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. Clinton Supporter

    Eventually Obama and Co. will figure out that they need Clinton supporters to win this election. She trails Obama by a miniscule number of delegates and leads him in the popular vote. remember, they may find an arcane way to eliminate Florida and Michigan for nominating purposes, but they don't get to revisit the general election vote to make it go their way. Only Republicans get to do that!

    While Obama may make a show of embracing the woman his campaign has cast as a racist power hungry monster, his rather nasty supporters as evidenced on these pages, may not. What if they howl when Hillary makes a pro-Obama speech? Hmm...

    At the very least, the Obama camp should embrace Hillary's far superior health care plan in exchange for her public support. Otherwise, why would she do any more than pay lip service to them because she's a loyal Democrat and will at least show up. I'd rather see McCain and no new health care plan so we can start fresh after the Obama 4-year interruption. We've waited this long. What's another 4 years?

    That is, until she's booed or publicly insulted by one or more Obama worshippers.

    May 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Kevin

    Bill's idea that it's nearly June and superdelegates are making up their mind "prematurely" is laughable. If any superdelegate declared their support prematurely, it was those that did so before any votes were cast, and that was when Hillary enjoyed a nearly 100 superdelegate lead.

    May 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Dick in Sioux Falls

    RRO: If you choose not to know Obama's plans for the country, that is a choice, not the reality. Obama has been clear about lifting the cap on SS taxes. It makes no sense that working stiffs pay SS taxes on every penny they ever earn, while the CEO of EXXon-Mobil, when he got a $400 Million Retirement Bonus, he paid not one penny in SS tax because his first month's salary that year maxed out his SS contributions. Only Obama has supported this idea, along with Sen Orin Hatch of Utah, hardly a liberal. Hillary has too many wealthy friends for her to support the idea. Did you know that? Lifting the cap would insure the fiscal health of SS and Medicare through all future generations.
    If you wish to know Obama's detailed plans for the economy and foreign policy, look them up online. However, I don't think you really want to be confused with the facts. You'd rather continue to spread disinformation, like your candidate.

    May 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Jen, Gainesville

    The voters and the media have been extremely tolerant of Hillary. If it were another candidate, he or she would have exited the race more than 10 times. No "victim card" !! They have played the race card, the gender card, the fear card, and now the victim card. They are so divisive, even at this moment. What a shame!

    May 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Ray

    Sad. Just sad.

    May 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Andrew (Toronto, Ontario)

    It kills me how the popular vote is now the new criteria for deciding the nomination. Hillary didn't care much for the fact that Florida and Michigan's votes wouldn't count at the time the decision was made. All the presidential candidates had to sign off on this, where was her uproar and concern for the voters then? It wasn't there because she thought she had the nomination wrapped up (entitlement). Who is the real elitist now?

    May 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. Tim MN.

    I never liked Bill but I always have liked Hillary and what he says is true! What is going on here? Why are the democrats nominating a person who is a sure loser he can't win the democrats are split 50/50 on this and the independents say they will vote mcCain! And all these past nominees who lost by a landslide in their elections endorsing Obama? And everyone is like oh! we better endorse him too. If everyone recalls the Cinton era however tarnished was the most profitable ever. we werent at war we didnt pay $4 for gas the entire world adored us. so we are just going to hand the Election to McCain? I say more power to ya at least I can now vote for Barr!

    May 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Mark Schulte

    The only reason I could not vote for Hillary Clinton is because then Bill would be "back". I liked him as President but his behavior and commnets throughout this primary season shows he has totally "lost it".

    May 26, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. D.Kimbro OHIO

    This man is insane. Remember Bill you are also affecting her senate re-election campaign. I wonder what the poeple of New York think?? This was her ultimate aim was to try and become president. Now that dream has died, they want to prolong the agony for everyone because they feel hurt. Get over it and get out now!!! By the way Bill thanks for screwing up the banking system, with dergulation. We are still paying the price for that one.. I hope all of you so called democrats continue this folly. Please vote for McCain so we can be rid of you posers.

    May 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. James

    This is so sad. Bill Clinton had been forgiven of so many sins by hstory, only to bring all of us back to the divisive politics of the 1990's

    Do you think history will forgive the Clintons a second time for destroying the nation's first African-American Democratic Presidential nominee ?

    May 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. sdn

    I am shocked by the behavior of former President Clinton. He is tarnishing his legacy by doing this. He and Hillary were also trying to "sway the Supers" their way now he's calling foul simply because they were swayed towards Sen. Obama. The Clinton's are truly disgracing themselves.

    May 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Dealt

    Desperation, bad taste, unethical. Bill's going downhill fast. Once this is over, both he and Hillary will be international laughingstocks, whatever the oucome.

    May 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. Ryan

    If Hillary Clinton is not on that ticket come November... after all of the millions who have voted for her including myself... then I will be voting for John McCain. Too much media and Obama supporters have trashed my favorite candidate.. early on if she didn't win I said I would always support the demicrats but not this time. Myself and family will be voting for John McCain.

    May 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. lizzyh

    If anyone should know about covering up... I guess he would!

    May 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. MarilynJonesLadig

    Bill Clinton, you are not the same person I voted for and vehemently defended in the 90's. Hillary is NOT winning in any way shape or manner. You and your whackadoodle wife are helping only McCain.

    May 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Michael

    These two will stop at nothing!!!! Obviously if Hillary is not the nominee there must be something wrong with the system, or the voters, now it's a conspiracy. If what Bill is saying is true, then why is Obama favored over John McCain my 10 points while Hillary is nursing a 1 point lead? You've been so fond of pointing to polls, lets analyze that one for a bit.

    This is truly pathetic! Hey Bill these past two weeks are the exact reason the voters have rejected Hillary, this nomination is not somehow owed to you; it's not a birth right. June 3rd cannot come soon enough!!!

    Obama '08

    May 26, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Chris from Ohio

    Polls 5 months out don't mean anything. What were the polls saying about Clinton winning the Democratic Primary 5 months ago? For that matter, wasn't McCain wasn't doing so well in the Republican primary 5 months ago. You show me one poll where McCain beats Obama and I'll show you two that show Obama beating McCain. But it doesn't matter this far out. McCain hasn't even been tested by a close campaign like Obama. There's a lot we will find out about McCain...a lot.

    May 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. Anwar

    Is this leadership? Is this presidential? Is this unifiying with the common good as the ultimate goal? Is this egomania and selfishness at its destructive and divisive best?

    May 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Kurt

    Bill Clinton is ABSOLUTELY right.
    Obama will lose easily to McCain. He MUST NOT get this nomination. HE will destroy the party!
    The media are venomous vicious vultures hovering over Hillary!

    May 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. yeah right

    "Reality Check"- are you for real? Don't blindly follow Hillary. GET A GRIP!

    May 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Dr.Dro

    Old on... now it's a conspiracy is Clinton doesn't get the nomination?!?! How immensely and shamefully pathetic this horrible twisted statement is. Shame on you Mr. Clinton! Shame on you for trying to discredit a win from Obama by all fair and objective counts.

    May 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Zonker

    Amazing how when the chips are down the Clintons resort to the victim card. The night of the debate between her and Rick Lazio in her first run for the Senate the local news discussed how poor her performance was. By the morning the entire talk was about how he intimidated her when he approached her. Attacks on her husband were "vast right wing conspiracies." Now that she has run an inept campaign with no plans or ground troops for after Super Tuesday, she must be a victim again. After all, when the Clintons do not get their way they usually see it as someone elses fault.

    May 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. Jerry

    any chance that he's going to be the nominee because he's won more delegates than Mrs. Clinton? Weren't those the rules that we've been following for a hundred years? I

    May 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Crush Rush

    Does he ever stop lying?

    May 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. strong

    Bill and Hillary are too good for the USA. Why so many people detest and bash the Clinton's is beyond me. The Clinton's are a godsend and people just don't appreciate them. Sad.

    If Hillary doesn't get the dem nominee, well then can you say the words: President McCain. 'Cause Obamaboy ain't gettin' in the White House.

    End of discussion.

    May 26, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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