May 28th, 2010
08:32 AM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton back on the campaign trail

Bill Clinton heads back to Arkansas Friday to try and help out a fellow Democrat battling for her political life.

Bill Clinton heads back to Arkansas Friday to try and help out a fellow Democrat battling for her political life.

(CNN) - Bill Clinton heads back to Arkansas Friday to try and help out a fellow Democrat battling for her political life.

The former president and former Arkansas governor will campaign with Sen. Blanche Lincoln at an event in downtown Little Rock.

The two-term senator will face off against Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in a June 8 runoff election in the battle for the Democratic nomination. Lincoln won 44.5 percent of the vote in last week's Democratic Senate primary, with Halter, who's made gains with the help of union and progressive groups as he challenges Lincoln, grabbing 42.5 percent, and conservative Democrat DC Morrison at 13 percent. Since no candidate won a majority of the vote, a runoff between the top two candidates is necessary.

"I'm extremely grateful for President Clinton's support in this campaign and look forward to our 'Countdown to Victory' kickoff event," says Lincoln, in an e-mail released by her campaign.

Along with the star-power that Clinton brings to his former home state, he could also play a pivotal role in bringing out African American voters, a key constituency group that Lincoln will need to beat Halter.

"Blanche is fighting the special interests and standing up for Arkansas," states Clinton, in the same release. "She has written the toughest Wall Street reform proposal to help Main Street businesses. She has fought for Arkansas farmers, ranchers, and foresters. Arkansas cannot afford to lose Blanche's leadership as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee."

Halter outraised Lincoln over the past three weeks by more than $200,000, but as of now, Lincoln has more campaign cash on hand for the final push. The most recent polling in the run-off election suggests the race is a dead heat. The winner will face off in November against Rep. John Boozman, the Republican nominee. Boozman captured over 50 percent of the vote in a crowded GOP primary field, thus avoiding a runoff.

Clinton campaigned earlier this month for Mark Critz, the Democratic candidate in last week's special House election in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional district. Critz ended up beating Republican Tim Burns in the battle to fill the seat of the late Democratic Rep. Jack Murtha.

CNN Political Producer Shannon Travis contributed to this report

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Bill Clinton • Bill Halter • Blanche Lincoln • Popular Posts
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Sen. Lincoln, you brought this challenge from the left upon yourself. I'm not a mathmatician, but when majority of the democratic caucus vited Yes on healthcare, that should make a light bulb go off in your head. I don;t for what reason you voted no, but that is why your sugar honey iced tea creek. The former President can campaign for you and spend his political capitol, but that still won;t help you. Bubba is probably asking himself what the heck were you thinking voting against the biggest piece of legislation in a generation.

    May 28, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  2. Ross Foyee

    Clinton was a marginally GOOD president in my eyes. He should stop pushing all these people that he cannot really put his finger on as to their limitations and run for president again. Maybe he can turn this world around from the brink. He is not that old...

    May 28, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  3. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    That marks the sliminess of all of the candidates he campaigns for. The man should be in jail instead making obscene amounts of money from the treason he committed during his criminal term of office.

    May 28, 2010 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  4. Ross Foyee

    The world is in need of a Charleton Hestonesque figure if you will...MOSES is a good choice, all joking aside. We are on the brink of world destruction if we cannot get such a person to lead this planet's populace from the quagmire that it has gotten into. Almost like folks are looking to create a real 2012 world conflagration by proxy...

    May 28, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  5. D.

    He promised Obama will solve the economic problems and will give us prosperity like in the Clinton years (when Republicans controlled congress!!) His promises evaporated and now he will be spreading the same smoke.

    May 28, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  6. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    The time to clean up both The House and 1/3 the Senate is upon us. Don't vote for the party! It is time the people sent a message to Washington DC we reject politics as usual.
    Fire All incumbents!
    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.
    This November tell Congress "You Are Fired!"

    May 28, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. Seattle Sue

    Why does the Democrats want to help Blanche Lincoln, a so called Blue Dog Democrat that sides so often with Republicans?

    May 28, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Dems have a lot more to worry about, than the primaries.

    May 28, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  9. Louisiana Man

    Bill, the vengeful GOPers have you in their cross hairs so you must be doing sighting right. Hopefully the magic is still there and Blanche will triumph.
    Now if only you can help in this oil spill catastrophic, the world will be grateful.

    Thanks Bill and continue the great work.

    May 28, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  10. NVa Native

    Clinton is very good speaking in front of a group. And he can clearly expose the lies and deceptions in a calm way while turning them back on the people who spread them. Not a perfect person, as nobody is, but at least he doesn't claim to be.

    May 28, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  11. Chris~Albany, NY

    Sorry Blanche, you stink. Might as well just run on the republican line. Go Halter....sorry bubba.

    May 28, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  12. Madge

    Having Bill Clinton at your side is like having a golden ticket. I think we should clone him and send him around to all Democrat candidates in the country!

    May 28, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Andagain

    Uh oh...kiss of death

    May 28, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Mike

    They had better hide the cigars from Clinton. While he is there could someone define the word "IS" to the former President.

    May 28, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. Anonymous

    Bill has to go and support her, because everyone knows if Obama did the endorsing, she would automatically lose.

    May 28, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. Djinn

    Blanche must know about some particularly embarrassing skeletons for President Clinton to take on her egregious political baggage!!

    May 28, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  17. gary

    Bill is loved when he raises money for earthquakes, Tsunamis and Floods....he should focus on his humanitarian efforts around the country and around the world.....once he starts doing political campaigning he becomes devisive and despised. If he really wants to rehabilitate his image he should focus on non-political philanthropy.

    May 28, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. Bubba

    Bill, you do what you feel is right, but if I were in Arkansas and the unions were were backing a candidate, I'd probably vote with the unions instead of you.

    May 28, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Turn Texas Blue

    Wow, the job seller helping out the corporate cash cow and sellout.

    May 28, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Will

    Democrats would be wise to use Pres. Clinton to campaign more. He was a heck of a leader but as a conservative I hope they don't. I would rather they hitch their wagons to this bafoon Obama who within a short time has made Carter and Bush seem competent and Reagan & Clinton the clear gold standard.

    May 28, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. Bubba

    Bill, you do what you feel is right, but if I were in Arkansas and the unions were backing a candidate, I'd probably vote with the unions instead of you.

    May 28, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. stevegee

    Go smoke a cigar Billie boy! The American People are tired of you, and your liberal propaganda.

    May 28, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. RinMaine

    Go Bill! Beat those foolish Tea Partiers. The world was a better place when you were in change.

    May 28, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. simply the best politician of our age

    don't misunderstand, he should not have been messing with interns, that is an absolute

    which, in contradiction puts him in the biggest bone head of politician categories as well, BUT he is so far better than any other president we have had

    well, Reagan was good too

    May 28, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Maria H-Miami

    That woman needs to retire.

    May 28, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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