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L.A. Billionaire Ron Burkle Sheds Power Pal Bill Clinton

Los Angeles area billionaire Ron Burkle gave a rare interview to BusinessWeek recently, where he basically ends his close friendship with former president Bill Clinton.


"When Clinton left the presidency he had to make money, and there were certain limits on how he could do it," Burkle tells BusinessWeek. "In that regard, having him work for Yucaipa was the right thing to do. In other ways, it was the dumbest thing I ever did."

BusinessWeek says Burkle hasn't been interviewed in three years, but that's not correct. L.A. Weekly ran its own interview with Burkle less than two years ago on June 12, 2008.

That story, which came when Hillary Clinton was running for president

and touched upon sensitive issues involving husband Bill and the heated rivalry with the Obama

campaign, probably didn't help the souring relationship between the

billionaire and his powerful pal.

"I talked to [the Obama

campaign] two months ago," Burkle told the Weekly, "and I told them I was

tired of all this partisan shit."

When the billionaire was asked if he could deliver labor unions to Obama as some kind of olive

branch, Burkle then said, "That's not what I do ... I don't deliver my

friends." 

Unlike his time during the Clinton Administration, Burkle has not been hanging out much, if at all, with President Barack Obama. The billionaire is now looking to take over Barnes & Noble.


Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.