Hillary Clinton: “I Fought Muhammed Ali for the Heavyweight Championship”

April 4, 2008

At a campaign stop in Philadelphia, PA, Hillary Clinton furthered her identification with Rocky, recalling how she once stepped into the ring against Muhammed Ali.

Clinton said that she was sent to fight Ali when no one else would. “They used to say in the White House, if the ring were too small, or the venue too unimportant, or the opponent too fast, send Hillary.”

Recounting the championship bout against Ali, Senator Clinton recalled how she “ducked under a flurry of fists, crouched down and sought refuge on the ropes.” Asked about how difficult it was to staunch the bleeding between rounds, cutman Chelsea Clinton said, “none of your business.”

Responding to a question as to who won the heavyweight championship bout, Clinton called Ali “inept and irrelevant.”

“If he’s a heavyweight, he should have stood there and punched. If he dances and jabs, then he’s a lightweight…..and, he’s also a Muslim, so far as I know.”

Clinton, campaigning for the critical Pennsylvania vote, was criticized for not fighting Joe Frazier, the local hero. “I’m dedicated to health care reform,” said Clinton, “so I was not going to fight a guy called smokin’ Joe.” Asked, then, why she hired Mark Penn, who has done work for the tobacco industry, Clinton said, “ask Chelsea.”