May 21st, 2008
08:06 PM ET
14 years ago

Bill Clinton says race card allegation 'revolting strategy'


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Bill Clinton had some tough words for the media and the Obama campaign."](CNN) - Bill Clinton says that he thinks most people in the media are in Barack Obama’s demographic, telling People magazine “There have been times when I thought I was literally lost in a fun house."

In an interview hitting newsstands Friday, the former president said his wife Hillary Clinton has been “outspent, dismissed, denigrated, declared dead” this primary season.

Asked whether he likes Obama, Clinton responded that he did not know the Illinois senator very well – but “I think I understand him. There are enough similarities in our childhoods and things that I think I get what he is doing.”

Clinton said the allegation that he and Sen. Clinton played the race card was a “cold-blooded, calculated, manipulated, and a revolting strategy,” and that his only campaign season regret was speaking “late at night when I was tired, ‘cause if you are tired or angry, you shouldn’t be talking.”

Clinton told People that after her mother lost the Iowa caucuses, daughter Chelsea “was upset, bawled, went to her employer and said, ‘Look, you got to let me go or give me an indefinite leave of absence. I’m not letting my mother go down like this.’”

Does the former president think Chelsea Clinton would consider a run for elected office? “I don’t know. If you had asked me this before Iowa, I would have said ‘No way. She is too allergic to anything we do,” responded Clinton. “But she is really good at it.”

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (448 Responses)
  1. Anonymous


    Can we really face another term of the Clintons? I think not...the Clinton name tarnished the White House...Monica and White Water just to name a few. How about having a moral man in office who does not take advantage of women and then pretend it did not happen.

    This "Stand by your Man" mentality is soooo 1950's, maybe if she had left Bill at the end she may have gotten more respect for those of us to think highly of ourselves to be taken advantage of by men!!

    May 21, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  2. kaz

    Clinton's have no moral arguments they dont care about party, they dont care about country, they care only about them.

    May 21, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  3. Adam kicking in

    bill I respected you as a good president, but after seeing what you and Hillary have said and sine in this primary, I no longer have that respect for you.

    A former Hillary supporter

    May 21, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. sally

    i keep hearing about a video of michelle obama in church which shows her yelling "down with whitey". whats that all about?

    May 21, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  5. lyn white

    It is time for Hillary to step aside, she needs to focus on supporting Obama towards the November elections, and stop pretending that she still has a chance.Time is of the essence, they are wasting time and will likely regret it

    May 21, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Chris in Va.

    Yes Sharon Minnesota, we care very much for our country! THAT is why we reject and denounce Hillarity, her husband, her campaign, and her brain-washed supporters, and we certainly respect the opine of someone from a state that elected former pro WRESTLER Jessie "The Body" Ventura as governor.

    May 21, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. Lisa (PA)

    President Clinton, you are the one that threw out the race card in South Carolina. Some folks in the south (WV and KY) will not vote for Senator Obama because he is African American. However, they are forgetting one major thing....he is also White. Some of these folks will always think that they will never vote for a "BLACK MAN" because that is just wrong. Who said it was wrong? White people? Please!

    Senator Obama never said, "Hey vote for me because I am African American!"

    My family is very diverse...Hispanic, African American, Arab, White and Japanese and so we are very well rounded and we are predominantly from Texas and California and we are both Democrats and Republicans. I just so happen to live in PA. We are very religious (different religions) and very open to everything. It is time for this nation to move forward!

    Just because I am a woman doesn't mean that I am obilgated to vote for Senator Clinton because she is a woman. We are suppose to vote for the person who will do the best job for OUR country. So that is what my family is doing. To us Senator Obama is well rounded and very diverse and is able to see people for who they are in the inside not for what they look like on the outside.

    However, I think it is the time to start healing. So let's come together and vote for Senator Obama for President.

    May 21, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  8. Aldon Black ???? Is that the best fake moniker you could come up with?

    Aldon ...

    I don't want to crack on you but ... what are you smoking? OK, sorry, couldn't resist.

    The obvious point that Mr. Obama is the top delegate holder (remember, this is suppose to be a meritocracy) and he will be the nominee.

    The less obvious point is that no one in America would buy this from Mrs. Clinton because it would require the public AND Mr. Obama to TRUST her. She's not yet earned that trust.

    Here's Plan A ...

    – Mr. Obama heads the ticket.
    – Senator Webb for VP (applying some of the elements in your proposal)
    – John Edwards for Attorney General
    – Gov Selebuis for Health & Human Services
    – Senator Clinton heads the Office of Poverty Reduction to achieve a 10% reduction in poverty in each year ... she promised MLK III she'd do this.
    – Senator Hagel Secreatary of State
    – Richard Luger Secretary of Defense

    May 21, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  9. The Truth

    Crying & Lying runs in the family....

    OBAMA '08!

    May 21, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  10. Venus

    Hillary and Bill played the race cards... black and white!

    Hillary played the white race card before WV –

    I always liked Bill Clinton = and watching Hillary during this primary...
    Now I see why she has very high negative ratings and why many don't like her! Including the media!

    If she runs again in 2012 – I will make sure she doesn't get any black votes!

    Go Obama! It gives me pleasure to see a rookie bring down the Clintons Machine!

    May 21, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  11. kravitz

    Hillary's only goal is to get Obama into the level of debt she's at. Her walking around money and racist tactics got her into trouble. Enough that she would never win the black vote. She's not even hanging on to the hispanic vote. She's only interested in uneducated whites it seems, who are coincidentally, the same ones McCain's puppetmasters hope will propel him into office. Perhaps she should run with John 'married the mob guy's daughter' McCain.

    May 21, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  12. mk

    President Clinton is exactly right. This is the reason I will not be voting democrat this fall for the first time in 30+ years.

    May 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  13. GWB

    Cry me a river Clintons! Give me break from your endless spin cycle!

    May 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. Yup

    Totally agree! Which is just one of the reasons i will never vote for Obama.

    May 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  15. Sharon Minnesota

    It's not doing any good to try to shut up Clinton or McCain supporters. I am a free citizen along with all my other compadre's blogging for their candidate who doesn't go by the name of Obama.

    P.S. I'm retired and can blog all day long if I feel like it. What are you doing, bloging at work and cheating your boss? Or, are you a college student who has nothing better to do but waste your parent's money.
    You'll hear from me again, and again, and again until the election is over in November.

    May 21, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. Bill Redding, CA

    And I used to laugh at the Bugs Bunny cartoons. These folks are too much. But, he's right, shouldn't talk when you're tired, too easy too imagine the sniper fire in Bosnia.

    May 21, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  17. The Bu

    So, it's bad for 90% of African-American's to support Obama, but it's not bad for 40+% to say they won't vote for the man because he's black??? I don't get that. Don't confuse pride with racism. Is it sexist when women vote overwhelmingly for Clinton? NO! Can they just be proud?? Blacks have supported white candidates in droves since the beginning of time and that's because we've never had a "viable" black candidate. Why do you call us racist when we are proud? Just like women are proud of Clinton (and SHE is reminding you of that quite frequently). Is Obama running around saying, "black people are voting for me in large numbers" or "well, at least I'm winning the black vote." NOPE!!! It's your girl who has played the race and gender card. I'm not saying she's racist, just not smart.

    May 21, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  18. Venus

    I can't wait for the Right Woman to run for president – at that time I will vote for her!

    Watching how Hillary is acting now should help explain why she is being treated the way she is by the media and the men's club!

    May 21, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  19. Mike from Westchester

    It appears to me that the Clinton campaign, or perhaps Bill, made a calculated gamble that by subtly interjecting race into the campaign, Obama would lose more votes from whites than he gained from blacks. There were several comments, but I would have to do too much research to quote them. I noticed several going into the South Carolina primary. It backfired at the time. Obama was making an obvious attempt to avoid running as the "black candidate". Remember the stuff insinuating that he wasn't "black" enough? Of course, there was the famous dismissive comment about Jesse Jackson that finally put it all out in the open and sealed Hillary's fate in getting any material black vote.

    However, due to the Reverend Wright controversy and the bitter comment, the strategy has finally start paying dividends – but too little, too late for the Clintons. Obviously, much of that blame goes to Obama, but the groundwork had already been laid.

    Oh, and by the way, Hillary is not, I repeat, not in the lead in the popular vote. For a number of reasons, Florida results are tainted. And Michigan is ridiculous to even talk about. She is not counting caucus turnouts. Then there's the Operation Chaos votes and the 22% in West Virginia and Kentucky that are poison to the soul.

    In Michigan, Hillary herself justified not keeping her agreement to take her name off the ballot by saying "everyone knows this election is not going to count for anything." It is extremely unethical for her to now want to count the Michigan vote.

    The "I don't think he's a muslim" comment, sniper fire, and unethical behavior, especially regarding Michigan are reason enough not to support Hillary. Not enough time for a full list.

    She cannot win without destroying the party. She either supports Obama and we try to win this thing, torches her own party and causes McCain to win, or if she is able to muscle her way into the nomination, loses to McCain in the fall. Option number one is the only way to keep her political career viable.

    May 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. MI White Women 4 Obama!

    I can see it now....the swearing in of Barack Obama in January as our elected President and Hillary and Bill screaming in the background....they've been robbed, cheated, belittled......

    What the heck is wrong with the two of you, Bill and Hillary. You are both pathetic lunatics! Shut up and go home.

    OBAMA 08 & 12!

    America LOVES Obama!

    May 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  21. tj in fla

    These comments from the guy who lost the Congress in 1994 during his admin, who enabled the election of an incompetent Republican Pres in 2000 as a consequence of his extramarital affairs in office and subsequent lying, someone who has profited greatly from his Presidency, stretches creditability to the breaking point. Bill, we have heard enough from you-go make some more speeches for millions of dollars to someone who cares..

    May 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  22. Chris

    Play all the cards – the "Sexism" one was great... it's not like Obama had an easy road with Wright coming up twice. Obama barely attacked the Clintons considering the amount of baggage they have.

    " a “cold-blooded, calculated, manipulated, and a revolting strategy,”
    – buddy, I'm Spanish and saw exactly what you meant by mentioning Jesse Jackson

    his only "regret was speaking “late at night when I was tired, ‘cause if you are tired or angry, you shouldn’t be talking.” – ahhhh, the tired/mispeaking card again??!! What happened to 3am and experience helping you guys??

    May 21, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  23. marcelo

    I think I get the Clinton strategy now...

    ... respond to attacks that DON'T EXIST as if they exist and your supporters will rally behind you because the alleged attacks are horrible in nature...

    ... Shame on you Obama for playing the gender card and I'm a victim
    ... Shame on you Obama for playing the race card and I'm a victim
    ... Shame on you Obama for trying to supress the votes of millions
    ... Shame on you Obama for trying to claim victory
    ... Shame on you Obama for being an elitist and arrogant


    WAKE UP AMERICA!!! This is a political trick the Clintons are playing to win your sympathy vote.... Obama is a good an decent man being railroaded by dirty tricks... he has never attacked Clinton or committed any of these actions... I'm a fair minded political junkie and I've watched every debate and was an avid Clinton supporter until after Super Tuesday...

    Obama '08

    May 21, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  24. LT for Obama

    Alton Brown: Your senario is a nice one but the reality of it is this: Do you REALLY think that Hillary is going to give up so much control to Obama? Do you really think she is going to give him his well deserved kuddos?

    The fact of the matter is this: The Clinton camp was, as we all have heard, not prepared to go past Feb. 5. Now, there is the rub, if she did not have a back up plan, what makes you think she will have one in unfortold circumstances that will arise, especially at 3 am?

    A good leader will plan for ALL scenarios not just the one they want.

    May 21, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  25. Xdem

    I don't think being a community activist and serving 4yrs in the State Senate and only 3 in the US Senate counts for a whole lot of experience! Hillary, on the other hand has been fighting for people all of her life. And, you better bet being married to the President she was able to not only voice her opinions with Bill but to actually get things done, Not to mention...she knows how to speak to foreign leaders and cannot be intimidated, She has the experience in the US Senate of 8+ years. Obama, can talk all he wants about changing Washington, but that is just a big dream...He cant change Washington, and if he doesnt know how to play the game..he'll get no IF, he even makes it in the General. The man needs true EXPERIENCE!

    Take it to the Convention!

    May 21, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
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