Obama Calls President Bill Clinton

By Jennifer Parker

Jun 30, 2008 3:54pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller and Sarah Amos Report: Amid reports of tension between Sen. Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, the Obama campaign announced Monday the presumptive Democratic nominee called Bill Clinton at 11amET this morning from Kansas City, Missouri while enroute to his event in Independence, Mo.

This is the first time Obama has spoken to the former president since winning the Democratic Party’s nomination.

The former president was in New York, where he has an office in Harlem and a home in Chappaqua, NY. They spoke for 20 minutes. Obama asked the former president to campaign with him and for him. The Obama campaign said Bill Clinton told Obama he is excited about that prospect.

"Senator Obama had a terrific conversation with President Clinton and is honored to have his support in this campaign," said Obama spokesperson Bill Burton.

"He has always believed that Bill Clinton is one of this nation’s great leaders and most brilliant minds, and looks forward to seeing him on the campaign trail and receiving his counsel in the months to come."

The former president’s office was just as effusive about the call today.

"President Clinton had a very good conversation with Sen. Obama today. He renewed his offer to do whatever he can to ensure Sen. Obama is our next President," said Bill Clinton spokesperson Matt McKenna.

"President Clinton continues to be impressed by Sen. Obama and the campaign he has run, and looks forward to campaigning for and with him in the months to come. The President believes that Senator Obama has been a great inspiration for millions of people around the country and he knows that he will bring the change America needs as our next President."

Over the weekend, Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic National Committee chair and a former national co-chair to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, said the former president would speak to  Obama within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Reports have swirled for weeks about tensions between Bill Clinton and the presumptive Democratic nominee. Reigniting speculation about their relationship, Clinton’s office last week released a one-sentence statement from spokesman Matt McKenna that was dubbed "tepid" by many members of the punditry and media.

During the campaign, Bill Clinton appeared to directly attack his wife’s rival, telling PBS’ Charlie Rose before the Iowa caucuses that voting for Obama is "a roll of the dice." He also said the Obama campaign "played the race card on me" after he likened Obama’s South Carolina win to Jesse Jackson’s in the 1980s, and publicly said Obama’s opposition to the Iraq war was "a big fairy tale."

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