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. Johnny Boy

    Joe – he's not "Slick Willie" anymore. He's "Sick Willie". This guy has lost his marbles, and the American people have lost their respect for him. Former presidents are supposed to be elder statesmen – not vicious political hacks.

    May 21, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  2. JC - Independent

    Although Obama and Bill grew up poor, Obama's mother was a scholarly anthropologist with a Ph.D.. It must be her love of the history of the humankind that drove Obama to love people from all races around the world and in the US. This is why Obama can see the world and the nation, no matter how poor they were, inclusively, instead of divisively.

    Neither Bill nor Hillary can understand Obama and his vision, because growing financially poor doesn't necessarily mean intellectually poor.

    Obama's mother made Obama presidential in his childhood.
    It's what Bill and Hillary are lacking that makes Obama great.
    Obama should have written a book about his mother.

    It is just very interesting that Senator Kennedy from a rich family could recognize Obama within such a short time, while Bill and Hillary are blind-folded by their personal ambition and greed for a third term.

    May 21, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  3. Alphafemale

    He's lied about the timing of Hillary's sniper fire lie in the exact same way . Now he's repeating this same "late at night when I/she was tired" falsehood about his own statements. What is with he an Hillary continuing to lie even after their lies (sniper fire) have been exposed? It's creepy.

    May 21, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  4. Bill, Florida

    Aww! That is really admirable of Chelsea to leave her job to be able to campaign for her mother, full time. It just shows what kind of commitment she's made to her family, and to her country. I'm really undecided between Hillary and Barack, because I think they're both two great candidates. Not that my opinion matters, though, because I'm just a voter from Florida.

    May 21, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. steve gilbert

    What about the sexist card played by HRC? Oh... I guess we can't go there....

    May 21, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. grace

    Hillary keep going. I just donated more money to your campaign. Your issues are my issues and you are by far one of the smartest women in the world.

    We love Hillary!

    the pundits are wrong and we will not unite or rally behind Obama and though I am a Democrat I will not blindly support Obama or his militant wife. Actually, I tried to like them but his message does not resonate with me.

    I fear the DNC is afraid not to pander to the Donna Brazille who cannot hide her support for Obama and all the blacks who are already threatening race riots if the does not get nomination even though he does not represent the country as a whole.

    I am praying that if Barack steals this election against the will of the people the popular vote that a really good independent can step him.

    May 21, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. Jackie from San Diego


    Get Hillary to run as an Independent-she can win--don't give in to these Democratic party "hacks."

    NObama and No McCain!!!

    May 21, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. Concerned citizen

    I think President Clinton needs to be maturer. I don't think an excuse of "making comments when being very tired' is reasonable - Isn't Sen. Clinton tough enough to handle any calls at 3 am? If I am not mistaken, the Clintons' regrettable comments with implication of race came during the time when most people are up (i.e. not after the midnight!).

    May 21, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  9. Thomas

    "Clinton said the allegation that he and Sen. Clinton played the race card was a “cold-blooded, calculated, manipulated, and a revolting strategy,”

    Right on mark! Thank God someone said it at last. Obama camp played the race card.

    May 21, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  10. Ross in MD

    I don't know why there are still people out there that think Hillary Clinton has a chance at the nomination. It seems that even she has accepted her loss at this point.

    She can stay in the remaining races for the sake of completion, but let's not pretend she is viable at this point.

    May 21, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  11. Adam - TX

    Go Bill – this country needs more people like yourself and your wife running it! Obama is about to sink the Democratic party and hopes if he claims the nod...

    It's going to be a very, very sad November....

    May 21, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. D.C.Mataya

    Bill Clinton is a politician who is not always honest!
    As a former supporter of his- we are very disappointed.
    Confronted with the facts- he will continue to deny.
    Both Clintons consider themselves entitled- a good reason why tro vote Obama.

    May 21, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  13. Underhill - Canada

    My father is from Kentucky, my mother from Canada. My mother and I moved to
    Canada because we could no longer stand the racist attitude of that state
    (also prevalent in Tenn and WV). That was over 40 years ago. I see that not
    a lot has changed in these states over the years despite the tremdous
    maturity/growth in the rest of the country.
    A racist will not vote for a black person under any circumstances (many
    racist will also choose a man over a woman). In my opinion, I would NOT want
    such people in my party anyway.
    I fail to understand why Sen. Clinton considers her successes in these
    states is something to brag about, unless of course she is on some sort of
    Power Trip... not unlike Bill and GW were/are.
    I wish Americans luck in your struggle to educate such people. Start now and
    perhaps in a generation it may change. On a more positive note, if Sen. Byrd
    can change there is hope! I believe that 4/8 yrs with Obama as your Pres.
    will go a long way to help you in your struggle. Regardless, our
    prayers are with you ALL and God Help/Bless America.

    May 21, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  14. Chris in Va.

    I must agree with Bill, the Clintons playing the race card WAS a "cold-blooded, calculated, manipulated, and a revolting strategy." So, why is Hillary still doing it? Also when you and Mrs.Clinton made these disparaging comments regarding race it was BROAD DAYLIGHT! Curious that you were tired then. Interesting that he thinks Chelsea is a bowl floater like himself and the Mrs. "She's good at it". "After her mother lost Iowa Chelsea was upset, bawled....", typical of a spoiled brat. Seems the nut doesn't fall far from the tree, a carbon copy of Hillary.

    May 21, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  15. Walt, Belton,TX

    I thought it was interesting that Hillary had no problem playing the race card when her "vast experience" card impact went down the toilet. I found it really pathetic when she tried playing the "gender" card. It was just like an elementary school playground complaint–you're all just picking on me cause I'm a girl................. But when Bill played it, the feeling was almost ironic, then became more and more sinister. This pair will do anything to achieve their goals, absolutely anything! But they sure met their match with a slicker, smoother talking used car salesman and his shill.

    May 21, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. kaz

    I had all my education in India, living in US for last 25 years. Based on all the arguments by Clintons, I think they don’t know any math and they have no importance of honesty. Until this election I was a big fan of President Clinton. President Clinton says there are some similarities between him and sen. Obama, I hope sen. Obama is not at the same moral level as President Clinton was, I hope we all remember all the sandals of President Clinton.

    May 21, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. JJ-Orlando

    I believe when Hillary asked Opera to be her Vice President, It scared the grey into the men in politics. Lets get the facts straight for once shall we. Hillary got the popular vote there is no debate in that. Obama will get the delegate vote. He will loose the general election. I am white and I just can not vote for Obama because of the way African Americans have acted in this race. Nigerian native Hakeem Olajuwon was my Idol growing up so I am far from predjudice. In North Shore, Texas-However, I was not allowed on the basketball team A team, not because I was not the best but I was white. The other day while out shopping I overheard heard African American's say "At least a brother can get us some real respect and now maybe we will be the black ones on the Dollar bill." Seriously, I'd rather it been Colon Powell than Obama. ....Go Hillary!

    May 21, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  18. Henry

    Barack Obama has been the Divider of the Democratic party. We were fine before he came on to the scene.

    How dare anyone blame the Clintons. Its obvious he is not uniting anyone and has cause some real problems that are only the beginning is he steals the election and cannot win the popular vote.

    May 21, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  19. Mike D.

    bill, YOU are the one who played the race card, YOU are the one who ruined your wife's campaign single handedly.

    May 21, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  20. Campaign Strategist from 115th St & Amsterdam Ave.

    Bill –

    I defended you in Monicagate / Impeachment to the very end. (Private matter, not an impeachable offense.)

    I defended you and Hillary in the long, drawn out right wing conspiracy to find something on you to bring you down ... WhiteWater ...Travelgate ... Paula "Whatever her name was" saga.

    I have to call you on the carpet for this one ... you and Hillary race baited in this election ... you did ... and you got caught. Additonally you've pandered, spread rumor and innuedo, spoken half truths all in the name of winning.

    Additonally, you are widely recognized as manipulating every situation. While all this may appeal your's and Hillary's Yale Law School backgrounds ... it turns the rest of us off.

    You and your wife have twisted every story like a flag in the wind... it truly hurts me to say this to you because I was a big, big supporter of yours ...

    May 21, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  21. Weiss

    my brother did the same thing in Jan, asked for leave of absense from his job to help Hillary campaign.

    oh wait, he was laid off. normal people dont get to ask that kind of leave and keep their job, and we have to fight to keep our jobs

    May 21, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  22. Shelley J

    As a South Carolina educated African American woman, I certainly did not need the media to tell me that Bill Clinton played the race card. I was able to figure that out myself and was not influenced by the so called media conspiracy plots. I voted for Bill Clinton twice...and proudly. I have been so disappointed to watch the Clinton's stoop to exploiting existing racial tensions to get to their desired end.

    May 21, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. GoHillary

    Go Hillary! If he steals the nomination with his pandering and lies go independant! Nobama noway

    May 21, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  24. Jeanne, San Diego

    Maybe Bill Clinton just shouldn't talk whether he's tired or not. As I recall, the Clintons have used that strategy a time or two during the campaign. He's one of the reasons I didn't vote for her. I didn't vote for him and I see no reason to change now.

    May 21, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  25. KATHY

    Think about it – do you think the man has a plan? maybe he wants to be the ONLY President Clinton in the history books. Maybe he's afraid after she became president and made the history books, he'd be nothing but a footnote. i think what he says is very planned and very calculated – as in let's see what kind of damage i can do today. I think he's a man with a plan!!

    May 21, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
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