July 27th, 2007
10:47 AM ET
7 years ago

Clinton calls Bush-Cheney comparison 'silly'

Watch Clinton’s latest comments on her spat with Obama, only on CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton sharply dismissed Thursday a recent suggestion from chief rival Barack Obama that she is “Bush-Cheney light,” telling CNN the comparison is “silly.”

“You know, I have been called a lot of things in my life, but I have never been called George Bush or Dick Cheney certainly,” Clinton told CNN’s John King.

“You know you have to ask whatever has happened to the politics of hope,” Clinton added, in reference to the Illinois Democrat's familiar campaign theme.

The two leading Democratic presidential contenders have been locked in a war of words following the CNN/YouTube debate Monday, when Obama said he would be willing to meet with controversial world leaders during his first year in office. Clinton, in response to the same question, said she would only meet with such leaders after a set of preconditions.

“I don't want to see the power and prestige of the United States president put at risk by rushing into meetings with the likes of [Venezuelan president Hugo] Chavez and [Cuban president Fidel] Castro and [Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad,” Clinton told CNN Thursday. “I think we have to be absolutely clear that we are going to engage with the world, that we are not afraid to have diplomacy.”

The New York Democrat also brushed aside suggestions the Democratic primary race was getting overly negative too early.

“I think that we do have some disagreements, and those are obviously going to start coming out because this is a very intense period, for the primaries,” she said. “But I welcome that debate, because I think that we want Democratic voters to get to know as much about each of us as possible, to know where we stand on issues, how we would approach the important concerns we'll face if we are president.”

Defending his debate answer earlier Thursday, Obama said, “I’m not afraid to lose the P.R. war to dictators. I’m happy to look them in the eyes and say what needs to be said… I don’t want Bush-Cheney light.”

- CNN Chief National Correspondent John King contributed to this report

soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. Brian, Fort Worth, TX

    Hillary is a neurotic, divisive, manipulating politician. I am sorry so many are caught in her spell. I, for one, will vote for Obama. He is a true advocate for the change this country so desperately needs right now.

    July 26, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. Ryan, Los Angeles CA

    Dave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (July 26, 2007 5:04 pm) makes very valid points... it's unfortunate that news organizations don't inform the American public on such matters. When voting day comes around, most American's are truly ignorant of what qualities, skills, and ethics matter most for the next President of the United States, and subsequently vote for the wrong candidate.

    July 26, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. Marsha, Portland, OR

    Actually, Obama started the whole thing when he was two ignorant about politics and international diplomacy to KNOW how to answer the question. And to say that Hillary Clinton – one of the biggest critics of the Bush administration is Bush-Cheney light is RIDICULOUS and SILLY. Obama is a baby who can't say anything other than, "I didn't support this war from the beginning." To this, I say, "I don't care because you weren't there to vote for it." He needs to get off his high horse. The only HOPE he inspires in me is the hope that Hillary Clinton wins the primary. Anyone – Mr. Obama – who compares themselves to Reagan does not deserve to win the democratic primary. GO HILLARY!

    July 26, 2007 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. Ryan, Los Angeles CA

    For all of those people who are basing their arguments on Hillary's vote for the war, you're all fools. Who didn't want the war right after 911 when we were lied to by our current president? Hindsight is 20/20.

    July 26, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. rev marvin e purser, jr

    When your neighbor has been angry with you for decades because you own 70% of the neighborhood's resources, and the rest of the block has to live on the other 30%,...
    getting elected and then calling him on the phone the next day and saying, "Hi!, thought we ought to get together and talk," is a diplomacy that isn't as productive as what Hillary?
    Be specific. Your neighbors are hungry, angry,and dangerously resentful! That's why they are coming over here with their pockets full of grenades!

    July 26, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. Ryan

    Obama is a breath of fresh air, Hillary is a puppet just like Bush, Bill, and Reagan all were. Obama stands for change, honesty and integrity. We need more Obama's in our government. I am definitely voting for Obama.

    Please America do not complain about how corrupt our politicians are and then bash someone like Obama who is calling out the collusion participants. Turn off the TV, and read books! Think for youself!

    July 26, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. Brian, MN

    You can really tell about the canidate by the people they have speaking for them. Hillary has the same type of misleading scum around as Bush.

    July 26, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. Sue, Wauchula, Fl.

    Same old same old regressing to the past. It's amusing that the actions of Bill clinton could even be compared to the likes of GWB. Having said that, Obama's lack of experience and over zealous eager to please whatever just popped right out. Thus, a week later, attempts at clean up still prevail. Senator Clinton is right....silly, silly, silly. Shame!

    July 26, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  9. Peter, Chicago, IL

    Obama is getting frustrated that the polls are not changing despite his monies, Fact is, Clinton is experienced and very smart – he can't change that. He is really going below the belt. This is pathetic.

    July 26, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Jim. Boston, MA

    It is abundantly clear that Barack Obama is not ready to be President of the United States. Not even close.

    July 26, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. Colie Brice, Bradley Beach, NJ

    Go to hell Hillary, give her hell Obama!

    What's wrong with facing issues head on?

    Kucinich does it all the time..

    July 26, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. SweetWilliam/WildBill Rock Hill SC

    To refer to anyone, as “Bush Cheney Lite” is an attempt to smear whoever is referred to as a version of an administration that all who are democrats fervently hope and pray will be gone with the next election. To refer to any democrat, not just Hillary Clinton, as “Bush Cheney Lite” is nothing but an attempt to smear. And “Bush Cheney Lite” is a smear.
    Obama can and should do better than this.

    July 26, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. Sandra, Louisville, KY

    Both Hillary and Obama are corporatists...they will support big business over the common man, woman and child every time. The real issues are healthcare, energy, jobs, immigration, and especially poverty. In my humble opinion, John Edwards is the ONLY candidate that is running a positive campaign that is truly focused on the issues. He's the epitomy of the American "rags to riches" Dream come true...and all around a great role model. Who cares what the corporatists – Clinton and Obama – spit at each other? However, if I had to decide between the two of them which is right in this instance, I'd say Obama. Hillary is advocating the exact same "conditional dialogue" policy of the Bush-Cheney administration. So, let's just call a spade a spade. Obama's comment was correct.

    July 26, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  14. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca


    Good grief... this is going to be a long political season.

    I must say... the Clintons DO have a knack for parsing words.

    July 26, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. BT, Ames, IA

    Reading these posts, I am heartened to see the majority recognizes that Senator Obama is speaking about the issues far more honestly and thoughtfully than Senator Clinton. She may be extremely intelligent, but she lacks integrity. It is difficult to know where she really stands on any issue because she never directly answers questions. This reminds me too much of our current administration, and it makes me seriously doubt her leadership abilities.

    July 26, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. Chris, St. Paul, MN

    This banter is good for both of them... lots of free press. However, I think Clinton is winning as her position is the more nuanced. Obama seems defensive.

    July 26, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I agree with Obama. You're the President of the United States. You may not like Chavez or Castro or Ahmadinejad. But you're supposed to be a world leader.

    July 26, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. James, CA

    Chris, Obama may not have been in the Senate but he WAS very vocal in being against the war. He was running for Senator while the war was still popular but he still had the courage and good judgment to come out against it. His foresight was dead on. Hindsight involves actually reading the facts buddy.

    July 26, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |

    Bottomline- Hillary is ahead in all the polls so he has no choice but to attack her....

    and she is way too smart for him to say it to her face, he would easily lose the debate like he did the other night

    July 26, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  20. TeddyND

    Hilary's popularity is because of Bill and its not because of her record, if it was she would not be leading the polls or be a front runner at all. Hilary's vote for the war and her inability to realize and accept her mistakes makes her a terrible leader. A vote for Obama will also bring the wits of Bill back to the white house. Obama has taking the high road on this debate and will continue to do so. He has spent his life taking the high road on politics. After reading his book you realize that he is the ideal leader for this country. He has experience things that no other candidate can leverage. If we do not elect Obama we will watch this country slip even further in the world. If we want this country to be great again we will elect someone great to lead this nation.

    July 26, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. David, Brooklyn NY

    The whole characterization of this as a big dust up or that it has turned ugly is a pathetic attempt by CNN to make more of a civilized difference of approach into a bigger deal than it is.
    Both candidates have a reasonable, thoughtful approach to foreign policy, and bothe have had decent and reasonable responses to one another's answer to foreign policy questions.
    We should be happy that the Democrats have 2 candidates who are qualified and smart and well spoken.

    July 26, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  22. Mike M Cheshire, CT

    Obama 08! Hillary is so pathetic and naive she is willing to comprose her own beliefs and disort the records of her oppnents. Classic politician...this lady; its great to see she has become exactly what she despised about conservatives during her husband's time in office. Hey, Hllary...can you say, " Vince Foster". Obama hit the nail on head....she is exactly Bush-Cheney lite. Anyone who believes this lady is going to be any different than the current administration, well I have a bridge to sell you...lol.

    July 26, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  23. Tommie W. NH

    Hillary is old news: been there done that. We are so over Clintons. If Bill and Hillary really believe Americans are willing to take them on as the first couple for a second time...lol...well, she is more naive than Obama. I want to win 08' Hillary is not the answer. Democrats haven't we learned our lesson in the past.

    July 26, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  24. david, nyc, ny

    Why so many people hate Mrs. Clinton? Has she done any terribule thing before to let you think she is a witch?

    I haven't seen that Mr.Obama has more experience than Mr. Edwards.

    What Amercian has to face how the new President will bring us out of George Bush's mass.

    The true is that any one of them who won the presidental will take our troop back from Iraq as soon as possible and also make sure Iraq will under control.

    So, we have to know who has the experiece to take care our own problems in here. The health care, more teachers, lower tax, more jobs, and more problems that Bush never ever take care past 6 years.

    lets say, Republican take over house few years later; who can still make sure their promies will still pass by congress?

    Giving you hope and promise don't mean you will get it. Tell me how you will let the promise be true.

    Be smart,don't be emotion.

    July 26, 2007 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  25. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    We should be fair for both. There's no right or wrong, they answered question from their heart. Difference is Obama will meet them first year(he wants to have new experience quickly) , Hillary said make sure by the high level diplomats and then talk with them. Obama's answer is naive from the lack of experience, but Hillary has been 82 Countries, over 35 years experiences, she knew how is world working. Hillary punched Obama first time, but how many times Obama attacked Hillary? Obama wasn't elligible to vote in 2002, but he acts like he was there but didn't vote the war. I watched Obama as much as Hillary, he always bring out war vote, because that is only one thing he can blame her and use her vote for his campaign, except that she is strong, brilliant and serious Leader, she is untouchable. Obama always jab Hillary, this is Hillary's return punch. Obama is upset because he is paranoid with NAIVE because he knew he is inexperienced. Obama deserved it, Obama is naive and fearless, so didn't respect Hillary for many months and many many times, I think this time punch is good answer to Obama and teach him how to respect other candidates.

    July 26, 2007 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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