Testy Bill’s Memory Tested

Oh, Bill, Bill, Bill.

If you’re going to tell someone they’re misquoting you, make sure you’re right. Reporter Mike Memoli caught up with Mr. Clinton today in Pennsylvania and asked him about his remark that Obama played the “race card” after the Jesse Jackson debacle last January.

And, like Hillary’s Bosnia memory, Bill’s remains a bit hazy.

The comment in question came during an interview with WHYY radio. WHYY interview. Host Susan Phillips had asked him whether he would have – considering the reaction – played the infamous Jackson remark differently. Let us remind you of that original comment, made back in January, just before Barack Obama won the South Carolina primary: “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ’84 and ’88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here.”

Many took the remark to be dismissive of Barack Obama’s campaign, particularly because no one had mentioned Jackson. In fact, the response after ABC journo David Wright asked the former President whether it took “two Clintons” to defeat Obama. The Obama campaign was not amused.

As we’ve mentioned, Phillips asked if the comment had been a mistake, which spurred Clinton to respond:

No. I think they played the race card on me. And we now know, from memos from the campaign and everything, that they planned to do it along… I thought the way the Obama campaign reacted was disrespectful of Jesse Jackson… You’ve got to really go something to play the race card with me. My office is in Harlem.

President Clinton later, thinking the line had been disconnected, griped to a friend, “I don’t think I should take any shit from anybody on that, do you?” We do now, Bill.

Here’s the entire Phillips interview: