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. Collie

    lol. Bill Clinton is definitely acting bizarre. He scares me nowadays.

    April 25, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. Olander

    I have been saying for sometime that Clinton is trying to position herself for 2012. In the process she is trying ensure that Obama will not win in November. Why else would she continue on with her campaign when she know that she is not going to win.

    April 25, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. After further review,Texas

    Bill has seriously damaged his legacy in his thirst for gaining more power.He began the sellout to China,Nafta,and millions of our jobs to India at our expense.Dont forget it was a Republican Congress and the contract to screw America that he went along with though.He was just being a good Republican.

    April 25, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Cindy McCain

    Maybe he's just not getting any lately. Neither have I, for years lately. C'mon, Bill call me and we can hook up for some fun times!

    April 25, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Swalker327

    I totally agree - I used to love Bill Clinton. Now I just think he's crazy! I think he wants to get back in the White House so bad he (and his wife) will do anything to get there. The proof is in their actions for sure.


    April 25, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Cindy McCain

    (The preceding satire was brought to you by a voter who can't stand any of the so-called brainless frontrunners and encourages you to vote third party to send them a message that they all stink.)

    April 25, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. True Patriotism

    hey what a statement that is so true!!!!!!! go away bill and hill back to your fetal position.

    April 25, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Xanadude of Velen

    CNN immediatley posts positive Obama remarks........is Obama paying for thier services?

    April 25, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. Candi

    Bill is not going to quite insulting the African American people until Hillary and Bill steal this election. If everyone pulls the plug from Hillary they will go away.

    April 25, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Roland

    In Bill's defense (am I dellusional too?), after heart surgery like he has had, many people start doing and saying things which are "out of character." Unfortunately for him, Bill has demonstrated time and again that he has no character, so who knows what's really going on?!

    April 25, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Kenbomc

    The Clintons are both like that.

    April 25, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Peter Kavanagh

    No come on and endorse Obama . If you and 40 other fence sitters endorse by the middle of next week Obama can win Both states and knock her out .

    Obama 08 !!!

    YES WE CAN !!!

    April 25, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Jack

    We don't have to go a long way, sorry Bill. You already went the distance with your absurd and obvious comments throughout this campaign.

    Thanks for being real, at least....

    April 25, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Richard Schladen

    I supported Bill Clinton during his scandal days but I have come see him and his wife for what they are. They are just like their Republican enemies. Both have no respect for truth. They don't care if the Democrats lose. They only care about their control of power.

    April 25, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Sharon

    DaveNC, I am with you. If all of the super delegates made known their support for whomever, it would go a long way towards ending what is becoming a never ending nightmare. When we democrats finally wake-up John McCain will be taking the oath of office. Sigh!!

    April 25, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. Saunders in Nfld, Canada

    Yes it is correct Mr Clyburn thats exactly what the Clintons are doing trying to damage Obama to the point where he cannot be elected!

    April 25, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Rick

    Isnt Clyburn's response on this a little too late...this happen about 7 months ago. So why is this news CNN?

    April 25, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Jamaal Craig

    Thanks for calling a spade a spade Congressman

    April 25, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Dave

    There must be another contest in the Carolina's. Why is it racist to say Obama gets the vote of more African Americans because of his background? It is certainly true that Clinton is more likely to get the vote of women, or McCain from veterans. There is more to an honest discussion of race than acknowledging white racism.

    April 25, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Andrea Texas

    Let's not do a 360 on this story. The objective is to potray Mr Obama as a victim. People need to quit making excuse after excuse for voting for him instead of Senator Clinton.

    We are proud of you, Senator Clinton

    April 25, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Anson

    I said it before I will say much stronger now that I will never vote for Clinton, and I will not stay home. Even If I'm sick and as long as my last strenght permits, I will go out and vote for McCain if Hillary is nominated. She is evil! She has destroyed the democratic party to the point it would take more than eight years to repare the domage she caused. We will not get together, we will not get united, Hillary needs to go. I stood by Bill Clinton before, I used to be close to him, it used to be...

    April 25, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. AC

    More Clinton cunning. More Clinton guile.

    April 25, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. gggchapelhill

    Clyburn's scurrilous behavior is what is bizarre. Once again a democrat relying on GOP talking points to smear the Clintons. Clyburn should be ashamed. HIs feigned neutrality is an insult, he is and always has been an Obama shill. His once lofty reputation is now in tatters as are those of many people who have thrown their weight behind the Obama campaign which will go down in history as having destroyed the Democratic party.

    April 25, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. last laugh

    I think Clyburn hasn't really added anything to the discussion – it is like beating a dead horse. At this point the man is just trying to stay in the news. I am over it. How come the open letter from Maya Angelou isn't part of the ticker?

    April 25, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Bubba Max

    William Clinton is showing he is a racist down deep.

    April 25, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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