Former US president Bill Clinton has been accused of a racist insult against Barack Obama, his wife Hillary’s triumphant rival for the White House.
Ex-President Clinton allegedly belittled Mr Obama by saying: “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”
His wife Hillary is also said to have wanted to exploit claims about Mr Obama’s drug use, during their battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, a new book claims.
The allegations come just days after the party’s Senate leader Harry Reid was forced to resign over racially-charged comments about Mr Obama.
Mr Reid has apologised for saying the Democrats could benefit because Mr Obama was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”.
Mr Clinton’s comment is said to have come during a phone conversation with the late Democratic senator Ted Kennedy during the Democrats’ nomination battle.
Mr Clinton wanted the party grandee’s support for his wife’s campaign – but the move appears to have backfired, with Mr Kennedy opting to support her challenger instead.
The new book, Game Change, claims: “He phoned Kennedy and pressed for an endorsement, making the case for his wife.
“But Bill then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy.
“Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed.”
The book’s authors, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, were also behind the revelations about Mr Reid’s remarks on Mr Obama, made during the election campaign.
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