Donna Brazile Hints Bill Clinton's Obama Attacks Racially Offensive

On Tuesday's The Situation Room, CNN's liberal political analyst Donna Brazile, formerly an advisor to both Bill Clinton and Al Gore, hinted that she was racially offended by some of the former President's recent attacks on Barack Obama. Invoking Clinton's labeling of Obama as a "kid," and his accusation that some of Obama's claims are a "fairy tale," Brazile expressed that, "as an African-American," she found Clinton's comments "depressing." Brazile: "For him to go after Obama using 'fairy tale,' calling him a 'kid,' as he did last week, it's an insult. And I tell you, as an African-American, I find his words and his tone to be very depressing." (Transcript follows)

At about 4:50 p.m., while the liberal Brazile was appearing with conservative talk radio host Bill Bennett during the show's regular "Strategy Session" segment, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer played a clip of some of Clinton's words from earlier in the day, as he described Clinton as "lashing out against the Obama campaign."

BILL CLINTON: You said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution, you said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war, and you took that speech you're now running on off your Web site in 2004, and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since. Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairytale I've ever seen.

Brazile responded that she could "understand his frustration," but that his words were "sour grapes" before she hinted at believing the comments sounded racially offensive.

DONNA BRAZILE: It sounds like sour grapes coming from the former Commander-in-Chief, someone that many Democrats hold in high esteem. For him to go after Obama using "fairy tale," calling him a "kid," as he did last week, it's an insult. And I tell you, as an African-American, I find his words and his tone to be very depressing.

Blitzer soon asked Brazile to elaborate on why she felt, "as an African-American," that "the President's comments weren't appropriate?"

Brazile complained about Clinton's "tone" and contended that if anyone else had made such a statement that she would tell him he "should shut his mouth because he is not speaking in the right tone."

BRAZILE: I think his tone, I think calling Barack Obama a "kid," he's a United States Senator, he's experienced, the people of Illinois elected him, and regardless of what kind of items on his resume, this is a man who has worked all his life. ... I think, for Bill Clinton to go out of his way to become a distraction to Hillary Clinton, and to launch the kind of attacks on Obama is just out of character for Bill Clinton.

Below is a transcript of the relevant comments from the Tuesday January 8 The Situation Room on CNN:

WOLF BLITZER: Here is a clip. We played a little bit of it earlier. I want to just play it for you, what the former President said in lashing out against the Obama campaign.

BILL CLINTON: You said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution, you said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war, and you took that speech you're now running on off your Web site in 2004, and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since. Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairytale I've ever seen.

BLITZER: Were you surprised to hear the former President going at it like that?

DONNA BRAZILE: I can understand his frustration at this moment, but, look, he shouldn't take out all his pain on Barack Obama. It's time that they regroup, figure out what Hillary needs to do to get her campaign back on track. It sounds like sour grapes coming from the former Commander-in-Chief, someone that many Democrats hold in high esteem. For him to go after Obama using "fairy tale," calling him a "kid," as he did last week, it's an insult. And I tell you, as an African-American, I find his words and his tone to be very depressing.

BLITZER: You know, as I said earlier, you have campaign staffers who are supposed to do that kind of talking, whether a Terry McAuliffe or any of the other top people in the campaign, but for the former President to be doing that, it does underscore a certain frustration.

[BILL BENNETT]

BLITZER: But tell me why, as an African-American, Donna, you feel that the President's comments weren't appropriate?

BRAZILE: Well, first of all, if Bill Bennett had said some of the things Bill Clinton is saying about Barack Obama, I would have called Bill Bennett out of his name and said that Bill Bennett should shut his mouth because he is not speaking in the right tone. I think his tone, I think calling Barack Obama a "kid," he's a United States Senator, he's experienced, the people of Illinois elected him, and regardless of what kind of items on his resume, this is a man who has worked all his life. He has proven, he's been a college professor, I don't have to give Barack Obama a resume, I'm not for anyone at this point. But I think, for Bill Clinton to go out of his way to become a distraction to Hillary Clinton, and to launch the kind of attacks on Obama is just out of character for Bill Clinton. I think it's time that he helps Hillary talk about her message and not go down this road.