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. Will

    Bill should let his wife run her own campaign. He weakens her by his whining. She agreed not to count FL/MI. Puerto Rico can't vote in the general election. So, this is desperation on the part of the Clintons. You're the ex-President, Bill. Stay out of it, you've done enough damage to a faulty campaign.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Cliffy

    We should all be ashamed of getting dooped into the bushes again. whoever our next president is, they will unite this country into what it was.A symble of confidence-the American people. we need a new direction and peace. Not all the last minute should haves. Americans are tired of all the crap and want the truth and facts in the most dignified way possible. If we are to become the leader again show that we have grown up!

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Maggie VT

    I want someone in the White House who tells the truth and has respect for people, not use people, especially women to get her way!!!!! Hillary smeared herself with her foolish antics. Bill has no credibility. Smooth talker? Bet Paula, Monica thought the same thing!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. New Day

    Karen in Cape Cod – Bush is a "fighter" too. I'd rather have a leader than a fighter. Enough with the lame talking points and lets get this country on its feet.

    America '08

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. E. C., Houston, Texas

    For once in his life, Bill Clinton is speaking the Truth. Never have I seen such disrespect from the Media toward Senator Clinton, and from her fellow Democratic Senators and so-called friends. Of the two candidates, she has been battered and treated as if she should not even be a candiate. Why? It's Obama who should NOT be the candidate. Obama has NO ACCOMPLISHMENTS, NO TRACK RECORD, NO LEADERSHIP ACHIEVEMENTS. Name one 'thing' that Obama has done while serving in the Senate for ONLY 3 YEARS! He wants 'Change' and does NOT KNOW HOW TO EFFECT CHANGE! If the past 3 years is any example of his work, then America does NOT need Obama......besides, the man is NOT even Qualified to be President. OBAMA HAS NO WISDOM. If Senator Clinton does NOT receive the Nomination, she should WALK AWAY FROM THE ELECTION, and let Obama and her sorry fellow Democrats tough it out for themselves! Senator Clinton should NOT lift a finger or make a speech in Obama's behalf. Senator Clinton's job is finished. Let Obama sink or swim on his own. Let the Media deal with Obama.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. JB Fayetteville AR

    I am sorry, but whatever respect I had left for you is now gone. A cover up? We have a system in place to nominate a presidential candidate and while flawed as it may be, it is what is in place at the current time. You and Hillary want to change the rules when it is not going your way. You were my governor and my president and I thought you were great!
    Read my lips -IT IS OVER! She can't win, and you two are disgracing the Democratic Party with your quest to get Hillary elected. It is not going to happen. Please get your wife out of the race, and save your name and legacy.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Tex

    You Clintons are truly a pieces of cake. First, Hillary cried "right wing conspiracy" trying to save your lying rear end concering your affair with Monica and now you are crying "media coverup." Next we will hear that there is a left wing conspiracy against Hillary or a Democratic Party conspiracy against Hillary and a superdelegate conspiracy against Hillary, a men's conspiracy against Hillary, a Black conspiracy against Hillary, an informed and educated electorate against Hillary,and supporters turned traitors or Judas conspiracy. Poor little Hillary, so sad. Whine! Whine! Whine!

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. jackie oliver

    He is not losing it. He has lost it.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Daniel Stevens

    I'm really convinced that the Clinton campaign is very likely going to go to a floor fight at the convention. I think they are convinced of that one thing that makes me crazy about the idea of Hillary's campaign. It is that "Its her turn" idea that makes me crazy. You don't get a turn, this is not an aristocracy, we elect a president we do not appoint one.

    Having said that, I am wishing that Obama would campaign more aggressively in all the primary states. He could campaign as a general candidate but in the primary states. I think it's a HUGE mistake on the part of the Obama campaign to turn so surely to the general. I do, however strongly support Senator Obama in his quest for the presidency.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. white middle aged woman FOR OBAMA

    He said his wife has not been given the respect she deserved as a legitmate candidate. What a joke, her behaviour throughout the campaign has caused her to lose the respect from most of the people that have been watching this mess. And exactly who is it that is trying to cover up, what ? And he says she's winning in the general election, I thought the general election wasn't until November. And now she's a "victim" ?. I guess every other card has been played, why not this one ?

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Republican Hillary Supporter

    Keep fighting Hillary for the country needs you!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Joshua College Station TX

    The metric is delegates. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game, Bill. How is a groundswell consensus of opinion that she has little chance of being nominated because mathematically she cannot achieve the necessary number of delegates a cover up?!! The only cover up is the Clinton team covering their own eyes because they don't want to see the reality of the situation.

    No one is going to make her pull out before June 3. But after the decision is made regarding Florida and Michigan, regardless of that outcome, she still will not be chosen as the party nominee. Tough luck.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. Obama supporter

    "Blah Blah Blah" "boo boo boo". stop moaning and face reality!!!! its so over, go home, we love you and dont want you to have another heart attack............ oh, and dont forget to take Hillary with you.

    May 26, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. John Buchanan - Chicago IL

    Bill Clinton has Lost his Mind – Is he willing to Win at Any Cost?

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Deward Bowles

    The Clinton's have done this to themselves. They have disparaged every voting group except their hard core older women supporters. To top it off they are whipping those into believing that Hillary Clinton is a victim of sexism. Hillary Clinton has run a campaign that has been awful, plagued by debt, plagued by divisiveness and plagued by inept lobbyist seeking to buy the presidency for their own personal gain.

    It's over, time to rally around Obama and win the presidency in November.

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  16. mary jackson

    tell bill to stop whinny, people will vote their candidate of choice. there is to much baggage with the clintons. the clintons are not the saviour of the demoncratic party.

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Clarence LeBreton

    So sad to hear a former President who is wrecking his legacy with comments like the one he made in South Dakota.

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

    Hillary has been slandered and treated so disrespectfully just for running?

    How about some truth?

    Hillary –
    "Obama is a christian, as far as I know."
    "You can't choose your family, but you can choose your pastor."

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Get-it-right

    If your wife will not quit the race due to her strongheadedness why not help her quit and stop playing the victim card. Winning elections required strategies and the Obama camp got it right! The will surely have the right strategies in place against McCain at fall. If little know Obama can displaced the "powerful dynasty of the Clintons, I believe he can beat McCain either the Clintons Support him or not.

    The only strategy Senator Clinton should working at now is a graceful exit strategy. I'm can lend her two: 1. Run as an Indipendent 2. Support McCain directly or indirectly, not sure if She hasn't embraced the second anyway.

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. George

    it is a strategy to help Mccain in November . everybody knows they are preparing for 2012 election. American people are smart and dont try to befool them.

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Andrew

    Wait, she's polling over 300 electoral votes? Er, what polls are you looking at? Hopefully nothing from Mr. Penn, because we've seen how well he did with polling earlier in the campaign. And the so called popular vote lead that Clinton has is if you include votes from Florida and Michigan for her, exclude any uncommitted votes from Michigan, and then don't include 4 caucus states (one that she won, mind you). Surprising; the Clintons say they want all votes to count, but they leave out 4 states' worth. Hmm, who's disenfranchising whom?

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. Tony in Chicago

    This is becoming ridiculous.. Everything from Bill and Hillary is spin in some form or fashion. They have spun me dizzy. This has to end soon before they ruin the in changes for the democrats. Does Hillary have the right to contiunue - Yes. However, after all the contests are over on June 3rd. This needs to end. Superdelegates need to step up for the good of the party.

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. unbelieveable

    Hillary can not win, Michigan and Florida should not count otherwise, 2012 primary all the states will choose whatever dates thay want and it will go on this long every time.

    All states should have their primary on the same date.

    Stop the B.S. Dean!

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Evelyn Florida

    Oh if some of you don't think it's a conspiracy then why is govenor of Florida no a hpeful for VP for McCain. The Florida and Michigan voting issue was done to destroy Clinton. Obama could have never taken these states especially Florida. Please with the stand Obama takes with Cuba he would have lost just because the Cubans would have made it possible for him to lose.

    Besides doesn't everyone know about the Rezco court trial that are going on right now. Obama is going to be out before November. Why do you think the press was so one sided to Obama they wanted him as the nominee so then the scandal of Rezo could emerge and Obama would be out. We are going have another republican up there. Don't you all see it?

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. john

    it is over for her

    May 26, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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