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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soundoff (463 Responses)
  1. Will, Iraq Vet

    "The Situation Room" Monday afternoon, saying he was "very careful to say there is no clear cut evidence that President Clinton has done anything improper."

    Well, then why did he write this stupid article and post it the day before a primary if there is no clear cut evidence. Journalist these days are getting away with everything. They could just write a bad article about you just because they don't like you and the article would be full of crap and people would believe it.

    June 3, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. MD

    Had Bill Clinton stayed home, Hillary might have had a better shot at winning the nomination.

    Bill Clinton decries sexism. He is the sexist of all sexists.

    All those who believe he is the number 1 man in America who does not want Hillary to be president, raise your hand.

    June 3, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Kris

    Well it sure sounds like the reporter is scummy. Clinton's behavior has only chnaged because he is free to be human now and can be more honest in his remarks. Heaven forbid that a politician says what is on their mind. Grow up Clinton haters.

    June 3, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Nikki

    I think Bill Clinton is expressing frustration as he faces defeat. I hope that he and his wife will do the right thing and fully support Obama. Given his statement yesterday; this is the last time that he will campaign, my hopes seem unlikely.

    June 3, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. 301

    Bill Clinton is calling someone a 'very dishonest person'...pot, meet kettle.

    June 3, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. Bob Frusha

    I have no problem with Clinton calling someone a scumbag; it's a free country. The reporter may very well be a scumbag. But so is Clinton. In the White House or out, he's a scumbag. What he does since becoming a private citizen is of no concern. I, like many, still distrust him from his presidency days, where he showed his true character many times over. His legacy will forever remain a lie (pointed, boney finger with a look of false anger into a camera) and a stained blue dress. A leopard can't change its spots.

    June 3, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. wonder

    that's what this whole primary season has been about, tear everybody down, the reporters ARE NOT REPORTERS, THEY SHOULD GO WORK FOR THE ENQUIRER. THAT'S THE KIND OF JOURNALISM THEY PRINT. I'm so fed up with the medea. They cause discord in our country. They don't report actual happenings, they make up stories about everyone and then people have to try to defend themselves. They are really sick, and I'm not just saying that about this article, it's been for the last 18 months, nothing but garbage from them. But I am surprised at Vanity Fair, I used to like that magazine but it obviously is nothing more than a gossip rag now. Such a shame

    June 3, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. lynn lester

    Bill Clinton is a fine one to call another person a scumbag. He still is the Scumbag -in- Chief.

    June 3, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. Mart

    Seems like Vanity Fair has been bought by the Obama Campaign !

    If they choose Obama over Hillary ,thats fine ,but to write such a disgustingly nasty piece "so called anon" is really reaching the bottom of the barrel.
    I do hope they have finally destroyed this Rag of a Mag !

    June 3, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Gabriel

    I have some sympathy for Bill here. I don't particularly like the way he and Hillary campaigned against Obama in the primaries, but I think he's a genuinely decent guy. He's made some mistakes – obviously – but I tend to believe Clinton over this reporter.

    June 3, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Matt--Nebraska

    Bills right.

    The media is dishonest and political.

    It's too bad nobody seemed to notice when they were smearing Bush the past 7+ years.

    June 3, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. Michael, Torrance, CA

    Isn't that the kettle calling the pot black! This coming from a lying, cheating, adulterer. "He's a sleaze", have a look in the mirror Bill.

    June 3, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. HillarySkank on myspace

    If he is a sleasy scumbag, you too have a lot in common Mr. Bill

    June 3, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. themoi

    A leopard doesn't change its spots. 'Nuff said.

    June 3, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. robb

    Which one is the Pot and which one is the Kettle?

    June 3, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. Ed Barenborg, Vero Beach, FL

    Bill Clinton calling someone dishonest turns my stomach. I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is. These are the same people that claimed it was a "vast right wing conspiracy" when the Monica Lewinsky affair first came to light.

    June 3, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. Wendy

    People are SO stupid. Think about the timing of the article. Think about all the good the Pres Clinton did for our country. What a major paid off jerk to write the article. Dee Dee you need to get the man under control! I am tired of the same old s...they dig up on Bill and Hill...leave them alone. The media destroyed her chance to be elected and when Mr. Wonderful with his same candied speech is elected we will see how he stands up against reality!!! Vanity Fair...how much did you make off of the article!!!! and CNN thanks for making it headlines for 2 days...What's wrong with calling the guy slimy. Why not focus on Dick Cheney and his big stupid mouth!!!!!!! I give up! You will get what you get and don't throw a fit.

    June 3, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. LoooseyGoosey

    Never did quite say that he wasn't womenizing on the campaign trail now did he...

    June 3, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  19. Eli

    Hey if somebody lied on me personally, I would called them a scumbag and so would any one else. Any person who writes a comment saying they would not go after the writer or call him a scumbag is not telling the truth themselves.

    June 3, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Crush Rush

    Bill was right for a change.Its time to go after all the scumbags like Limbaugh.Im making a list of his radio sponsors.If Imus can be punished so can Rush.

    June 3, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. Kevin

    Is anyone surprised by this? For all the Obama people–think long and hard about what the Clintons bring to the party.

    June 3, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Joe

    Clinton said he had not read the article but that he was told that "there's five or six just blatant lies in there. But he's a real slimy guy."

    He did not read but made those comments?

    It takes one to know onw Billy Boy!!

    The only scum bags I see are the CLINTONS!!!!!

    June 3, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. Cathy in MD

    I’m reminded of the image of Bill Clinton in front of a huge American flag with his leg up on the bumper of a fire red pick-up truck. Bill Clinton is a smart politician with great curbside appeal – very smooth and polished when he needs to be. Underneath the hood, however, is (in my opinion) an angry, finger-pointing, arm-twisting egotist who has been known to lie and … “can’t help it.” He’ll never admit to any wrongdoing. I tend to believe the Vanity Fair article. Sorry!

    June 3, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. Alice

    OMG,,,is this the "pot calling the kettle black"?

    June 3, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. Peter FROM NJ


    June 3, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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