June 27th, 2007
10:38 AM ET
7 years ago

Obama: Bill, not Hillary, prepared to be president on 'day one'

Watch Obama's comments on the Clintons.

CHICAGO (CNN) - Presidential contender Barack Obama says he's not questioning rival Hillary Clinton's qualifications, though he notes only her husband is "prepared to be president on day one."

His comments came Monday night as the two leading Democratic candidates both raised money in Chicago in the final week of second quarter fund-raising.

A reporter asked Obama about the Clinton campaign touting her experience at recent events.

"The only person who is probably prepared to be President on day one is Bill Clinton, not Hillary Clinton," Obama said. "I think we're all very qualified for the job. The question is who can inspire the nation to move beyond the politics that have bogged us down in the past."

The Illinois senator claimed his candidacy would be stronger at "bridging some of the divides that have blocked progress on health care, blocked progress on energy. That's what we're interested in - not repeating the same old fights but trying to bring about a new consensus that move this country forward."

Meanwhile, former President Clinton sent a fund-raising e-mail Tuesday for his wife's campaign that used the same "day one" phrase. In the message, Clinton wrote, "America is ready for change, and we need a president ready to lead on day one. Ready to end the war in Iraq and restore America's standing in the world." Later in the message, he said, "Hillary is the best candidate for president because she'll stand up for them - she already does every day in the Senate."

A campaign spokesman said the e-mail was pre-planned, and was "absolutely not" a response to Monday night's words. Asked about the Obama remarks, the spokesman said, "no comment."

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Kathie, Spring, TX

    Obama is right on one hand – Bill Clinton is the only one who could stepin right now & know what to do. We had 8 years of prosperity, good foreign relations etc. As to "What Clinton did to All THOSE WOMEN"!! Jeez give me a break. Every stinkin one of them knew he was married so I don't buy into this "Poor Me crap". And as for the women of this country, his lying about a BJ did not affect me one bit. What has affected me is this idiot lying about the reasons our men & women are dying in Iraq. So you tell me – was this IDIOT worth it???

    Let's see what the result of "lack of experience" buys us:

    1 – Largest National Debt
    2 – Normal Unemployment
    3 – Above Average Foreclosures
    4 – Highest Gasoline Prices
    5 – Highest Ignorant High School Grad Rate – so much time is spent on testing
    6 – More Scandels than Previous Admin
    7 – Illegitimet War
    8 – Broken Healthcare system
    9 – Broken Immigration system

    etc etc etc. This is what happens when you buy, lie, cheat & steal your way into office.

    And I could go on.

    June 27, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. RightyTighty

    And I could go on.
    – Kathie, Spring, TX

    Yes please do Kathie, your account is astounding. By the way, did you graduate last year too?

    June 27, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    What was he thinking?! That is a sexist remark that should alienate half of America. Tsk. Tsk. His inexperience will cost him.

    June 27, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Peggy, Michigan

    Bashing President Bush can only get the Hillary Clinton and her supporters so far. The American people are tied of this already and it's just June. Lorraine is right, trying to play the sexist card is just as bad as trying to play the race card. This back and forth is going to turn off the voters and that is exactly what the Clintons want to happen.

    The hateful comments by Clinton supporters regarding President Bush is just what they tried to do the ALL THOSE WOMEN, just like Frances said earlier.

    The Clintons want to confuse the voters so they will try to destroy both Edwards and Obama. They will do anything to return to the White House. Remember Vince Foster and Ron Brown.

    June 27, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Connie, Louisville, Tn.

    Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who is strong enough to handle the problems that will be inherited from this administration. Obama would be a great Vice-President.

    June 27, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Kim, Mpls., MN

    Connie, Louisville, TN

    We're NOT going to fix the problems of this administration by electing a polarizing President. Nothing will get done and we'll continue to be in the same mess we're already in. Change is required and only a figure that can bring us together will move this country forward.

    June 27, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I have a feeling that this guys mouth will be his un-doing.

    June 27, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Shardule, Boston, MA

    Paul, I disagree with you. Senator Obama has sponsored solid legislation. Here is a link to those pieces:


    I hope you take a look. I believe that Senator Obama should not have made those potentially misinterpreted comments, but his statement that President Clinton is suitable for the presidency more so than anyone in this race right now is the truth.

    Senator Obama said both him and Senator Clinton are qualified. Let's leave it at that!

    June 27, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. LoooseyGoosey

    Obama and Hillary both say they are for Universal HealthCare. Universal being the key word here because both also believe in open borders to all.

    Lets compare that to the UK's National Healthcare System which is in complete shambles. Just zip on over to the BBC's complaint forum if you believe otherwise.

    Over there politicians are deciding which drugs are reasonably cost effective, not doctors. New drugs for things like Alzheimer's, HIV, diabetes, etc, etc are severely scandalized and often not available under their NHS. Not to mention their capped liabilities on suits for even the most complete incompetence.

    So Obama and Hillary, what drugs will not be allow under your UHS and will we also not be allowed to sue for reasonable damages when cost overruns the benefits of your UHS??

    June 27, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Jim, Providence, RI

    RightyTighty said:
    "Yes please do Kathie, your account is astounding. By the way, did you graduate last year too?"

    Are you afraid of her youth, her intelligence, or her facts? Your thinly vieled sarcastic drivel furthers nothing. Besides, your "facts" are all spin:

    Ummm.., let see:
    1)Largest tax cut in history
    – This increased the class divide, giving more money to the ppl. WITH money

    2)Shortest recession in history
    – Largest increase in personal debt, and the minimum wage has barely kept up with inflation.

    3)Low unemployment
    – But the jobs that people DO have aren't paying enough to get them out of poverty.

    4)Longest economic boom in history
    – Greatest disparity between the Upper and Lower class since the Gilded age.

    5)Highest home ownership in history
    – Highest personal debt in history (see above)

    6)Accountability in public schools
    – I hope you aren't referring to "Every Child Left Behind"...

    7)Judicial legislating dead on arrival
    – Did you see the recent S.C. decisions? Free Speech, straight down the drain.

    8)Budget deficit below 2%
    – The deficit is the HIGHEST IT HAS EVER BEEN.

    Have a good one.

    June 27, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Linda, Chandler AZ

    Oh, please....his comment was neither sexist, nor an "attack". Hillary has been criticizing Obama on this issue since day one and it just won't work. Barack Obama is more than intelligent and experienced enough to lead this country. Period. Every poll out there says that HE is the only candidate that can beat any of the top republican candidates in the general election. Quit squabbling and get your facts straight or the end result will be another Republican administration. God help us if that happens.

    June 27, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. DJ, Los Angeles

    Clinton political strategy is to divide and conquer.

    Bill did it in '92...I watched Hillary bash his rival Jerry Brown by calling him a sexist saying what does he expect me to do, stay home and bake cookies.

    Brown attacked their political view and that was Hillary's response regarding her role a lawyer in AR.

    That is in a nutshell the whole Hillary Clinton campaign strategy...just as Bill did in '92.

    Avoid any real talk on the issues and just label the opponent as sexist OR simply attack the opposition party...to again avoid the issues.

    June 27, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Jeff STL

    I love how Bush gets up there and says he wants Muslim extremists to stop using Violence and yet he's coordinated the most hastily and unprepared war in the history of this country.

    June 27, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Ms. Latta

    This child just lost my vote.

    June 27, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. alex

    He is right.

    We don't want to relive old fights. We want to turn the page and move forward.

    Hillary is not more ready to lead than Obama.

    June 27, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. Donna Raleigh, NC

    Please help me understand why people would want to continue the Bush/Clinton Dynasty??? I am really tired of politics as usual. We need someone with new and fresh ideas. Someone from the people and for the people. It disgusts me when I hear about people supporting candidates that are against the war, but they supported the war initially. Obama did not support the crap that Bush fed to us. I remember him saying we need more info about Iraq before we go in. We need someone who makes decisions by getting all of the facts even if it is an uncomfortable situation.

    June 27, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    Obama's only claim to fame is that he didn't vote for the war and spoke out against it when others voted for it. After a while that gets old. Hillary and the rest of the country supported the war based on the information at that time.

    Obama's comments show a complete lack of understanding as to the power Hillary has in affecting real change, which is needed. I could go on and on about what Hillary has done as a Senator, but let's talk about what this country needs to move forward. We need someone who will unite the world and restore America's reputation abroad before the current president and his pary allow what's happening in Iraq to potentially escalate to a region war and a nuclear arms race. Hillary is a known, respected individual in the world that will come into the Presidency with a lot of support abroad. She has more foreign policy exposure and acceptance then any candidate. On Day One she is the only one ready to lead, qualified to lead and respected enough to be taken seriously.

    Obama will come to learn that a best-selling book, a pretty face, some nice but hallow speeches won't get you anywhere. Obama is and has always been the media's darlling, but when it comes to substance there's nothing there and the comment he made here about Hillary is proof of that.

    June 27, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Erik, New York

    It is obvious that everyone writing comments on politician’s statements are truly rooting for the candidate they believe is best for the job. Every one hates or supports a candidate based off her or his beliefs. With that said I am an Obama supporter! I believe all of the anti-Obama, Clinton, Giuliani, Romney who ever… voters and media outlets jump on statements like this so people like us are driven to their sites and news stations to improve their ratings and website hits for their advertisers. It all about money! I like CNN but the way this was handled was not cool! The man clearly meant Bill Clinton has the experience and then rest of the presidential candidates including him self will have to learn it on the job! This makes senses because NONE OF THEM HAVE BEEN PRESIDENT BEFORE! He was not insulting anyone! I also like that he has a plan and has the sense to work with the right persons for the job be them Democrat or Republican. A chief executive needs to do this well in order to get things done to benifit all. This is why I like Obama. He tells the TRUTH! He doesn’t sugar coat things. He is a great role model and inspires me to contribute to the world. My respect for him as well as all of the candidates grows more. Even if he does not win (which I pray he will) he has done some real good. No matter which candidate you support, being the president of this great nation is not an easy job. I pray God bless them all! I hate it when the whole statement is not reported correctly! These tactics only divide the nation even more and like suckers we eat it up. As soon as any polititan opens their mouth all of the spin-doctors, bloggers and pun dents can wait to start typing. Are we so angry and gullible that we need to attack each other so easily? Lets not fall into the traps of the money devils and fight each other over nonsense. Are we children or adults? The only ones who are truly swiping at each other are us! Please use common senses and stop letting Wall Street and personal grips drive us apart.

    June 27, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. warsnottheanswer

    yet he’s coordinated the most hastily and unprepared war in the history of this country.
    – Jeff STL

    I guess you skipped that history lesson on D-day. 10,000 troops lost in a single day, not to mention the disasterous practice session that was hidden from the public. And now look whats over there. What a waste...

    June 27, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Matt Houston, Texas


    Please enlighten me on what exactly Hillary Clinton has achieved on her own? I would love to know. So far nobody who supports her has said one good thing she will bring.

    June 27, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. C. Leddy, Vancouver, BC Canada

    If Bill Clinton is prepared to be President, then Oprah is expecting to be first lady.

    June 27, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Tim, Los Angeles, CA

    I would be more impressed with Hillary if she had shown more backbone and less political ambition when dealing with Bill, she should have dumped his sorry ass years ago. Bill made a great pres but a lousy husband. She took his crap to keep her in the WhiteHouse, not save her mariage. That's enough to prevent me from voting for her.

    Now, back to my craigslist search for a cork big enough to fit Ann Coulters mouth.

    June 27, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Obama is spot on. The nation is so tired of red vs blue... we desperately need a LEADER that can serve as a unifier, not afraid to speak candidly on the issues.

    Hillary won the liberal stronghold of NY. Obama won the much more conservative state of IL largely on his ability to respect the conversative voters and work together.

    June 27, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  24. Arlen Bradley, Grnad Prairie, Texas

    Put your votes to better use: Vote for Dennis Miller.

    June 27, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. Kristin, Hillsboro Oregon

    Tsk, tsk Obama. I don't think your comment was racist, sexist or stupid. However, you should have included your name alongside hers when the comment was made. Careful, man. Us women are going to be the deciding vote. We are tempermental and you piss us off, we go the other way to show you how mad we really are. No-one has my vote yet because I'm still looking for congress to get something done. Why don't you all do your jobs first, then concentrate on future public life. Neither one of you has a good voting record, due to stupidity or longevity. Why don't you people work on passing a bill that says you can't run for the Presidency if you currently serve in another branch of government. You all look to grab the brass ring without getting anything done first. GET TO WORK!!!

    June 27, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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