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. Hill.Bill.y

    Why can't we get along? Let's solve some problems and not attack each other...

    May 21, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  2. NickNas

    Bill what is REVOLTING is how I feel after all of those YEARS going TOE to TOE against my republican FRIENDS defending you! I havwe to eat Crow everyday you and your delusional devisive caculateing wife intterupt the process.

    May 21, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. Kentucky gal

    As a Black woman from Kentucky, I am not surprised that Clinton won the state. Many people here will not vote for a black candidate.

    Barack has NEVER complained about the open racism that he faced (the monkey t-shirts, the emphasis on his middle name, the huckabee joke, the death threats, etc).

    YES, Hillary has indeed faced sexism, but it really speaks against her character that she is crying victim, when the other candidate is not. What's more,
    To accept those votes from bigots when you claim to be against racism, is hypocrisy and is selling your soul.

    May 21, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  4. rock

    One of our greatest Presidents ever. I can't believe that the next Presidential candidate who will have slightly less years of qualifying experience than the current one running is a student who just comes out of school. If anything I would blame Bush for creating an atmosphere where Presidential quality no longer is a concern for the American public, at least on the Democratic side.

    May 21, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  5. tom, jacksonville,fl

    I just love this by Bill Clinton, hopefully he will next try to redefine for us the meaning of the word "is". This type of behavior from an ex-President is beyond contempt. As Bill ages he is beginning to look more like the old comdienne, WC Fields. Only Fields made us laugh.
    Bill, go home to Harlem.

    May 21, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. Anyone but Hillary

    How can Hillary make such a big deal about the $30 savings from the gas tax holiday idea, but still ask people to give $50 or more? If she wants to continue destroying the Democratic party, use your own dirty money from the Middle East or South America.

    May 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. Mark Webb

    Who has been agitating so-called gender and race issues since months and months? Billary!!!

    Bill is right, this strategy is a loser's strategy.

    May 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. Over it

    Bill was the first to play the race card in the SC. I was truly disappointed in him and then started to support Obama....

    May 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  9. Tired of Hilliary

    The Clinton's will not stop until they have stolen the election from
    Senator Obama. They don't care about dividing the democratic party. They feel entitled. They have used code words, injected race unnecessarily, lied, cried and are now desperate. Obama is leading in EVERY category – Get over it! Don't let the door hit you.... LOL!
    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  10. LT for Obama

    Eileen from Portland, Maine –

    I think that you are lumping all of us African Americans into one big pot. Guess what, not all of us actually feel that way. I can tell you that not matter who is in office, I expect respect because I and only I earned it. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Obama is in office. You overheard a stupid remark made by someone who is ignorant.

    I would ask that you rethink your vote based on the candidate and not the supporters. If that were the case, I would be voting for McCain but because I am voting based on the issues and not sex or skin color, I would vote for Clinton if she were the nominee.

    May 21, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  11. Sharon Minnesota

    I can't believe that the hateful comments made by Obama supporters on this blog have anything to do with the Clintons. It must be just a continuation of a campaign tactic to win at any cost. We all know your game and it's real bad for America. Do you care for your country at all?

    May 21, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  12. Michigan Voter !!!


    I'm A Michigan Democrat !!! , And I Approve Of This Message !!!!

    May 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  13. DJ, Indiana

    Wait a minute. The old white man from the former Confederate South (where the Confederate flag hung while he was in office in Arkansas), who compared Obama to Jesse Jackson and called Obama "articulate," has the nerve to call Obama "cold-blooded" and revolting?? And now he thinks screaming at the top of his lungs with a bright pink face will get his point across? Nobody's judging Bill's or Hillary's heart or soul, but racist behavior is racist behavior.

    There are some who will do anything for fame and power. And then there's the rest of us.

    May 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  14. Mitch from New York

    I have a friend who is white and grew up in a totally African American community--

    From listening to conversations over a period of 10 years, she tells me
    African Americans are far more racist than whites-–

    The voting percentages appear to bear this out–

    May 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. JJ-Orlando

    Eileen from Portland, Maine May 21st, 2008 9:50 pm ET
    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.
    Eileen from Portland, Maine Well actually JJ, it depends on who is counting.
    (Florida 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.
    JJ-Orlando Except the measures that are consistent with a real democracy
    Eileen from Portland, Maine
    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,

    Before I post the rest of my first post let me just remind our viewers how Obama's supporters have acted.....And why Hilary supporters will not vote for Obama. I am not a lier nor do I make up stories. I am a Christian man with three little children, a disabled wife and two adopted needy children.
    JJ-Orladno's continued first post
    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 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  16. Harvey, Tampa, FL

    Stop & think for a minute about how much better Hillary could have done without Bill during this campaign...

    May 21, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. Change We Need

    Yes,, but I bet the Clintons take this all the way to the Convention. That's just how dirty they are. If they do, however, their political careers will be over.

    May 21, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. mike

    There are shrewd ways of using race to stimulate certain groups of people. This is called race baiting. Who is Bill kidding, there was definite race baiting going on. He's mincing words by saying they didn't play the race card. Bill is very smart, he knows exactly what was happening. I understand it is frustrating for the Clintons. I voted for Bill twice myself. But I think he and Hillary didn't prepare well. Perhaps alot has changed since the 90's. Wasn't it Bill that said "don't put on the uniform if you don't want to play"? Then why is he once again complaining about the tactics he thought were used against Hillary. He is tryingto have it both ways.

    May 21, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  19. David from Ohio

    So let's see...Hillary is claiming that the media and sexism is responsible for her not getting the nomination and she used the term hard working white blue collar voters and Obama's playing the race card? Makes as much sense as Hillary's math. As for Chelsea, sorry if I don't sympathize with her because her Mom doesn't get to be president. She has as much in common with the average person as her parents.

    May 21, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  20. Scott

    The Clintons are all about saving the Democratic Party. It is the media, Obama's campaign and a whole lot of arrogant, dismissive and abusive Obama supporters who are dividing and destroying the Party. Hillary Clinton will be the Party's nominee for President.

    May 21, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  21. Joan Cain

    Bill Clinton has descebnded to a new low. Americans and the world have now seen the real Clintons. Monica Lewinsky and the infamous "it depends on what is is", Marc Rich, etc were just a tip of the iceberg. We now know the real Clinton – a Charlatan!

    May 21, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  22. Jeff

    Bill and Hillary Clinton,

    You are both shameless pigs.

    After June 3, I want you both to disappear for a long long time.

    I'm still waiting for an explanation as to why the sniper fire thing hasn't made them as big a joke or bigger as Elliot Spitzer.

    May 21, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  23. mj

    As a 54 year old white female, Bill played the race card and Hillary played the gender card. Obama has tried to keep race in the background. Hillary has tried to change the rules at every step in the race when she is behind. How can anyone not see that? Did she not sign an agreement that MI and FL would not count? And is she not wanting to change the rules now? Her personality changes from day to day and please don't say she didn't blatantly lie about Bosnia. If anyone is trying to play a card it is her latest cry of how unfair everyone is because she is a woman. Wake up folks!

    May 21, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  24. Peachy Keen

    Frankly, I don't remember ever hearing Obama say anything about anyone playing the race card. On the other hand, I do remember Bill playing it in South Carolina in relation to Jesse Jackson winning that state and I do remember Hillary just recently saying she has the white vote.

    So Billy, it is revolting and it is you and your wife who started it all.

    Goodbye to you both.

    May 21, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  25. Karen

    Bill needs to learn Freudian and then he would know that it is when you are tired or late in night, you tell truth.

    May 21, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
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