October 2nd, 2007
07:06 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama: Clinton blurring distinctions between us

Watch CNN's Candy Crowley interview Barack Obama Tuesday.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - White House hopeful Barack Obama told CNN Tuesday his early opposition to the Iraq war proves he has the judgment to lead the country out of the conflict, and said the reason polls show voters think rival Hillary Clinton would better handle the issue is because the New York Democrat has successfully blurred the distinctions between the two candidates.

"Everybody had difficult choices to make and these were difficult choices, I made the right choice, and I think that's relevant not to the past, but to the future," Obama said in an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley of his decision as an Illinois state senator to come out against the war in 2002.

Back then, five months before the U.S. invaded Iraq, Obama said publicly that Saddam Hussein “poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors,” that he could be contained, and that “even a successful war against Iraq will require US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.” Obama added that such a war would “strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda.”

Full story

Related: Obama raises at least $20 million in third quarter

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa • Iraq • South Carolina
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. B, Atlanta, GA

    Its always easy to blame the front runner Mr. Obama. If you were so anti war why did you fund every bill after that similar to Mrs. Clinton. She is not blurring the differences, you, yourself has done that. You said, yourself, you cannot bring back the entire troops by 2013. I did watch the Candy Crowley interview and you could not give a straight answer to that question. You are nothing but a snake oil salesman and people know it so you would never be a front runner.

    October 2, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. Adam, Plano, TX

    I don't really think Senator Clinton is trying to blur the lines of distinction between herself and Obama. Only a fool would think the experience he has would somehow justify him as being a worthy candidate for President. We have had enough of those who require on the job training to do the job of President. Obama needs a lot more experience before he should consider himself as a serious contender. The reason Democrats have not responded to him; experience.
    He has little, Senator Clinton has lots.
    Posted By Joe Stebbins : October 2, 2007 4:56 pm

    joe, there is not a single person in the world besides an ex president who would not need on the job training when he/she were elected president. please, keep this ignorance to yourself.

    October 2, 2007 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  3. Adam, Plano, TX

    I have no problem keeping you both separated. When a United States Sailor came to both of you for help after being abused in boot camp you turned him down but Senator Clinton did not. She made sure that he was returned safely back to his family and it is because of her that I even still ahve a brother. Please explain to me Mr. Obama what the audacity of hope really means because obviously your vision does not extend to our troops.
    Posted By Brianna, McEwen, TN : October 2, 2007 5:20 pm

    you have a link for this?

    October 2, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |




    October 2, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  5. sonya, atlanta, ga

    Obama is gaining traction. In reading the new Newsweek poll about Iowa, it was mentioned that Obama's commerical starting airing on September 19th, a week before the poll was conducted. Hillary's began in mid August. So in a week the "I believe" ad moved Obama up by 4 points.
    As for NH, the real test will be polling Independents who can vote for either Democrats or Republicans because that will decide if who will win the primary there.

    Obama is correct in attacking Hillary on policy points and issues, and not character assasination or direct assaults. It's tricky competing with a woman in politics- you can't look like you are dumping on her. Plus there is Bill on the sidelines doing his fake chivarly thing, like he did about Tim Russerts question on torture.

    Let Hillary try to wrangle, dodge, evade or move left on positions Obama has already taken and see the demise of a politican with no core values who will pander to everyone. Good job Obama.

    October 2, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. Truth Teller

    Laurinda I agree with you!

    There will be a military presence in that region for years to come. We have a non-violent presence in many countries, and our military will need to provide security for the embassy and US contractors living in Iraq. Senator Obama will begin to remove combat troops immediately and that, sadly, is the best that we can hope for right now.

    And if GWB decides to use Hillary's recent vote on Iran, we could be involved in a military conflict with Iran by the time the next president takes office.

    October 2, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  7. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    Brianna, McEwen, TN

    Regular posters like me, see you post the same thing over and over again, like a broken record. Obviously you are not an Obama fan, that’s fine with me. But really, why don't you come up with some more concrete evidence or a link to post about what story you are speaking about? Otherwise this is just another example of empty rhetoric from someone who just wants to post partisan opinions without fact.

    October 2, 2007 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  8. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Republicans encourage Obama to fight with Hillary, because none of GOP candidate can beat Hillary but any GOP can beat Obama easily, so they support Obama and device a stratagem.
    I read that Obama supporters blamed CNN about 24,000 in NYC. Those 24,000 is not real his supporters, a lot of Republicans for agitative purpose there. Obama is naive and inexperenced, I wouldn't vote him because he is not ready for the president. Hillary is brilliant, strong and powerful leader, I will vote her and Americans will.

    October 2, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  9. Adam, Plano, TX



    Posted By LOYDA, WDC : October 2, 2007 9:03 pm

    try listening to him for a change. and turn your caps lock off please.

    October 2, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  10. SUE

    where are his ideas he has none


    Here are her ideas:
    For six long years, it's like America's middle class and working families have been invisible to our president. He's looked right through them.

    If you're a worker who can't organize for fair wages and safe working conditions, you're invisible. If you're a grandmother who has watched this administration try to privatize Social Security and dump piles of debt on your grandchildren, you're invisible. If you're a mother who can't afford child care, a kid who can't afford college, a family that can't afford to get by on the minimum wage, you're invisible.

    When Hillary is in the White House, no American will be invisible to the president of the United States.

    As president, she will work from day one to strengthen and grow our middle class and restore the basic bargain: If you work hard and do your part, you can build a better life for yourself and your family.

    Hillary believes Americans have the right to expect fiscal responsibility, discipline, and honesty from their leaders.

    As president, Hillary will:

    Make health care affordable and accessible to every American.
    Reduce the cost of energy and make us energy independent.
    Expand access to affordable, high-quality child care.
    Make college more affordable.
    Protect families from predatory lenders and help them avoid foreclosures.
    Increase the minimum wage.
    Create good jobs with good wages to expand the middle class.
    Balance the federal budget so we don't pass today's massive debts to the next generation.
    Reward savings, protect pensions, and provide greater retirement security.

    October 2, 2007 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. sam

    im not to worried about hillary's Vp. trusting Obama's i think hes thinking jessie jackson or sharpton.and his issues are not clear.

    October 2, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  12. KMK, Chicago, Illinois

    Hillary's vote for the war in Iraq was an egregious error and demonstrates that her judgement is seriously lacking. To explain her vote she says "If I had known then what I know now ..." Millions of people (including Barack Obama) already knew then what we know now - why didn't Hillary? Indeed, anyone paying attention to the news had a sense that Iraq could be contained using means other than war and that we would face many difficulties if we did invade Iraq (after all, Bush Sr. had to defend his decision not to take Hussein out of power, and he listed all of the difficulties that we're facing in Iraq now as the reasons).

    October 2, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. Dan, TX

    Obama has been an elected official casting public votes for 10 years, Clinton 6 years. Obama has more experience.

    Before the vote in Iraq he stated exactly why it was wrong and what would happen, this in not "I told you so" this was an example of his understanding of international politics that far exceeded most of the politicians in Washington.

    Clinton made a mistake in voting for the Iraq war – she wanted to tell the president it was ok to go to war with Iraq because to oppose it might lose votes in the next election cycle. Obama did care about votes, he cared about AMERICA.

    Clinton doesn't learn from experience, she now voted to call Iran's military a terrorist organization. Bush is now drawing up the targets to bomb. She has terrible judgment.

    You want to see who has support. Go to Clinton, Edwards, and Obama's campaign sites and read the BLOGS and posts there. You will see who has the most grassroots support, and who is going to win. The BLOGS posting represents the level of strong supporters, not the polls.

    October 2, 2007 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  14. Quentin C. Atlanta GA

    Sonya in Atlanta I invite you to elaborate on any position that Barack Obama has come up with that Hillary Clinton can't challenge him on. Merely stating that you were against the war that you were in no position to vote on is not enough. It's way too easy to say NAH NAH NAH NAH like a little kid and say "I was against the war and you guys weren't". Since Senator Obama has been a candidate he has not come up with any viable policy initiatives. Don't you want and expect more from a man that people are speaking so highly of? So far the only thing Obama has cast himself as is an alternative to Hillary.

    There are enormous differences between Obama and Clinton. If anything he is trying to blur the differences because we know where Hillary stands. SHE HAS A RECORD that we can look to and forensically examine. Obama has one too and when you examine it you will see that he is a man without substance or leadership.

    Simply attacking Senator Clinton for her war vote is not going to get him elected. Like it or not this war will still be going on regardless of who is in the White House. Senator Obama needs to stop pandering to all the anti-war democrats and realize that if elected he will have to perpetuate the very policy that he so passionately denounces.

    October 2, 2007 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  15. Mike Graham, Longview, TX

    Obama needs to back off.
    He is giving Hillary reasons NOT to ask him to be her running mate!!

    October 3, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Is that exasperated grunts and gasps I hear in response to questions from the interviewer? Not very statesman-like.

    October 3, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  17. laurinda,ny

    I get it now ED-Ellenville. You are really a Republican and when I went on that blue thing you told me, I hooked up with that phoney district attorney thing. Now I am stuck in this phoney web site that I think is CNN and I can't get out. Your like a bunch of aliens, no wonder you all have the same names all the time. Everybody else is on the real CNN and I'm stuck in this place with all of you.

    October 3, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  18. Anonymous

    So the distinction between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are blurred, meaning the candidates are similar in the eys of voters. If that's the case, why aren't they running about the same in the polls instead of Clinton trailblazing ahead him?

    October 3, 2007 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  19. my911call

    I agree about the lack of experience. The Hillary has been in the White House for eight years. She is an icon. Obama is a good man (perfect for VP) but we are a worried society right now and Democrats are going settle for experience. Obama is still too fresh looking. I hope he does not destroy his bright future with bitterness.

    October 3, 2007 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  20. Mark Billingsley

    Joe Stebbins...I issue the same challenge as I have to other Hillary supporters and they've failed every time. Perhaps you won't . Explain to me the experience gap between Obama and Hillary. What is Hillary's huge experience? What has she accomplished as a U.S. Seantor? Give me one substantive authored bill she's passed. And don;t give me that first lady experience crap. Using that logic I guess Laura Bush will run for U.S. Senator from Texas. Come on, I dare you...explain to me the "huge" experience gap between Obama and Hillary. Years in Washington don't mean a damn thing unless you're getting things done.

    October 3, 2007 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  21. sf, ca

    Sarcasm – Obama is for change. Obama supporters are for change. Obama supporters say that media favors Hillary. And then in the same breath, they say Hillary has negative ratings in people's mind. Lo behold! Who helped create those negative ratings thru years of targeting? Media!

    Why are you making negative judgements about Hillary which are just hyped/created by media and then dislike media when they support her? Think about double standards and hypocrisy before you take a stand.

    Obama has nothing except i told you so. A lucky fluke decision. If he makes such decisions everytime then yes I will believe him. But look what -Dont pull troops back till 2013, Attack Pakistan, talk about nukes, about Iran, etc. Wheres the consistency?

    Where's the consistency? We demand explanation from Hillary for Iraq war (because her opponents have nothing else to show) but where is Obama's consistency now?

    Just making mushy mushy feel good 30000 feet high talks is not a good thing for a country facing enormous war challenges.

    October 3, 2007 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  22. Jane

    Obama is so stupid and really ignorant.
    How can Hillary blurr the differences if there any real differences exists? Then all those bloggers who go on spreading malicious words and hateful messages about Hillary better watch it: What goes around comes around. Hillary's supporters never threaten not to vote Barack Obama if he wins the Dems nomination. They are always right on message telling others why they're routing for Hill. If Barack and his foot soldiers have a trouble with that, then let them keep spreading his message perhaps they'll start to register with the voters but if not, too bad. Let the most prepared candidate be given the nod to face the GOP in O8

    October 3, 2007 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  23. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    And the Obama rant goes on.

    October 3, 2007 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  24. Paul C. Palmetto Bay, FL

    After the 2 term Bush administration I will vote for anyone that is not a Republican. We cannot enjoy any more compassionate conservatism; uniting, not dividing and preemptive wars.
    As a charter member of the anti-Iraq war club I agree that Obama is the rare bird that does not follow the political herd.

    October 3, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  25. alan St Louis MO

    more reason to pick Biden

    If the dems realy want to stick it to the republicans and have a easy shoe in win in the general election we will pick Biden.

    Why do you think the gop smear machine always bringing up Clinton and Obama. And will ignore Biden at all cost.

    That becuse gop know neither of those two will steal the swing voters or the gop voters, like Biden will steal.

    Biden has the same rep being strong on national securty like the Gop is. Like his Iraq plan. Which he got passed on non binding. Which means most of the voters that vote for strong national securty. Will pick Gop over Clinton and Obama. But biden will steal a lot of gop votes on national securty.

    Dems need to see past the cover of a book and get into the pages. Why do GOP smear machine ignore Biden. When the gop smaears a dem it makes him more creditable to get nominated to run. the gop want a Clinton and Obama to run as president in general election. WHY ?????

    The Gop knows those two will continue the stay the course. Or it has a better chance of lasting much longer then it will with Biden.

    Just watch if Clinton or Obama get elected (IF) they will flip flop and make a new spin to prolong middle east war.

    Ask your self if you were a gop strategist who would you want to run aginst in the democrat party. The one that will charge the swing voters and keep the conservative voters to stay right. IE CLINTON or OBAMA

    Second. Which dem will push a plan that will be the closest to the Bush plan " stay the course "strategy. IE CLINTON or OBAMA.

    and the GOP think of dem voters as sheep. Make the sheep mad so they pick Clinton or Obama. GOP thinking "Dem sheep are so easy to swindle" hehe.

    "At least they wont pick Biden."
    boy that was a close one. That biden guy will put the breacks on corpate repulbicans milking the US treasuary.

    Are the Dems gona be GOP sheep? Guess we will see who wins the dem race.

    October 3, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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