Speaking over the phone to Philadelphia’s WHYY, Bill Clinton defended his controversial comments following the South Carolina primary, saying the Obama campaign had played the race card against him. After the interview, apparently neglecting to hang up, the former president could be heard using language not normally aired on public radio: “I don’t think I should take any s—- from anybody on that, do you?”
Update: Clinton bristled when asked to comment on the comment: “No, no, no, that’s not what I said. ... You always follow me around and play these little games. And I am not going to play your games today.” Click here for the full quote.
The former president had been asked whether his remarks comparing Obama’s strong showing in South Carolina to that of Jesse Jackson in 1988 had been a mistake given their impact on his wife Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “No, I think that they played the race card on me,” said Clinton, “and we now know from memos from the campaign and everything that they planned to do it all along.”
“We were talking about South Carolina political history and this was used out of context and twisted for political purposes by the Obama campaign to try to breed resentment elsewhere. And you know, do I regret saying it? No. Do I regret that it was used that way? I certainly do. But you really got to go some to try to portray me as a racist.”
He added that the way Obama’s campaign had reacted was “disrespectful to Jesse Jackson” and that the former presidential candidate had told him he was not offended, and that “we all know what’s going on.”