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. Elizabeth

    GET RID OF THE CLINTONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 3, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. Dan (TX)

    The kettle calling the pot black, sure. Dollar and skirt chasing – 2 of Bill's best qualities.

    Just another "grumpy" old man getting "grumpier." 🙂

    June 3, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. CJ

    Gee, Wonder if Bill Clinton has taken a good look in the mirror lately?
    The words he used to describe the reporter fits Bill to a T!

    June 3, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. MJE WPG

    Bill. It takes one to know one!

    June 3, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  5. Tony

    Todd Purdum is nothing more than a tabloid journalist. He should be writing for the Enquirer, The Sun, The Mirror or some other trash gossip paper.

    He is as guilty as most other "so-called" investigative journalists and reporters, talking heads, poltitical analysts, these fools who have their own shows and columns like Krauthammer, Russert, Crystal, Wallace, Limbaugh, and on and on and on, who were too spineless, unethical, and spineless in the lead up to the war to ask the tough questions, have the deceny and morals to speak out then, but who do nothing but criticize now. The most recent example of this is Scott McClellan. I believe what he says in his book, but he is as guilty and complicit as Bush/Cheney themselves. Todd Purdum is no different. He is a disgrace to his profession and even the Enquirer is too good for him.

    June 3, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. Some one who Knows a Bill

    Bill Clinton is being attacked because of his past history. Yes he may have done it but however, Look at his wife could you go home to that when you have all that "Campaign Candy" out there. Having the choice would you really stick with Hillary??????

    There mory Monica's of the world out there call Bill and he's listening.....

    June 3, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  7. Hay

    The truth hurts doesn't it Bill. And your wife stand there and thanks you for your love aand support, while your out womenizing. shame on you.

    June 3, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  8. Payal

    Bill is acting like a sour loser.!!
    gracefuul thing to do is to make every effort to unite his party who elected him president

    June 3, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  9. Disappointed

    News coverage is not slanted towards Obama but towards Hillary. Clinton does sound like an angry, frustrated man. Remember the article titled "Quit Moaning"? That comment was also inappropriate and insulting not only to Obama but the entire country.

    Bill needs a well deserved rest. Hopefully, his loving wife will make sure he gets that res.

    June 3, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Bubba

    I tend to believe a sleazy reporter over a sleazy politician.

    June 3, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. Bill Stapp

    Mr. Clinton should not lecture anyone about telling lies.

    June 3, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  12. monica

    Bill Clinton does NOT have a temper and would NEVER fool around! How preposterous!!!

    June 3, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. Bud Man

    Bill Clinton calling someone else a "slimy guy"

    He must be a "real gem" LOL LOL

    June 3, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Ohio RIch

    Was Bill looking in a mirror when he made the sleazy comments? I think chasing skirts around the White House and then stealing anything that wasn't nailed down when he left office is pretty sleazy as well. I was sort of hoping Hillary would get elected so that we could see if the Clintons would bring back all the stuff they stole when they left the first time. "What? We're not allowed to take all of the furniture?" Sayonara Clintons.

    June 3, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Monica for Obama in Indiana


    June 3, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. SS

    Aw yes the power of projection. Nice to see his character hasn't changed.

    June 3, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. Bill Stapp

    Of course, Mr. Clinton could give his doctor's permission to release their medical opinions on this matter.

    June 3, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. What if?

    Yes, Bill we believe you are telling the truth about Vanity Fair and Obama trashing your wife......NOT! Bill say the media is trashing his wife to hand the nominee over to Obama, when it's has been him and his actions that has caused her problems her entire campaign, Bill I notice how you knows what to say right before the voters go to vote, I hope they don't fall for your excuses again.

    For all minorities.....you will never get an opportunity to vote for anyone of your color because these prejudice voters are not just against blacks, it's all color that are not white......

    CNN please give someone the chance to explain my questions before you remove my question..thank you.

    June 3, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. Rave

    Bill, you are a hero and i dont agree with any negative comments about you. I still dont get it..why you were pushed around about your personel relations with other women, when politicians today are pushing around the entire country with their stupid acts and corruption.
    You Rock man.
    On the other hand, you know very well Hillary is not the right candidate and I can sense that you want Obama to be the nominee since begining. With your advice, support Obama will be a champion like you.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    June 3, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Major Michael in Lorton, Virginia

    How ironic that Bill Clinton calls Tom Purdum "sleazy." LIke the pot call the kettle black....

    June 3, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. Janey for McCain/Hillary

    Bill Clinton is a great man–he has earned the right to defend old slanderous remarks against him. What has this nation become? He has been the best President and won more votes than any President in history. AA are biting the hand that fed them and their many causes for years. We love you, Bill !

    June 3, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. Danizmom

    It's amazing that Obama is being held accountable for what his ministers and everyone else he's ever been in contact with and no one seems to care that Ms. Clinton can't control her own spouse. If she can't take care of home, God help us if she takes over the country!

    June 3, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. MM

    I, definitely not a Clinton supporter, felt that the Vanity article was too much inuendo, a trashy article, and totally unneccessary. No, the author never said outright that Bill Clinton did this or did that, but certainly wove the story in a way that we got the idea that the author certainly believed his own innuendo. Thought the article should be on the racks with the other rags in the grocery stores.

    June 3, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. disgustedinAlameda

    Your quote from Todd Purdum ("Asking why I don't focus on that [his charity work] is a little bit like asking why the musical 'South Pacific' doesn't have a song about the Normandy invasion," he said. "It's just a different topic." ) demonstrates his bias, considering the beginnng of your piece includes this: "The article, [en]titled 'The Comeback Id,' is nearly 10,000 words long and examines Clinton's years since leaving the White House." His charity work wasn't part of those year?!! Oh please! Mr. Purdum was only interested in highlighting the rumor/negatives of "Clinton's years since leaving the White House." And Clinton is angry? Yeah! If Obama makes an error, the error and how it wasn't really an error is fully documented by CNN. If Mrs. Clinton makes an error, only the error–with no explanation but with heaping details–is fully documented by CNN. Reread some articles if you don't believe that! I'm a life-long Democrate, but sorry, I won't be voting for Mr. Obama. I don't trust him (and not because he's black–he's as unsuitable to lead as George W. Bush is–where and when has Obama managed anything even close to the complexity of the presidency? He gives a nice speech, but on the Daily Show he demonstrated how he can imbue even mundane statements with his "trademark inspirational leadership." He's a fake!).

    June 3, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. Pat M

    My questions is: What was the purpose of Purdum's report? A report on inuendos,unsourced, unnamed allegations.

    If not written as a political attack then why was it written? A need to know article? Don't think so.

    I believe the report was just another scathing attack, a rock in Hillary's shoe to see if it might finally bring her down. She's spoiling their Campaign because she won't throw in the towel. What a shame.

    Dee Dee Meyers on Lary King last week didn't have a negative comment on the Clinton's. I wonder how she views her husband's report on opinions from unknown sources? I wonder how things will go on the homefront for the Meyers and Purdums? Maybe they will be the next subject of a similar attack as they say what goes around, comes around.

    Bill Clinton has been the Poster Politician for Reporters for a decade. They need to find another Cash Cow and some substance to make a buck. The constant Bill Clinton smut reports are getting truly boring. We have Soaps and the Sopranos Series for those who need that type of entertainment.

    I give Purdum three thumbs down and a thunderous Boooo! Can we get back to substance as in issues?

    June 3, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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