Clintons do not know this, they know it and they will equally be shocked if Hillary were to be nominated.
    So why is she still running and above all, why all the negative campagning?
    Their main job at the moment is to destroy Obama!!!
    That’s the million dollar question!
    Come on….Bill had been something of a cult figure among Black people the world over, he know’s this and he enjoys it…..forgotten the “first black president” tag?
    So why someone else come to replace him……Noooo!
    Secondly, Obama or Hilary were set for the history books…….the Clintons are going for it’s me or no history this year……
    The last view is that, they are now representing or holding the interest of that group of people think “Nooooo America is not ready for a black president, nooo, not a black man”. Take a closer look at Hillary droping tears just before the New Hampshire vote and listen to her attentively and judge for yourself if she is part of this group or just pleading to them.

    God Bless America

    April 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. MD in OK

    I think Bill has done too many appearances. Maybe he's hoping she'll choose him as her running mate. Anyway, I know he wants to see Hillary win, but he needs to step back and let HER run as the democratic candidate.

    April 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Randal NYC

    The funny thing is that untill Bill started running his mouth, black people were still supporting Hillary. Its easy to stop supporting someone when they are acting like a jerk.

    April 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. David Ruck

    Bill's behavior is schizophrenic. But how is that different from any other Bill Clinton we've known? MY GOODNESS PEOPLE!!?? How is this family still involved in American politics? Don't we deserve better than Bush's tax break's for the Rich and the Clintons' endless pursuit of absolute power? Shame in the news media for covering these issues like these people are normal and their arguments are valid.

    Obama gets smeared while focusing on the issues. Do a story about how they run these smear campaigns. Give us a good, in-depth analysis of BOTH sides' tactics. That would be good, news-worthy reporting. Instead of focusing on this "is it too late for Hillary" or "are we still talking about Obama's minister?"

    As long as you keep asking questions like the latter, you ARE still talking about his minister.

    Focus now on how the Reverend White visited the Clinton White House as well... or is that not good journalism?

    April 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Larry

    Mr. Clyburn needs to take a deep breath, and go sit down. Clinton is being who he is...a rough and tumble politician. Obama is already not electable...Clinton did not do it. Obama did it. He has self-destructed. Clyburn takes himself far too seriously.

    April 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. Ron

    Neutral ??? Really??? He is an OBAMA surrogate and as in the past the OBAMA people raising the race card under the pretext its the Clintons' issues

    April 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Joshua College Station Texas

    This is how crazy Bill becomes when Hillary is the one publicly in charge. She always did exert influence even when he was Prez, but at least back then he was still at the head of the canoe. Now that she is leading, he doesn't know seem to know how to follow. Too bad for them but good for us, neither sees the huge waterfall of defeat they are coming up on. Bye bye, Spinillary and Bill! Don't worry–all your loyal Clintonheads and Carvillites will be there at the bottom to pick you up (but probably not all those you've now terribly offended and disgusted, like blacks, whites, Obama voters, independent and republican crossover voters, superdelegates, etc., etc., etc...).

    April 25, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Indiana Voter

    I think America is starting to show its real face when it comes to racism!!!

    April 25, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. Philip

    Just another reason why the Clintons must GO AWAY!

    April 25, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Joe Regis

    The fact remains who between the Clintons is more annoying!!!

    both of them...

    But who would have tought that Bill would be more annoying that Hillary!!!

    Instead of saying "honney this thing is over, let's go home lying in wait for another time"; nop, he is feeding her tenacious annoyance.

    Even if she wins all the 408 delegates left, because she only have 1586 now, she can't get the 2025 needed. Mitt Romney for the GOP did the math and he did see the reality and then moved on. Can somebody help her other than Bill to see clearly????

    April 25, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    It proves the concept that basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.....the central dogma of a pollitican.

    April 25, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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