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. martin

    we don't elect people according to and everyone in america knows that polls are not reliable.yes,we are pressuring hillary to drop out ,or for super ds to put an end to your fantasy.the reason is ,we don't want you or your wife to say anymore racist and sexist remarks,or planting seeds in some crazy's mind.the least you can do,if your just concerned about everyone getting to vote,is to suspend your campaign,until the primaries are over.that way you can keep from saying any more party-damaging the way,we don't want you anywhere near the white house,until you can learn to leave other woman alone,and keep your drawers zipped up.

    May 26, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Robert in Albuquerque

    sad to say but most polls do show Hillary beating Obama and McCain in those states we NEED to win in the fall.

    May 26, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. its over

    Bill get a grip.........................more pandering. Why does the party have rules? So that they can be followed. Now if you break those rules you, will either be punished or penalized. Thats what happened, Florida and Michigan were penalized for the decision they took, and they knew this would happen before the primaries were held. So dont go crying over split milk now, they broke the rules and they knew the consequenses.

    May 26, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga



    May 26, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Olivier

    Unbelievable, another low punch from the Clintons. This is sure not going to help the democrats in November... Stop it already, Obama won fair and square. Superdelegates have had 16 months to make their choice.

    May 26, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. Sandra

    Why do the Clintons not realize everything they say "she's ahead in the popular vote" they are ignoring the caucus states, most of which were won by Obama? Cherry picking anyone?

    May 26, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. David

    What a joke! I've just lost all respect for former Pres. Clinton! His family is NOT entitled to be President, and Hillary has actually received easier treatment from the media than she would have if she wasn't a former First Lady. All the underhanded comments from Bill and Hillary lately have shown their true, selfish colors and lack of real concern for common Americans who haven't experienced their privileged lifestyle. That is why Obama has captured the hearts of the majority. And why superdelegates are walking away from her selfish demands. I just hope Obama doesn't resort to their veiled threats and make her his VP or he will go down to defeat in November.

    May 26, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Tonya in Houston

    This guy is delusional...All the problems that Hillary is facing has to do with HIM and some of the things that he's said and done while campaigning for her. Why won't you just take responsibility for that Bill and stop talking about some whacky conspiracy theory!

    May 26, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Michele

    kitchen, hot ? stay out ??, contact sport ?...hmmm

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Lorraine

    This is true. She will win. He never will. I hope and pray the superdels have the courage to say screw you to the people giving them death threats and the Republicans and liberal losers.

    American needs another Clinton presidency as never before.

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Patrick

    So Bill says; "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,”

    Hillary says; ""I'm very proud that as of today, I have received more votes by the people who have voted than anyone else,"

    Being so close I would think the two of you could get your stories straight, as bent and manipulated as they may be.

    Lately Hillary has stated; "We’re going to have to change the system by which we pick the nominees, I believe, and we are with the system we have now,”

    The Clinton's, change the rules, bend the truths, and manipulate the votes if it doesn't suite you.

    I'm so tired of the Clintons..........

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. jennym

    Hillary wants to be the "strong feminist" and the victim at the same time . Sorry - doesn't work that way. She LOST –PERIOD !!!! She fought hard but someone wins and someone loses. Now she has lost any chance to appear gracious. I think both the Clintons have destroyed whatever legacy they had left . Bubba is just plain insane.

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Al Ware

    I have lost all respect for both of the Clintons. Do we really want that type of attitude and behavior back in the White House? The Bush's and Clinton's are one in the same. Goodbye to all of them!

    Obama 08

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Fred

    Michigan and Florida didn't follow the rules and THEY not Obama have
    hurt her chances at becoming the Nominee. Bill do you think the American voters are that stupid.

    If you want the votes counted then give her Florida and Obama Michigan. How's that?......I know you won't respond to the obvious will you?

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Karen

    Bill, this time I truly believe that you have been inhaling what you have been smoking. Don't think we or the media will fall for your smoke and mirrors. You have truly become a pathetic figure and I believe you, Carville, Penn, Wolfson and McAuliffe are the ones that have given her bad counsel and cost her the election with your dirty campaign tactics. Hillary's mistake was listening to a bunch of male advisers and should have kept Patty Solis Doyle.

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Mary

    Bill said “She is winning the general election”

    What? What planet is Bill on?

    Last time I checked Hillary couldn’t even win the DEMs candidacy!!!

    By the way, Bill & Hillary, what’s with all this whining? It wasn’t too long ago you both said “IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE HEAT THEN YOU GOTTA GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!!!”

    How’s them KARMA apples!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. Megan in La.

    First its a vast right wing conspiracy to cover up his "sexual indiscretions" and now its, what, a left-wing conspiracy covering up poll results?

    If Sen. Clinton wants to continue to make her case that she would be the best democratic nominee, then by all means let her do so. But let her and her surrogates do so using accurate and truthful means, without this kind of misleading hyperbole.

    Talk about polls if you want to, but make sure to note that there as many polls showing Obama leading as Clinton. There are polls showing both get more than 270 electral votes (albeit in different ways). And general election polls five months out are pretty meaningless in anyway (just ask Bill Clinton circa 1992 when he was way down in the polls five months out).

    Make your case than MI and FL should be seated. But stop blaming the Obama camp for it. Mention that your own advisor Harold Ickes was one of the people who voted to strip all the delegates. Mention that you agreed to it. Your own spokesman Terry MacAuliffe, as DNC chair, said the same thing. And for goodness sake, stop comparing an intraparty nominating contest to abolition, women's suffrage and electionin Zimbabwe. Last I heard, no one was running around beating up teachers, clergy and jailing journalists. That's how they run elections in Zimbabwe.

    Try to make you case for popular vote. But do mention that you knew (and said!) that delegates were what counted not to many months ago. Mention that while you count MI and FL, you also have to discount 4 caucus states to do. Mention that winning PR doesn't mean anything because they don't vote in the general election. And do mention that your opponent wasn't even on the ballot in one of those states and you won't give him any delegates (so who's blocking allowing MI now?).

    My only request for Sen. Clinton (and I would ask the same of Sen. Obama) is the campaign truthfully. If anything, such obviously misleading, half-truthful and inconsistent arguments hurt her campaign. And people don't elect people they don't trust.

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. Al

    Dear ,

    Bill and Hillary come out of your halusination. Wake up from yesterday's dream, I will not vote for hillary not me alone along with me 1000 of my people , we will vote to Mc cain to defeat your wife.

    Because a hallussion can not lead this country. Liar have no place in the white house

    May 26, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. Karen

    Fear, fear and more fear. Sounds a lot like a republican. I sooo wish he would just keep to the problems of the country. He also needs to tell his wife its over. Please, Bill, give it up and move on before her political career is over. If by any chance she were to get the nomination now, the republicans or Libiterians would win. Soooo many want her out. Why not just talk to the Obama people and maybe she could be VP. Try it, it just might work!!! Don't keep doing what doesn't work!!! That is what has made Obama's champaign sooo successful!!! Change, change and more change!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. Caroline

    Actually, Bill, what it is is that not enough people LIKE your wife. In fact, just enough people HATE how she's campaigned to never give her their vote.

    We might actually agree with some, even most of her positions, but we do not TRUST that she has not just said whatever she thought needed to be said to be elected.

    Sorry to say BIll, but I and plenty enough other people LIKE and TRUST Barack Obama more than your wife. There is no cover up, no conspiracy, no nothing going on........except the fact that Sen. Barack Obama is being seen as the better pick for President of the United States of America.

    Stop being so bitter, Bill.

    May 26, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Jen B

    Bill and Hill, the most dysfunctional, delusional duo in the nation.

    May 26, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Mo


    May 26, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. fred

    The party will never UNITE behind Obama...he will lose by a landslide in November if he is the nominee!!!

    CNN how come Jessica, can call Bill a racist pig and I can't call Obama a racist pig????

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

    Oh my gosh, this guy is out of his tree. What is he saying? What score card is he looking at. I have heard about the Clinton math, but who would think this old fool would say it out loud.Bill don't you have something you should be doing other than telling lies that only you and your wife believe??

    May 26, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. CA 4 Obama

    Hillary, divorce him. He's the reason you're losing!!!!

    Obama/ Richardson 08/12

    May 26, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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