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. bill g.

    You ain;t seen nuttin' yet...... this is .first rate entertainment! a Greek tradjety in progress.....enjoy!

    May 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |


    May 21, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. A white Canadian

    The Clinton demographic is largely uneducated white people. Promising.

    May 21, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  4. get with the program

    I still can't believe that well respected political icons can lead a lynch mob in the 21st century.

    May 21, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  5. Robert in Toronto, ON

    As an African American, I can easily say that the Clintons – while not racist – have VERY much played the race card. To say, that they brought up race in this election. When? Let's go back to South Carolina when Bill Clinton compared Barack Obama to the Rev. Jesse Jackson's own Presidential run. It was clear back then while Hillary was ahead that he basically infered "Well, it's a great idea...but it's not a serious campaign." So when Obama's camp fired back, NOW all of a sudden he's "revolted"???? Give me a break. Isn't this the guy who said you have to strap on the gear and take a hit? The problem that Bill Clinton (and his supporters/defenders) on here need to understand is – the Clintons know only one thing. Winning. And they will say, and do whatever it takes to win. Even if that means playing race cards. Playing now gender cards. Comparing the Civil Rights movement to this bumbled Florida/Michigan vote! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

    Anyone not blinded by his Southern charm knows he's just doing what he feels he needs to do to try and keep Hillary going. Because realistically, they BOTH know that this is it for them until Chelsea becomes of age. Trust me....this is not about how "offended" he is, just a ploy to drum up support.

    The Clintons were NOT this hated until they started fighting dirty, which polls upon polls show that they have.

    Educate yourself

    May 21, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  6. The Lone Ranger


    May 21, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Well finally something was said already concerning the media's attack on Sen. Clinton. I mean, it is perfectly clear how much the media constantly attacks. With the media's constant attacks on Clinton and strongly supportsObama is getting really annoying. I am still a Clinton supporter and hopeful she will win the nomination, but wouldn't mind voting for Obama for the 2008 election, I just don't want a Republican in office.

    May 21, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  8. LT for Obama

    From Senator Obama's Senate site. It seems that many of you do not know just how long he has been in public service. It is called research people:

    "Barack Obama has dedicated his life to public service as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, and leader in the Illinois state Senate. Obama now continues his fight for working families following his recent election to the United States Senate.

    Sworn into office January 4, 2005, Senator Obama serves on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which oversees our nation’s health care, schools, employment, and retirement programs. He is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, which plays a vital role in shaping American policy around the world, including our policy in Iraq. And Senator Obama serves on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which is focused on providing our brave veterans with the care and services they deserve. In 2005 and 2006, he served on the Environment and Public Works Committee, which safeguards our environment and provides funding for our highways.

    During his eight years in the Illinois state Senate, Obama worked with both Democrats and Republicans to help working families get ahead by creating programs like the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which in three years provided over $100 million in tax cuts to families across the state. Obama also pushed through an expansion of early childhood education, and after a number of inmates on death row were found innocent, Senator Obama enlisted the support of law enforcement officials to draft legislation requiring the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases."

    May 21, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  9. Dori in AZ

    Hillary and Bill have played every card – revolting and otherwise – in the deck. Instead of winding up with a royal flush, they've got three of a kind.

    Unless they have some cards up their sleeves (as deceitful card players might), they're out of the tournament.

    May 21, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  10. joe anderson

    Pres Clinton and Obama, similar childhoods?

    Please tell me that was a joke, right.

    May 21, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  11. Ed

    Sharon...get a life! Your candidate LOST! It is over!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |

    Even though I like Bill Clinton and was going to vote for Hillary until I discovered Obama, I am going to have to say they did play the race card after they started to lose. You see, they though they had this nomination in the bag and was okay with Florida and Michigan not counting. They Obama blazed from behind and could not be stopped. She let her guard down because she was white and she shouldn't have done that. It is not just global warming that is changing the world it is everything else that you would least expect. You ran a hell of a campangine Hillary, but you lost, it is over.

    May 21, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  13. BobbyBacala

    Yea suuuuure Bill. Your wife is the one who is out there trying to get every hard working American aka white American aka racist dummy to vote for her. I'm Italian American and I think Bill and Hill are the ones playing the white racist redneck card. To Hill Bill supporters, get over it and pick up a book.

    May 21, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  14. Tyrone

    Sophia nyc,

    You are so right. I wonder how many people are paying attention to this issue. What is even more surprising is just how soon after Bush gave his disgusting "Speech" that these two leaders stated their intention to hold "Peace Talks" Can you imagine what these leaders must think about Bush's position on this whole issue?

    May 21, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  15. case

    And some thought this would not end badly.... remember the Clintons are involved...

    May 21, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  16. tj in fla


    They are the Clintons-do you expect anything different?

    May 21, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  17. AJ, IL

    First and foremost, Hillary is not going to the convention. The superdelegates will rally behind Obama come June 3rd. The only two states remaining that matter are Montana and South Dakota. Puerto Rico is not a state and doens't vote in the general election.

    Hillary's new math of 2210 delegates is not going fly. Only the uneducated supporters of Hillary truly think that the Clintons can make up new rules as they go along in life.

    May 21, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  18. Get a Life

    How could you ever believe what Bill says....he is one of the biggest liars there is....he lied to our whole nation....there are several reasons why Hillary has lost and Billie Boy is right up there at the top.

    For all those that say they won't vote if their candidate isn't running, it only shows your ignorance and cry baby attitude. Come on..if you are a Democrat be a Democrat...if you are a Republican be a Republican. The nation has chosen and it will be Obama like it or not.

    May 21, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  19. Louis

    I don't know how Bill can play a race card as he is white.
    There is no one in media to pay as much attention to black people being racist as white people being racist.

    When Obama won 90% of black vote in ALL states, media calls it 'SUPPORT'. When white people vote more for Hillary after they found out Obama went to Rev. Wright's church and semons for 20 years, the media and Obama camp calls them 'RACIST'.

    May 21, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  20. DonHo

    Bill said “There have been times when I thought I was literally lost in a fun house."

    Um, that was the White House, Mr. President.

    A revolting strategy? That likely means the Clintons were fully behind it. Mr. Deny until you're caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

    And then "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.”

    We're tired already, it would be okay if you stopped talking now.

    Haven't the Clinton's already played out the "talking while tired" excuse. What would they really say at 3am?

    May 21, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  21. Mary

    I'm surprised the media hasn't jumped on Clinton for all the tricks she has played. Why don't they call her on her silly math or remind her that she signed the MI & FL riules. And she says the media are playing mean. Ever since that SNL skit I haven't seen anything on her, especially the CAFTA thing. Come on! It's not like KY and WV would have received the information – it's not possible – broadband and cable are few and far between.

    May 21, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  22. jrterrier

    as always, Bill Clinton is 100% correct. if he could run again, he'd win by a landslide.

    May 21, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  23. Change We Need

    Well good to know she will not being answer the phone in the White House at 3:00 a.m.

    People are angry and venting over how the democratic campaign has been run. Most honorable persons would have bowed out of the race to get the party in tact. It's a matter of principles before personality.

    Hillary cannot accept reality. People believe she is fighting for them, but actually she is hurting the whole democratic party and process.

    May 21, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  24. Tommie R. In Maryland

    I find it quite amusing that a campaign that claims to be ready for the
    3 A.M. call uses the 'It was late, I was tired' excuse twice to explain catastrophic campaign blunders!
    Bosnia – Hillary
    S.C. divisive comments – Bill

    Who is going to answer the phone? Chelsea?

    May 21, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  25. JC - Independent

    People who do not have imagination that leads to good solutions are always bitter and divisive, because they spend most of their energy as waste products on division.

    Bill, please take your woman of 35 years of bad experience home. We have heard enough excuses and blames from your household. Nobody is trying to put you or Hillary down. You only have yourselves to blame. If one doesn't recognize he or she has a problem, there will be no cure. Forget about 2012 or Chelsea. It's not going to happen. Here is why.

    Your senior supporters will die off, while the younger generations will read everything online, which won't disappear. YouTube lives forever. Your infamous legacy will also live forever so your grandkids can never answer to reporters of any age. It's your business, IF you Clintons stop running for any office. It's not, IF you run again. If you can't take the heat, you can't stay in the kitchen. I am soooo glad we live in a democracy, not a dynasty.

    No more Clinton or Bush!!!

    May 21, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
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