Bill Clinton became a distraction -- again -- today on voting day in Pennsylvania, at least on the cable TV shows and political blogs.
It started Monday when he was asked about criticism over comments he made comparing Barack Obama's sweeping victory in the South Carolina primary in January to Jesse Jackson's wins in that state. Many Obama backers and black Democrats found that dismissive of Obama's standing and some called it racially insensitive.
But on WHYY radio in Philadelphia, Clinton claimed that the Obama campaign was waiting to accuse him of being racially insensitive. "They played the race card on me," he said. When he thought he was off-air, he followed that up by telling an associate, "I don't think I should take any [expletive] from anybody on that, do you?"
Pressed to explain his comments, Clinton seemed to deny today that he said them, though they are on tape.Obama was incredulous when reporters asked him today about the former president's comments. "I have no idea what he meant," he said. "These were words that came out of his mouth."
Clinton has been both a help and a hindrance to his wife's presidential bid during the campaign. She claims her experience in the White House as a key selling point on her resume, but he has sometimes gone off message with controversial comments.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008