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. Tanya Kujath


    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Edana Popp

    Bill has been described as the most savvy politician of our time, but now people want to discount his opinions. Can't have it both ways. He's right.

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. anon

    Bill Clinton: "Don't put on the uniform if you don't want to get hit."

    Bill Clinton: "Clipping is expected in the game."


    Lord help me make this last couple of weeks. I don't know how much more of these two I can take!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Morgan

    If all Dems get behind Obama he will not lose in November. If Clinton doesn't mobilize her supporters to back Obama it is as much HER fault for a November loss as it is his. Just as it will be Obama's fault if he doesn't get his supporters to back Clinton if a miracle happens and she is the nominee. Seriously the primary and general election is not based on the popular vote! It's based on delegates and the electoral college. If it was the popular vote Al Gore would be president. Stop trying to change the rules midway through. Besides, it's early for those novemeber polls. Gore and Kerry should have won based on early polls as well, but that didn't happen. Polls are not guarantees.

    Do you really think people will be happy with Clinton getting the nomination without the majority of pledge delagates? Do you think ignoring the caucuses and disenfranchising their votes is the way to claim the popular vote? What you are just hearing that Clinton only has the popular vote lead by disenfranchising the caucus voters? What everybody wants Florida and Michigan to count fairly? What most Dems want the party to unite? What?

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Daniel

    Bill you are right.
    I'm still waiting for the Florida and Michigan votes.
    Never Obama and his VP rev wright 2008 ticket.
    I will vote for Mccain .

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Michigan Voter !!!

    Bill , We Seen The Media , Obama Pundits Try To Distract Distort , Spin , Playing The Race Card Constantly Thru This Primary . This Life long Democrat Will Only Vote For Hillary , Or John McCain .

    It's Past The The Point Of Voting Because of The Democratic Platform Policies , For Me !
    It's About Who Is Best Suited To Lead This Country !!!

    For This Democrat Ther Are Only Two Choices ,

    Hillary Or John Mcain

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Ron, LV

    With Bill and Hillary and John McCain all running against him, it will be very difficult for Obama to win. Bill's remarks are out of bounds and just go further to divide the party. The Clinton's are always blaming some type of conspiracy against them instead of standing up and taking the blame for their own mistakes and problems. They are no better than Rove and Bush. You get the feeling that they are somehow the chosen ones and if they are not chosen then its some conspiracy. They twist the facts to suit their own ambitions. The only conspiracy is the ones being perpetrated by the Clinton;s themselves. They only care about their own persoel glory and nothing about the party or the country.

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. sue

    Why is this man trying to make it seem as if his wife has been victimised by this. She is not winning the nomination, she is loosing in all areas, and she changes the rules for everything once it suites her. It simply tells me these people are are only in it for themselves and no-one else. After what Hillary said on Friday, I thought Bill would have the good sense to keep his mouth shut and not try to incite people to feel bitter .


    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Ro

    The Clintons can look at the blue ocean and make and argument, with a straight face, trhat it is really red!

    They are amazing.

    Thank god their era is over.

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Austine I

    You are always a player Bill but You will never get the third term as An American President through Your Wife. Stop Deceiving yourself, White house is not made for your household. Go home and start preparing Chelsea, your son -inlaw or one of your son from other women you denied for future American President. Go home Bill Clinton!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Ubiq

    That's it Bill...destroy your legacy, too. Sheesh!

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

    The Clintons are liars, born liars i suppose? Pity party games is their strategy now?
    Come on, Just accept your defeat now !

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. dc

    bill am sorry but you and your familly cry toooooooo much all polls are just saying that your wife is a loser anyway as your wife say june will know our nominee so should you turn red on june 3rd when obama will be declared as our party nominee

    May 26, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. Mike Martin

    It's now a case of Dumb and Dumber between Hill & Bill

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. MarsiH

    President Clinton,

    There is no general election today. You know better!

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. The Truth



    OBAMA '08!

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Hemoglobin

    Our God has spoken!!! Everyone rise and don't THINK at all what he is telling you about his wife is not true and please ignore that little voice of reason in your head that tells you these people are nuts. "Yes master, Hillary will win in November and even though most people want her rival as they have already spoken, you will ensure she runs for president. You are the most righteous one, we thank the world for you Clintons".

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

    First of all, Hillary has every right to continue running. That's completely ok and completely acceptable. However, to blame others for things that you have brought on yourself is only going to make folks respect you less.

    Even though Hillary's campaign is not slamming people right now, let's not forget that for most of the primary season, she ran an ugly campaign, slamming media, voters, and candidates alike. We were all offended from her constant demands, rule-changing, unlikeable personality, and constant accusations. This all made the season seem to go on much longer than what it actually is.

    So, people want to see you go, Hillary. Not because you're a woman, but because your campaign was obnoxious and you came off as ENTITLED. I am a woman voter by the way.

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

    Since CNN keeps ignoring my comments I will post this again:

    Obama has won his right to be the nominee and Clinton hasn't, he has more votes, more pledged delegates, he even achieved the majority of pledged delegates, so he deserves to be the nominee, this is a democracy, if you believe in that Bill, then shut up. And if the democrats don't win is because of your kitchen sink strategy, your support and encouragement for racism, and being such a sore losers as you are.

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. watat

    Sir, Presidency not a birth right for the Clintons,learn to accept defeat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Bill Clinton needs to shut up and go home. He is nothing but a trouble maker. The whole problem with Hillary's campaign is Bill. He is so desparate to ge in to the white house again only for his own selfish reasons. The same as Hillary, they doesn't care about their supporters because it is always I want – I am entitle to the presidency because I am a Clinton.
    He wants every one to think that Hillary is the only one who can beat McCain. They both are destroying Obama with all their dirty tricks and lies. Well after June 3rd, and this meeting on May 31st, see will see what happens.

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. al snyder

    I am beginning to see why the republicans pursecuted him during his years in the Whitehouse. Everything is a conspiracy against him, yet rules mean nothing to him and he will say and do anything to dust-up everything. Facts, truths, they are the real victims. Everyone is at fault, but him. Clinton supporters have some warped sense of reasoning to be able to look past all the lying, hypocracy and blaming all, while taking no responsibility for anything.

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Mike

    Bill Clinton is right.. Hillary needs to be our next president.. She has been working so hard, and she has never given up.. The media is giving Obama a free ride, and the media is always picking on Hillary.. I think that is just unfair.. I think Obama supporters are just to blind to see that this is really happening.. We need a president with tough skin!

    Hillary in '08!!

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. DD

    CP in Kansas City,

    I agree with you. I am backing Hillary, but if Obama wins ...I am definitly voting for him. I don't really think Obama can win, because, I have a bad feeling that it's the Republicans that are pushing him to be the nominee. Yet, if he does win the nomination ...I am determined that I am going to make them regret thier own choice.

    Everyone whom hates bush needs to back the winner of the Democrated nomination no matter what, and whether it's hillary or Obama ....that should be clear.

    Ps. I don't believe Hillary should not drop out until the end. Why, because if she goes until the Convention this entire mess will be resolved ...either she wins or she loses, without one side feeling like she was forced to do anything. If she drops out before, the party really will be splintered. It will feel like she was forced, and in such a case ...bad feelings will feister

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Tammy from Grand Rapids

    I'm sure the coverup was started by Keith Olbermann, the closet Obamarite. He's not an unbiased news commentator, he's just a snivelling surrogate for Obama. No reason for anyone to listen to him.
    I'd just as soon listen to Hal Axelrod--same thing.

    May 26, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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