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. Carlos from Canada

    I think that one thing that most people forget about this race is that there are really 3 people in it – 2 sides but 3 people. The clinton's hav absolutely everything going for them: Two extremely well known personalities, using their fame to the fulles potential. Toghether , they are able to cover twice the grownd and reach twice the number of people (not mention Chelsea's contributions) that Obama can.

    The cLintons are endlessly lamenting being outspent in each state. I maintain that this level ove spending on Obama's part is the minimum reqired just to balance things out a lttle bit.

    The Clintons are a very wll recognized brand. The Obama's are not and as any marketer knows, the introduction of a new products requires extraordinary investment to achieve market pentration.

    Perhaps the reason the clinton brand is not selling is that it has lost its luster ( or worse, soured completely.

    May 21, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Dan

    Of course Bill has to say something to justify why her wife is losing to race. Would he attack everyone who say Clinton is almost dead in the race (of course she is, maybe the campaign must use the delegate calculator found on this page) if she is the leader and not the underdog? This is just a political strategy to give her some air. Wake up

    May 21, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  3. Chi

    Okay, the clintons still don't get it. It is not about you! You are not entitled to the presidency so quit sabotaging yourselves. Chelsea Bawled...."I am not going to let my mother go down like this". Give me a break. This is not some race for valor or pride or status. This is about issues and people's livelihoods. Stop the me me me all the world revolves around the Clintons crap. And Clintons need to take responsibility for bring "Race" into this campaign. They are just upset because Americans have changed, do want to see a change of guard and are not buying into all that crap. WHy was it necessary to bring Jessie Jackson into the race and to use the word fairy tale when people are talking about hopes and dreams?

    May 21, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  4. Michael

    Wow talk about brain washed Obama supporters. Clinton supporters see nothing but what they want to. How many women are voting for Billary because she is a women? You certainly are not voting for her because she is honest and trust worthy, so why then? Because she is a women. But go ahead and vote for McBush and see what happens to your country. Cut your noses off to spite your faces..thats real smart.

    May 21, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. Change we Need

    Race has been an issue, but at least Obama tried to be open and honest and deal with it from an open minded standpoint. The Clintonsy on the other hand used it in a negative way and it back fired on them. They have cried unfairness, sexism, media issues, and so forth. The real issue is that they have overspent their time in the campaign and are being viewed very negative.

    The votes in W. Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky are racist states–People who have a fear of anyone not the same color as they are. Guilt over things of the past.

    We just want to have the party come together behind the nominee, Barack Obama, and win the general election. Hillary is not helping to do this due to the size of her ego.

    May 21, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. JC - Independent

    The basic difference between Bill Clinton and Obama is that one is running to win, while the other, running to serve.

    After getting out of poverty, some people strive for richness in material goods and power, while others do not see poverty as lacking everything.

    Bill did not grow up feeling secure, while Obama, though poor, grew up with plenty of love. Kids don't know poverty if they are loved and have food to eat.

    Of course, it's not something they could have control over.
    But it produces the two very different persons we see today.

    May 21, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. Glenn

    i have beeen following this primary every day which is a first for me.from everything ive seen and heard its amazing to me how anyone with any reasonable intelligence cant see hillary for what she is.she will lie cheat steal slander degrade and do whaever else comes to her scheming mind to get in the whitehouse.obama has been honest from day one i hope america realizes the opportunity it has with this man as president,it will be up to the people of america to raise their voices so that a terrible mistake is not made

    May 21, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  8. Oh Brother

    Stick an S on Chelsea's chest 'cause here comes kid Clinton to the rescue!!! Give me a break. Bill may easily be the single person most responsible for turning the tide to Obama's benefit... This in now all sour grapes and the absolute shock that a virtual nobody, has come out of virtually nowhere, offered a better solution, managed a better race for nomination and knocked the Clinton dynasty off their high horse. Get over it Bill!!!

    May 21, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. Racism is in full bloom in America

    It's funny how he thinks that the race card is revolting! He has played the race card for so long that he cannot see it. His wife Hillary is doing it also and now she is equating her losing with an African Country, now, THAT'S REVOLTING. The Clintons and their campaign have a loser take all attitude and they can't believe that this Black Man has beat the S out of them and now they are using sexism, racism and anything else to get the SD's in the meanwhile they are Destroying the Democratic Party and they are still Divisive and Nasty with their campaigning it is disgusting and revolting and divisive the way they are doing in this campaign.

    OBAMA 08, 09, 10, 11,12,

    May 21, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. Mary K

    What a bunch of rubbish. The Clintons are too smart not to know that they played the race card, and now the gender card. Their problem is that it didn't work. Good riddance you old fart!

    May 21, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  11. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

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

    Why do you say that HillBilly, are you having FUN??

    It sounds like it, when you wont let the comments die and bring it up OVER AND OVER again... almost as if you want to prove to those "hard working, white Americans" that you are one to win their votes. You wag your finger, laugh and smile while you blame the media, the Republicans, everyone but you and your wife for a badly run campaign.

    May 21, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  12. Boston for OBAMA

    Hey Bill,

    Guess what? I can read with understanding, am not blind or deaf.
    I now racism any way you cook it and serve it.

    Clinton is GUILTY.

    Tell Chelsea not to bother to run for office.

    May 21, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. Independent99999

    Bill Clinton is a racist. Period.
    He is the one who invoked fairy tale stories, compared Obama wave with Jesse Jackson etc.

    I cannot understand he was such a good politician at all ever – Look at how miscalculated his wife's campaign was, look at his judgment on scandal with Monica, look at his bad judgment on taking credit for stock market excesses during his presidency (the market tanked / corrected soon after) ...

    May 21, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  14. Amazed

    Racism and Sexism is being used extremely to much. These things are to be expected considering we are talking about the first female and first african american. The reality of it is Hillary is not winning. If I lived in Florida or Michigan, the last thing I would be concerned about would be running to an exit poll and voting for Hillary. She agreed to the rules in the beginning and was perfectly ok with them. It is now that she is losing that it is so "Important" that their votes count. I think that this is a very shady act that she is pulling so that she can win. If the votes did not count then, why does she care that they count now. Everyone also needs to stop acting as if this is Obama's decision and he created this mess. He just agreed to the rules like Hillary did. This is nothing for him to fix. Had this been Obama, the world would be telling him to drop out and let it go but because it is Hillary Clinton (the one who knew this was going to be a walk in the park) it is being ignored. If her close friends "superdelegates" are switching sides, then maybe that is a sign. These people know her alot better then we do and they have made such changes. Hillary supporters-its great she wants to fight but the reality of it is she needs to let it go. She is damaging the party and Mccain will win because this should not still be going on.

    May 21, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  15. Sunny

    As long as your white personthat says anything about race, you are racist. If Barrack Obama says anything about race, he is a saint! That is clear discrimination that the media never brings up because they will be crucified for covering that.

    May 21, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  16. Charlotte

    I don't know number of the times Obama has mentioned Civil Rights, Slavery, MLK. He could not even give best wishes to Ted Kennedy without bringing up Civil Rights. Michelles comment "aint no blacks in Iowa". Ophras support and the constant mentioning of. the urgency of now. The fact that a 46 year old black man could even be running for President, etc. these are not race related comments?

    May 21, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  17. mya, Obama

    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.
    What? Someone needs to take your computer're crazy!!!!

    May 21, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  18. Sandra

    Chelsea bawled because she wants her White House wedding. I'm from Michigan, and we knew going into vote that are vote didn't count and the way I understood it the candidates also knew are vote didn't count, but Granholm (gov) is alot like Hillary she always wants her own way and nothing else matters.

    May 21, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  19. Dal CA

    Clintons love Black voters when they vote for Clinton. They hate to call a racist card a normal thing. They do it for the political gain.

    May 21, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  20. Eleanor

    I think the super delegates need to step in and step in fast and end this insanity while they have a respectable party left because the Clintons know they wont get in but they are trying to make sure Senator Obama does either
    I have lost all respect for both of them and dont know how they look at themselves in the mirror every day with a clear conscience
    For the sake of your party Dems step up to the plate and end this and support the candidate who has taken the high road all through this
    Obama 08

    May 21, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  21. Racism is in full bloom in America

    The Clinton's have shown the WORLD how RACIST the UNITED STATES is and they are pushing the RACISM to a point where I was approached by a few people from other countries and asked is that really how you white people think of the black people and other people of other races. That's disgusting. Why are you people so afraid of this wonderful black man. I think that he is doing a good job and he is much more honest and above board and above the fray than the Clintons. This was told to me by about 7 different people from other countries and it hurt me greatly. I am very ashamed. They asked me why did she lie in court, why did she lie about Bosnia, why is she telling lies now and why has she and her husband lied so much for so long and have gotten away with it. I could not give them any answer. I know that they are unsure of what I say now.

    Ashamed white person

    May 21, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  22. Garth

    I love to hear about people wanting Hillary to run as an Independent. Folks, that would never happen. When you leave the Party, the Party doesn't really want you back. She would loose all Dem backing, a lot of Dem money, a lot of Dem friends and probably her Dem seat in the Senate. A big risk with everything to loose. I doubt Hillary wants to have only Bill to talk to do you?

    May 21, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  23. JFK

    Obama's campaign has played the race to til its dead. It does not stick except to those who are truly thinking like racists. The comments in the past by the Clintons were twisted around.

    May 21, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  24. Mike

    I am sorry. I guess I did not see and hear Hillary stand in front of a large crowd and proclaim. 'I am the one who can get the WHITE Vote!'

    May 21, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. Eileen from Portland, Maine

    JJ-Orlando May 21st, 2008 9:36 pm ET

    Lets get the facts straight for once shall we. Hillary got the popular vote there is no debate in that.
    Well actually JJ, it depends on who is counting. When I look up each state and count from this website, Obama is ahead in every metric including delegate count, popular vote count, super delegate count, total delegate count, many more states won and many more states won with margins over 10%. Even if the delegates and popular vote were counted as is, without Obama being allowed to campaign in the states of Florida and Michigan, he would still be ahead in all those measures.

    But that's okay, Hillary don't let anybody steal the nomination from you just because you have lost by every measure. Just keep making stories up to convince your ?gullible supporters that you are somehow being cheated because you couldn't win by the rules.
    But that's okay, even those Hillary has lost by every measure,

    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. …

    May 21, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
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