In some of his most extended comments since his wife gave up her presidential bid, former President Bill Clinton allowed that he regrets some of the things he said during the Democratic primaries, but strongly denied he made racist comments.
Clinton, who is in Africa with his private foundation's work on AIDS, also told ABC's "Good Morning America" today that he believes Hillary Clinton faced a double standard in news coverage.
Asked whether he blames himself for his wife's loss, Clinton replied in part, "There are things that I wish I'd urged her to do.
There are things I wished I said, things I wished I hadn't said."
He added, "But I am not a racist. I never made a racist comment and I didn't attack him personally."
Clinton was criticized for comparing Obama's victory in South Carolina to that of Jesse Jackson, which Obama's supporters perceived as belittling Obama's accomplishments. The former president also complained that Obama's campaign had played the "race card" against him.
In the interview aired today, Clinton said he believed that the media covered his wife more harshly than Obama. "A different standard was applied to the finest candidate I ever supported," he said. He declined to elaborate, saying, that spending time on such recriminations "interferes with the issue, which is who should be elected in November."
Clinton declined to comment on whether he thought Obama should pick his wife as his running mate and he said he admires how she handled the loss. "She went right back to work," he said.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.