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. Tim from WV

    Well, Bill may be a hillbilly but he made Obama kneel and kiss up didn't he?

    June 30, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. CTran

    Obama is a flip-flopper and it was proven loudly and clearly by his actions. In 2002 when he ran for his current seat in the senate, he proclaimed he would not seek higher office in 2008. Well we now know what his CHANGE messages really meant, he can change his mind regardless of what he had said. Obama did not wear a flag pin on his lapel, he claimed he was patriotic, no need to show it. However late May 2008, when he met the veterans, without shame he did wear one to appease the veterans for votes. Well Obama supporters may say these facts are minor. Maybe so, but minor facts define his characters or lack of. Needless to say, his actions show he would say and do anything to get elected.
    During the primaries, he often criticized his opponent's judgement. He himself admitted bad judgement in Rezko's land deal. Using his good judgement, he spent 20 years in Rev. Wright's church. The same Rev. who spewed hatred in his fiery sermons, who is Obama's spiritual advisor, close family friend and to his childrengodfather . Obama shamelessly threw his grandmother under the bus to justify his not denouncing Rev. Wright. Finally he had to denounce him when his spiritual advisor was attracting too much bad publicity. Obviously friendship only goes so far, Dem nomination is far more important. Again he would say and do anything to get elected.
    Obama seized the nation's pulse and singing CHANGE like a parrot; judging from his words and actions, it is not likely those CHANGES will happen.

    June 30, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Thinker

    Bill Clinton should tell Obama to kiss his you know what.

    He and Hillary have been long time friends of the African-American community, but Obama painted him as a racist??

    Bill Clinton won the the White House, not once, but twice, left with a surplus and close to an 80% approval rating when he left office.

    June 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. aware

    And pigs fly!

    McCain 08! 🙂

    June 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Belle2

    Thank you! That is all you need to do. Obama needs to win or lose on his own, as all politicians do. It doesn't matter what you do or do not do. If he wins, they will say it is because he is the messiah; if he loses, they will say it is because you did or didn't do something.

    June 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Derek

    Obama & Hillary are America's dream team and the solution to the world's problems, she needs to be his Vice PM and with Bill by their side they will be an unstoppable force.

    June 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. ken

    Makes sense to me… Hillary’s the focus now, not Big Dog. I think Bill Clinton knows what is at stake, we all do at this point, save for the holdout PUMA’s who are still steaming instead of getting involved. Everyone needs to pull together now — the Clinton’s get it. I really wish these folks nursing grudges would follow their gracious lead and come together with the rest of the party to put a Democratic president in the White House.

    June 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Tjaye in LA

    So, they get to lie, misrepresent, lie, be negative, lie and destroy HIS name and reputation, but they cop a 'tude when they feel HE has done the same by beating them at their own game??


    Is there anyone who STILL thinks these people did not feel they are ENTITLED to have the presidency??

    June 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Stefan

    When I hear Hilliary Democrats for McCain it makes me want to throw up! I swear its people like you why Bush was elected for another term. McCain is going to have the same economic plan as Bush are you blind I rather you not vote then to vote for someone just to purposely vote another candidate off! Obama and Hilliary have nearly the same exact ideas on everything, are you soar losers, this is about picking the right candidate and if Hilliary's views were the same as Obama's and McCain's was the total opposite why are you voting for him, and don't tell me experience he is just an old fart that doesn't mean he knows more. Its all about the people you surround yourself with politically when you are President, and btw they also stated that Bush had experience. You have to be some of the most ignorant people ever. You see I respect the people who are republicans who believe in everything McCain is but when you don't believe in everything actually almost nothing and you're voting for him because Hilliary lost you're definitely a moron, or a HuGe Bush fan which would also make you are Moron.

    June 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. nate

    Q: Why do so many Republicans and Conservatives seem so angry in these posts? A: Because theyre going to lose and they already know it. Have a nice day 🙂

    June 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. Wisconsin

    If you like an unjust war, failing econ, and a guy who will suck up to big oil then McWar is your man.

    You can vote for McSame or you can vote to make America a better place with Obama!

    June 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Hispanic For McCain

    Latinos Nation for McCain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All Hispanic people let all get together and get a Real Hero in the White House and that is John McCain!!!!!!!!!!!. All the Hillary Supported the Latinos let support McCain!!!!. Go PUMA Nations!!!!!! We need to teach the DEM Leaders that we are not for Sales. The vote of the American People count for SOMETHING!!!! Latinos in Florida, Michigan remember the Votes!!!!!!!!! LET NOT LET DOWN THE THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLES AND NOT THESE LIBERALS MORONS

    June 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. Anita

    Pres Clinton – you don't owe the democratic party or Obama a thing.


    June 30, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Pittsburgh first time voter

    I can anc hereby shall only say Bless you Both.

    June 30, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. Pittsburgh first time voter

    I can and hereby shall only say Bless you Both.

    June 30, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. karen-phoenix

    We need the Clintons and Obamas at time in our countrys history that could make or break this country. Diplomacy–no more wars!!! Protect our jobs, health care, education that is if Bush leaves anything of the US left after he attacks Iran. If he does attack Iran, Russia and China will blow us off the map and we who are left will be hoping to live in Iraq!!! Russia and China get their oil from Iran!!!! Stupid Republicans!!!!

    June 30, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    I hope that clinton gave obama the definition of what is is.

    June 30, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Cynthia

    I'm glad that they finally talked. Bill Clinton has been in politics for a number of years and I'm sure things were said about him before and will be said in the future, so he knows it best to move on and do what needs to be done. Besides, he brought it on himself by some of the things he said and did.

    June 30, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. David

    Obama will win by a landslide not because he is Democrate or a Republican, not because of Bill Clinton or George Bush, but because the American People is sick and tired of being scared, loosing our troops, spending billions in another country, can't buy gas, loosing our homes, not having health care, can't afford medicine to stay alive, lobbying our Jobs, being lied to, and being used and abused. John and Cindy McCain is old rich and his only concerns is winning this stupid war not our problems.

    June 30, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Chuck

    WHO's not relevant? Discounting the power of the Clintons is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    PUMA Baby!!!

    June 30, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. PUMA Republicans


    Booooo Hoooo!!!!

    The media said Bill was mad, just like we are?! We want to vote for McSame because......um.......because.....ahhhh......duh....NObama...yeah, that's it.

    June 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. Cynthia - Arkansas

    With all this talk this week about Bill Clinton being so "mad", I say capitalize on it. Let him give a speech about WHY he's mad. Mad because Bush has taken this country straight to the side a cliff. Mad because this country is hated all over the world. Mad because this country has borrowed so much money from China, Japan and the Middle East that we can never repay it. I think that's the speech he should give!

    June 30, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. Comedy Central

    I hardly think that Bill is kissing O's *ss. Obama called him. At any rate for those who tired of Hillary Democrats and saying it is peolpe like them that got Bush elected. Please.... The majority of Hillary Democrats have never voted Republican. What got Bush elected was the lack of the first time voting Obama supporters. Remember this is the first time they have been "inspired" to vote. It is all those new voters that the leadership is counting on for this election and why they could care less about the Hillary voters. Just make sure you show up in November.

    June 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. Black Republican - New York, New York

    Bill and Hillary Clinton may be right that Obama cannot win the election, given that white America may not be quite ready for a black president, but it is not their call to make simply because Hillary did not clinch the nomination. Their attitude reflects a lack of understanding that even if Obama doesn't beat McCain, at least the country has morphed dramatically since the racially segregated sixties and the era of women as house wives. Politics can be dangerous and deadly so Obama would be wise not to play up too much to Bill and Hillary, because having had their notion of inevitability and a dynasty shattered, they are looking to get him just so they can say in unison to America and the world: "WE TOLD YOU SO!" With party comrades like Bill and Hill, who needs enemies?

    McCain may be old, but is proven gold! He's not perfect, but he's also not a derelict! An American hero and national treasure; he knows how to handle the pressure. He's his own man with his own plan, so let's give him the chance he deserves for he has given much to this nation he proudly serves.

    June 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  25. Linda W

    Yay! Comments are not closed!

    I'm glad they can stop trying to kill 2 birds with one stone, by using Clinton to beat up on Obama and vice versa

    These are 2 powerful Democrats, who if combined can do great things together for the country.

    It is timeout to use one to cancel out the other.

    I've always believed that if they both came together and worked together they will be a powerhouse!

    And, I believe it is the Republican's worse nightmare to have the experience and savvy of Clinton strengthen and supporting Obama, who has his own strengths.

    Also, those who are enemies of the Clinton have been a little too gleeful over the so called comeuppance of the Clinton's, but they have to realize they are not down, and they are not out, they have moved into a new arena of being "kingmaker's"

    It's my opinion and I'm sticking with it

    June 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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