Bill Clinton Blames "Slanted Press Coverage" for Obama's Delegate Lead

(CBS)
From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

LOUISVILLE, KY. -- If it wasn't the night before the Kentucky and Oregon primaries, it would have been a standard Hillary Clinton speech. She talked about health care. She talked about jobs. She talked about bringing broadband to communities that don't have it. She talked about all of the issues she's talked about for the past nine months -- everything you can read about on her website or see her say on YouTube.

She had all of the lines the crowd loves to hear. Getting the "two big oilmen out of the White House."

"I don't understand what people didn't like about the 90's, was it the peace or the prosperity?"

And the other crowd favorite, not being able to wait for "the day when that moving van pulls away from the White House and heads back to Texas."

However, the Clintons know that their audience isn't just the crowds of voters hearing these lines for the first time – it's national media who have heard her speeches hundreds of times, some of whom travel for months with the campaign and report anything new about what Clinton says on the road.

But the only new thing the Clintons had to say on primary eve came from her husband, who accused the press of not caring about the needs of voters and favoring other candidates over his wife.

Bill Clinton echoed statements Hillary herself made in the past few days, verifying that attacking the media has now become a Clinton campaign talking point.

"Every time you turn on the television and you listen one of those people dissing her, they all have a college degree, they've all got a new job, they've all got healthcare, and they're not going broke putting filling up their gas tank," said Bill Clinton.

Just two days before, Hillary Clinton told a crowd in Mayfield, Ky., "All those people on TV who are telling you and everybody else that this race is over and I should just be, you know, graceful and say 'Oh it's over' even though I've won more votes. Those are all people who have a job. Those are all people who have healthcare. Those are all people who can afford to send their kids to college. Those are all people who can pay whatever is charged at the gas pump."

Around 1,300 supporters – mostly women – came out to see Hillary Clinton speak last night in Lexington on the eve of the Kentucky primary when her husband came out to give her introduction, which he called "the easy job."

"Just remember, all these people who are telling you it's over..." instructed the former president as several women began to scream "No!" in protest.

"First of all, by their own admission, this has been the most slanted press coverage in American history. Secondly, they declared her dead more times than a cat's got lives."

He went out to point at poll numbers in New Hampshire, which many media outlets reported early on to show Clinton could lose the race. In the end, the polls were proven wrong, with Hillary Clinton winning that state's primary in early January.

Clinton said the same thing had happened in West Virginia, claiming the "people on television" had told voters in that state to stay at home.

"People in West Virginia didn't appreciate being talked to like that," he said.

Bill Clinton finished his introduction of his wife with an anecdote he has used on the road while campaigning for during the past few weeks, saying his daughter Chelsea called to tell him she told a questioner "yes" when the person asked if her mother would be a better president than her father.

"She said, 'They asked me a direct question and I gave them a direct answer,'" Bill Clinton recounted.

Hillary Clinton later hugged her husband after his remarks, calling him her "number one campaigner in chief."

While he does not have any version of such a title officially with her campaign, it appears Bill Clinton has had an influence on Hillary's new volleys at the media. On May 10th, ABCNews.com reported that Bill Clinton had began taking shots at the media while visiting Ripley, WV.

"They make a lot of fun of me because I like to campaign in places like this, they say I have been exiled to rural America, as if that was a problem. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be here than listening to that stuff I have to hear on television, I'd rather be with you. There is a simple reason: You need a president a lot more than those people telling you not to vote for her."

The Clintons seem to think attacks on the media gave a big boost to Clinton's double-digit win over Obama in West Virginia, and they're trying to make the same case in rural parts of Kentucky with the same voters as those who put them way over the top last Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton made similar statements about television critics in Mayfield, Prestonsburg, and Loretto, Ky. - all with large populations of blue-collar, white working families. She also ran a television ad in Kentucky going after members of the media including Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Tim Russert, and one of Bill Clinton's former staffers, George Stephanopoulos.

Hillary Clinton will hold an event tonight in Louisville after the results of Kentucky's primary, which she is expected to win over Obama.