June 3rd, 2008
08:30 AM ET
12 years ago

Bill Clinton lashes out at Vanity Fair reporter

Bill Clinton is not happy with the way a new magazine article portrays him.

Bill Clinton is not happy with the way a new magazine article portrays him.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton's campaign Monday apologized for "inappropriate" language used by her husband in response to a Vanity Fair article that quoted anonymous sources questioning the former president's behavior since leaving the White House. (Listen to Clinton's comments Monday.)

The article, by the magazine's national editor Todd Purdum, suggested that Bill Clinton's personality had changed since his 2004 heart bypass surgery and said that there were reports of Clinton "seeing a lot of women on the road."

Purdum quoted four former Clinton aides saying that another of his former assistants had conducted "what one of these aides called an intervention" about the reports of philandering.

A writer for the Huffington Post, Mayhill Fowler, asked Clinton on Monday what he thought "about that hatchet job somebody did on you in Vanity Fair," according to a recording of the exchange posted on the Huffington Post's Web site.

"(He's) sleazy," Clinton responded. "He's a really dishonest reporter." (Earlier: Journalist defends article slamming Bill Clinton)

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Filed under: Bill Clinton • Popular Posts
soundoff (463 Responses)
  1. Dr. Jeff in Illinois

    My Mom always said "a leopard cant change its spots."

    June 3, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. vote for Hillary

    Since when is defending yourself a crime? Who give's a rat's-a## about the scumbag reporter(s) . I think CNN is lookin to SENSATIONALIZE any little thing they can because they want to be the scumbag-leader of gossipland. Shame on you especially, I am sorry to say ~ Anderson 360 Cooper. who was showed us how stupid he is with his teasers on waiting for the "actual-audio" of Bill Clinton last evening. As if Cooper had a "Japanese Strikes Pearl Harbor" Headline, unfortunately he too is another Chicken Little trying to drum up any kind of bias towards the Clintons. Perhaps if the Democrats want to shove Obama down the throats, then Hillary should become an Independent candidate. I will never vote for Obama, I will campaign against him, if I have to, until the election. And, that may not be the "CHICAGO-way " of Politic-ing, that's the you get what you deserve way.

    June 3, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Conservative Buyer- CA

    It is a hatchet job and it's ugly gossip being spread based on no name sources has just about enough credibility as FOX News.

    We all know FOX News credibility and reputation is at the bottom of the barometer just below The Colbert Report.

    June 3, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. Janet

    Really, President Clinton....really? Who's the scumbag? You're such a lier, you don't even know how to tell the truth!!!

    June 3, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. Mike

    Bill can go back to hanging around sleazy men and women!!

    Are you thinking about Monica, Bill? Human nature says you are!!

    June 3, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. Lynn

    He is a scumbag. Real women will hand McCain the keys to the White House

    June 3, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Independent-Cuban-American-woman-voter-for-Obama

    It is sad indeed that Bill Clinton continues to hide and deny what is obvious, he is a womanizer. So much has been written about him, there is plenty of evidence, but he wants to remain in denial.

    That's what's sad about Hillary & Bill, they have a marriage of convenience not love. Its about power. I for one, would not stay in a marriage for political reasons, what kind of message would I send to my children? I think this is why they wanted the presidency so badly, just to have something to work for, something to unite them........ sad.

    I lost respect for Bill when he lied to us about "that woman"........ he would have been seen as courageous and sympathetic if he had had some decency and admitted that he made a mistake, rather than lie and then have to be impeached.

    Goodbye, Mr. & Mrs. Clinton, please, get some counseling.

    June 3, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Eris Discordia


    June 3, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Monte

    Way to go Bill!! Tell it like it is. The media (Obama Networks) have been after you & Hillary for years. DON'T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
    The sexist, racist group took the nomination away from Hillary, but not to worry, Hillary supporters will still be there for her in 2012.
    Convince Hillary not to even consider running for VP with Obama. He only needs her for his own benefit and without Hillary, Obama will fall flat on his face! We can handle 4 years of McCain and be ready for Hillary in 2012.
    This Democrat that cast my first vote for John F. Kennedy, is no longer a Democrat and won't be again until Hillary runs again. I will be voting for John McCain. At least I know where he stands on issues. I know nothing about Obama except he lies a lot, has radical friends and lots of teeth. Not enough to be my President.

    June 3, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. White & Old Midwest Female

    Yea, right, Bill. He's the one who's dishonest, right?

    It's obvious that your public behavior has changed...for the worse–tantrums, name-calling, etc.

    YOU are the one who's been proven to be dishonest and a womanizer.

    Sorry, but we do believe the article. Your comeback is laughable!

    June 3, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. Buck

    And he, "never had sex with that woman."

    Who are you going to believe?

    The Clintons should go to Florida and retire with all their supporters.

    June 3, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. southerner

    Why does he have to apologize for this? Purdum said worse in his article, and I don't see him apologizing. Besides, Clinton's description really isn't inaccurate.

    Sheesh, I cannot believe I am defending Bill Clinton, but this apology stuff has gone too far. Is everyone in politics suddenly THAT thin skinned?

    June 3, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Linda

    The journalist is a scumbag, and has no business speculating on someone's health and how their health affects their behavior. It is a known fact that heart disease and strokes can affect a patient's personality and can lead to depression. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's nothing to use for the start of scandelous rumors or to slur a man's reputation. It needs to be met with sympathy, maturity, and adult understanding. We do not know - nor is it our business to know - how Clinton's health has changed or not changed his behavior. It is just another tawdry attempt to smear the Senator's campaign and I'm afraid it's Scumbags 1/Clintons 0. I think Obama and his supporters learned from Bush that if you want to win, you need to steal votes and play dirty. Unfortunately for Obama, McCain is the teacher's pet.

    June 3, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Less, Austin Tx

    Yes Bill, we believe you. We know, you really never did cross the road with that chicken.

    Obama '08

    June 3, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Samuel T. Horton

    considering the article has no sources, nor never actually names any 'affairs' or anything else, its deserves to have president clinton lambaste it.

    The language used by president clinton is less than presidential, but I dont blame him.

    He is tired. He doesnt want to campaign anymore. He just wants to be left alone. He wants nothing to do with politics.

    June 3, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. The Truth

    It's true, he tried to hit on my cousin!

    June 3, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. common sense

    How on Earth does Clinton connect this stupid article to Obama????

    Everything that has gone wrong with the Clinton campaign is apparently somone elses fault! They can't take responsibility for ANYTHING

    and now, some idiot writes a article that ruffles Bill's feathers, AND HE BRINGS OBAMA INTO IT???!!!!! It just doesnt make sense.

    This is not exactly the best way to start the conversation about the "dream ticket".

    June 3, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Il voter

    I think Bill was right calling that reporter scumbag. He does not have any evedance against bizarre behaviour from Bill after surgery.
    Also that report was crude.

    June 3, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. swilliams

    I am an Obama supporter but I have to say that this reporter should be ashamed of himself!

    Ruining people's lives with a bunch of anonymous sources. In that case, you could write anything about anyone at anytime.

    This was sad and pathetic.

    Obama '08!

    June 3, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  20. Karen in Cape Cod

    I think SCUMBAG is APPROPRIATE! No sources were named as usual, and repeating this Garbage is insulting to all concerned!

    June 3, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. vic nashville,Tn

    We have seen this kind news past 6 months
    The question is why in this time specially last date of the primary
    One more time the media proved they are anti Clinton
    Hillary 08 change into Mc Cain 08

    June 3, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. Caryn, WDC

    Johnny come lately. This is no longer your party Mr. President.

    June 3, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. FormerBillSupporter

    What does this have to do with Obama? Where is Bill's logic? I think he has tarnished his image a lot since the Hillary campaign began.

    June 3, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Bill Clinton seems to be angry all the time.

    Imagine if the Lewinsky thing were happening today, instead of 10 years ago.

    June 3, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. ERD in NC

    I was like 28 before I realized that Vanity Fair wasn't a smut magazine.

    June 3, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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