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. Independent

    I enjoy the spins – "outspent, dismissed, denigrated, declared dead"

    Do you mean? didn't raise enough money, lost primaries, challenged on spins, asked to quit after mathematically losing the nomination so the party can unite.

    Yes, spins are fun.

    May 21, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  2. James, Redlands, CA

    Poppycock. Bill and Hilliary sought to dismiss and marginalize Obama as the Black oddity in the election and the token candidate. Their entire strategy sought to shore up what they thought was a larger broader demographic in rural whites who have extreme difficulty wrapping their minds around actually voting for a Black candidate. That has been back up by her recent effort to bring to the forefront the votes of the "hard working white Americans". They enjoyed more Black support prior to their dismissiveness of Blacks in South Carolina. The Black vote has always been a key vote in states where the White candidates split the White vote. You instituted a terrible campaign strategy. Your supporters should blame you not Obama or his supporters, or the DNC, or the Superdelegates.

    May 21, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. James in Ohio

    Brian D Alger II you are incorrect, the other candidates on the republican side did not stop opposing until McCain had attained the necessary delegates to be their nominee. As of today neither Barack or Hillary has done the same so why should either leave the race.

    I think to allege that Hillary or Bill Clinton with their record on civil rights racists is disgusting, and was a card played maybe not so much by the Obama campaign, but by the Mainstream media. Obama should have denounced those allegations, but didn't because he benefited from them.

    As a gay Ohioan I was disgusted that Obama stumped in SC with a known anti-gay hate slinging performer. For too many reasons to list will not vote for Obama, but as a lifelong democrat I can't vote for McCain so I will write in Hillary's name and know that with solid democratic majorities in both the house and the senate President McCain won't be able to screw things up.

    May 21, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. international observer

    see what i find interesting is that this amerian family feel like the presidency belongs to their husband,so is the wife and now the daughter.this family is power hungry.they have changed the goalpost throughout this primary they've shifted the post again hoping and praying that it will work this time.

    wake up president bill you and your family's lust for power is done.......MOVE ON and let someone else take the reigns of power.

    say after me mr president...............VIVA EL PRESIENTE BARACK OBAMA 08/12

    May 21, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Amazed

    As for the Obama camp starting the racism..thats not true at all. Evidentally you are not keeping up with your politics. The Obama camp has been silent and they have tried very hard to avoid such foolishness. The Clinton camp started this ignorance and continued up until recently when they realized that it was not helping them but hurting them. The Obama camp has much more to offer. They have been slandered and the Clinton campaigne has pulled out all of his dirty laundry or what they think is dirty laundry and he is still winning. They need to get a new strategist ASAP!!!!

    May 21, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  6. lol

    everyone who mentions obama's shortcomings(and there are many) is labled a racist, or they are accused of race baiting. the most racist outburst came from obama's reverend of 20 years. obama himself made elitist comments about small town pa when he implied they were a bunch of gun toting, bible thumping, bigots. bill and hillary clinton have done alot of work throughout there lives in public service for the african american community. bill and hillarys records show they are not racist people.

    May 21, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. alex123

    Bill Clinton is a man of the finest integrity whose every word should be accepted without question.

    May 21, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. Nanci

    The Obama followers and some of the media need to find any excuse for the actual shortcomings of Obama and his wife. Hillary's supporters have been called racist, stupid, etc., because we feel she is truly the most appropriate to be the President. There have been extremely nasty comments by Obama's fans with regard to Hillary. Is this what Obama inspires in you? Were some of you deprived in your upbringing that you feel the need to be so disrespectful? To connect the Bush/Clinton years together is a disgrace. I can only attribute that thinking to the possibility that one would not be old enough to comprehend how good the Clinton years were. So, this college educated person will wait and watch in November when McCain does win against Obama.

    May 21, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  9. Dean@LR Iowa

    Chell cryed in Iowa. Bill cry's all over, Hilary is laughable. Ya spilled the milk and so lunch is over.

    I for one am looking forward to not seeing the Clinton Machine in power any longer. To much coruption and the many many outright
    Lies. To much for this person.

    May 21, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. Michigan Voter !!!

    Bill ,
    We Saw The Race Card Played By The Obama Camp , And Obama Supporters from The Begining Of This Campaign . I'm A Democrat , And I would Pick John McCain Over Obama any day !!!! .

    Hillary , Or McCain 2008

    May 21, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. Keith

    In an interview hitting newsstands Friday, the former president said his wife Hillary Clinton has been “outspent, dismissed, denigrated, declared dead” this primary season.

    In the above paragraph. Bill left out the fact that Hillary has been thoroughly defeated in every way despite using every dirty trick in the book to fool her uneducated voter base.

    May 21, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  12. Kenneth, MD

    The problem here is that everyone, including me, expected this to be a walk in the park for Hillary. A bigger problem is that Hillary, the Clinton's, the campaign staff and the Democratic party all felt the same way. The biggest problem is that Barack, his campaign staff and supporters DID NOT believe it and entered the campaign to win it!

    Let's stop looking for excuses outside of ourselves Clintons. Your campaign was mismanaged from the beginning. The Clinton machine gave no credibility to Obama.

    Of course, racism and sexism reared their ugly heads during this campaign. For the first time in history there was a viable African American candidate and a viable female candidate. How momentous. I rememember seeing the two of them on stage at the first debate with them alone. I was moved to tears! I am again moved to tears – sadness.

    I just have a question: What would the reaction be if there was a group – AFRICAN AMERICANS FOR OBAMA? There would be a great uproar. It was not long ago African Americans were acused of voting for Obama just because he is Black. Well, there is a group WOMEN FOR HILLARY. Do we think that there is a certain percentage of women voting for Hillary just because she is a womam? Of course there are and good for them! Not too long ago Black folks were saying that Barack wasn't Black enough.

    Well, let's get on with the business at hand – winning in November. Let's unite and ensure victory! That's what's most important. Even if our candidate is not the nominee we have to work had to make sure that McCain does not win.

    May 21, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. JC - Independent

    "..There are enough similarities in our childhoods and things that I think I get what he is doing.” – Bill Clinton

    Obama would have never ever said such things about Bill Clinton.
    Bill will never know what Obama is thinking, as Bill still doesn't know how Obama defeated the Clintons.

    This is why the Clintons are divisive for more power, while Obama wants to include everyone. Unfortunately, we are yarning for a united nation.

    May 21, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. Change We Need

    Hillary again lost this campaign all by herself by lying, negativity, bad character and most definitely poor choice of works. She can in the race the frontrunner, more delegates, well know–and day by day as people listened to her they disliked what she spoke about, the negativity and lies. In the beginning I was for Hillary. As I listened I knew that she is not the person to represent the United States, let alone become President.

    She comes from the old school of politics. I do anything to win (as you can see). Create figures that aren't actually accurate. Make statements about the popular vote (which isn't accurate). The list goes on and on.

    Everything she says some new media correspodent researches it and being out the truth–like being under sniper fire in Bosnia. Surely anyone would actually remember if they were under sniper fire–stuff like that you just don't make up. The greatest lie is about being ready to be commander and chief on the first day. The only experience she has is being married to a former president and knowing other people with experience.

    Most obsure is loaning her campaign the type of monies she has. If no one is giving to her campaign, then no one is following her. Where is the money for all the popular votes.

    Yes, it's time for change–we need it. Fresh ideas, energetics, honesty, a new way of handling politics–besides wars, economic disasters, unemployment, loss of homes, end to racism.

    Also to let the American people know that a Black person is qualified to lead and become commander in chief.

    May 21, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  15. John

    Obama,now willing to go half way? This is ingenous and lacks credability from the Obama camp.Put straight,it is a charade,being half cooked and served immediately to pull a fast one over the faces of several disgusted Hillary supporters!! What a traversty.It is like ordering all the canals bloked so your opponents don't get a drop of water to utilise.All of a sudden the water appears in abundance,and wham! the Obama camp are now willing to go more than half way!Back then when the campaign had just started,Florida and Michigan were the disadvantaged,uneducated bunch who did not understand the laws! You break the law you loose.According to the Obama camp,the voters were responsible for goofing.sen. Nelson and Rep. Hastings,simply and very prophetically put it this way," accepting the status quo in Florida and Michigan,is a disaster waiting to explode!Look where we are today.The Obama camp honestly did not want anything to do with the two States of Florida and Michigan in terms of revote!! Now the same advisers are willing to go furhter.It is spooky and not at all genuine.Hillary like Barack Obama are fiercly contesting to be President.So let the exagerated and manouvered tactics to win be dismantled, and the proper steps taken.that way Democracy would have seen to be implied and done.It has been a one way street all along in favor of Obama,with the unwarranted frenzy from CNN and MSNBC! Now it is time to show respect to Hillary for what agenious she is and has been all along the disgusting one sided democrat contest! that is not asking for too much.Hillary has worked very hard and very sensibly.Let the pundits who know all the prices of everything and the value of nothing;tell us which female Presidential contender has worked harder than Hillary Clinton? I will bet a penny on it!

    May 21, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  16. A.M.

    Anything Bill Clinton says has to be right, because he is 'Bill Clinton'. This is how he wants his supporters, to whom he considers as "Clinton Puppits" to believe. He professes as he is the perfect man. Every one in his family is flawless, every Clinton is just one and only, including 'Chelsea' now.

    Come on, Mr. President, enough is enough. It is about time you and every one around you must realize that at one time dream of America, is about to become a REALITY; thanks to the vigour, unique energy, and the vision of 'Barak Obama'.

    Houston, Texas

    May 21, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  17. Carl

    Ohh but the fact Hillary is saying people are sexist is ok? Do you even listen to yourself?

    Fact. You said something fairly racist in SC "by mistake." Fact. Some people are racist and some are sexist.

    Get over yourself and tell your wife to pack it in before McCain declares victory.

    May 21, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  18. Change We Need

    Like the words he spoke when he said 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman". Get a life

    May 21, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. Me in DC

    Where is my gas tax Holiday? Obama stopped it didn't he? or it turned out not to be good politics and it went away. Remember, Hillary fights for you, and will never quit on you, because you will never quit on her.

    Obama 08

    May 21, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  20. mountainview

    All the actions so far, all the flip flops so far, and now the ever moving goal posts have made the Clintons a cartoonish looking stock. Where was HRC when the primaries started ? She agreed and said FL and MI do not count. Today, when she needs to add them to her count for selfish reasons, she is making it a chivalrous act of protecting the democracy!

    Their actions indicate the they will do any thing to get into the White House, believe it is owed to them according to those who served under them, and are led by purely selfish and blind ambition..

    Let us respect the rules, peoles voices and stop the BS of Hard working white... talk. It is fanning divisiveness along racial lines , a tactic so well perfected by the Republicans!!

    May 21, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  21. Amazed

    Mya-Are you ok? That does not make any sense at all. Obama has not divided anything. The Clintons have and to make such a statement confirms that there are still many ignorant individuals in this world who are willing to allow us to go down and be very disfunctional.

    May 21, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  22. Kris K

    The Clinton's will use the black poulation, old ladies and anyone else to get what they want. They have let the cat out of the bag-they both are crazy. To think we give them television time. Let them run the country, they couldn't manage an campaign. People all over the country are laughing at them. They are fools. To think anyone would think the Clinton's care about them is ridiculous. They did play the race care, the I care about you card, the sexist card and the redneck card. The lack of character and triskster mentality is truly one for the books.

    May 21, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. Sheila WA

    I can't figure out some of these Hillary supporters who continue to spew the message that Obama is stealing the primary from her.. What a crock. Obama has won more states, more votes, more delegates and more superdelegates fair and square. Even with FL and MI, he will still be ahead. You can't handle that, so be it, but quit with the silly notion that Obama has played the race/gender card and is stealing this nomination. I'm a white middle aged female who has worked every bit as hard as a man to get where I am and I'm sick of this pandering to Hillary because it's her ( our ) time. I'm sick and tired of the good ole boys club smears. Hillary knew what she was getting into as did Obama..Obama has never ever declared that he was the candidate for any particular demographic..He says he will work hard for all Americans, not just those hard working white blue collar americans..It's disgusting that the Clinton Campaign has stooped this low to try and win the nomination..This was her's to get and she blew it and has no one to blame but herself.

    May 21, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. Brian

    Obama's "strategy" was to mind control the clintons and make them play the race card so he could then denounce them for playing the race card. Truely revolting.

    Bill, Obama has been downplaying race as much as the media will allow him you dolt.

    May 21, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Kevin - Jonesboro, GA

    Bill will never admit to his own faults as we have all learned!!!

    May 21, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
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