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. sonya, atlanta, ga

    The old adage keep your friends close and your enemies closer applies here. Well said, President Obama. Clinton is the same old, same old. Where is this experience she has, being first lady and senator. I want a president with the right kind of experience,one with good judgement. Not one who said, I authorized Bush to go to war but I didn't think he would do it. That is being naive.

    July 27, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. african-american Va Beach, VA

    I think Obama is talkimg alot of BS... he lacks the experience to lead this country, and that is so evident by his accusations in his debate..He didn't vote for the wr...ok ...neither did I, but at least senator Clinton, admitted her mistake.. like many Americans, they were all for war after 911... no everybody sees that this wasn't the answer.... typical!!! Obama is full of it, and he talks a good game now... well if he is elected as the president..... he should go ahead and change his name to George Bush III... because that is exactly what you will be getting!!!!

    July 27, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Lisa, Sterling Heights, Mi

    Whether or not is was "naive", at least Obama was willing to answer the question versus going around it. Hillary does not answer any question with a clear, concise response. Obama is young and less experienced. But at least he is willing to LISTEN TO WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS AND ANSWER QUESTIONS DIRECTLY. After reading the transcripts of the past debates, Obama seems to give straight answers. I would rather disagree with someone about their answer than try to figure out what they mean (example Hillary). She is not a straight shooter.

    July 27, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Terri, Buffalo, NY

    We as the public need to decide what we TRULY want. Everyone says that they want a change in the way that government does its business. So here we have Obama, a candidate that is promising to do the governments business differently, and what does the public do? YOU COMPLETELY FREAK OUT!! Personally this is what I want from the debate. Who is going to do things in Washington differently. Even if it doesn't work at least something different was tried. I can't see that talking to others countries will make our current situation worst.

    P.S. Shame on you CNN your are reporting like you are a tabloid paper. stop putting the "spin" on stories and just report the facts honestly. Your spin is just a bad as the spins coming out of the White House.

    July 27, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. Steve, Indianapolis, IN

    I'm starting to think Hillary would actually be WORSE than Bush! She is just as bad about manipulating the truth, as evident in this squabble, her recollection of her war vote, and basically everything she stands for! I really hope democrats wake up and realize that people HATE her, that she'd never win the general election. Only democrats are so bad at politics that they can have a grand slam set up for them then just hit into a double play by nominating Hillary...

    July 27, 2007 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. A. Perez, Albany, NY

    Hillary and Staff,
    This is not the way to get you votes. You are crashing. EVERYONE understood what Sen. Obama stated. I have not decided on who will receive my vote; but this is certainly not the way to the folks I have spoken to nor mine.

    July 27, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. BKK, GA

    This Obama is a snake oil salesman. If he is so opposed to War on Iraq he should have voted against $301 billion funding for Iraq war. Why did he vote for it now blaming Mrs. Clinton on it. I think he is forgetting what he said to David Remnick "senators who saw intelligence reports on Iraq may have been justified in voting for the invasion. 'I didn't have the benefit of U.S. intelligence,' he said. 'And, for those who did, it might have led to a different set of choices.'
    He also said, "he was not sure whether he would have voted against the resolution had he been in the Senate" to NYTimes. People this guy is unreal. I don't believe a word this guys says. Atleast we know how Clinton regime.

    July 27, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. Akilok

    Obama's trash-talk is beginning to show because the polls are not changing in his favor. I agree that the Bush-Chenny Lite trash was the silliest deconstructive remark Obama could make knowing that America has always known Hillary's position regarding Bush's foreign policy.

    July 27, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. Shawn, Stafford VA

    Hmmm, these comments are coming from a female democrat who used to be president of the Young Republicans and wrote a paper extolling the virtues of Socialism. Hillary seems to change her stance according to what pops up highest in the polls. I'd rather have someone steadfast like Obama or Edwards than a slick, mealy-mouthed poser.

    July 27, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Cole, Durham NC

    The more I hear Obama talk the less and less I like him. I started on the Obama train but have since come over to support Clinton. Something about him rubs me the wrong way.

    July 27, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Bridget, Chicago, IL

    Okay, let's remember that this is politics. Trading shots like this is part of getting elected, unfortunately. Even the most talented, intelligent, experienced leaders have to play this game to get elected. That being said, Hillary made a completely valid point in the debate. While she is less charismatic than Obama, she is far more prepared to be president. It's near impossible to debate that the other way.

    July 27, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. Michael, Plainfield, NH

    When Hillary said she would "engage with the world" did she actually mean, the world that her advisors tells her exists? What actual foreign leader selection experience does she have? She's completely out of touch like Bush/Cheney.
    Additionally, as the scandals mount in this administration do we really need to bring back all of Hillary's?
    I'm very much for a woman president, just not this one.

    July 27, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Cat

    Hillary is a Bush Lite. Go Obama.

    July 27, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. Will - Miami, Fl

    I'm a conservative but, you know what? I think Obama has a point: It seems to me that the "top tier" candidates from both parties would equally screw up America more than it already is. These politicians like President Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary, McCain, Giuliani are SO out of touch with the American people, American history, the Constitution, and the basic ideals of our founding fathers that I think they ARE all alike. The only difference is how much the wealthy are taxed.

    It's time to fire them all and elect REGULAR EVERYDAY people.

    July 27, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Matt, Albany, GA

    We don't need smoke and mirrors, we need an honest-to-God down and dirty politician to be President.

    July 27, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Julia, Atlanta GA

    Great. How much longer until she pulls out the old and busted "Threatened by a strong woman" line? There are so many people in America who respect strong women – and would love to see one take the White House – but simply do not agree with Mrs. Clinton's point of view.

    July 27, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. bpddaddy, Folsom, CA

    From a man in CA, Hilary just lost any hope of getting my vote. In '98 I sent her a note asking her to run for President, now she's shown it shouldn't be her. Mr. Obama now has my vote.

    July 27, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Jess, Madisonville, KY

    Hillary started this whole thing!?!? YOU ALL ARE SOOOOOOOO BIAST! Always reporting like Hillary Clinton is a shoe-in. Are you scared because you are starting to realize BARACK OBAMA has a great chance at the Presidency?

    July 27, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Mick, Boston, MA

    Obama simply does not have enough experience to be President. I like him and would consider voting for him in the future but at this point he does not seem to have a clue in terms of foreign policy. He says he is not afraid to lose the PR war- but with these countries all we have is the PR war. If we lose it we have no choice but real war.

    July 27, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Dave, Morgantown WV

    We don't need another political dynasty candidate Bush..Clinton...Bush...Clinton. We need fresh ideas. I believe Bush/Clinton brought us NAFTA and they supported invading IRAQ. I guess she really is Bush Lite.

    July 27, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. H NY,NY

    What is silly is the inability to accept responsibility for votes that led to a war. That is quite Cheney-Bush like if you ask me.

    What is silly is running on the coattails of your husband instead of your own merits.

    What is silly is demeaning the other candidates as you try to remove them from the debates when they bring up valid points about your political views and resume.

    What is silly is the way the people of NY voted you into the Senate without a shred of experience other than being married to a politician.

    The politics of hope started to die and were killed off mostly during your husband's campaigns. Don't act like this is a shock and you are above it when the reality is you are knee deep in the problem.

    The Hillary candidacy is silly. Its just more of the same ole same ole.

    July 27, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Dave Thiemann Saint Robert, MO

    Of course, you could always vote Republican!

    July 27, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. Daniel, Pittsburgh, PA

    Hillary's use of the word "silly" when refering to a fellow democrat is least diplomatic. Reminds me of Bush-Cheney use of such words as "axis of evil" and belittling presidents of "enemy" countries. If she thinks Obama is silly and says it loud then she has justified Obamas comments on being Bush-Chenney like. I dont know what she will call chavez in public. That is diplomacy of the past. Hillary simply does not bring change in the diplomatic front.

    July 27, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Sabi Kanani, Dallas TX

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely be voting for Hillary if she reigns as the Democratic nominee, but she is the queen of spin and I think the party has better suited candidates. Besides her perfection of spinnery, my only other qualm with Hillary is in her other talent of coat tail riding - her husband that is. I’m such a huge fan of self-made people (e.g., Edward, Obama, Bill Clinton…etc)

    July 27, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. Dave, Lexington Kentucky

    Amazing...Hillary's campaign started this "silly" thing and is now trying to take the high road. She wants this so bad that I expect to see her sacrifice her daughter to get it...

    July 27, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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