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. Johnson

    No one asks if Clinton can get the black vote but people ask Obama if he can get the white vote. Doesn't make sense to me. We clearly have a divide in the democratic party thats going to take some months to get it together. we need to end this race so that the healing can begin.

    April 25, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. AJ-Philly

    Bizarre is absolutely correct.

    April 25, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Tim from Canada

    The more I watch your process and the way people believe the Clintons the more I like our process for elections in Canada. Really Monica Lewenski, Hillary's failed Health Care, Hillary's Whitewater fiasco and lies, Hillary's misspoken words, Hillary and Bill should exit satge left.

    April 25, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Rohn G. Kansas City, MO

    The Clintons says that Obama can not win in November without her base. However, Clinton can win without Obama's base. If Clinton can not win the African American vote, she will lose in November. Do the Clintons think that say anything and do anything and African Americans will support them?

    Obama '08

    April 25, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Kathryn

    Congressman Clyburn makes a good case. It seems the Clinton's have forgotten the entire party, if not the country, with their negativity and "politics". I think they need to get out of the kitchen and work to heal the hurt we are all feeling. It is time to support the winner, Barack Obama.

    April 25, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Dina from Clinton, WI

    I used to be a Clinton fan. but after the way both Clintons have used the race card, I would never vote for either of them. that is old politics: to say anything to be elected, to use a group of people for your own advantage and then stab them in the back. Hillary thinks she should be president because of the past. we need change. we need something better. GO OBAMA!

    April 25, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Mike

    Bill Clinton is the expert on twisted words and context.......... Mr. that depends on what the definition of "is" is!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Bh In Phoenix

    Bill Clinton is demonstrating his chameleon-like character. He has forgotten what Clyburn has said and has turned his back on the Balck community.

    April 25, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Sue

    It's so sad that Bill Clinton had not come out against the negative ads in NC. I fear this behavior is harming the Democrats. He once was a great leader.

    Go Obama go!!!!

    April 25, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. love2008

    Sounds to me thats what he is trying to say. He is setting the stage for his announcement. Wont be so shocked.

    April 25, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. Get Real

    Mr. Clyburn and all the remaining African American super delegate needs to send the "Clinton's" a message by endorsing OBama for president...this will shut the clinton down and send them back to New York.

    I for one, as an AA.....have not, did not and do not think highly of the Clintons.....

    April 25, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. CR

    I second DaveNC's plea. This is no time to act as if you're sitting on a fence when you've actually put your feet on the ground.

    April 25, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. mary

    No need to put in words what is clear to everyone to see. Poor Bill. Sad, really.

    April 25, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. patrcia

    I think the true Bill Clinton is comning out it is so sadden for our pary shame on you Bill shame on you Bill

    April 25, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |

    God punish the clintons

    April 25, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. AB

    So what.

    April 25, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. britney spears

    The Clinton's scorched earth strategy makes me sick. They should be ashamed of their behavior in the last two months. Have they considered what their future is going to look like when they eventually lose? They're losing more and more credibility and respect by the day.

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

    Bill Clinton is a victim of his own ego. He speaks just to hear himself talk..
    Lets get this over with in NC and Indiana. It's time to put the Clintons egos to sleep.

    April 25, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. Joann

    Rep. Clyburn, is exactly correct in what he is saying. Please endorse Senator Obama for president. All the superdelgates shoud do the same. No one owes the Clintons!

    April 25, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. fred

    Look, he points his finger also!!

    April 25, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. katchicago

    Mr. Clyburn will you take the lead and endorse Obama for the 2008 election. It time for a change in American and it starts at the White House.

    Obama 08

    April 25, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. John Dalton

    I can't believe many of us are buying into all the lies from Bill and Hillary Clinton. It is ashamed to see Hillary is resorting to using false accusations, innuendos and scare tactics to persuade the American people. I will vote for any candidate other than Hillary!

    April 25, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. fwh

    Clinton's behavior is not nearly as bizarre as the behavior of Obama supporters.

    April 25, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. charles

    bill and the wife should know that, americans are beginning to get tired of their filty lies, is high time they pack their belongings and get back to new york.


    April 25, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Independent

    African Americans are feeling a bit hurt. And you need that vote to win in November.

    April 25, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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