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. Ron

    The only thing revolting is the comments coming out of the Clintons campaign

    May 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. Dilly WA

    Yet you continue, Clintons, to use the race and gender cards-POOR Chelsea! Did she bawl when you were all over the news because of Monica! Using your daughter to get sympathy is a disgrace.

    May 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  3. Change We Need

    Obama waited like Hillary did. When things were not in her favor and she saw that she was losing she went back on her agreement and brought up Florida and Michigan.

    Obama followed suit and since he has won the most delegates and his nomination will not be affected, will allow the delegates to be seated.

    He learned this tactics from Hillary. Do anything to get what you want!

    May 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  4. Aldon Black

    As an concerned African-American, and registered Democrat. Below is an idea I believe is workable. I’d like to see Sen. Obama become President–some day. I believe with him in the second position, and the following plan in place, Sen. Obama would make an excellent President.

    Having said that, I sincerely believe Sen. Clinton would not only be the strongest candidate, she WILL make the best President for our nation at this time in our history.

    Here’s the “DEAL”:

    1. Sen. Clinton tops the Democratic ticket with Sen. Obama as her running mate.

    2. A unique alliance of governance is created:

    a) Vice President Chaney has already put into effect a system of shared power that can work as a basis to develop this new alliance.

    b) (Then) Vice President Obama will work very closely on “the hill” building alliances and building bridges (it will give him much needed training and allies when he is subsequently President in 8 years); after all, he will be the President of the Senate...let him be very active in that role.

    c) More than none, Vice President Obama will accompany President Clinton on trips abroad. He will meet with his counter-parts in foreign government. He will, from time to time, be present in the high level meetings between President Clinton and her counter-parts (He will gain knowledge and respect from the foreign leaders he will have to deal with when he becomes President – perhaps he will forge some friendships in the process; friendships that will prove valuable on the world stage when he is President).

    d) Prior to the highest level meetings between President Clinton and her counter-parts, Vice President Obama will be very involved in the development and orchestration of the ground work necessary for the meetings between President Clinton and her counter-parts. When he (Obama) is President, the confidence level and proficiency will be outstanding.

    e) Vice President Obama will be heavily involved in domestic policy formation and implementation. He will work closely with cabinet Secretaries and State Governors to bring about the agenda of President Clinton.

    3. From time to time, on those issues President Clinton has given Vice President Obama the lead (and she will announce that she has given him the lead), he can address the American people directly.

    4. President Clinton to announce a JFK-type program for energy independence with Vice President Obama.

    a) Let Vice President Obama take the lead on this program.

    b) Program partners to include American oil and energy companies (less burden on American taxpayers, and great training for Vice President Obama on Government and Corporation alliances and partnerships that will take the bad taste of “Big Corporations” out of the American people’s mouth).

    c) “Save the Planet” and “Green Energy” organizations to be courted in this alliance.

    4. Don’t forget the “Fireside Chats” on a regular basis.

    a). Talk informally to the American People.

    b) If there are problem, solicit their help.

    c) Give them the hard information. (Hope is one thing, but let the American people feel they have a real stake in things by doing something. When good things are happening, let them know that also. Give the up or downside of important issues.)

    d) Let Vice President Obama hold town hall meetings regularly.

    e) Sell Administration initiatives to the people first.

    f) “Teach” them the most effective ways to exercise their influence on their local, state and federal representatives.

    6. Float ideas on the web on a White House site; this will work well to show that programs have support from the public. Anyone can log-on and see what the American people are thinking. This may prove to be an effective tool when dealing with congress. Popularity and cooperation should remain high.

    Sen. Obama supporter should good about the fact that he is not in a ceremonial potion, but is an active and important part of the Clinton administration.

    Sen. Clinton will announce this arrangement at the convention; later, the two (Sens. Clinton and Obama) will appear together on ALL the talk-show (together and separate) expounding this arrangement.

    Thank you for your time.

    Warmest Regards,
    Aldon Black

    May 21, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  5. Mike, Ontario Canada

    He sounds like a bitter old man, who fully understands why his wife has lost the nomination, and will use every oportunity to continue to punish Obama. He doesn't sound positive, smart or even credible, just old and frustrated.

    May 21, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  6. New Sensation

    Sorry Grace, but unless you donated $20 million to her, your support means nothing. It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for Hill to win now. Obama leads in all categories, popular vote, total states, total delegates, total supers, and majority of delegates. It is over, do you understand?

    May 21, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  7. Ednord, Fl

    Bill, please do us a favor tell your wife to get out because she is ruining the democratic party's chances of winning this november and ,while you are at it, just shut up until october.

    May 21, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |

    I believe in Rules and Hillary need to follow the rules. I feel bad because I truly believe in Hillary but Obama is beating her fair and square. We, the Hillary fans need to be adults and true democratics and rally behind Obama. He will still allow Hillary to do her thing.

    May 21, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  9. Real Feminist

    What's REVOLTING is the Clinton camp's CONSTANT attempts to undermine Obama.

    As a woman – and more importantly, a FEMINIST – I am disgusted with the way Senator Clinton has run her campaign! It is disgraceful to all women when she angrily spouts "Shame on you Barack Obama!" while wildly waving a flyer in the air...

    It's also REVOLTING that her 'base' seems to be largely made up uneducated and racist voters... Oh yeah, and WOMEN who are, sadly, too ready to look past her divisive, disgusting pander-filled rhetoric...

    As a woman she sets the WRONG example for my daughters – she agreed to the rules before this contest began regarding FL and MI and now (because it would benefit her) she wants them changed...

    No, if women are to be taken seriously in the world of politics – or anywhere else – we need to be persons of honor and integrity – something Hillary Clinton clearly LACKS!

    May 21, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. Sam

    Here is a simple request. If you are going to make claims like: Obama whines about racism every day, please back them up with proof. So much of what I read in these comment sections is simply false. The rest of it sounds like boasts or complaints hurled by supporters of one sports team at another. This is not a sports contest and none of you are related to either Obama or Clinton. If you are Hillary's cousin I can see still supporting her now, and even saying you won't support Obama. Barring familial relations, it doesn't make much sense. I don't expect people to agree with my view of the election, in fact I love reading opinions other than my own, providing they are well thought out and reasonable. Most of what is in here is emotionally driven hero worship, nasty name calling, or baseless and uneducated ranting. There isn't much point to any of that, and it isn't much fun to read. If that's all you have to offer, please keep it to yourself.

    May 21, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. Over the Hill(ary)

    Maya May 21st, 2008 9:59 pm ET

    I am an african american and I am proud to say that I am a Clinton loyalist who is very grateful for what the Clintons had done for african american in this country.

    My heart broke in pieces as I was watching the harshness in the media against Hillary Clinton. I never thought that I would leave a day to see that kind of treatment against a person who served our country so well.

    To all the Clintons, you will be for ever in my heart.

    Maya –

    In all fairness, they (the Clintons) brought this on themselves. I'm sure your loyalty is appreciated by the Clintons, and if so, you'll abide by her wishes in supporting the Democratic candidate that wins the nomination.

    May 21, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. Bill

    Bill Clinton appears to still be in his childhood. I can't believe some of his childish reasoning. Hillary and Bill Clinton , and her staff are one dysfunctional group.

    May 21, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  13. Change We Need

    Comment about Bosnia: Not only would a 13 year old remember being shot at. Anyone would remember if they were under sniper fire attack. That has nothing to do with tiredness–outright lies.

    May 21, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  14. Call it down the middle

    James I respect the fact that your angry because Obama was with someone thats against homosexuality, but do you think he meant to offend or agrees with that. I don't. I probably come in contact with people who are bigots or prejudice in their own homes, but Obama is a pretty busy guy and I'm sure he doesn't know the life story of everyone he comes in contact with, and I know I don't know everything about everyone I know, and I am not nearly as busy as him. My point is I don't think he hates gay people, after all he himself is a minority. Although I could see how you are upset. But get this people are dying in Iraq man. Mcain isn't bring them home, and he said he isn't. Your goin to let them stay there because your mad about that? Come on I know your mad, but we need to stop this killing and spending in Iraq. I trust that your just upset and that's cool but think about it man. PLEASE UNDERSTAND MCAIN CAN DO SERIOUS DAMAGE! LOOK AT BUSH!

    May 21, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. Steve

    QUOTE: I would have said ‘No way. She is too allergic to anything we do,” responded Clinton. “But she is really good at it.”

    Um....She's really good at public policy? She's really good at leadership? or she's really good at politicking and pandering? – because that's all she would have been engaged in thus far....

    May 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  16. Drew, Central FL

    Spintons playing the victim again. And now someone else is responsible for the venom they spew? Oh! I misspoke. I was tired. People tend to slip more when they are angry and tired. That's when the truth comes out.

    This was the same rant when it came time to dodge sniper fire. Shrillary told that story 3 times. And C-Hell-sea chimed in on it too. What was Slick Willy's beef? She was tired. It was 11pm. You can't hold her accountable for that? No? Well, what it is going to be at 3am? Ready from day one? Don't think so.

    She lost my support the moment she started playing by "Turdblossoms" gamebook. I remember her saying she was ok with Florida not counting. I live here. She isn't going to be the nomineee and I'm voting Obama.

    The USA doesn't have Kings...or Queens.

    Si se puede!

    May 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. Warren

    When this race started it was clear to everyone that Hilliary Clinton would win this thing hands down. Now that we are at the end of the race and it is clear Barack Obama will be the winner. Here comes the finger pointing and crying act. The Clinton's need to recognize that the Obama camp ran a better campaign. That they under estimated the man and they only have themselves to blame. I understand those of you who are supporters of Hillary Clinton want to hang onto any hope there is. I think she should stay in as long as she see fit. The bottom line is that Obama will be the nominee. If there are any democrats that will not stand behind this man because the Clinton's came up short. Well that is a sad state of how this party always seem to find a way to shoot ourselves in the foot. To know that some will sit back and not vote for the democratic nominee or worse vote for McCain. Well that is just a bit disturbing to say the least.

    May 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  18. M.C.

    Why am I not posted when I point out what most Democrats know? It is a joke to nominate Obama when he lost in the important states??? Popular vote counts!!! Who is the machine behind this joker???

    May 21, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  19. JB Cal

    Grace, what have you been smoking ? You say that his message did not resonate with you. Their messages are nearly identical. But you hang in there, it may sink in yet. As for the race riots, I'm black, and I've never heard anything like that from anyone, and I haven't missed any of the secret meetings. It must be tough watching someone take sometihing from you that you think you're entitled to.

    May 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. Alice

    Puh-leese Pres. Clinton ! I watched you and listened to your comments about the South Carolina primary BEFORE the media characterized them, and was sick to my stomach. It was what YOU said, not how the media characterized it, that angered people.

    Right then, at that moment, my support for your wife went out the door. It had nothing to do with the media - and everything to do with you.

    You are one smart cookie, as is she, and I am not so naieve as to believe your comments were made without her blessing.

    May 21, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  21. Over the Hill(ary)

    Aldon Black –

    You sound as delusional as your candidate.

    May 21, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  22. Erwin

    It's not really about race. Yeah, some people's vote is influenced by race, but that works both ways in one state or another. What happened was a freakish run of primaries in the middle, and two disallowed states, put the less qualified and less electable candidate on top. Then a bunch of scared Dems started piling on to close it out because the Reps were done.
    Why not count all the votes? Why disenfranchise millions of Florida and Michigan voters? Because your candidate is ahead? The average voter in Florida or Michigan had no say in moving their primary. Let 'em vote and see who comes out on top. Isn't that the "democratic" solution?
    If Dems used winner take all delegates formula (similar to general election by the way) – Hillary wins.
    If Florida and Michigan primaries were run when they should have been – Hillary would have won already.
    If the order (and demographics) of the primaries wasn't so freakish – who knows?
    Run it to the end and see what the voters say (including Florida and Michigan). You can't be democrats and be afraid of a democratic process.

    May 21, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  23. JC - Independent

    Had Bill thought that Chelsea might run for an office some day, he would have been less reckless. I hope Chelsea is smart enough to see politics not as negative and divisive as her parents think it is.

    But no more Clinton or Bush no matter what.

    May 21, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  24. Robert Willett

    Geez, Bill, shut up and go home. The trouble with you and Hillary is that fundamentally you are are couple highly intelligent adolescents who think that the rest of us in the party have to continually clean up whatever mess you leave behind. The GOP behavior WAS awful when you were in office, but you made it easier for them with you stonewalling and fooling around. Now you are makling a mess of the 2008 nomination process just because you think that Hillary is somehow "entitled" to it, and now we all have to deal with yet another mess. Have you no shame? Stop being so selfish. By the way, this white worker would vote for Barack.

    May 21, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  25. Anna

    Agree with Warren.
    Hillary thought she was going to win this without MI and FL
    But the opposite happened.
    Obama won it without MI and FL

    May 21, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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