October 11th, 2007
12:15 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama: It's time to show the differences

Obama told CNN Thursday it's time to show where he differs from Clinton.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told CNN Thursday he will step up efforts to clarify his differences with rival Hillary Clinton, in what the Illinois senator is calling the "next phase" of his campaign.

"There's no doubt we are moving into a different phase of the campaign," Obama told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview slated to air on The Situation Room later today. "The first part of a campaign is to offer some biography and give people a sense of where I've been and what I am about. (Related: Obama: Clinton vote on Iran shows 'flawed' judgment)

"In this next phase we want to make sure that voters understand that on big issues, like the decision to go into the war in Iraq, I had real differences with the other candidates and that reflects on my judgment," he continued.

In what could easily be seen as a direct shot at Clinton, Obama also suggested he could better unite the country and offer "something new, as opposed to looking backwards and simply duplicating some of the politics that we've become so accustomed to that frankly the American people are sick of." (Video: Watch key excerpts of Wolf Blitzer's interview with Obama Thursday)

The Illinois Democrat would not say whether he would consider Clinton as his running-mate should he become the party's nominee, saying, "I think Sen. Clinton is a very capable person. Right now my goal is to make sure I am the nominee and she is still the senator from New York."

Catch the full interview tonight on The Situation Room, 4, 5, and 7 p.m. ET.

TIME.com: Clinton Selling Substance Over Style in Iowa

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. m-street Dallas TX

    It's going to be very tough to take down a former first lady in a country that calls itself a democracy but seems to envy monarchies.

    But, if anybody can pull it off at the end, it's Barack Obama. I can't think of any politician in recent memory who can fire people up like Barack does. He's raised more money than Mrs. Clinton has for the primaries and he's doing a better job of motivating younger voters.

    October 11, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Matt Smith, MO

    It's about time Obama! Expect attacks from the Clinton campaign that ignore the issue and instead say you're suppose to lay down as she marches over everybody and her ideas reign supreme. There is -nothing- wrong with addressing bad policy choices people make. Actually, it's vitally important to ANY political process. Anyone who says otherwise is playing games with the American people.

    October 11, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Robert, Vivian, LA

    Differences? Who can spend the most taxpayer money making it easier for Americans to survive without working hard. Also each candidate will have a different plan to discourage self-sufficiency, entrepreneurship, free enterpise by increasing taxes on successful people and increasing welfare and free health care at the expense of those who create wealth.
    There's nothing the democrats look down on more and want to financially punish than successful business people who creat wealth and jobs.

    October 11, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Richard Tabuteau, Atlanta, GA

    There is wisdom in Obama's strategy to campaign through phases. The idea he should go on the attack like a rabid dog like Edwards would only undermine his own gravitas. So long as he exhibits differences in a well-calibrated way, he will overtake Clinton with the assistance of Edwards’s Clinton-bashing strategy.

    October 11, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    I really hope that, whichever way it goes, they run together on the democratic ticket. I think that would be an unbeatable combo for the democrats

    October 11, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    It is very complimentary to hillary that these other candidates (obama, edwards, giuliani, romney, etc) compare themselves to her. It shows she is leading to these candidates, and the one to beat.

    The bottom line that these candidates have to convince the dem and american voters that their differences are better, and do-able per their personal characters, experiences and abilities.

    As of today, hillary is till the favorite among the dem and american voters. Here are my reaons why she will win the dem nomination and will become the next president:

    a) Hillary has a effective (high poll standing in state polls) and efficient (least % money spent for $ raised) campaign machine, and surrounds herself with experieced election and political people including bill clinton (best strategist ever);

    b) Hillary has raised most funds (firing power), and most left over,to get her messages across;

    c) This is the clintons' 3rd bid for president, winning the previous two;

    d) The other dem and rep candidates are light weights and few have foreign political experience, and their inexperience may cause them to fumble under republican attacks (see john kerry);

    e) The clintons were successful in countering republican attacks during the clinton admin and came out as one of the best popular president ever. Bill Clinton left office with a job-approval rating of 66%. Three-quarters of Democrats, and 53% of voters in general, would like him to play an active role in a future Clinton administration. Nearly nine in ten Democratic voters (88%) express a positive view of Hillary's candidacy; 38% express a very positive view.

    f) Hillary does not need to paint the whole america blue, and all she needs to do is to win one more state than john kerry.

    g) Hillary is leading in all state primaries (except Illinois) over Obama and Edwards by a big margin.

    h) Hillary has experience to make responsible and realistic changes, and has heart and passion for public service.

    October 11, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    About time Obama, let's discuss issues. Make her discuss ALL of her stances, instead of being allowed to simply offer 401K's, Baby bonds and instate tuition for ILEGAL immigrants.

    Let the real campaign begin.

    October 11, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. JDS N.C.

    What a sellout. Hillary offered him the VP ticket and now he does what the master tells him. Can you say crash and burn?

    October 11, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. Dan, TX

    Clinton substance over style? What substance? Obama has laid out more detailed plans on every issue than Clinton has, and his views are far more mature than hers. Go look at their proposals on the issues on their campaign web sites and compare them yourself. Read their speeches.

    You report, you decide. Don't let these fools tell you who to vote for, find out the real views of the candidates for yourself.

    October 11, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Aaron Kinney, Sherman Oaks CA

    Differences? Well, one is a white woman, and one is a black man. Oh, and they have different names. Thats about it.

    Inside, they are both the same Democrabot 5000.

    October 11, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. DB Wahome, Los Angeles

    it is about time, OBAMA!! this inevitability of Hilary is frightening!! and you know Bill soon or later will misbehave and everything he did on the blue dress of you-know-who will come back to haunt all of us again!

    October 11, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Coach Haughton NH


    Obama 2008!
    (Gore if he would be so gracious)
    (Edwars a not so bad third choice.)

    October 11, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. Dave, Atlanta, GA

    I think that Obama needs to stop talking about how he offers something new, and start specifying exactly what sort of new things he is offering. We get it, you are new to Washington, so you aren't part of the establishment. Now answer the question: What do you plan to do that you believe Hillary won't.

    Your future in this race depends on that answer.

    October 11, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Tammy, Denton, Maryland

    Go Obama!!!!!!!! Yes, the country is ready to hear those differences.

    Sen. Clinton has worked hard to blur those differences in an attempt to deceive the American people, and cover-up her many failures.

    We're ready to hear the TRUTH.

    October 11, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. pat, huntington, ny

    I can tell you the difference between the two...one's male, one's female, one's black, one's white, one'll be president, one wont, Hillary will be president, Obama will not.

    October 11, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. RightyTighty

    More unrealistic promises, more government, more taxes.
    More unrealistic promises, more government, more taxes.


    October 11, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Kevin, Ames IA

    What Obama is now doing is good.

    If only he had the experience needed to run the country. I expect more candidates to lash out at Hillary but they need substance. Everyone should try looking into Richardson a little. His eperience is unmatched and experience is what we really need now.

    October 11, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. James, Minneapolis, MN

    Hilary has peaked and now the one person she didn't want taking shots at her now has her in his sights. Now it is going to be a tag team handicapp match Obama and Edwards versus
    Billary Clinton. Im not voting for her either way so it makes no difference. It's either Obama or the GOP for me.

    October 11, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Patrick, New York, NY

    TO ALL OBAMA SUPPORTERS: Isnt this the same exact line that EDWARDS brought up in the last debate and has been saying for the past 2 weeks!! If Obama was so much against this resolution (I oppose it as well) HE SOULD HAVE HAD THE BALLS TO VOTE AGAINST IT..instead he didnt SHOW UP FOR THE VOTE..WHAT A HYPOCRITE!!!

    October 11, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Go "comparative" on her by all means, Senator, but you and she remain unelectable for all the good and bad reasons which have been given. But I think you lack the courage to lay bare what this woman is all about, because in doing so, you also expose what you're about, and people don't buy either.

    October 11, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Dave, Alpharetta GA

    Keep this up Obama and you won't be Vice President either! Hillary will be the next president of the U.S., and this is one middle-American Democrat that is looking forward to it!

    October 11, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Mati, Seattle, WA

    You should be the nominee .. because? Oh yes, you are THE MAN! so Hillary can still be the senator from New York. Many thanks for allowing it.

    If Obama has slight chances in Iowa is because that state is one of the most traditional in the country when it comes to gender. Hopefully, other states are more gender neutral.

    What are the differences? Obama keeps reminding us about his judgement on Irak like Giuliani talking about 9/11. If the latest vote on Iranian Rev Guard was so important for this country, why hasn't he interrupted campaigning for one day and go to Washingotn to vote? If he had this premonition about a 'blanck check', he had to be there!

    I admire Hillary, at least she doesn't hide when she has to make decissions.

    October 11, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Grace, NY

    Mati...GWB doesn't hide when he has to make a decision either.

    Simply making a decision if its wrong is no good answer

    October 11, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. tigersrule...Fairview, PA


    He got to where he is on his own merits. She got to where she is because of who she is married to.

    He took a political risk in opposing George Bush's war in Iraq in 2002. She went with her political "gut" and voted for it.

    He rakes in a lot of campaign money without taking from special interests. She does take money from special interests, yet still didn't raise as much for the primaries as he did.

    His campaign emphasizes a substantive issue debate. Her campaign brags about her national poll numbers in almost every press statement.

    He's the challenger. She is the quasi-incumbent.

    October 11, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Yep Mati, it is all about her being a woman.

    That is why everyone who dislikes her does, you got us, we are all sexists.

    October 11, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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