June 30th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Bill Clinton, Obama speak

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/30/art.billobama.gi.jpg caption="Bill Clinton and Obama spoke Monday morning."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama talked by phone Monday morning, representatives of both sides said, as the Democrats sought to quash rumors that Clinton holds a grudge against the man who knocked his wife out of contention for the party's presidential nomination.

Obama called Clinton and they spoke for about 20 minutes Monday morning, the Obama campaign told CNN.

Clinton wants to campaign "with and for" Obama after the hard-fought primary campaign between Obama and Hillary Clinton, Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna said. Clinton "renewed his offer to do whatever he can to ensure Sen. Obama is our next president."

Watch: Obama, Clintons: Hard feelings?

Obama "had a terrific conversation with President Clinton and is honored to have his support in this campaign," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.

The chairman of Sen. Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful presidential bid, Terry McAuliffe, said Sunday the former president was angered by media reports suggesting he did not plan to actively support Obama in the general election.

"He was angry that these ridiculous stories were out here, and these supposed close friends of the president - none of the close friends ever got called," McAuliffe said, referring to anonymous sources quoted in some stories. "What happens, a lot of time, is people like to pretend they're close so they can tell the reporters that they're close, but, you know, they're just talking."

McAuliffe said he spoke to Bill Clinton on Sunday morning. The former president recently returned from a trip to Europe.

Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared together Friday in Unity, New Hampshire, where the former first lady said of her ex-rival, "we may have started on different paths ... (but) today our hearts are set on the same destination for America ... to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States."

The two had met the night before at a gathering of Clinton's biggest political donors, at which Clinton delivered the maximum legal donations to Obama's campaign from herself and her husband and Obama and his wife, Michelle, donated the maximum to Clinton's campaign - which remains mired in debt.

But some analysts read bitterness into the fact that Bill Clinton did not appear at either event and had made no personal comments supporting Obama since his wife conceded the nomination. Instead, the former president released a statement through a spokesman saying he "is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do" for Obama.

McAuliffe said Bill Clinton merely was waiting in order to avoid taking the public's focus off of Obama and Hillary Clinton's joint appearances.

"Any time that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama speak, it's going to be big news," McAuliffe said. "They wanted this out of the way first. Now that that's over, they will speak. And I'll bet you they speak within the next 24 hours, 48 at the most."

He also joked at rumors that the ex-president remains angry at Obama from the Democratic campaign.

"This man doesn't stay mad," he said. "He can get mad for 24 hours. It's his Irish ancestry."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. north C

    I admire Bill Clinton for sticking up for his wife. The sexism in the primary was unbelievable and pretty much went unchecked. The sexist comments by the media were unacceptable. Had comments by the media been racist, we would have heard about it. In my opinion that is what Bill Clinton was angry about. If it took him time to calm down than so be it. The point is that he is a team player and he's stepped up now that his wife is be treated with respect.

    June 30, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Lynn

    Bill Clinton has done alot with his Foundation. He has really worked with Aids and so many other causes. I don't think anyone should criticize him. The 1990's were great years for most American families. Gas was $1.49 when he left office. We were not at war. I would give anything to have those years again. Obama did not even donate to Katrina victims. I believe he only donated to his hate America church that year. Even I donated to Katrina with money, supplies etc. My church help several families which I took one lovely family in my home. I would hate for Bill Clinton to campaign for him. He is not qualified to be President. No experience.

    June 30, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. I used to be a Democrat

    The Clintons better wise up and realize that when Obama loses in November their support of Obama will come back to haunt them.

    They would be wise not to get on board with a SOCIALIST like Obama. 2012 is an opportunity for Hillary to beat President McCain.

    June 30, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Big gator

    Bill you and those PUMA hags need to stop crying.

    June 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Cissy, IN

    I wish Barack had a former president that he could trust for council. This man doesn't like him, or black people for that matter. Clinton is a joke.

    Obama 08

    June 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. pat amador

    Obama did not think Bill Clinton produced any important ideas in the 90's so why Obama need Bill Clinton?
    I hope Bill Clinton does not help Obama. Obama is an arrogant person who has inspired me to leave the democrat party.

    I am a Clinton Democrat.

    June 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Betty

    I guess Hillary & Bill are better people than me, because I can NOT support Obama after the way he & the DNC trashed Hillary all during the primary season. I think Obama is arrogant and without substance.

    June 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Herman in LA

    Gee some of you really need to get a life...

    June 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. Lisa

    I hope the Super Delegates realized that made a mistake and nominate Hillary as the Democratic Nominee. Barack is tired of campaigning and need a vacation. Michelle is still on etiquette school, it will take her a couple of years to get it right with a mouth like hers. Stay out of the Clinton's household and worry about you own house Michelle.

    To the DNC Michelle & Barack are not qualified to run this country.

    June 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. Carrasco

    Arturo Sierra June 30th, 2008 3:51 pm ET

    Of course Former President Clinton is playing nice with Obama, he has to, thats the way the DNC works…be loyal or we will cast you out!
    My message to the Clintons, do what you have to do but don't get too close too these people. I really think the DNC forced Obama on us Democrats and I hope he crashes and burns in November.
    The media and the DNC needs to look into allegations of drug use and homosexual acts as alleged by Larry Sinclair and find out if any of these stories are true. DON'T BURY STORIES FOR THE SAKE OF THE PARTY….LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD!!!!!!
    P.S. To latinos everywhere….VOTE McCAIN!!!!!!!

    From this latino to you, I am ASHAMED of you. Become informed, learn about Senator Obama and quit using the media to get all your information. Read literature. I am proud to be of latin descent but latino's like you give us all a bad name! Such a shame!

    June 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. David, MO

    I really couldn't care less. Any support that Bill gives would not be sincere, since he has already indicated how he feels about Barack, and black people. Now the country knows what he does to loyal supporters, he throws them under a bus.

    Give it up Bill, your legacy is in the toilet anyway.

    June 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. David, Silver Spring, MD

    The more Obama talks to the Democratic establishment, the more he seems to stand down from positions of principle. We don't just want to change the game players in Washington, we want to end the game playing.

    June 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Tracey


    People have been waiting on this story within 1.75 hours over 194 posts!!!

    Whatever can be done to get a Dem in the White House, go for it.

    June 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. LES_Chica

    It's wonderful to see the that the Clinton's are doing all that is necessary to unite the Democratic Party for the greater good of this Country.

    June 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. LarryH WI

    So Obama is honored to have an impeached President support him, what does that say for his moral character, not to mention his better judgement. Politicians, they simply have no scruples. This gts funnier as it goes along.

    June 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. sam

    They can talk all they want. The only way I'll vote for Obama is if Hil is on the ticket. The word is that Obama is likely to go with Joe Biden of Delaware or Evan Bay of Indiana. Both are a couple of dull candidates who bring nothing strategic to the table. Dems will have Delaware and don't need Indiana. Clinton can bring Florida, Ohio, and Nevada, not to mention New Hampshire, Arkansas and West Virginia. Look for Obama to ignore Hillary though, which will show just how personal his politics are.

    June 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. Nick

    What kind of the nominee is Obama? He cant do without Clinton's, he is not going to debate, nobody should say anything against him, no meter how true it is. He is like a spoiled child.
    Spoiled child of Howard Dean and Dona Brazil. They cooked the primaries for him to win.
    I hope that Bill is going to show some character and ignore this Chicago politician.
    McCain 2008/Hillary 2012

    June 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    If Mitt Romney was vice president and something happened to John McCain, we would have a billionare president. Now that is Mitt's dream but not the dream of most hard working Americans who have no money.

    June 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Faith, MS

    The real senior Democrats are Senator Kennedy, Senator Kerry, and Al Gore. I believe Barack should put his trust in them, not some used car salesman who is miffed at his wife not becoming the nominee. Any advice that Barack gets from Clinton would be tainted, just because it's coming from a man who doesn't like Barack.

    Obama 08

    June 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Rita

    I like Obama, but I hate obama supporters. Childish, stupid and inexperienced. Bill Clinton was the best President of our century. Oh, thats right, you were not even born yet.......

    June 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. DaVonne from atlanta

    All this talk of Obama needing the Clinton's is utter nonsense,.he deserves more credit than that....i'm Glad Obama & Clinton spoke. This whole campaign between both Obama & Hillary was pretty intense, but every time Hillary attacked Obama, he stayed above the fray and either stated that we need to focus on the issues or he just praised Hillary without really coming back and attacking her. He only really attacked her when he had no choice.

    And the media is acting like he can't win without Hillary's voters....if you voted for Hillary then you should automatically vote for Obama since both Obama & Hillary's plans are both very similar. If Obama didn't win the nomination, i would have no problem voting for Hillary. Those that were Hillary voters that are suddendly voting for McCain probably have some deep racial unliking towards Obama, cause i can't think of how anybody can vote republican after the terrible shape the country is in.

    So overall i'm glad that the democratic party is finally starting to come together, it truly was a historic moment for both Hillary & Obama...i can forgive Bill for holding a bit of a grudge since this was indeed his wife, but i'm sure he'll man up and be on board.

    One last point i'd like to make,...will the media please stop asking the question.."Is america ready for a black president?"...What the media really wants to say "Is white america ready for a black president?" and if you truly have to ask that question, i guess we're not,....cause after all i don't think we've ever heard anybody from the african american community say something like "uhm...i'm not voting for that candidate cause he's white"....but polls taken that courted white people actually stated that Obama's race would be a factor in their decision making...it's sad that this is 2008 and america still has some ways to go in terms of race relations.

    June 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Penny from California

    Hillary supporter all the way, accept when it comes to Barack Hussein Obama...Barack Hussein Obama needs all the advice he can get from one of the best Presidents ever ...Former President Bill Clinton . With that said, Barack Hussein Obama will never get our family vote, even if Hillary is on the ticket.....Hillary Rodham Clinton 2012...!

    June 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. EMJ

    Fred, it' s comical how you tried to post without being racist but instead you come accros as a big racist. BO has from day 1 tried to run as a person running for president. Not a black candidate, not a white candidate. Give the man some credit please, he is smarter than you think. He would NEVER try to run as a black candidate because as we have seen in the primaries, there are racists in the north, racists in the south, racists in the east and racist in the west. I am 48, white and grew up in the segregated south. I honestly thought we as a nation were past all this racist BS. but we have certinly seen that is not the case. So just listen to his words, read up on his plans and comments on the issues important to our country. Stop worrying about the guys race. He is just as American as you and me and race has nothing to do with it. Oh yeah, Waa Waa, I'm voting for the old war monger because my candidate did not win the nomination. Waa Waa

    June 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. JonPeter, Hartford, CT

    Leave Hillary out of this. She and Obama can negotiate her leadership role themselves. People who try to second guess or think they can say what either should do, show a lack of respect for either of their capabilities. Both of them are very capable leaders.

    Similarly Obama and Bill will negiotiate whatever role Obama wants Bill to play in his organization. Give Obama credit for being strong enough to keep Bill in line. It is unfortunate that HRC was unable to keep Bill under control, but that's history.

    June 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Lavallette, NJ

    I am scared of Barack Hussein Obama,

    This lifelong democrat will be voting McCain.

    Obama is a scary guy, what do we really know about? How dare he wait so long to speak with Bill Clinton. Who does Obama think he is? We know he is an arrogant Gucci loafer latte wearing man with no testicular foritude.

    June 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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