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Clinton: Bill lashes out at Purdum

The same Huffington Post reporter who broke the Obama "bitter" story got a new scoop yesterday of Bill Clinton lashing out at Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum and calling him "sleazy," "dishonest" and "slimy" for his critical magazine article on Clinton. It's worth noting that the HuffPo reporter didn't identify herself as a reporter and said she disliked the article when asking for his reaction.

From the piece: "Tightly gripping this reporter's hand and refusing to let go, Clinton heatedly denounced the writer, who is currently married to his former White House Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers. '[He's] sleazy,' he said referring to Purdum. 'He's a really dishonest reporter. And one of our guys talked to him… And I haven't read [the article]. There's just five or six blatant lies in there. But he's a real slimy guy,' the former President said. When I reminded him that Purdum was married to his former press spokesperson Myers, Clinton was undeterred. 'That's all right-- he's still a scumbag,' Clinton said. 'Let me tell ya--he's one of the guys -- he's one of the guys that brought out all those lies about Whitewater to Kenneth Starr. He's just a dishonest guy-- can't help it.'"

Bill continued, "'It's just slimy. It's part of the national media's attempt to nail Hillary for Obama. It's the most biased press coverage in history. It's another way of helping Obama. They had all these people standing up in this church cheering, calling Hillary a white racist, and he didn't do anything about it. The first day he said "Ah, ah, ah well." Because that's what they do-- he gets other people to slime her. So then they saw the movie they thought this is a great ad for John McCain -- maybe I better quit the church. It's all politics. It's all about the bias of the media for Obama. Don't think anything about it.'"

"'But I'm telling ya, all it's doing is driving her supporters further and further away-- because they know exactly what it is-- this has been the most rigged coverage in modern history-- and the guy ought to be ashamed of himself. But he has no shame. It isn't the first dishonest piece he's written about me or her.'"

The New York Times: "By the end of the day, Mr. Clinton's aides had issued a statement saying that he had been 'understandably upset about an outrageously unfair article,' but that the language he had used about Mr. Purdum 'was inappropriate and he wishes he had not used it.'"

Reporting from South Dakota, NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli notes that the entire Clinton clan gathered for one last primary-eve rally yesterday evening, with Hillary saying she's counting on a grassroots effort to help her end on a strong note. "We're being outspent four-to-one, but we've had something better than money and TV ads," she said. "We've had thousands of South Dakotans who've gotten up every day and gone to work for us… And you know that by doing your part tomorrow and coming out to vote you send a strong signal that you really want to be included in helping to pick the next president of the United States."
 
Clinton joked that the campaign has been such a "grueling process" that she needed Chelsea to speak for her earlier. And sure enough, later her voice faded once again. "Ah, a long campaign," she said, as Chelsea and not Bill came on stage to relieve her. As she spoke, both parents watched on, faces beaming -- Hillary from the stage, and Bill from the floor off to the side. Hillary Clinton did return to the stage later, though, telling a hot crowd crammed into a building at the W.H. Fairgrounds that tomorrow would be "your day."
 
"What is so great about this campaign is that yesterday I can be in Puerto Rico and today I can be in South Dakota," she said. "It is a privilege and an honor to be part of making history like this. But you know, the campaign isn't an end in itself. The campaign is to nominate the stronger candidate against Senator McCain because that's the only way we're going to win in November."