Bill Clinton Angry Over Richardson Betrayal

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2008 11:16 AM

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The day Bill Clinton told Democrats to “chill out” over the primary battle between his wife and Sen. Barack Obama, he apparently gave an angry lecture to California Democrats.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Bill Clinton stunned California’s superdelegates by launching into an angry discussion at the state’s Democratic convention in San Jose on Sunday.

The former president blasted the media, the nomination process, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for endorsing Obama’s presidential campaign.

Richardson endorsed Obama, but Clinton allies said he had promised to endorse Sen. Clinton. As president, Bill Clinton had appointed Richardson as U.N. ambassador and secretary of energy.

Before delivering his speech at the convention, Clinton met privately with about 15 superdelegates in a room behind the convention stage, the Chronicle reported.

As the group moved together for a photo, Rachel Binah, a former supporter of Richardson for president who now backs Hillary, told Bill she was “sorry” that former Clinton campaign manager James Carville had called Richardson a “Judas” for endorsing Obama.

The paper said Clinton exploded: “Five times to my face [Richardson] said he would never do that!”

Clinton then carped about what he called the media’s unfair treatment of Hillary and questioned the fairness of the votes in state caucuses that voted for Obama, according to the Chronicle.

He also asked the delegates what the reaction would be if Obama was trailing Hillary by only one percentage point and people were encouraging him to drop out of the race.

“It was one of the worst political meetings I have ever attended,” one superdelegate said.

After the tense exchange Clinton went on to deliver his speech, in which he urged Democrats to “chill out” over the race between Hillary and Obama.

“We couldn’t help but think he was also talking to himself,” one delegate told the Chronicle.

When Binah arrived at home later in the day, she heard a phone message from State Party Chairman Art Torres telling her that Clinton wanted to apologize to her.

Richardson spokesman Pahl Shipley said on Tuesday that the governor had never “guaranteed” he would back Hillary.

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