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. Leo

    Yep, it is very true. Lot's of people don't want to hear that in a head to head match with McCain, Obama will lose. These people want to keep their head in the sand.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Jane

    This guy has finally lost it. Him and his wife should be put away and locked up somewhere with keys thrown away, where noone will hear their voice again. Are they not tired of pulling out all sorts of cards, which never seem to work. Now, its the victim card.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. DeeJam

    I have fond memories of Bill Clinton that have been erased by new, unfond views of him. Hillary has a right and duty to her supporters to stay in until June 3rd. However, this arguement about the popular vote doesn't work. It is very irritating how the Clinton's are trying to change the rules that were agreed upon in the offset of the race. That's a gimmick just like the gas tax holiday.
    Run the race and if you come in 2nd place, don't accuse the winner of stealing it from you. Obama outstrategized you. That's all. He went after delegates and won them. If Hillary was going after popular votes, she didn't know how to play the game. That's like a basketball team trying to go after rebounds instead of baskets. It won't help you win. Stop it. Stop building up the friction between our fellow democrats. Let's unite

    Obama 08

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. The O

    This is disgusting now and really has been for some time now. If Obama loses the general election it will becuase of the clintons and there dividing the party. bush divided the country the clintons will divied the party. so dem's won't even get the white house so everyone say hello to PRESIDENT McCAIN.


    BARACK THE VOTE!!!!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Bill F

    Hello! She's losing and mathematically can't win. Any other candidate would have dropped out long ago, but the little spoiled Hillary can't take the truth. Give it up lady, geesh. If she weren't a CLINTON, they would have run her out of town and her political career as a Democrat would be over right now. The only reason the superdelegates have been PATIENT and RESPECTFUL is because she's a Clinton. They have been gracious enough to wait, even though that WAITING might cost the Democrats the general election. Once the votes are all cast on the 3rd and the Michigan and Florida delegations are seated with some smaller penatly, the superdelegates will all come out for Obama, as the winner of the most delegates and votes, and we will go from "she can't win" to "she lost." I find it hard to believe that she will play nice and be a "team player" at that point. It's all about Hillary to her. Not the country, not the party, not the little boy selling his toys for her benefit. Just Hillary.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Sandy from Orlando, FL

    Tell Senator Obama that if he wants Florida's votes in November, he better agree to count them now-not 1/2 of them-all of them-–
    it's unlikely he wins in November without Florida-Gore learned THAT lesson.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Emily

    Bill you need to get over yourself, Obama beat Hillary far and square, you and Hillary are just in so much denial, face it pack your bags and go back to the senate, you guys were in office for 8 years and you guys did well, let somebody else go in power, your guys are just to power hungery

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Loser

    Loser, yeah that's me. I sort of wanted a Democrat to be the next president. But if you folks aren't Republicans, you are stupid. Go ahead and denigrate the candidate you didn't support. You idiots are creating bitterness that will make it a whole lot harder to elect a Democrat president. This is pitiful. If you really think John McCain is better than your candidate and the one you oppose just keep it up.

    May 26, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. charles

    Whats really not talked about is that someone who is a realatively unknown senator can go against a two term former president and two term senator and the powerful Clinton machine and beat you. All this guy did was play by the rules that were put in front of him. Does he has weaknesses he needs to work on sure he does. But as democrates we should rally around him a help him win so wee don't have a third Bush term instead of using fear to take something that you have not earned. To women that have supported Hillary don't feel like this is the end you should feel like this is only the beginning start cultivating the women in politics now to be ready to make there run. Look at what happened this time and make sure you don't make the same mistakes.

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Bob

    From the beginning they have treated this election as if it were somehow divinely bestowed upon Hillary and anyone else who dared try to win was evil and taking away what was rightly hers.

    I voted for the best person for our country, and he is going to win in November. Hillary can stick around as long as she wants, but she needs to stop with the divisive politics.

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Dick in Sioux Falls

    Has Bill seen the current delegate count? 1969 for Obama. 1780 for Clinton, with 2025 needed for winning the nomination. Obama has received well over half the delegates won in primaries and caucuses. Since Obama was never allowed to campaign in Florida, the vote there was simply name recognition, which of course Clinton would win. She made 3 or 4 fundraising trips to Florida, and they all received local TV coverage, and strangely, they all showed their big Hillary signs. Is that not campaigning in Florida?
    Hell hath no fury like the right wing church will throw at Hillary if she were the nominee. She has never been vetted at all with what they will spew in hatred toward her. I like to think I'm an adult, but even I was turned off by her regular use of the f word in the rooms and halls of the White House, when Bill was pres.

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. ZB

    By all evidence, except the evidence, Hillary is winning. She is winning states that have the word "New" in it in larger margins than Barack. On days when it was forcasted to be cold, but remained temperate, Hillary is winning. More former Presidents named Bill or William support her, in overwhelming numbers. Winning Michigan against nobody, and winning by only 10%, proves she should be our candidate. Bill was right.... she should be the nominee.... based on all the evidence.

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Pearl

    By not counting the votes in caucus states and zero votes for Obama in Michigan, she says she is ahead in the popular vote. Same old Clinton lies. Obama will not win the general election in November if he puts her on the ticket. The Clintons have used the Democrat party for their own power and personal ambition. Can anyone else do anything in the Democratic party without fighting the Clintons? I blame the superdelegates for this travesty. Enough is enough!

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. Jose

    Do you really believe yourself ? I expect a grown-up couple to have an honnest campaign by yourself without blaming somebody else!
    All is to blame on both of you. The world is watching and see how lies, cheat and twisting seem normal. She lost her credibility in front of the whole world. There is already a saying: "when you cann't handle criticism and/or loss you act like Hillary Clinton!!!!!! Her opponent is stronger and his experience far ahead: he act as a grown-up. I wish the USA common sense.

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Sunshine

    I hate to say this but the polling is right?Clinton supporters mainly consist of the uneducated.Who else would vote for a campaign that's 20 million dollars in debt , yet that candidate is supposed to do a better job running the country.Then what's really DUMB is to choose the candiate who says they know nothing about the economy as a backup candidate!No wonder we ended up with G.W. Bush for 2 terms.Geezzzzz

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Allison

    Blah blah blah.

    It's getting kind of sad really.

    Also gives an insight to how he would have behaved had he not been the "comeback kid" and won the Dem nomination way back when. Very insightful indeed....

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Edie Laird

    The factual figures show Obama leading Clintion in popular votes and delegates. Don't cry Bill. Take a look on the bright side! If she is not in the White House then you can cheat till your heart's content. We only cared about your cheating because you were doing it on White House grounds and on our payroll. See there is a silver lining after all. You won't have access to our interns and we don't have to hear either one of your grating, whiney voices in and official White House capacity ever again.

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. V. Kerr

    Slick Willy should just "shut up". Hillary is not going to win the nomination, no one I know wants to see her bring Slick Willy back to the White House. He disgraced the Office of the President..

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

    The goal of the democratic party is to win the presidency. They cannot do that without the votes of Hillary supporters, period. A large portion of her voters are women...17 million of them. We women have sat by and watched as the media continually denigrated her chances. The DNC, along with Dean, Kennedy, Kerry, Carter and Pelosi, tried to push her out prematurely. We have watched this spectacle unfold right before our eyes, and believe me when I tell you that women are galvanized and forceful. Because of the media and DNC's betrayal, we will do everything in our power to see that Obama does not win in November. There are hard lessons to be learned in life, and this will be one of those lessons.

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. xddy4u

    Bill is "off the chain". As Bill sees it, He, Chelsea and Hillary are the only ones in step in this parade, the rest of the bands are out of step.
    Give me a break Bill.

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Robin Naresh

    Bill has lost all his charm and credibility in these primaries....I am sure that no one will pay him 50K for speech anymore....

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. Frank

    In what should have been a Democratic Party nominating process of substance became a campaign of UNBECOMING BEHAVIOR by the Clintons.
    Have they no conscience or sense of responsibilty?

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Mk

    Hey Bill: Have you forgotten your own words???
    Politics is a contact sport???
    Or how about Hillary's own words..
    If you can't take stand the heat get out of the kitchen.
    It is so interesting how these things all sound good until you are in the position of having to live by what you say.

    May 26, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. mj - florida

    Is it a vast right-wing conspiracy?

    The reason candidates were not pushed out in the past is because there was always a clear front runner and the consequences of staying in the race were negligible. By HRC staying in the race, which is a close race but one in which mathematically she cannot win without changing the rules, her supporters are becoming more and more angry at Obama and the Democratic party. This divisiveness is what was causing people to ask her to leave, not because anyone rational can think she can pull ahead of Obama.

    And if you haven’t noticed, no one from the Obama camp is asking her to leave. In fact, the Obama camp has said publicly that Clinton has every right to stay in the race. Most of the rhetoric about her being asked to leave is coming from the Clinton camp.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Miguel (in the Land of Reality)

    I'd rather have someone with brains. He has outsmarted and out-campaigned Hillary at every turn. He even negated her 'big' wins with high profile endorsements. He is just smarter, and he's proven that.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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