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. Thomas

    Obama used the race card again and again. I can recall that the black congressman. When he appear at TV, basically before highly populated black population states, such as SD, VA and ND, etc. If I am not wrong, who can explain to me why?

    May 22, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  2. Juliemn

    cnn you should be ashamed of yourselves, you are one of the biggest contributers to this hateful bias rigged from the start election. shame on Donna Brazile a Sd and a major player in the dnc and she calls Hillary supporters vile and repugnant!!! She really does not expect us to believe she is still uncommited,right? shame on you all!!!

    May 22, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  3. Tina

    clear eyes,

    You're accusing Obama of stealing Clintons plans??? Are you serious. Who do you think she got her health care plan from? If you don't know just ask Elizabeth Edwards. She will tell you that it was John Edwards who released the same plan months before Hillary released hers.
    Why do you think she decided to have someone over Poverty in her administration? To "appease" John Edwards.
    As for Obama I've followed this from way back and compared all the candidates plans early on. I can tell you Obama has never changed his.
    Clinton changes her style, positions, slogans(Yes We Will ...oh wow wonder how they ever came up with that one??) heck even her accent based on polls and what part of the country she's in.

    Give it up Clintonites your arguments are sounding more crazy by the minute.

    May 22, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  4. Was Dem, Now Independent in Oregon

    I would love to see Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

    I think she can do this job hands down. She has been on the world stage in a variety of venues. She knows alot of people. She knows the ups and downs of diplomacy.

    She has Madelaine Albright, former Sec of State, on her side and someone who can be a mentor.

    Hillary has a stellar constitution and I can just see her across the table from many world figures and their aides.

    She is one tough lady!

    Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State!

    May 22, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  5. no more billary

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

    They are in a fun house alright. One they themselves created with all the SPIN coming outta their campaign it's no wonder Bill feels like he's at the carnival.

    May 22, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  6. Muzza

    The Obama/Media coalition has been at it since day one of this election, trying to construct Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton as "racists". It's been a pathetic and revolting strategy indeed, especially given the outstanding contribution these 2 people have given to the advancement of civil rights in this country. Barack Obama knew that his only way to turn African-American voters AGAINST the Clintons was to try and construct them as "racists". The race-baiting that his campaign engaged in prior to the South Carolina primary with the 4 page memo sent to media outlets – and which he admitted to – was thoroughly appalling. Obama has used the African-American community for his own political purposes and I find this deeply offensive. As a white person with a black partner I feel outraged how Barack Obama has tried to use racism to elevate his own flawed candidacy. What is also equally disturbing is the way in which CNN actively FUELS this by referring to the voters in KY and WV as "racists" simply because they voted for Hillary Clinton. So what do we call all of the black people that voted for Barack Obama in North Carolina, Virginia and Washington DC – do we call them racist for not supporting Hillary Clinton? Wake up America, Barack Obama is playing the race card and too many people are falling for it!

    May 22, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  7. Joe

    Actually, I think the Clintons would try anything to win the Democratic nomination. Honestly, they have no credibility on this front. The Clinton campaign agreed to the Democratic party rules that delegates from Michigan and Florida would not count because they moved up their primaries. Senator Clinton and her campaign were all in agreement until she found herself way behind with no chance of winning the nomination unless she succeeds in getting the party to change the rules. That would be a huge mistake. Millions of new voters would be so turned-off by that move that the Democratic party would not only lose them for the fall election, but probably for years to come.

    Luckily, I don't believe anybody is buying this (which makes it all so much more tragic). Everybody agrees this is over. Senator Clinton and those in her inner circle have a bad case of denial. It is time for her to find a graceful way to exit the race. I guess we all thought that was where she was heading, but I guess her belief that this was supposed to be a coronation (not a nomination) kicked in again. Too bad for her. It only makes her look small and desperate.

    May 22, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  8. ron

    CNN is the CLINTON NEWS NETWORK. Why is the press in this country and particularly CNN so beholden to the Clintons. Maybe CNN benefited alot from the media consolidation deals the Clinton administration initiated. If Senator Obama were in Senator Clinton's position, I don't think the press would have been so patient.
    Hillary Clinton has failed to win the majority of pledged delegates, but she and her praise singers in the press say that she is more electable how's that logical when she cannot even win the nomination. CNN spends the entire day talking about how Obama cannot win white voters. The last time I checked, Obama is where he is today thanks in large part to white voters. Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota and several other states are majority white.
    One last thing, Obama does not have to pick Hillary Clinton as a running mate. If Clinton had been the nominee, I don't think CNN and the others would be pushing a story for her to pick Obama as a running mate.

    May 22, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  9. MD in CT

    One powerful Republican California state senator once told me that Democrats can never win because while they do not like Republicans because they envy their money, Democrats never unite because the fight among themselves like junk yard dogs after an old dry bone.


    May 22, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  10. kay, NM

    Race card will backfire in november. This is what raised Obama and that is what will drop Obama. Why? Because GOP does not plan on african american votes. H Clinton could not help open her mouth about race card but McCain will.

    May 22, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  11. Josh

    Half of Hillary supporters are racist. For instance, the resentments in West Virginia and Kentucky. Anyway Obama is going to make it.

    May 22, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. HereWeGo

    They are outdone that Obama has won with little negative campaigning. Obama never said Hillary can't get the educated vote or the black vote or the young vote or the progressive vote or that Bill got impeached in the house, instead Hillary mentioned Farakhan and distributed a pic of Obama in Kenyan ceremonial clothes making him out to be a Muslim, showed bin ladin in a commercial to instill fear, distributed flyers with a shotgun and Obama's picture on it, paid Mexicans in Texas and Blacks in Ohio to round up voters, said Obama xeroxed his speeches, called Richardson Judas and on and on and on... They even said Obama was unelectable and hardworking whites would not vote for him, compared Obama to Jessie Jackson...smear, smear, smear. They continue to change the game by moving the goal posts. They are broke and will go bankrupt to take Obama down with them. Talk about poor loosers.

    May 22, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |

    Even with a former President campaigning daily for her Hillary is not winning; this is unprecedented. Please be a Gracious Professional and concede for the good of the party as Romney was.

    May 22, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  14. John San Francisco

    I have said this so many times. The Democratic Party is about to be Hood Winked by the Clintons. Thier Goal is to break away from the Democratic Party after Jun 3. The Clintons are going to run as Independents or undera new Political Party and turn Michigan and Florida against the democratic Party. Hillary is going to attempt to make History by acting as if she is standing up for the rights of all voters.

    I am so disapointed at many Americans that are supporting the issues of Breaking Rules. Is this a proncipal that we are trying to teach our children?

    The Repubilcans are laughing to the White House at us.

    I cant believe no one sees that Hillary will call her Party the Conservitive Democratic Independent Party.

    Fellow Americans keep your eyes open.

    The only group of peopl to blame for tgis is the Super Delegates. They are allowing this to happen.
    Just remember that you heard this from a Political Blogger first.

    May 22, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  15. SusanfromPA

    President Clinton is right! Hillary truly cares about this country and wants to see us be a strong nation again. She wants to be president for the right reasons.
    Go Hillary!

    May 22, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  16. Petey

    Bill – please stop ruining your legacy. I actually liked you as a president, but dude you are really starting to look like a tool

    May 22, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  17. Joe

    so it's okay for Hill to play the sexism card but suddenly Bill gets touchy about the race card? Wait a minute... wait a minute... what the heck is Bill even talking about!?

    May 22, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  18. Layne-Iowa

    Tell em for us Bill...I cant believe how CNN my used to be favorite news, has betrayed us in this election along with others...Hell we cant even watch TV anymore its become so bad...Thats OK when this is said and done we as a family are canceling cable altogether...why would I continue to give money to someone that doesnt have my best interest at heart let alone hear my voice...Hillary Clinton will always be my President and God Bless that beautiful daughter Chels...Thank you for fighting for America and Im sorry these losers in this country are so cruel to your wonderful family

    Rise Hillary Rise

    May 22, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  19. ron

    Why hasn't any journalist asked why more educated voters are not voting for Clinton. Why is Appalachia which overwhelming voted for Clinton so disproportionately disadvantaged economically? That electorate has also voted republican consistently since the 60s. Doesn't seem like the republicans who supposedly share their "values" have helped them out of their troubles.
    Maybe the so called "educated" voters are smart enough to understand when a politician is playing politics as usual. Like the gas tax holiday for example. It is not a plus when people who are less educated vote for a savvy politician who uses them as a springboard to power. The educated voter can analyze ambiguous political speak and make a more informed decision, not just an emotional one.

    May 22, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  20. Anonymous

    ya know what BIll I voted for you in beleived in you but your male machissmo is continually ruinng Hillary;s chances, the more he opens his mouth the worse he makes it for a srrong woman to win. and as hard as it si to believe i think that bringing up the race card, and yes Hillary did it by saying that " white people" support her is rerehensible, Yes race has become importanlly but not majorily an issue, BILL Hillary is runn ing NOT you, we already respected your wife when she was strong enough to repel your indiscretions and remain married to you, but you yet want to bring her down again????, as they say behind every weak man is a strong woman, that said because Hillary fell into the dirty play books of politics I cannot support her, even thou I have much respect, I chose to belive in a message of HOPE, of and you can't changes the rules to suit you. Hillary said the magic # was 2025, now thats changed and you claim the popular vote??? the # don't add up, so Please retain your dignity!!!

    May 22, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. Larry from LA

    Bill Clinton and Obama are nothing a like as he said in the article. Obama has integrity something that Bill Clinton will never have.

    May 22, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  22. boombaby

    Bill was thinking outloud, which is what is GREAT about him.
    All political analysts, and Bill is one of the two best, think in terms of voting blocks. We voters think of ourselves in terms of who we like. Bill was being a political analyst and some voters took it personally becase as far as they were concerned they liked their candidate because they liked him, not because of his race. They paid attention to him, he spoke to them. Bill noticed that. Oops. Suddenly we had two definitions of racism: one structural and analytical and one personal and perceptual. Then Obama has his PA speech and says it's time for the nation to engage in a dialog about race. Fine. Good: it is about time. However, I have not heard him take himself up on that.

    If we live in a racist society, then we are all racist. So one side does not get to use the word against the other. The point of the United States is to accept one another.

    May 22, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  23. charles

    I am right with you Bill. It was a cold and calculated attack by camp obama. And, the fools can't see it. I am beginning to think it isn't votes that give us our candidate but who "THEY" want, and this was decided awhile ago.

    HILLARY the bionic candidate.

    May 22, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  24. EMILIO

    I believe Hillary has set the prospect of a woman president back at least a couple of generations. It will take that long for the history of her chicanery to be forgotten. she's probably doing her best to destroy future women's quest for the presidency.If she can't make history, then neither will another woman.

    May 22, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  25. M.C.

    Who is bank-rolling Obama?? The ignorant writers on this blog who say such terrible things about Hillary?? Why did this "lying" business start about Hillary? It doesn't make any sense. Obama isn't devisive?? Was that stupid speech in Philadelphia necessary? He's the one who brought up race!!!! Bill Clinton's remarks in S.C. were true. Jesse Jackson DID win S.C.-that's all Bill said.

    May 22, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18