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. Bill in Illinois

    This is a sad thing to have to say but it's time that the Clintons retired from the spotlight and parked themselves in rocking chairs on the front porch.

    They have both become a major embarrasment to this country. Nobody wants their sleazebag politics and philandering ways anymore. Hopefully a new day is about to dawn on American politics. It's exciting to watch and most certainly a breath of fresh air!

    June 3, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Joanne

    Bill has completely lost it.

    June 3, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. Enlightened Voter

    I think we all know the reporter was telling the truth. bill's rantings and ravings are becoming worrisome. Do we really want four more years of them?

    June 3, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. ac

    It takes one..................

    June 3, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Martha Scott

    Hil should take her disgusting goat of a husband and get back to NY.

    June 3, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. Mary Sue

    I really don't think Vanity Fair should have published the accusations about Clinton that were unsourced.

    I'm an Obama supporter, but the smut slung in this campaign is beyond belief and for no better reason than to grab headlines for media ratings.

    June 3, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Brian

    So which liar is more credible, one who has been under oath or one who has not.

    June 3, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Lizz from Texas

    I think scumbag pretty accurately describes Purdum. That's how I would describe him.

    June 3, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Eleanor

    I feel President Clinton was frustrated and thats why he miss spoke so badly , but having said that I felt it was *wrong* to pin this on Senator Obama,.not once during this campaign did Sen Obama ever bring up the Clinton baggage.
    He has rose above that and should be commended in a favorable light for doing so!
    I still think they would make a great team on the ticket!!
    However would Bill know his place and knowing how he really deeply feels about Sen Obama would this hinder that team!!

    June 3, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Doc Sinn

    "It's just the most biased press coverage in modern history. It's another way of helping Obama," he said. "It's all about the bias of the media for Obama."

    I have lost alot of respect for Bill Clinton. I dont know if the Vanity Fair piece is true or false and I wont speculate.

    But to somehow blame Barack Obama? Media bias?

    Bill and Hillary have really sunk low. They have played every card possible. Racism. Sexism. Favortism. What's Next??

    Next you will tell us Barack Obama is actually a Sith Lord, using the Dark Side of the Force to cloud our vision so he can gain office and become Emperor of the Galaxy.

    Enough already please......

    June 3, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. sb

    Nobody has to "make up" stuff about Bill Clinton. Everything he's been accused of has always turned out to be true.

    June 3, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. mgoody

    Good I am so glad he did. I think the language was appropriate. He didn't have anyone on the record in his article. I am so sick of the attacks on President Bill Clinton. Anything to sell papers or magazines. And I wonder why he is so angry all the time!

    June 3, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. DP

    Billy's an angry man, and with good reason: he's a joke in the press, a mediocre past president, and a man who thought through his pants intsead of with his brain. Apparently, he's still not too stable and nearly everything upsets him - but he acts like a man blindly defending his wife against neighborhood gossip, or a college frat boy defending himself against accusations that he's cuckolded by his girlfriend. His indignance is not righteous: the truth hurts, and that's why he's so upset. The man needs to understand that he's NOT doing himself or her campaign any favors by raging at people - and that if she does make it to the White House (God forbid), that he will NOT be able to stand at the podium and blow about whatever he wants. Billy always needed to grow up, and now, in the face of his gorgon's campaign, even more so.

    June 3, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. CB2

    AH...you mean a scumbag like yourself Mr. President. There goes the pot calling the kettle black. And I don't mean the pot that you didn't inhale Mr. President.

    June 3, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Boered1

    Truth hurts doesn't it you pandering, philandering old liar!

    he still cannot get over that his ordained wife lost instead of accepting responsibility like an adult would he isntead is still trying to blame everyone else. Oh the media is too hard on her and too easy on him.. RIGHT thats why we had no stop coverage of Rev. Wright, taken out of context, for almost a month and NOTHING about Peter Paul, thats why we had coverage of Obama's ties with Rezko but NOTHING about her ties with Rezco.. yep biased media... they have been supporting Hillary since the start, look at THIS web site if you do not believe it there is an almost 2 to 1 positive articles for Hillary than Obama, do the research if you can (I know some of you are educationally handicapped but it is there.

    Moronic Clintonistas

    June 3, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Mary

    Don't think Bill Clinton needs to apologize for any thing he said. That article was in bad taste and a blackeye for Vanilty Fair.

    June 3, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Canadian Observer

    Every person in North America needs a lesson in media studies and informal logic. This biased "ad hominem " reporting is sickening at best.

    June 3, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. A CANUCK

    Big crybaby Billy can"t handle the truth. Bye bye Clintons ....your reign is over at last !!!!!!

    June 3, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Butch Dillon

    Let's just cut Mr. Bill a little slack, shall we? After all would he not be something of an expert on the appropriateness of using a colloquial term for a used condom to describe another human being? This is his area of expertise!

    June 3, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  20. JLB in Chicago

    Or......is it possible that Purdum is telling the truth and Clinton is the "sleazy" "scumbag?"

    June 3, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Kenneth M

    Thats odd, Paula Jones and Chelsea Clinton look just like each other.
    If you google each of them you will see what I mean.

    June 3, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  22. Lisa in Canada

    Truth hurts Bill, Who cares its just the truth.

    June 3, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. Yougogirl!

    For anyone who read the article, Bill Clinton's comments were not out of line when he called the journalist a scum bag. The article was such a low blow, and completely uncalled for. Why is it such a big deal that Clinton stood up for himself in the same way that any other person would if that was said about him or her, esp. since there were no citations?

    Let's get real.

    Hillary, '08. The fight isn't over.

    June 3, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Creative Woody

    What?? Bill Clinton is a philanderer? I had no idea. Thank you, Mr. Clinton, for defending your pristine reputation.

    June 3, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. Vanity UnFair

    It is clear that Purdum’s intent was to smear and do harm to Bill Clinton. In a follow up interview Purdum was asked why the article failed to mention all the positive things Bill did such as his fund raising efforts. Purdum made some inane remark that is was not pertinent to the article. I see, so all the so called “anonymous” sources spewing gossip are pertinent but the millions of dollars raised to fight poverty are not? Give me a break Purdum. This is slime ball journalism at its worst. I’m glad bill gave him the third degree and reamed him out. Purdum deserved it. For some folks it’s the only kind of language they understand.

    June 3, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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