May 26th, 2008
10:55 AM ET
8 years ago

Bill Clinton says wife is victim of a ‘cover up’


Watch Bill Clinton's remarks about the state of the race.

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said that Democrats were more likely to lose in November if his wife Hillary Clinton is not the party’s presidential nominee, and suggested some people were trying to “cover this up” and “push and pressure and bully” superdelegates to make up their minds prematurely.

"I can’t believe it. It is just frantic the way they are trying to push and pressure and bully all these superdelegates to come out,” he said at a South Dakota campaign stop Sunday, in remarks first reported by ABC News. “'Oh, this is so terrible: The people they want her. Oh, this is so terrible: She is winning the general election, and he is not. Oh my goodness, we have to cover this up.'"

The former president added that his wife had not been given the respect she deserved as a legitimate presidential candidate. "She is winning the general election today and he is not, according to all the evidence,” he said. “And I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running.”

“Her only position was, ‘Look, if I lose I'll be a good team player. We will all try to win - but let's let everybody vote, and count every vote,’" he said.

The former president suggested that if the New York senator ended the primary season with an edge in the popular vote, it would be a significant development. "If you vote for her and she does well in Montana and she does well in Puerto Rico, when this is over she will be ahead in the popular vote,” said Clinton.

“And they're trying to get her to cry uncle before the Democratic Party has to decide what to do in Florida and Michigan” – which the party would need to do “unless we want to lose the election. "

The current requirement to claim the Democratic presidential nomination is 2,026 delegates, a formula that does not take into account delegates from Florida and Michigan, whose contests were not sanctioned by the party – although if those votes were to be counted as cast, Hillary Clinton would still currently trail rival Barack Obama in the overall delegate count.

The former president said Sunday that the media had unfairly attacked his wife since the Iowa caucuses, repeating an often-used charge that press coverage had made him feel as though he were living in a “fun house.”

"If you notice, there hasn't been a lot of publicity on these polls I just told you about,” he said. “It is the first time you've heard it? Why do you think that is? Why do you think? Don't you think if the polls were the reverse and he was winning the Electoral College against Senator McCain and Hillary was losing it, it would be blasted on every television station?”

He added, “You would know it wouldn't you? It wouldn't be a little secret. And there is another Electoral College poll that I saw yesterday had her over 300 electoral votes…. She will win the general election if you nominate her. They're just trying to make sure you don't."

soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. Mary

    The Democratic Party started with nine major candidates, most of whom were eminently qualified. Since then the voters get to choose. It is not anyone's turn, or anyone's right to be president, it is our right to vote. Unfortunately Florida and Michigan voters will be somewhat disenfranchised, some because they stayed home thinking that their votes wouldn't count, some who voted for only the candidate still on the ballot, some because the votes of their states will be apportioned in some kind of back room compromise. What is very clear to me is that neither of the candidates get to choose what that compromise is. That's like letting the student decide what grade he's going to get on an exam.

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Sara

    And where is the Clinton contribution to Memorial Day – something to celebrate patriotic Americans other than Bill and Hillary???

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. jackie oliver

    Billiary Clinton have weakened the democratic party. They are divisive, negative people, with a very grey area in truth and integrity. It is time for the super delegates to put a stop to this or the Republicans will win this election. Sometimes I think Hilliary has stayed in this election just to weaken Obama's position and then turn around and say, 'You should have voted for me.' That would be a typical move, just like,' Let's move the goal posts and count all of Michigan and Florida, even if Obama wasn't on the ballot and we agreed to not campaign there and count them in. I am down now so I want them counted." duh-3rd grade bargaining.

    I am deeply upset with the super delegates who are sitting on the fence. Officially I am an independent who only got involved in this because I feel so strongly about Obama and change. What an eye opener politicians are!!!!! Commmit now and stop this devastation.

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. After further review,Texas

    Bill Clinton is the reason oil speculators are driving your gas prices through the roof.He signed in the deregulation of the commodities markets in 1999.Thanks Bill.

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Patricia in Las Vegas

    Bill you are wrong wrong wrong....we DO NOT want Hillary in the White House, she has run a disasterous campaign, has out of control spending, cannot decide who she really is. And to suggest that this is a cover up just shows that you too, are losing all sense of reality. Give it up.

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. Reality Check

    Hillary is leading the popular vote. There is no reason why this primary process should end before the convention. To those who whine about the caucuses – they don't tabulate any popular vote count so if you're angry about that take it up with your own caucus state. Caucuses are also the most undemocratic way of selecting a candidiate in our American political system (it disadvantages the elderly, workers, caretakers (ie: mothers with young kids) and it generally does not represent the will of the general public – look at Texas primary/caucus if you have any doubt about that)).

    Hillary is leading in the Popular Vote
    Hillary has won 7 of the last 11 primaries
    Hillary has won the key swing states
    Hillary won Indiana which Obama called the tie-break state
    Hillary has won half a million more votes than Obama since March 1
    Hillary is beating McCain in the national polls (Obama is not)
    Hillary has the electoral college votes to win in November

    All the way to Denver. Hillary '08

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Paul

    Bill just needs to shut up. He has nothing worth saying.

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Douglas A. McCarthy

    Poor Clinton-worried about losing the ability to abuse White House perks again?

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Funny

    I just don't understand Mr. Clinton at this point. Hillary has not been treated unfairly in this campaign. It is most unfortunate that the candidate with the "most experience" has made the most mistakes during the process and didn't have an effective plan after Feb. 5th. Stop with all the rhetoric and start talking like a party elder statesman and promote unity.

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Scot C.

    Everyday it's something new from the Clinton campaign and it used to work in the beginning. How do they come up with this stuff on a daily basis? I find it amazing and disgusting all at the same time.

    Bill, give it up. The democratic nomination is decided by the delegate count not the popular vote. You should know this, how long have these rules been in place? Since you won the nomination?

    How about following the rules? How about showing some dignity for yourself and the democratic party? No matter what the Hillary supporters say, what about Obama supporters? Do they count in the democratic party that Bill is talking about or are they part of an alternate democratic party?

    Enough already! She's lost, it's over, now let's get to it. It's time to take McCain down.

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Rascal

    The polls have Obama beating McCain by a bigger margin than Clinton. I respect Bill as a president and for what he has done for this country but he needs to give it up. It's can not change the rules after the game has been played. Obama is a the better candidate and if he campained in Florida and Michigan, he would have won those states or would have been a close race.

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. Ilene MI

    Just when you think Bill and Hillary can't stoop any lower..........God help us get this over with and send them home.

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. ellen

    He is right about several things. The media has not given Clinton the
    coverage they have given Obama. He is constantly in the news. They
    downplayed her win in WVA to jump on the Edwards endorsement for
    Obama. And how can the polls label her as negative when Obama
    started the whole negative attacks with that NAFTA mailing. Obama
    is very clever at getting what he wants, if you really listen to him
    he has a way of twisting the words around to suit himself. When I
    first became aware of Obama I liked the man. But then I started
    to really listen to what he was saying and my respect turned to mistrust.
    How can he be fooling so many people?

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. Hillaryis404

    nice of old bubba to stand up for the little woman like that. seriously, could he have sabotaged her campaign anymore? his legacy is now reduced to a stained blue dress.

    May 26, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Sam in SoCal

    Man, is Bill desperate. He wants to get back into the White House SO badly, it's pathetic, sad and sort of funny in a ranting, drooling, crazy street preacher sort of way – which is to say, not really funny at all. I thought that her campaign had gotten him under control, but if this is any indication, they sure haven't. Would you really want someone governing this country who can't even get her date rapist husband to shut up for a few months while she tried (and fairly successfully) to convince the voters that she and he were not the totally narcissistic, amoral, voracious-for-power-yet-totally-unwilling-or-able-to-do-anything-useful-with-it hippy/redencks that the two of them truly are? If she can't get Bubba to muzzle it, sit on his hands and keep it in his pants for the length of the campaign season, what good would she be running this country?

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Brian, Elkton, MD

    So true, Bill – glad you are around as a non-biased paragon of virtuous truth to explain what the "reality" actually is: that the Democrats are actually conspiring to avoid winning the next presidential election just to make Hillary (and you) look bad. Millions and millions of new, energetic voters for Obama who were enlisted solely to bring down the Clintons at our nation's expense.

    I can't believe that I didn't see it before...

    That whole message of hope, change, openness, inclusion, unity, peace, and progress isn't attractive at all, is it? How could we have been so blind...

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Foggy

    Well here it is once again. Bill Clinton lying to the American people.
    Why anyone would vote for Hillary at this point is beyond me. I was a Hillary supporter early on but after seeing her many faces and hearing all the lies I can not be a part of it. Why do they want the office so badly? It is a shame a former president has made such a fool of himself in the eyes of the people that once supported him.

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. Jen, Gainesville

    If Hillary is the most disrespected presidential candiate in recent history, it is because her conduct of the campaign that has made her lose respect, not because of any sort of bias against her. As a woman, I feel ashamed by her conduct and think her experience sets back the clock for other female politicians to advance their careers.

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. JR

    I voted for Bill Clinton... twice. I will never vote for Hillary with everything the Clinton's have said and done to try to take this election. For the sake of the country, your legacy and the Democratic Party, please stop.

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. Kh

    This is so despicable! What would they be saying if the person who won: – the most votes
    – the most states
    – the most delegates
    Was denied the nomination!
    Just because the Clintons came into this thinking the nomination was owed to them, and they would have smooth ride with no competition, doesn't mean they have to be such a sore looser!


    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Gerry

    A cover up? Is he joking?

    When will the SD's end this pathetic pandering by the Clinton's. Enough already.

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. Jim

    NBC (the National Barack Channel) is part of this cover up as are people on CNN, namely Jack Cafferty

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |

    Karen If you are referring to Barack being a smooth talker I think Bill is definitely been an old smooth talker for years!! These are people (Clintons) that will do anything to get back in the White House!! Come on!! Enough is enough!!

    Please Superdelegates let's get this over with. The Clinton's want a back room deal. I am sick of their tactics!!

    Obama 08!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Donna

    Bill Clinton is 100% right. The media completely ignored John Edwards, they wouldn't give him the time of day, and the only time we hear about Hillary is when they have something negative to say. In all honesty, I wasn't sure I was going to vote for her, in the beginning. Now, I am 100% positive I would vote for her. If she is cheated out of the nomination.....I will either vote Libertarian or I will not vote....Bill is correct, Hillary has not gotten the respect she deserves. Why? Because she is a woman!

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  25. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    Hillary is not a victim. What kind of leader plays the victim every time they don't get their way. That's not being a fighter, it's being a sore loser.

    Furthermore, Obama is ahead in general election matchups against McCain while Hillary barely ties McCain.

    May 26, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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