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. Ak

    I think Bill Clinton has really lost his bearings and probably may be showing signs of serious mind loss. I guess the rules do not matter to the Clinton campaign, and also the fact that Mr. Obama has won more states and more delegates are irrelevant as well. Its a pity to see that the CLintons will do or say anything to win. You guys are pathetic.

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Chill Bill

    Bill and Hillary never cease to amaze me.with thier rhetoric. Hillary is a viable Presidential candidate and many many people respect her. How else would she have won certain states? Bill is making no sense and grasping at straws. Bottom line, Obama won a better campaign and is winning. And who exacty is pressuring the superdelagates. I think there are over 150 that have not thrown their support either way, they are respecting the process and Hillary and will more than likely pick a nominee after June 3. Bill and Hillary need some R & R.

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Maggie VT

    When people like the Clintons make statements like Hillary did you have to know they did not do it accidentally. They did it for a reason. See what the Fox people did. Clyburn said it was "beyond the pale". I hope the women of this country actually pay attention and the implications of what was said.

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Mark

    So this would be.....a vast left-wing conspiracy?

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Bill, you are..


    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. GoHillary

    Bill's right on the mark. The media bias has been outrageous against Hillary. I hope she does take the nomination she has earned it and if it goes to Obama this is one person voting for McCain!

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. Shane

    HE IS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Brad

    Why can't this stupid jerk ever shut up and realize that folks are tired of hearing him push and bully everyone else? He needs some serious psychiatric help; Bill is Hillary's worst enemy. Bill should have been thrown out of the big chair after a long time ago.

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Big D

    Bill – my opinion is that the press has been extremely respectful to Hillary and given her the benefit of the doubt over and over. And if they were a little rough on her from time to time, isn't that part of the political game that you told Obama to toughen up about? So I don't think it's appropriate to you to whine about her treatment at this point.

    And I have a suggestion – if you want the Democrats to win in Nov, then there's an easy way that you personally can help make that happen. You (and Hillary) can support Obama. If the two of you are genuinely working for him, then there would be no stopping him. The only way that I can see Obama losing in Nov is if the Clinton camps works against him. Bill – here's your chance to make a difference this Nov. Help Obama win!

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

    Wow. Now there are allegations of a cover-up in the Democratic Party? How does this allegation help unify the Democratic Party?

    If general election polls, the popular vote, electoral votes or big states were the measure of who the Democratic nominee should be, those things should have been incorporated in the rules. As it is, it's the number of delegates that matter and nothing else.

    I am becoming more and more convinced that the Clintons will take this all the way to the convention. I'm also convinced that the Clintons are going to lead an exodus of older white females voters to the Republican Party. There have been too many alliances with Republicans to believe otherwise.

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. j'espere

    I am beginning to really believe that Bill Clinton is showing early signs of senility. I can't take him seriously. LOL It's unfortunate to see a former president espouse such drivel and pervert the truth for political expediency. He seems even more desperate than his wife. Hence, no one can argue contrarily, that a White House with Hillary Clinton in any position would be overshadowed by the theatrics of Bill Clinton.

    May 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. karl

    Bill, time for you to resume your speaking tour and recoup the campaign funded by Hillary. You will be happier this way and so will Hillary.

    May 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Nick

    When will Hillary see the damage she is causing? Is it not in her best interests to get out now? She does belong in politics and should remain so but this is just destroying her credibility. If she bowed out with grace, it will be acknowledged with praise for a hard fought campaign

    May 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. Kevin

    So, it cant be that she listened to the wrong people in her campaign, and mis-spoke more often than she would like the American people to remember. It's a conspiracy. Looking for excuses at this point is pathetic, she had everything at the start, but she was a potential liability (due to her and Bills past) from the get go, and they are blatent Opportunists. I'm actually happy she self-destructed now before she got in a back and forth with Republicans and did this "Boo-hoo" excuse crap in response to their precision personal and policy attacks. Obama keeps his cool, doesn't need to blame others, and thats why he "should be the right choice to answer the WH phone at 3am.

    May 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Sukie on the River

    The Supers can vote however they like.

    And I plan to vote in November as I like, which is to write in Mrs. Clinton's name on the November ballot.

    May 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. All the Way to Denver

    Bill Clinton is Right. The Democratic Party Establishment has been utterly undemocratic this primary season. They have tried to end the process before anyone has won. They are pushing their own agenda and it is disgusting. Obama has been trying to end it early too – probably because she has won more than a million more votes than Obama since March 1. The superdelegates should exercise their independent judgment instead of being bullied by the Obama people and media. This bandwagon mentality is scary.

    If Hillary Clinton is not the nominee then I'm not supporting the Democratic ticket in November.

    May 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Dave

    It's sad that Bill is now siding with the establishment. He so resembled Obama in 92.

    May 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Debby

    Hillary has the popular vote and sure the press going to go after Hillary to keep down the questions and views about Obama..Shame he only wears the American Flag after something was said about it and his mentor Wrights views..Obama has to share same views since he been going to that church for so long..if not why he stay at that church for so long????

    May 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Non-aligned

    What about the poll that said she was going to win the nomination last year? When people actually voted she lost. Another desperate card.

    May 26, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Limbolew

    Bill Clinton is among the most dishonest presidents in my life time–I'm 63. Hillary Clinton is among the most dishonest flip-flopping candidates in my lifetime. They are both a disgrace to decency, honest, morality, and rising above petty selfishness. And to think that at the beginning of this campaign, I was prepared to vote for HRC.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. Mk

    The PEOPLE are deciding. She is losing but can't admit it.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Marie-Claude Fischer

    I totally agree with Present Clinton. It is chocking to see how this race became a sad "gender race" not racial just plain gender. I became an American citizen to vote for Bill Clinton who got me interested in American politics. I am not so proud to be a Democrat anymore. I now consider voting for Senator McCain. I never thought I would be confronted with this.
    Very sad indeed.
    Marie-Claude Fischer

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Athan

    If one looks at the National Electoral vote by state, Hillary is WAY AHEAD.
    If she does not win the nomination, we will have four more years of the same.
    Go Hillary.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Kelly

    This is just sad. Those two can't move on, can they? It's like they've lost touch with reality.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Alao Alan

    hahaha the clintons have turned from political heavy weight to clowns. expect more jokes.

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