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. arthurW from Virginia

    Hello, nobody has stopped her from running and it is only the math and the rules that has stopped her inevitability of being the Dem presidential candidate. Unless Obama drops out of the race, he will win the delagate race. The delegate math is the RIGHT thing to watch and follow; anything else smacks of elitism or chicanery. I am not sure what the "solandored" on Clinton supporters speaks of above is all about, but if you are talking about slander and pushing the edge on civil discourse, you don't have to look further than the dirty hands of Bill and Hillary in this race. It alsoi amazes me that Hillary and Bill get to shout 'foul' anytime someone points out the reality of their situation or that they are in fact part of a PARTY where members are supposed to work ultimatey for the common good (hey, at least Romney knew when it was time to bow out)- is it a case of reverse sexism where nobody wants to be percieved of fouling a woman, or is it simply a case where folks are too scared of the Clinton power and their tendency to make Judases out of people who speak their mind?

    May 26, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Ralph Benno

    MR Clinton has good points
    1. there is a cover up and a political set up. If we recall Mr edward has asked Hilary to quit ater the Iowa Causus..SInce then we have seen a deluge of peope asking her to quit. The funny part is that people are voting for her.

    2 There is a party conspacy to push forward black man..instead of a woman.Yes I beleive that America is still sexist.

    3. Out of all the people Mr Carter. He has lost all credibility in my mind. A true Judas. The way he wanted her out of the way quickly.

    This is the waya it will look...No matter how much Hilary wins , the party will not accept her or accept a woman nominee.

    I will support Hilary if she breaks up with the democratic party and run as independent for the sake of America. HELP US.

    If not, A lot of people and including myself will cast the vote for McCain..It is just 4 more Year..

    For all the women in America..Do not kid yourself, the democratic party is not the party who can help your cause...Move forward.. Now is your time... This primary has shown how hypocritical the democratic party are to you cause..

    GO hilary if not.GO Mc Cain

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. jujub

    Bill – Your wife is losing because she ran a negative inept campaign. She gave no respect to the small states and caucases (which helped you win the nomination in 1992). And, your absurb point that she is winning the general election by pointing to the electoral map is another joke...remember when your wife said the electoral college should be abolished after she won the Senate in 1992? Now you conveniently use it for your benefit.

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Tom Hopkin

    Don't you realize Bill that if the nomination is taken away from Obama with his insurmountable lead, the party would come apart and there would be no chance of a Democratic? victory in Nov. You and Hillary are making fools of yourselves. Grow up and get out of the race!

    Concord Il

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Dee, St.Louis

    Hey Hillary supporters, you continue saying that Hillary is the best candidate and would beat McCain. Answer one question, why didn't you people financially support your candidate? Why is Hillary in debt? So, Hillary gets the nod and Obama's supporters pay off Hillary's debt NOT THIS TIME.

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. Shannon from Washington

    Do they not know how desperate they are sounding? At first I was mad at Hillary for being such a victim and truly setting back the feminist movement that us "hard-working" women have worked for decades to promote. Next, I was saddened by her inability to grasp with her own mismanagement and failures in this campaign. Now, I truly think her and her husband need medication. They have gone off the deep end and it is no longer amusing or a spectacle to watch, it is very sad.

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Elly

    The Clintons are both losing it !!!! in more ways than one
    Losing respect and dignity!!
    He needs to Clam it up
    I paid big money to hear him speak once up here in Canada
    Now....I wouldnt pay a plug nickel
    they are SORE losers!!!!
    They just cant stand the fact that Hillary met her match in Senator Obama..a force she wasnt ready for!!!!
    Dont worry Bill, Senator Obama will pick up many votes and especially if he picks the right VP like Jim Webb !!
    It sure wont be Hillary after all the negativity and devisivness!!
    The republicans are sitting back laughing at this debacle and YOU

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Jim

    I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is more electable!

    "It's the ELECTORAL COLLEGE, stupid!"

    Obama can't beat McCain in OH, PA, and FL b/c the demographics in these states have made it clear that they flat out reject him

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Sam

    Bill needs to go find a playmate again to fill up his time. Since their marriage is a joke – it a partnership nothing more!

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Peter

    This "victim"-card is pathetic. Clinton is NOT being pressured out of the ract, the fact is:
    Obama is ahead in the popular vote
    Obama is ahead in pledged delegates and has been for months.

    A couple of months ago, Clinton-camp was "begging" superdelegates to support them, now they say "evil superdelegates are pushing us out".

    This tactic is pathetic and I hope the american people isn`t stupid enough to fall for it. Clinton has NOT been treated bad by the media at all.

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    President Clinton, I think you did a world of good in your eight years as President. But here are some numbers I swa recently:
    Zogby has Obama winning by more than 6% over McCain as of 5-21

    Rasmussen has McCain and Obama tied at 45%
    By the way, they have Obama up 10%+ in Minn as well as being up in Penn and New Hampshire. Lastly, they have Obama as a 62% chance of winning in Nov.

    Gallup has Cliinton up 5% over McCain. BUT, McCain up 2% over Obama.

    Pollin Report has Clinton up 5% over McCain. BUT, McCain up 2% over Obama.

    RealClear Politics has Obama up 2.8% and Clinton up 1.5%.

    So, just a small sample says both of them can win. The catch is whether or not the losing side helps the other side.
    Bottom line, the rules at the beginning says whomever has the most delegates win. Period.
    So, if you want the Supers to decide, remember they're also deciding on their own fate. They know with HRC at the top, those rabid Reps will come to polls to vote against her, and then also vote down the line, putting their spots in peril.
    Obama won't bring those rabid Reps against HRC to the polls, but he will bring all those new voters he's activated this cycle to the polls. And when they vote down ballot, they realize they will get most of that support. So, if you want the Supers to decide, remember this is the prism through which they see their decision being made.

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. 28, AFRO-AMERICAN Clinton supporter!

    I REALLY HOPE that some kind of conspiracy comes out on Sen. Obama. People are so hard on Pres. Clinton!! He is a human being. If most of you had the chance to cheat on YOUR WIFE, and bang some chick 1/2 your age at YOUR job, you'd do it!!!! Let he who is without FAULT cast the first stone!!!!!!

    TRUST ME, Obama is NO ANGEL!... Always be wary of what you DON"T KNOW!!..

    May 26, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. scott, Tampa, FL

    the bottom line is that most people don't trust the Clintons and the democrats are like a disfunctional family. The good people dont run anymore because of the lying and cheating going on in the campaigns. whatever happened to we ran the race and lost? stop blaming everyone else for everything that is wrong in your life and campaign. admit defeat and go home hillary. the republicans have done more for this country than the democrats, though they are too far the other side.

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Eric

    Bill, you are still on top of your game. Lying to everyone without a blink of a eye, attacking everybody instead of looking at your own flaws, you haven't changed a bit. The country has though, and doesn't trust anymore.

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. Bacall

    Hillary has not been treated well. President Clinton has been in politics many years and knows how it operates....she has the right to stay in the race until the last primary. She would make a great President but again this country is ruled by male dominance and still can't stand to see a women win. The democrats will not win the election unless Barrack can win the swing states and right now it is showing he cannot. We need her one way or the other in the general election.........

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Bob

    I think Hillary should run on the Independent ticket if she is cheated out of the nomination. Bill....Bet busy and get everything in place to put her on the Independent ticket. She will WIN!!

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Peter Formaini, Ithaca, NY

    Gee – I seem to remember Bill saying (quite recently):

    "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen......"

    It is LONG past the time when BOTH Clinton's need to be put out to pasture – as 2 of last century's worst political specimens.

    Unfortunately, I live in NEW YORK – so I have to put up with the whining loser for another 2 years (or longer if we are stupid enough to re-elect her). She fooled me once – in 2004. It won't happen twice.

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. 1926

    Obama is impossible. I will vote for either McCain or Clinton. No Obama. Someone told him he is cute and he believed it.

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Monica Lewdinsky

    I endorse Hillary! I want Bill to be the first man!

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Mary

    As a HRC supporter, I saddens me to see how the Clintons are pulling out the stops in there quest to see that Hillary is the nominee. At this point, it may be time to put your personal aspirations aside and look at what is good for the Democratic Party as a whole, because it worries me that the split in our party may cause us to lose the White House in Nov.

    I cringe when hear a HRC supporter say that they will vote for McCain or not vote at all if Obama is the nominee, because if you think that things will improve if McCain wins the White House, how truly mistaken you are–I will support HRC to the end, however if she is not the nominee, I will vote for Obama (and remember, Obama and Clinton are much closer on major issues) because I much prefer him in the White House to McCain in the White House

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. youngdemocrat

    Bill Clinton is 100% right!

    The Democratic establishment never liked the Clintons because they were the change–people who could ACTUALLY stay competitive in midwestern and southern states and win elections in landslides. They still don't like them. Yet, they ARE the people who WILL win in November. They understand America unlike the establishment does.

    The Democratic Party will KILL its chances with Barack Obama in November. We need CLINTON and we need HER now!

    –a soon-to-be Independent thanks to the Democrats

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. TR

    The bottom line is The Clinton Campaign underestimated Sen. Obama and his campaign. Sen. Obama has played by the rules. Many in Fla and Michigan did not vote because they new their vote would not count. Sen. Obama was not even on the ballot when Sen. Clinton's name was. Sen. Clinton did not worry about MI and Fla votes until she fell behind and Sen. Obama has always said Mi & Fla should count, just in a fair way. Sen. Clinton has not been attacked any more or any less than any other candidate. Its all politics and it is playing right into the hand of Replubican strategists.

    May 26, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Manuel TX

    Bill is telling the truth.

    The left in the Democratic party (and the media) have been incredibly disrespectful toward Hillary.

    The Obama campaign has also done a good job of gaming the nomination process, but unfortunately it won't translate to the general election. There are no caucuses in the general.

    Good luck to the left...I'm voting centrist.


    May 26, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. Becky

    Between Bosina, renegging on FL and MI and now the dog whistle she blew to her redneck supporters to help her out so she can win...add that on top of all the other Clinton issues and she NEVER had a chance to win. I hope her female supporters understand that and do not blame Barack Obama for her failings...She was not the right girl...We will find a better one who actually has the gall to not take her husbands crap.

    May 26, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. The Truth

    Obama leads in the popular vote...
    Obama leads in the delegate count..
    Obama leads in the states won...
    Obama leads in the national poll...
    Obama leads in super d's...
    Obama leads in donations...
    Obama leads in American confidence...

    Obama leads America to change in the White house.

    OBAMA '08!

    May 26, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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