July 1st, 2008
06:01 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama discusses his chat with Bill Clinton

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/01/art.billclinton.gi.jpg caption="Obama said he wants Bill Clinton on the campaign trail again."](CNN) - Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are moving on.

In Obama's first comments about his widely-covered phone conversation with the former president Monday morning, the Illinois senator said the two did not dwell on the prolonged and at times divisive primary race.

Watch: Obama talks about his phone call

"We did not belabor the primary season,” Obama told reporters Tuesday. “I think what we both acknowledged is, is that when you’re in a tough primary battle you say things that afterward you may end up thinking, that may have been a little intemperate. But that’s the nature of political campaigns.”

Obama also said he wants Clinton to become a staple on the campaign trail next fall, even though the former president's periodic outbursts and at-times aggressive promotion of his wife's candidacy drew widespread criticisms.

“I absolutely want Bill Clinton campaigning for me,” Obama said, adding, "He is one of the most gifted public officials of our generation and has been one of the most successful presidents that we’ve had in my lifetime."

Watch: Obama, Clintons: Hard feelings?

The high-profile conversation came more than two weeks after Hillary Clinton formally abandoned her own White House bid and amid rumors the 42nd president holds a grudge against the man who knocked his wife out of contention for the party's presidential nomination. Some reports have said Clinton is specifically upset with Obama's criticisms of his administration over the course of the campaign and the media's coverage of the race.

In an interview on CNN Sunday, close Clinton friend and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe denied the reports that the former president is angry with Obama, calling that notion "ridiculous."

soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. linda

    Don't help obama. He does not deserve it. He is going to loose this election and we will finally have Hillary in 2012. I have always voted democrat, but on this occasion mccain will get my vote and in 2012 Hillary will get my vote.

    July 1, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  2. Alex

    Will the REAL DEMOCRATS please stand up. I am getting tired reading "fake democrats" posts (read between the lines – SCARED REPUBLICANS) saying "I am writing in Hillary Clinton" or "I am a Democrat voting for McCain."

    Most of us don't care WHO you vote for. What will be in November will be, but until then...get a life...for God's sake.

    July 1, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  3. ?

    Bill, what is up with that OUTFIT? You look like a used bible salesman.

    July 1, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. kaous

    Hillary and Bill Clinton, are the hope for our nation. The left wing media, and the super dummies have made an insurmountable, inexplicable error for which our nation will now pay. The Clinton's are doing what they have to do to remain viable in the eyes of the DNC, and to recoupe some of their campaign obligations. Otherwise, I feel quite certain you would not see either of them doing anything to support such a pathetic candidate for President, especially with our country in the dire straights it is now in. We have a pathetic old man, and an experienced black man wanna be to choose from. I choose Hill and Bill...I'll be writing them in. No other vote can save our Nation. I hope the rest of you wake up. They successfully repaired the damage of Bush 1...what better qualifications do you people want or need? It's a no brainer if you think about it! Wake Up! Barack Hussein Obama, would make a great leader for his chosen people...not for the most multi ethical nation on earth. Hill and Bill '08 WE KNOW THEY CAN!

    July 1, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. Bayousara for Hillary in November

    I wish Bill Clinton was going to be president in January 2009. I would feel we had a competent leader again, finally.


    I am writing in Hillary in November.

    July 1, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. Ilona Hussein, Proud Canadian!

    If the Clintons are really ready to support Barack, the first item on my list of things to do......would be........


    Okay folks, what do you think the chances of this happening is?
    These disgusting PUMAS are Hillary's strongest supporters, therefore if they really BELIEVE IN HILLARY you would think that Hillary SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. However, are you folks going to hold your breath waiting?

    July 1, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  7. ME

    Bill don't do it.!! Let the DNC and the superdelegates see that they picked out a looser. What an idiot ,asking you to campaign for him, now he realizes that he cannot win on his own and is using you. Hillary do not accept the VP position, you certainly don't need NOBAMA!

    July 1, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. Peter E

    Obama supporter during the primaries: 'Bill Clinton is a racist who destroyed the democratic party and caused all sorts of problems as president, etc. (insert more republican talking points about Clinton here) Clinton and Obama have nothing in common.'
    Obama supporter now: 'The republicans don't have a prayer in November because we have Clinton, the last great president of America on board with us. He brought prosperity to America. Look at how Obama is just like him!'

    July 1, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  9. Willy

    He said he'd the Big Mack Daddy and I just the new kid on the block.

    July 1, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  10. Raymond Duke

    I agree with Obama that Bill Clinton was the best president we have had in years. I also agree with him that he needs Bill Clinton to try to get the "WHITEY" vote as Obama and his crew like to call us. But on the other hand I think that Obama and his friends and the democrat leadership went to far. I feel that people like me or in the John McCain column even though I can't stand the idiot. John McCain is the best of the two idiots we are stuck with.

    July 1, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  11. Tom

    Can't we PLEASE be done with Clinton? I can't take 5 more months of him "campaigning" every time I open the paper or turn on TV.

    July 1, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. Hate to break it to you

    Despite everything, the Clintons have done some great deeds. Obama, use them, don't, whatever, you'll be fine. As to the supporters saying "Bring on McCain", since you guys want to join the losing side, that's fine, McCain can have you. You guys are no different than previous elections, you choose which side you want to be on, you made your choice, we Obama supporters made ours. Those that are still upset about the injustice with Hillary, move on, the world keeps turning whether you want it to or not. Oh, last thing, I hear complaints about these are the best 2 candidates for President, but I don't see a rush of applicants running for the job. I think anyone who wants to take on the job should be given a lot of credit whether you agree with them or not. Although McCain is not my choice, but I do give respect for his services and he's trying to make some effort to help resolve this issues. Whether he succeed or not will see, "IF" he makes it to the White House but I'm putting my cards on Obama!

    July 1, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. GO Obama

    Only fools support McShame.

    He is not presidential and the worl would laugh about america.

    July 1, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  14. Peter E

    You still think that the Clinton's are out of the picture, or that Obama is an 'outsider' who will bring 'change?'
    Look at these never-ending secretive meetings! Obama is becoming just a facade for yet another Clinton term. He'll be a puppet to the old democratic establishment.

    Vote Ron Paul! Change you can TRUST in!

    July 1, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. ny

    Poor Clinton. Shame on certain news channels for the way they projected Bill because they were biased towards NObama.

    I travel widely around the world and Clinton is one of the very few leaders highly regarded and respected world wide.

    Don't even compare NObama to Bill.

    July 1, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  16. paul oregon

    i think the dem. party needs to show the clintons where the door is neither bill or hillary make me proud to be a dem. i never understood why the clintons felt they had to tear a person down to make them look an feel important.

    July 1, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  17. Georgian

    Bill, Barack thinks he knows everything and if he doesn't, he pretends like he does. At least McCain admits he doesn't know everything. Please say No to Nobama before our healthcare system is forever destroyed.

    July 1, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  18. aware

    Right Bill! Barack is a "hair" for Bill Clinton,...,but he will get rid of the irritation! 🙂

    July 1, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. ck

    The public needs to realize that the Clintons are the biggest load of dead weight that the Democrats will ever experience. If they had left the White House and never been heard from again, America would be happy and remember them fondly.

    BUT, at this point in time, the Clintons are just like a bad case of crabs... Yes, a good time was had once, but they're just something nasty that needs to go away!

    July 1, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  20. kb

    its a shame we still can't as a nation get over racism. Very, Very sad.

    July 1, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  21. ANGIE

    hey im just wondering if obama is racisit than to whom the white or black because hes both hey pumas are you saying hes racisit to both black and white !!!

    July 1, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  22. Karina

    This is all a ploy by the media to continue selling news. How sad. I had never witnesses such unprofessionalism in my lifetime by them like I did this election season. I lost all respect for those who claim to be the best in reporting facts. This agenda to dog the Clintons is going to come back and kick you in the – – -!
    Obama/Hillary 2008!!

    July 1, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  23. Lisa

    To the delegate for Hillary Clinton

    I'm over protective over Hillary & Bill. Obama disrespected Bill by calling him a racist and Hillary by saying she's Annie Oakley. Let's not forget Michelle saying Hillary can't take care of her household.

    July 1, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
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