Bill Clinton tried to dispel any bad blood between him and presidential hopeful Barack Obama in an ABC interview Monday.
“I never was mad at Senator Obama — I think everybody’s got a right to run for president who qualifies under the constitution,” the former President said.
Clinton’s ‘off-the-cuff’ comments in January, in which he seemingly dismissed Obama as the “black candidate” by comparing his presidential campaign to that of Jesse Jackson’s historical campaigns back in 1984 and 1988, upset Obama supporters. In light of Jesse Jackson’s recent off-the-cuff remarks about Obama, Clinton insists, “I am not a racist. I never made a racist comment and I did not attack him personally.”
“You can argue that nobody is ready to be president,” Clinton explained. “I certainly learned a lot about the job in the first year. He [Obama] clearly can inspire and motivate people and energize them which is a very important part of being president.”
And with a hint of condescension, Clinton lays to rest any doubts voters may have had about Obama’s competency with the remark, “He’s smart as a whip so there’s nothing he can’t learn.”