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. Dennis Bogard / Indiana

    Senator Clinton began this confrontation by calling Senator OBama naive and he correctly responded by saying she was the one who was naive when she voted to let President Bush take us into this war. The Presidency has very little prestige left after George Bush, however how better to rebuild it than to meet with world leaders face to face and express our position. Senator OBama said he would meet with them not acquiesce to them. "We should never fear to negotiate nor should we negotiate out of fear!"

    July 27, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  2. John Chicago, Il

    I guess Nancy Pelosi was naive when she went to Syria to talk to one of these leaders without pre-conditions and in the first 6 months of her term.

    July 27, 2007 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. geebeebee, Kansas

    Keep it up, Barack! Hill thought she could take a cheap shot, knowing she was twisting the obvious concept of Obama to attempt to get some cheap attention. Now she is paying the price. Obama is exactly right - Hill is playing political Twister and now all limbs are about to collapse as she has straddled left and right. And conceptually, Obama is right...her calling Obama "naive" would have to make Karl Rove smile.

    The ONLY way anything is going to happen (and I'm not sure we're not even too late for that) positively during this EXTREMELY CRITICAL time in this country, is for Obama to win this election. He is the only one making ANY effort to abandon the usual DC-talk on every issue and to change the pathetic political culture of our country.

    I am a STRONG Democrat, and I liked Bill Clinton as President, but I'm telling you, Hillary will be a terrible President. You cannot be a word-mincer and a constant issue straddler and help us right now. Come on, Democrats, how tough is this to understand?

    July 27, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  4. Paul Cooper

    The "politics of hope", Hillary, is the secret hope that many of us have that both you and Obama will be run over by a bus later today so that someone who actually aspires to serve this country, rather than have it serve them, can move to the front of the pack. Please try to make sure John Edwards is standing next to you when it happens.

    July 27, 2007 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  5. Timothy Dee

    One would think that contenders for such an elevated position would not stoop to name-calling. These squabbles give a true insight into the state of American Politics, and it is a sad thing. I was thinking of Obama as true presidential material until he reverted to third grade behavior. It is obvious now why over half the nation's voters refuse to endorse anyone for the high office.

    July 27, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  6. Evan Wynn, Whitewater WI

    If Obama and Clinton are so willing to talk, why are they afraid to debate on Fox Network?

    July 27, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  7. Rod, Media

    A new kind of campaign, huh Obama? Just more of the same politicking. There is certainly nothing fresh about him unless you can count being inexperienced.

    I hope he can actually come up with a campaign platform with some details so we actually have a primary.

    July 27, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  8. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Barack, Hillary,
    I'd be glad to talk to some of those troublesome foreign leaders for you in case you're both shy. I got a nice long rant for Hugo Chavez to start with, and my speech to Castro could never be adequately translated. Then there's Kim in NKorea; I'd probably just stand there and snicker at him instead of lecturing. But yeah, I'd talk to the hostiles, even try to get Limbaugh into treatment.

    July 27, 2007 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  9. Hakim, Boston MA

    I agree with Obama, and I very much respect his decision to stand up for what he believes.

    July 27, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  10. VegasGurl

    We need a breath of fresh air. Politics is dirty laundry that needs bleach. How on earth does Congress get anything done with all the bickering going on? No wonder the country is in a mess. What about all the people losting their homes? Who's doing anything about that?

    July 27, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. Lee, NC

    Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away Ignoring "rogue" states will not make them go away. Instead of pouting, we need to try to resolve some of these trivial issues. We have been mad at Cuba for 50+ years, for something that was our fault to begin with. If you learn the history of the conflicts, you may understand how silly some of them are.

    July 27, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. Keeping it real, Washington DC

    Big picture...

    Obama can not win the National election.

    Hillary is all we got!!

    I'm absolutely fine with that.

    My vote will go to Hillary AND Bill.

    July 27, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  13. scott, n.c.

    Let's be clear: it's easy to say what you "would have done". obama had no vote on the war and in the not-so-recent-past has said that he does not know how he would have voted. that's not a record. furthermore, if he wanted to send a clear message then do not fund the troops. anyone who wants to truly end the war would not vote for any further funding of it. its not anti-american or anti-troops to say "i want to do whatever it takes to bring them home." why not do this? politics. he's playing the same ol' politics so he has the best chance to get elected. its very inconsistent to say you're against the war but yet you keep funding it.

    let's face it, he's gotten a lot of mileage out of a campaign of "hope". its also a campaign without any real ideas, experience, and specific answers to pointed questions. even in the debate he couldn't answer whether he was for or against reparations for blacks: his answer was to focus on education. how about a yes or no? he just has nothing of substance to add to the debates. just a lot of fuzzy words that only resonate with those who believe the commander-in-chief should act like some goofy "saved by the bell high school principal" that everyone should find "nice" and "inoffensive".

    we've seen what an inexperienced former substance abuser has done in the white house. do we need another inexperienced former substance abuser in the white house?

    July 27, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. Wayne, Orange Park FL

    What an inane statement from Obama.

    Is he that far behind in the polls.

    July 27, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. Christopher

    Someone posted,"Stop touting these two as if they were the only two candidates IN THE RACE"...On the contrary...they are the only two IN THE RACE..everyone else democrat or republican arent in the race by even a close margin... I really think that though they are sharing differences during the nomination process, that clearly Obama, would be a sensation on a Clinton ticket.

    July 27, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. E Miller, Boone, NC

    Hillary rocks! She's so level headed and reasonable. She's really down-to-earth. I think she'd make a good president.

    July 27, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. Kevin NH

    Hillarys Top 5 Reasons For President

    – The New York times, Mitt Romney, the Play Boy Mayor from LA and CNN have endorsed me with their glowing coverage.

    – Fox news finally loves me, proof, Rupert Murdoch held a fundraiser for me.

    -The Clinton years were soo prosperous, when we left office, we gave up the house, the senate and the alot of governorships to republicans.

    -I like making people feel good by telling them what they want to hear.I’m told its good for their health. Remember the twang i put on infront of black people.

    -I’m the only one who can end the war in Iraq. I should know because i voted for it. And after finally taking 4 years to read the intelligence report,my experience tells me that what we need now is an exit strategy.

    July 27, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. A Concerned Canadian

    I keep reading and hearing about Hillary Clinton's experience; however it does not come with a list of what she has actually done or accomplished?? Just being there doesn't cut it!!

    July 27, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. BB Hank, Dallas TX

    US presidents should meet with any leaders, no matter how "controversial". Presidents Chavez and Ahmadinijad are democratically elected leaders of their respective contries whether the US likes it or not. Fidel Castro, even though not elected, is the most popular leader that country has had in a century and has not stayed in power without the help of his people.
    Give Obama a big plus.

    July 27, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. Carl, Atlanta, GA

    Come on Sheeple Wake up!!! Do you really see HRC as anything other than a politician?!?! She speaks of experience and lessons learned from the past and I hear More of the Same! Experience and Leadership should have helped her when she voted on the Iraq war resolution, and convictions of morality should have caused her to deny money from the Health Insurance Lobby! Yet we see neither of those things happened. If America wants change and progress then it truly needs progressive ideas! Barrack Obama consistently seems to speak the words that I and others like me are thinking.

    July 27, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    It seems quite clear to me, through reading the varied responses in this blog that most folks could care less about real issues that affect us as a Nation.
    People that tend to support Clinton through their messages have no real basis for doing so, concluding that they seems to believe that the Country will magically return to the way it was when Bill was President. ( Not good)
    Or, simply because she is a woman.
    People talk about Hillary's experience. Experience? Do you actually want to elect an individual that has experience? Experience to me in regards to politics means lies, deceit, propaganda and a good deal of mistrust. Cheney has experience.
    Obama on the other hand at least offers a fresh vision. I see nothing wrong with diplomacy. We're in the quagmire we're in now because of the lack of diplomacy for the past 80 years.
    I've been a Democratic voter all of my life, but this year will be different. I am voting for REAL change.
    Dr. Ron Paul wants to give you your Constitution back. He wants to rid this Country of unnecessary bureaucracy that plagues us. What better offer is there than that? Check it out. Open your eyes and really check out the candidates. I'll be voting Republican this year, but only because Ron Paul is on the ticket.

    July 27, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    "If Obama and Clinton are so willing to talk, why are they afraid to debate on Fox Network?"
    Posted By Evan Wynn, Whitewater WI : July 27, 2007 8:39 am

    I'd be afraid of those folks too. They do more damage to this Country daily than Castro ever did.

    July 27, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |


    July 27, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. Michael Jackson

    We need an intelligent president in the white house. I am so tired of politicians saying the same things over and over. As citizens of this country, we must demand the truth. To this point nobody has stepped up and convinced me they will make a difference. The changes this country needs to make will depend on how well we call all swallow the real truth about what is happening to us as a nation. Until that happens, we will keep hearing the same lies, and sadly, we will keep electing those who lie to us.

    July 27, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  25. Annette La Rosa, West Kingston, RI

    "Power and prestige" are exactly what Hillary Clinton is all about and why she wants to be president. Obama is right in calling her Bush-Cheney light. Our disastrous foreign policy would not change much under her regime.

    July 27, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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