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. Nate

    This is like when Bill looked into the camera and told everyone in the world he "did not have sexual relations with that woman." He'll lie straight to you and it doesn't even bother him. The Clintons are always trying to play the angles there is no high road for them.

    Him denying it and putting the blame on others is just more race baiting. The people that are sympathetic with the Clintons will fall deeper under their spell and again align by race. The Clintons are actively pandering to people who have some underlying racial issues. It divides everyone that's the only way they feel they can win. They will do whatever it takes, all principles aside. Not everyone who supports them is a racist, but those who aren't need to realize that's what they are supporting.

    May 21, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  2. Tim

    And the American Idol winner is....... Obama!!!! What a great performance with no substance! What a stage show! He can speak and sing a tune of change we can believe in!!! Yeah right, I hope he enjoys visiting those 57 states (speech earlier if you didnt know) and with all that experience you have on the foreign affairs committee missing key votes and not even knowing what language they speak in Afghanistan (earlier pearl of wisdom by Obama). I'm sure he will be as effective as the Democratic controlled congress has been. Who last time I checked had an even LARGER DISAPPROVAL rating than George Bush by nearly 2-1. Yeah lets elect someone that will get everyones emotions up but like the rest do ABSOLUTELY nothing. They have delivered on all of their promises, secure Social Security, fiscal responsibility and end the war in Iraq. Last time I checked they were 0-3 on those as well. You got the majority DEMS, whats the deal? By the way, I thought that Clinton & Co were the greatest thing since sliced bread!! You guys would sell out your own children for self preservation instead of nation preservation. Now lets hear the tired Bush stuff about driving up the debt, unnecessary war, etc, etc. Well your effective Democratic Congress that was supposed to change everything sure did do it. You guys have the majority and are "able to walk across the aisle to get a veto". Lets get action and not continue the empty promises with Obama.

    May 21, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  3. Ed

    There is a good article in Scientific American Mind magazine that speaks to implicit and explicit prejudices. There are a number of folks in this country who are explicitly prejudice against electing blacks and/or women to the highest office in our land. It is a fact that a large number of these folks happen to be undereducated. Those explicitly prejudice folks would not be likely to vote for either Clinton or Obama. All of us are subject to implicit prejudices at a subconscious level. Many of us who may be unaware of these inborn prejudices may be influenced by crafty fear mongering add campaigns that the Republicans are so good at.

    The Democrats would do well to look at strategies to appease both implicit and explicit prejudices, given that these prejudices will be a part of the election, like it or not.

    May 21, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  4. sally

    there isnt anything that hillary or bill said that was racist (read up on the definition of racism). if YOU think their statements are then you are hearing what you want to. hillary said she gets the white vote. its true she does get the white vote. so does obama. but hillary DOES NOT get the black vote. that is racist. its not proud, its pure and simple and makes sense when 90 plus percent of the black population vote for a man that looks like he is black. again, that is racist.

    May 21, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  5. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Can you imagine having these dreadful CLINTONS as VP? Obama would have to be crazy to pick them as VP..... and he's not crazy

    May 21, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  6. sally

    Jadyn May 21st, 2008 11:32 pm ET

    This whining, complaining, conspiring and playing on the sympathy of supporters is tiring and destroying the party.
    you have just described barak and michelle obama!

    May 21, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. Louise Walker

    Bill Clinton visits these small towns on behalf of his wife and tells voters that THEY DO NOT WANT TO VOTE FOR OBAMA BECAUSE HE LOOKS DOWN ON THEM-I imagine most of these people trust his word and therefore they vote for Hillary Clinton.

    May 21, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  8. beverly serrano

    Hillary, stay in keep fighting for Florida and Michigan. Don't give up. Miracles happen.

    May 21, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  9. get with the program

    Michigan Voter !!!: what are you going on about? absolutely no substance to your posts. you're taking up precious space.

    May 21, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  10. Erik

    Clinton's comments could engender sympathy if not for the fact that he did the "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina too" shtick in broad daylight, on multiple occasions. Once again, Clinton is not being truthful with the American people.

    May 21, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  11. Keith

    Bill already admitted he's a poor loser. I was hoping Hillary would bow out gracefully but it looks like she prefers to go out kicking and screaming. I'm gonna have to tune this stuff out. It ain't gonna be pretty.

    May 21, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  12. Change We Need

    If she will fight for China and India, she can just go there, we'd be satisfieid.

    As for Wal-Mart–no dice. Love Wal-Mart

    OBAMA for President

    May 21, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  13. Swigg

    I just don't follow the logic of some of Senator Clinton's supporters in this blog. They are not being completely honest with themselves and many of their arguments lack rationale. I get it if you prefer Clinton over Obama...but to make up things about Obama or resort to calling him every nasty name you can think of as a way to justify your belief that Senator Clinton is the best suited candidate is not just utterly ridiculous, but vindictive and hateful as well.

    I've read "Obama played the race card first", but nothing never follows that statement to explain the how or when. Is he being accused of playing the race card just by virtue of him being interracial. I've read Obama is a racist. That again defies logic... the man is interracial (black & white). He's constantly argued that a person's race shouldn't matter. His speech spoke to issues and concerns on race held by blacks, whites, hispanics, etc. In short, he said we need to get past those fears, the anger & hang-ups and work together. You all heard it. Maybe you refused to be believe that he was sincere, but you all heard it.

    Senator Clinton made a stupid remark about being the most electable candidate because she has more white hard-working American voters. When has Senator Obama said anything that remotely resembles that? When has he said that he is more electible because of the votes of one segment of the population? Senator Clinton hasn't even apologized for that statement. I watched interview after interview of WV voters stating out loud that they won't vote for Obama because he's black. I don't believe that Senator Clinton is a racist. However, she has certainly made racially devisive statements that made racism seem acceptable by playing on the unfounded fears and the bigotry of those voters who were more inclined to vote against Obama simply because of his race. Yet, so many of her supporters refuse to hold her accountable for it. I don't hold her responsible for the blatant racism voiced by her supporters. But she had a responsibility to affirmatively state that racism should not be tolerated under any circumstances and that she is firmly against it. But she didn't do that because she wanted their votes. She's not stupid. She knew exactly what she was doing when she did it. Neither candidate is responsible for racism and neither one of them are racists. However, Senator Clinton has played on the racism harbored by some of her voters in an insidious manner.

    Throughout this campaign Senator Clinton has changed her tune and made irrational arguments whenever something has not gone her way. Every time one of her or President Clinton's arguments fail.. Obama is somehow made responsible (e.g. he played the race card, he stood in the way of Michigan & Florida voters, he is a sexist, he runs the media, etc.) The truth is he ran a better organized campaign, won the most delegates and states. He has not discounted any of the states he lost (unlike Senator Clinton) and he always congratulated Senator Clinton on her wins (again unlike Senator Clinton). Some of the Clinton supporters on this blog are not being intellectually honest.

    To both Obama & Clinton Supporters: Being bitter, acting like sore losers, and resorting to namecalling is counterproductive and in no way helps either candidate or the democratic party.

    May 21, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  14. Ron R

    Let's see...IF I was republican and IF there were no caucus's and IF they change the rules that were agreed upon by myself and everyone else...I WOULD BE WINNING, SO I SHOULD BE THE NOMINEE.


    Hillary Rodham Clinton

    cc..Slick Willy

    May 21, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  15. White & Old Midwest Female

    These ploys of the Clinton's used to make me sick. But now I feel like it's old news. They really have nothing new up their sleeves. They just keep trying the same old things. It's gotten so stale that I don't even read many of the articles about them anymore. When I do, it's just in one ear and out the other. I cannot envision either of them running our country.


    May 21, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  16. Anna

    Obama doesn't need to play the race card when his supporters and staff do it for him. He doesn't play dirty, he has people do it for him.

    May 21, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  17. get with the program

    "Silly Obama May 21st, 2008 11:03 pm ET

    All of the uneduacated simple white Democrats that you, Howard Dean took for granted, will be voting for John McCain for President.

    So chalk up another loss for Deans Dozen. I would rather die than vote for Obama. All of my Democrat friends say the same. In reality I am glad, because Dean you turned your back on us, shoved Obama down our throats, now we're throwing up.

    Seems like you old school Dems, Dean, Kennedy, Dodd, Kerry really pissed us off this time. You turned your back on the Democrat's most viable candidate, Hillary. Now we are going to return the favor. I am going to turn my back on YOUR CHOICE Howard Dean, and will be voting Republican for the first time in my life.

    At least I know McCain is a patriot, has pride, and shows and has shown his loyalty to his country. Therefore I will vote for McCain with a smile on my face."

    Wow, some more insight from the Clinton gene pool... oops, I mean cesspool.

    May 21, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  18. John San Francisco

    Whites in this Country still believe that what they say, or thier opion is more valid then otrher National Groups of Americans.

    The level of denial is so amazing by most White Americans.

    It is so transparent that the Clintons have used Race as a means to divide the Country. I no more believe Bill about his comments in the article, then when he stated that "He did not have sexual relations with that Woman" Monica Lewynsky.

    It is clear that the Clintons are going to do anything they can to get in office as President.

    I am not saying that Mr. Obama is the most qualified Canidate, I am saying that the Clintons are liers. It is well documented by many Politicle Observers that the Clintons have beemn injecting Race into the Primaries.

    What is so sad is that White Americans still believe they are Superior to Blacks and other National Groups of Americans

    May 21, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  19. rw in ct

    Hillary, take it to the convention!!

    May 21, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  20. RoBert

    Hillary get out of the race for god's sake all u r doing is stalling so u can get ur crooked hands on the election results. Obama, Hillary, and McCain are all fake candidates with no real change, but that being said obama is by far the best choice of the 3 Hillary is a terrible person and would only increase corrupt government.

    May 21, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  21. Trenton Sims, Los Angeles

    Robert in Toronto, ON 11:18pm ET

    You gotta go Back to Post Iowa.."This Is the Bigest Fairy Tale I've ever Seen" Bill J. Klinton.

    "Martin Luther King Jr was just the Dreamer..LBJ the Doer" Hillary R. Klinton

    And then "Hard working people, White people.." Hillary R. Klinton

    Now today's "Revolting Strategy"

    Why the Klinton Klan Kan't Stop ..? I dunno..:-(

    May 21, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  22. MD in CT

    Hillary had long said that the purpose of the super delegates was to protect the Democratic party from any sort of "mistake" by the electewd delegates. The super delegates are elected officials, like U. S Senators.
    They are long time partly officials who have served their states. They are exPresidents and exPresidental candidates who were voted to run to be President as elected by the delegates in the past. THEY ARE THE LEADERS OF THE PARTY.

    OBAMA 308 CLINTON 279

    Any questions?

    May 21, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. Marc

    It is so funny that he would say that. He is the one who started this race trouble with his comments about Obama in S.C.

    May 21, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. Ilona Proud Canadian


    You have obviously been visiting on another planet, if you can say that CNN...... i.e.....Clinton News Network, is biased towards Barack, The Clinton News Network always work so hard, to show Hillary in the best possible light, that their viewers/listeners have actually given them the special name "Clinton News Network". If you were asleep, that's okay, we understand, but please, now that you are awake, please pay attention to CNN's reporting! By the way why do you feel that you have to post your comments under the signature Anonymous? Freedom of speech remember?

    May 21, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  25. sjp

    go hillary don't let obama steal this election cause you lead in popular vote. are clinton backers really arguing this point. please fellow democrats go and read the dnc rules book, no where in this nominating process does it say the winner will be chosen by popular vote. its the delegates stupid, to borrow a line from bill clinton himself, nothing else and the underdog barrack obama has clearly won over the favorite clinton by the rules.

    May 21, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
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