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. Di, LA, CA

    After Bush and his Cowboy Presidency what a relief to hear a candidate suggest a reasoned, principled approach to diplomacy. To think a candidate could actually have a rational thought before drivel comes out of their mouth. And my, my a woman at that! Now this WOULD be a welcome change. This would give me HOPE! WAy to go Madame President. Get that Bill over to the Middle East and work out the peace like he did in Ireland after all the years of trouble and terror. CANNOT WAIT TII January '09!

    July 27, 2007 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  2. Mary Smithers, Cleveland, Ohio

    Honestly, I am so proud of Barack Obama, and I am not supporting him or anyone for president yet.

    I have believed for a long time that the Clintons and Bushs are have way too much in common.

    I mean, look at Bill Clinton and the former President Bush. They are tight now, and it is because the Clintons are come from the thinking. Greedy thinking.

    Water seeks its own level!
    Birds of a feather stick together!

    It would be super to have a woman President of the U.S. It WOULDN'T be great to have another greed driven leader.

    Will the people of this country ever get their heads out of the sand? How much more fleecing can the people of this country take?

    July 27, 2007 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  3. P Brown, Oklahoma City, OK

    John King is weak just like most on CNN and MSNBC. He allowed Hillary to define the interview and then concluded his segment stating that you can't go against the Clinton machine. What does that mean exactly? Who is she? Why is it that she is being portrayed as a leader of us all and is able to have her sorry flip-flop shown on TV. Is John King going to interview Barack or is he also dissing the senator? Hillary was beginning to look stupid and when she can't look directly in the camera, which reminds me how she looks when asked a question about Bill or her vote on Iraq, she looks down and if you noticed, tried to speak in this low voice. Even her hair was pulled back to not have her look like a you-know-what. CNN, the who in the world is this guy Jeff Toobin, Candy Crawley, and now John King, are worthless reporters. They are doing the same no reporting that was done leading up to the Iraq war. I am a black female and proud democrat who will never vote for Hill. She is condescending and overly programmed. I'm so sad to think we will have another republican in the white house. My party has made a deal with the devil.

    July 27, 2007 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  4. Anonymous, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Voting for Clinton or Obama or any other oligarch is silly. I am an American living in Canada and am fed up with our political system. We need an 'independent' force. Clinton is old money and Obama doesn't stand a chance with "hope" in an environment that has been hampered for so long by dark forces.

    Ron Paul 2008! - and I represent a bunch of American Canadians who will not return until a real Presidency puts America back on the map. The discussion of politics from a Canadian viewpoint looks rather "silly" – even as Americans, we watch at how pathetic the media coverage is and how soft news blinds the real issues.

    There is far too much "noise" on personalities and "soft issues" and not about REAL issues. Americans have lost hope and the two-party system is completely flawed.

    AMERICANS WAKE UP or watch our great nation fall...

    July 27, 2007 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  5. Anonymous

    It became "silly" as soon as Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for President of the United States.

    July 27, 2007 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  6. Toxic,Richmond Virginia

    It doesn't really matter if these two clowns get along or not, America is not dumb enough to elect a Socialist to the White House. True Americans see the star and stripes as their flag, where liberals see the white flag as theirs. Damn it sucks to be a democRAT!

    July 27, 2007 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  7. simon nairobi kenya

    I think America is on the correct direction if they elect Obama.This is contributed by the fact that Obama is ready to negotiate with world leaders who are not in good terms with America,so to reduce the mentality of many people that America is behind all sort of problems in the world.The mistake you can do is to elect Clinton to finish Bush home work.

    July 27, 2007 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  8. HillTexDem

    Obama is showing his very obviously severe frustrations way too early, as expected. I have had no doubt she is walking away with the Democratic nomination and the Presidency but how much easier can Obama make it for her? His $$$ isn't helping him, it never will. He is Democratic "light". He has no experience on the world stage and it's showing, in the worst light. How does anything he say like this uphold his politics of hope?
    Is he MAD?
    Good going, Obama, go ahead and "try" to tear the Democratic party apart so early in the process. Naive is as naive does.

    Hillary! You just keep going girl!

    Damn the naysayers and full steam ahead!!

    All Obama does is add steam to her allready unbeatable camapign. How terrifyingly small the man has become. A real shame really. Side's, it's not like she can't take it, she's been taking low blows and come back stronger. Is that fact lost on you Obama?

    July 27, 2007 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  9. Billy L.A. California

    We need more female candidates.

    July 27, 2007 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  10. lora pittsburgh

    LaValle, when will people like yourself get over and get off of the old news about how Hillary voted on the war?? Her answer was not brushed under the rug either. It is folks like yourself who do not have anything else to stab her with so you keep going back to that vote. Even If you only have an ants worth of brains in your head then you will be able to comprehend the simple fact that Sen. Clinton voted for the War on the conditions Bush promised ALL OF US that he would not go into battle until all other options were exhausted-inspections etc. 90 percent on all Americans dems-Reps equally, agreed with her way of voting, for that matter the republicans were running the show anyway ..and back then, they thought she was such a true,non-partisan, for the people democrat..now the Republicans are putting her down her for it??? This is what really gets me frazzled..How the once kind, positive,uniting, anti-bashing.. Obama, is the one not telling the truth..he keeps shouting from the mountain tops how he had from the beginning voted against the war! But how did he do it?? Obama had no vote at that time.. he wasn't there in the Senate yet! Amazing how no one knows that SIMPLE fact either!!Inexperience=Obama–
    Open your narrow mind and look past the lies of this Evil Bush empire and if you want a democrat in office forget- Barack-HUssein-OBama- He will not happen!
    So start looking forward to a fresh and brighter future! The Clinton years are here again! Thank God!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2007 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  11. Franklin Nobody

    Well, I'm giving my two cents for whatever its worth. Politics always seem so frustrating to me; and as a man who saw real war for nine years; and two of them working strategic war manever in the Medong Delta and the rest other seven years obeying a C.O. now dead who insisted on the most idiot compliance with politicians who did not know what they were talking about; I saw everything and did everything. I know what it's like to be pulled by politicians with their strings simply to appease a disgruntled public. Well, I can't complain. Nonetheless, I was always one to set up the chess board and play every move to take the King. Yet when you take the King; and politicians give the conquered territory back everyone dies for nothing.
    Everyone died for nothing in Viet Nam. Good men who were pulled here and there; and placed there and here had no control over the politicians who were appeasing everyone in the States.
    No doubt, gentlemen, we have the same situation with several important items that must be perceived in their proper light. With Viet Nam we pulled out; and everyone went home knowing that it was over. With Iraq; if we pull out the Taliban or other terrorist rebels will regroup and come here again with another September 11th.
    Therefore I could not vote a Presidential candidate that doesn't see this obvious fact.
    I wouldn't vote for Hillary or Barack. I would want a President who continue the hunt for the terrorist. Look at the videos of September 11th again; and know the pain and anger that I still feel. If I wasn't so damn old I'd re enlist and do what I was trained to do with satisfaction and pleasure showing our troops a few tricks of the trade.

    July 27, 2007 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  12. Slater Granite, Anthem, Arizona

    You know when you are at a loss you pull out the big guns. This country is in such a mess, we need an experienced person (Ms. Hillary Clinton) to perform "damage control"! Obama has great ideas, no doubt. But, we need someone with more tenure to undue all of the damage that has been done by the last leader to the American people....PERIOD!

    I call this one a low blow out of desperation.

    July 27, 2007 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  13. Lina, Houston TX

    It seems the problem with Hillary is she looking foreign policy only in american prespective and not also in from the shoes of other nations. To other nations of the world have a feeling that America feels to be all that and that they are the ones to rule and bully others. Well Hillary aproach highlights this idea. Why are you not showing upfront willingnes to meet with these president despite of there problems? Why is she negative thinking that they will take advantage of their meeting? The Question was not about commiting but rather willingness to meet! Therefore Barack Obamas answer show to americans and mostly to internationals that America is willing to work with them and maybe solve the issues and differences that presently exist. what a great potrait of the American vartues! Telling the world America is a freand and not your enemy. I also believe this is the right heart and boldness of a true leader.

    July 27, 2007 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  14. Trang, Fremont CA

    Well, Hillary seems to be a safe bet because of her experience, and her husband being Bill Clinton, a president that I admired, but after hearing Obama's answer versus Hillary's answer to their approach to talking with foreign leaders who have previously been our enemies, Obama stands out as the real leader who has the real courage, and Hillary just seems weak and cautious – yep, Bush-Cheney lite. It seems she has the same problem.

    I hope Obama wins the primary because I certainly don't want politics as usual.

    July 27, 2007 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  15. Ryan, San Francisco, CA.

    Part of me thinks Obama should back down a bit because she seems to be controlling this argument, but the other part of me thinks that as a candidate for President one can never be too careful – see Kerry and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth – he just didn't take that seriously enough and it cost him a lot of voters.

    July 27, 2007 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  16. Glenda, McEwen, TN

    I encourage everyone to read the Audacity of Hope. I encourage everyone to look at the church that Senator Obama attends, since yesterday he was called a soldier of justice. You should research before you vote for the sound byte. When Bill Clinto was in office, my family was in good shape. My husband lost two jobs due to down sizing through the Bush years. I say, Madame President in 08!

    July 27, 2007 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  17. S. Grothe, Colorado Springs, CO

    I think we have had enough politician that have made a mes of things. "Experieineced" means to me fully corrupted by the system. Give me a neophyte anyday. Career politicians are so divorced from reality that we have to be insane to continue voting for these idiots.

    July 27, 2007 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  18. xax, Balt MD

    I used to like Obama now I'm not so sure. He even qualified what he said in the debate by saying that he wouldn't meet with them the next day that there are certain protocols a president would have to follow. In effect both of them are saying the same thing. They are both willing to meet and talk, but everything has to be tackful. So I don't understand what he keeps complaining about.
    I also don't understand the preoccupation with Hillary's prewar vote. Most of the senate voted that way. Was it a mistake yeah, but everyone makes their best judgment at the time. It doesn't change our present reality. I think the candidates need to focus on what to do now and in the future. The past is the past.

    July 27, 2007 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  19. Thomas Tribble, Jessup MD

    I believe America would be in grave danger to elect Mrs. Clinton at the point in time of our history. We need a strong leader with world appeal, not more of the same (Bush-Cheney propaganda). Barack Obama will bring our country back in focus as not only a world leader, also realign us with other countries who currently see us as bullies, who are unwilling too lend an ear, or be reasonable in our policy.

    July 27, 2007 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  20. WL, Orlando, Florida


    Obama wants to project hope. So why does he always look back at someone else vote some years ago? His repeatedly mentioning his opposition to the war just show again and again that he has NOTHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT, no record of accomplishments to show!

    July 27, 2007 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  21. harish Tekchandani Okemos. MI

    I respect Obama but his lack of experience is showing
    He will kill any chance of getting ahead in the political arena
    Has he forgotten that he had a drug problem and there is a lot of shadowy deals in IL because of his influence.
    What has he done for the minority?
    Talk is cheap

    July 27, 2007 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  22. Mark, Hartford CT

    Hillary has shown by her incredible hypocracy, her total failure to own up to her past decisions, and her riciculous remarks about other Democrats that she is not a leader never mind qualified to be President.

    She is a follower of old time sleazy politics and old ideas which have not worked. She has not presented any new solutions to problems that do not include having the government step in (hey you supporters of Hillary, don't even you laugh when someone says "I'm from the governement, I'm here to help").

    It's time for Hillary and all those like her who refuse to analyze the past, to sit down, shut up, and get out of the way for someone completely different.

    "If you do what you've always done you'll get what you've always gotten".

    July 27, 2007 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  23. Big Al, Chicago, IL

    My Uncle Sal always told me, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Obama knows this too. Smart man.

    July 27, 2007 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  24. Jerry, Tampa, Florida

    Where is the comment from Obama? Hillary can throw all the "barbs" she wants but when somebody stands up to her, she throws out "politics of hope". Did anybody tell her you have to run for President? Did she think she was going to do this unchallenged? She has self anointed herself the next President. Has anybody told this Ice B*%$# you have to run, win your party nomination then win the national election? She counts time as First Lady as experience to run this country? Can anybody not challenge Hillary? I'm glad somebody is standing up to her and putting her in her place. This is not an un-contested Senate seat; here you will have to prove your worthiness to win your party nomination. I am going to laugh when Obama kicks your massive butt back to your Husband and Dog in New York!

    July 27, 2007 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  25. Evan Wynn, Whitewater WI

    I think Hillary needs to remember what John F. Kennedy said: "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."

    Bush has agreed to meet with all these people as long as pre-conditions are met. Hillary has agreed to meet with all these people as long as pre-conditons are met. So what is difference between Bush and Hillary's policy? Only what the pre-conditions are?

    With Obama you get honest answers. As President, I am sure he would take all the proper precautions and his advisors would assist him. Hillary's canned remarks were said to make a point that Obama has less experience than her. Her remarks were not about what she would actually do.

    Now let us look at her experience compared to Obama's. Sure she has a couple more years as a Senator then Obama – no wait he was a state senator for Illinois. She was married to Bill Clinton so she got experience by being next to Bill and spending time in the Oval Office – but if that counts than maybe Monica should run for President? She was often a lot closer to Bill than Hillary and probably spent more time in the Oval Office. If she is worried about getting used by Dicktators, than she does have experience with Bill. Is he using her to get another round in the White House? Does he spend time with her when he isn't in political trouble? No. He spent time with all the other women in his life. It seems like he only used Hillary when he needed cover from the Right Wing Conspiracy. If anyone has a tendency to be naive, it would be Hillary afterall she never could figure out Bill was cheating on her.

    July 27, 2007 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
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