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. Raymond Duke

    If Bill Clinton backs this man and supports him for the presidencey than I have no respect for him. He will just be the typical "WHITEY" that don't mind being called names such as cracker. Do whatever he wants my vote goes to McCain. I got a little more pride then to let a man with the middle name of "HUSSIEN" and his supporters call me names and then to say to them, I sure enjoyed that sex we had.

    June 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. blgeorgia

    Barack DO NOT trust the Clintons.

    June 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. A world view

    U idiot Obama supporters can neither tarnish or change the impression the world has about Bill Clinton. He is and will always be one of the greatest Presidents this contry has ever had – at least in the view of the world. Whether he supports Obama or not is immaterial and will add NOTHING to his legacy. You can all continue to make your comments as if the world rns on your comments. Keep hoping........

    June 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. Lisa

    California, Texas, Nevada, Florida, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and the rest of the world voted for Hillary.

    Guam, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, Utah, Hawaii, Wyoming and Alaska voted for Obama.

    You do the math. People that are not use to Professional Used Car Saleman in their area voted for Barack.

    June 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. Cyrus O.

    Brilliant move. Bill has always been a great man, great president...obama is luck to have him on his side.
    All the way to white house come January 2009.

    June 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. David Illinois

    Bill Clinton should tell Obama to kiss off. After the way he was treated by the liar Obama Bill should just sit back and watch this party gasp it's last breath. After Obama has played the race card time and time again....then has the nerve to say Bill did who in their right man can trust this shyster? Remember it was Clinton who won the Pres....
    TWICE you idiots. Obama should be kissing his rear for all it's worth not pretending that Bill played the race card. Shame on Obama.

    June 30, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. California for Obama

    Bill Clinton has no poker face. His disgust for Barack Obama has never been concealed. His "fairy tale" remarks and disparaging remarks about Barack Obama say it all.

    Seems to me Bill Clinton has some fences to mend.

    Hope he groveled well.

    June 30, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. frank

    Dont INHALE
    are you getting points on fooling around with you Aids ?

    June 30, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Obama won the nomination. Hillary did not in large part because of her husband's blatant attacks on Obama which backfired.

    If former president Clinton wishes to endorse Senator Obama, fine, but I hope that Clinton doesn't get center stage in a lot of venues because he will likely drag Obama down with him.

    June 30, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. MN

    USS Cole......Is Bill Clinton the President who did nothing after the attack on the USS Cole?

    June 30, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. WML

    smarter than the rest:

    i don't mind flip-flopping when it is done in light of new evidence, new situations, and so on. i think it shows a sign of intelligence and that maybe the first course wasn't right.

    BUT, when someone flip-flops for the sake of garnering/winning votes, then it's a problem. many politicians do it, but mr. obama has become a sort of revolving door of late. he's fine when he gives speeches but not when he has to let us know what he thinks. look at his voting record: PRESENT. what the heck does that tell you????? the man can't take a stand.

    June 30, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. nate

    crab_selector – your old job sounds about right for you.

    June 30, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. Clintons Along For The Ride

    Clintons, Cllintons, Clintons.... Say and Do Anything for Attention!!!

    Then Clintons raged War against Obama during the race for Nominee. Then Obama beat them!!! Obama showed just how little the Clintons are in the world of Politics.

    The Clintons are tagging along to keep their name in the game, and to try to get Obama to pay their $22 Million in Debt that they got while trying to beat him.

    It's nice of Obama to let them tag along for the ride.

    Because they've already ruined their own!!!!

    Keep your enemys close, but not too close!!!!
    Just like the Bush Family, the Clinton Family are also ENEMYS To The People!!! Both Bush and Clinton Familys brought the nation to our knees!!

    June 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. Caycee, Pearl City Hawaii

    Both Clintons didn't have any choice. They're Democrats and they have to support Obama, otherwise they'll lose their political credentials.

    June 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  15. Jeanette

    It's too late Bill. Barack has taken your thunder away from you. Poor Bill, no longer the first black president.

    Top reasons why you are no longer the first "black" president.

    1. You threw black people under the bus in SC
    2. You called Barack's campaign a fairytale
    3. You said what you did in South Carolina was a myth
    4. You hijacked the election by pretending Hillary had a chance
    5. You sulked about losing the election like a big baby

    June 30, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  16. FayeinCT

    I hope Bill joins Obama on stage and steals the spotlight.

    No Obama..................EVER!

    June 30, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. Liar Lisa

    Lisa you're the liar. Stick around in due time, the Clintons will throw you under the bus, too.

    June 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    i'm glad i wasn't around either one of them after THAT phone call-yikes!

    bill, PLEASE stay out of the public eye, you will be a detriment to obama after your miserable behavior during hillary's campaigning. we want hillary, not bill!!!!

    dems and TRUE republicans unite to defeat the neoCONs!!!!!!

    June 30, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. Pat M

    Holy Hannah – Man I hope Obama doesn't have a rovin eye or would even consider looking at another woman! After reading the comments inspired merely by a telephone call between Barack and Bill I can only imagine what I'd be reading here if he ever dishonours Michelle!

    The British Royalty, Madonna and Britney Spears didn't get this much coverage in the last three years! Tune into Larry King tonight folks. I just know he'll have two professional mind benders explaining what this telephone conversation really means in the world of political psychoanalysis! I hope they don't resort to kissing one another or giving each other hugs as we'll never get down to the real issues!

    June 30, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. L. Bien-Aime, CT

    Bill Clinton still has a lot of influence on the Blue Wing and its constituents. Hence, most of Hillary's favorable popularity was semi-handed as a result of Bill's popularity and presidency. However, in this election, we saw another side of Bill and his wife. They were too confident and that backfired on them. And the rest is history, which is still in the making.
    Looking forward to the general election, Bill can and should be of great help to Obama. For, that would help him reinvent the positive image that he left us with when he exited the white house. That image was sacrificed and tarnished to help Hillary, but now that Obama is the democratic presumptive nominee, Bill must utilize this opportunity bring up his image by working with Obama to win the election.
    Further more if Bill was so bitter that he wouldn't help Obama, what message would he send to Hillary's loyal supporters?

    June 30, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. Women in California for Obama

    Well, Obama supporters owe Bill Clinton a thank you. I still believe he did not REALLY want his wife to win. Having said that-I'm not sure this meeting was such a good idea and I still think Obama should distance himself from the Clinton's. Since we will never really know everything discussed, I have no other choice but to believe it is all just for the photo-op. In the end they are all politicians. The Clinton's did what they had to do and the Obama's did what they had to do. In the long run they all will go on to lucrative book deals and long term future careers.

    June 30, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Terrible Tex

    Texas Trail Dog is a racist of the worst kind. He thinks he's better than everyone else.

    Dear Tex,
    The cleaners called, your white sheets are ready.

    June 30, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Bill Cry Baby Clinton

    Hey Bill, your gal lost. Get over it, Barack is the winner.

    Obama 08

    June 30, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. H-ROD

    I want to share this with all you good people but you have to promise not to tell anybody OK , I heard that they sexually abused John Mccain in vietnam untill he cracked and thats why he has issuses with woman and thats why he's so mean to his wife you know he called her the C word. So what ever they put in him is still there and thats why his breath is so bad !

    June 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  25. Rivers of Tears

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, I don't want to shake Barack's hand.


    June 30, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
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