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. DAN

    Does he still say that Reagan was a better president to bring positive change than Bill Clinton?

    June 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. sukari hayes

    I'm really tired of hearing about the Clintons Barrack is running for president not them.Their suppose to be helping him he shouldn't have to ask for their help.Who cares if Bill is upset .Anyway Obama doesn't need the Clintons to win this race.He will be the next president or the United States.I'd say he's doing Great even with all the rumors ,lies and bad talk about his wife.So all you people that won't vote for him for whatever reason it doesn't matter because Grammpy McCain will not be running this country next year.A black family will be in the white house so get use to the idea.

    June 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. YOLA

    Bill Clinton is the King of Politics. He was hurt and upset (some may say hurtful and upsetting) but he is a Democratic leader and deserves every respect from Mr. Obama and his supporters. Not for nothing, Bill Clinton is loved by many Democrats and sad as it was to see a lot of the Primary nonsense, it will be great seeing these two together.

    June 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Smarter than the rest

    One question for all the INTELLIGENT people in here. All others please don't hurt yourselves trying to figure, let alone answer this question. It is so simple, it will turn out to be too complicated for you, the not so intelligent ones--

    Putting all politics and that which comes with it aside, who is smart enough to lead this country? Who will BALANCE the ship? not in just one area, but all areas of importance.......... Is it Mccain or Obama? Better yet, is it the GOPs or the Dems? Be honest here for a change.....

    Intelligence is a state of mind; an intellectual stance..... has nothing to do with gut, anger, revenge, etc.... bear that in mind as you respond...

    June 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Mark S.

    I have to agree with many of the posters..

    They will get along because they are alike.
    Barrack is Bill..16 years later..

    One thing no one doubts. Bill Clinton will never miss a chance to campaign. He wil be out there in the small towns that he went to for Hillary and he will enjoy it.

    But some of the posters are right. Give it up, Candy...

    We need a little more than that. for it actually to be a story...

    Who called who? Was it Barrack taking to 'Mr. President.'

    Or was it Bill talking to Mr. President'

    I know they dont want details to get out but
    "you guys are "the best political team on television" right??

    June 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Big Bill from Brooklyn

    It depends on what the meaning of help is.

    June 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Obama needs Bill Clinton badly

    I guess Obama now likes Bill Clinton and his successful 2 term democratic administration. He trashed Clinton during the primaries. Imagine trashing the only 2 term democratic president since FDR and then asking for his support in the fall election. This guy Obama is more arrogant than I ever thought he was.
    He better hope and pray that Bill Clinton puts his heart and soul in the race. Al Gore and John Kerry did not ask for his full support and lost every Southern state because it. Obama better kiss and make up if he wants to win in the fall. Clinton has nothing to prove. He is a winner.

    June 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Jeb

    I'm glad that the bitter Hillary women are going to vote for McCain. They must believe, as I do, that a woman should never be allowed to make a decision about her own body. That's the government's job.

    June 30, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Vanessa

    This is not a matter of Dems vs. Repugs, it's a a matter of the majority of us who are working Americans vs. the small percentage that is corporate America. We've got to stop carpet baggers like Rupert Murdoch from poisoning the minds of Americans and dividing us. It's time to put someone in office who will protect the future of everyday Americans and who understands the balance of growing our economy through stimulating business. That is not McCain. It just ain't, I'm sorry. It's time to put the divisions behind us and close ranks.


    June 30, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Jeff Roney

    What is Bill Clinton the President of now? He's just Bill Clinton, that's it.

    June 30, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. webster208

    After Obama, the candidate of hope and change, smeared the Clintons' reputation, and managed to convince half of the democratic voters that Bill is a racist, he now wants and expects Bill to campaign for him??? Now is the time for Bill to come out and say that this is really becoming a fairy tale! Does anyone really believe that Obama will bring change to Washington? Does anyone see that he will just get bogged down to routinely changing his mind and flip-flopping – as he is already doing? He is flip-flopping on Iraq, and he is backing out of "rapid withdrawal", as he has backed out of public financing, NAFTA etc.... and his supporters are calling this recalibration. There is nothing Obama will not say to get elected.

    June 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Although I would believe that President Clinton was upset and disappointed at first, I can't believe he'd sit out the rest of this race. The desire to campaign and compete in politics is in his blood. There isn't any way he'd campaign for anyone but the Democratic nominee. I'm not in the least bit surprised he is ready to campaign for Senator Obama.

    June 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Belle

    No offense CNN....THIS IS NOT NEWS.

    You had McCain live in the town hall meeting in PA....and you cut away FOR THIS STORY????????????

    Let's see....the CNN Pundits MANUFACTURED a supposed controversy saying Bill Clinton was bitter over the primary. In spite of spokemen for both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton saying that was not the case.

    Then you claim this is breaking news????


    June 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. PUMA Hunting Season Open

    Its PUMA hunting season, folks. Dont forget to do your part to thin out the PUMA herd. Get yours bagged today, because they are becoming an endangered species.

    I checked out some Google stats on these PUMA (And related) websites. They are lying about their numbers, they claim Millions, but only have a few thousand actual active members. If you read their posts, they are pretty much making stuff up, even claimimg Barack called Hillary a b-word. Funny because that was actually McCAin. HA!

    There leverage is nil and their sad attempt at a movement is impotent.

    Just a loud vocal few pretending they have some power and chasing shadows while they are stuck in the middle 2 stages of grief.

    MAybe we should start up our own website: HillaryLostSoGetOverIt.com

    Obama 08'

    June 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. DC Insider

    Until Obama either pays off the Clinto debt or offers Hillary a positoin she wants, the President's support will be lukewarm and invisible. And quite frankly, Barack does not deserve anything more than that after the way he ridiculed and spread false accusations against the Clintons, who have both done more for this country than Obama will do in his lifetime

    June 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Jackson

    Do you think we will ever get a politician who puts the "country" before their "party"? ... I don't think so. Bill Clinton should stay away from Obama ... he is leading the left-wing of the party only!

    June 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. citizen McCain

    comment to goodcitizen: "You say of Billy "He is a truly American hero". That depends on what your definition of is is. 🙂

    June 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Tina

    I love Bill and Hill, but vote for Obama? NO AWAY!

    June 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Bologna

    Don't bother Bill, remember you're a racist. Why on Earth would Obama want a bigoted, loon of an ex-POTUS campaigning for him?

    Wanting your support after his surrogates ripped you a new one throughout the primary season is incredulous. Obama didn't directly call you a racist in public, but no attempts were made to deny the allegation.

    I support you Bill, but support for support's sake is worthless. I will vote Obama in the fall because the alternative is not an option. However, I refuse to stand next to the same crowd that has consistantly disregarded the very message of which he speaks.

    June 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. ch

    Gee, a few months ago Obama and his supporters were race baiting and trying to convince us that Bill Clinton was a racist.

    You will all remember that right before the NC primary (where 50% of the electorate happened to be African American) they distorted the meaning of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s words to imply racial insensitivity.

    This, despite the fact that both Clintons have a well documented record of advancing and supporting civil rights (hence the 90% approval rating that Bill Clinton had amongst African Americans).

    But now Obama is praising Bill Clinton? The fact that Obama, his campaign and his supporters played the ugly game of race to trash Bill Clinton is the main reason that Obama will NEVER get my vote. And I have voted (and volunteered for ) every democratic presidential candidate since Michael Dukakis.

    June 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. John McCain

    For the record, my friends, I didn't like my country until i was a pow.

    Michigan, you're jobs are never coming back!

    Florida, I wanna drill for il right off of your coast.

    I was for the windfall tax, until my opponent was for it.

    I used to think that it was stupd to cut taes doing a war, but since it upsetted my conservative friends, I think we shoul go ahead and keep cutting taxes. Don't ask me how we're going to continue to fight the war.

    Romney was a liberal during the republican campaign, bt has ince become a stark conservative.

    I still don't like Bush. but, I propose to keep all of his policies intact.

    Yeah I know I left my sick wife for a hot babe... eat your hearts out.

    Listen my friends, I know I can't look at you with a straight face and give you a good reason to vote for me, but I ask you... my firends, my friends, my friends.... Don't vote for me, just vote against my opponent.....

    I'm John McCain, and I approve of this messege...

    June 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. bill

    is this news? why can't the clintons just go away. look to Barr and/or Nader for things to talk about if you really want change. the Dems and the GOP offer more of the same old crap wrapped in different packages. bill clinton is no hero; he may be smart, but he's an idiot and a criminal.

    June 30, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. John

    Arturo Sierra –

    Obama has already addressed past drug use, and I might add, was one of the few politicians to do it honestly (as opposed to Bush or Bill "I didn't inhale" Clinton)...as for the homosexual accusations, I am sure they are unfounded, but if they weren't, why would I care if someone engaged in a consensual homosexual act 20 years ago? That is a private matter and it has no bearing on anyone's ability to lead the country effectively...it is a non-issue.

    June 30, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. puff

    I hope Bill pulls a fast one on this joker and sends him back to Chicago with his un-patriotic friends. Just because the DNC fixed it for NOBAMA to win, does not mean the American people are going to fall into the trance. Forget it!

    June 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Didine - Maryland

    Welcome on board Bill Clinton. Listen to your wife and support our next president, Barack Obama. Your support is very much appreciate.

    June 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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