October 13th, 2007
08:23 AM ET
3 months ago

Obama: Clinton doesn't know where she stands

Watch Obama go after Clinton Friday in Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama attacked New York Sen. Hillary Clinton on Friday for saying earlier in the week that she would negotiate with Iran "with no conditions."

"A couple of months ago, Sen. Clinton called me naive and irresponsible for taking this position," said Obama. "[She] said that we could lose propaganda battles if we met with leaders we didn't like."

Obama was referring to Clinton's criticism of him after he said in a July debate that he would meet with controversial world leaders without preconditions.

"Just yesterday, though," Obama continued, "she called for diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. So I'm not sure if any of us knows exactly where she stands on this."

That wasn't the only shot Obama took at Clinton in a speech marking the fifth anniversary of congressional authorization of the war in Iraq. (Related: Obama: It's time to show where I differ from Clinton)

He also went after Clinton for being the only Democratic candidate for president currently supporting an amendment that contains strong language against Iran.

The Kyl-Lieberman amendment, according to Obama, provides another blank check to the current administration. The Illinois senator claims it could give President Bush an excuse to keep troops in Iraq "as long as they can point to a threat from Iran."

Responding to the criticisms, top Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said, "When Sen. Clinton used the term "no conditions," she was referring to meetings between the United States government and Iran, not personal meetings with the President. She was striking a contrast with President Bush who has refused to allow the U.S. government to talk to Iran about its nuclear weapons program. Senator Clinton has repeatedly said throughout this campaign that she would re-engage the world diplomatically and end the cowboy approach to diplomacy that has been used by the Bush administration."

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– CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. MAURICE, WASHINGTON, DC

    OBAMA OBAMA, WHERE IS YOUR POLITICS OF HOPE AGAIN? I THOUGHT SO, YOU COULD ONLY RUN FOR SO LONG ON THAT FAKE 'HOPE' MACHINE. BUT TOO LITTLE TOO LATE. YOU WILL BECOME LIKE ANOTHER JOHN EDWARDS, JUST DESPERATE. HILLARY WILL BE YOUR NEXT COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

    October 12, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Claude, Mesa AZ

    Obama is so right. She doesn't know where she stands on anything. Without Bill Clinton, she's nothing and is not worthy of the highest office in the land. As each day passes it becomes clearer and clearer how deceptive and power hungry Hillary Clinton is. Please, no more crooks in the whitehouse.

    October 12, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. James, Phoenix AZ

    Hillary LOVES blank checks – didn't you know that Barack?

    And when it comes to political stances, Hillary is the "twister" queen. Why flip-flop when you can just pretend BOTH positions are yours and deny deny deny the obvious truth:

    Hsu?? We didn't know anything! (He was a Hill-raiser – brought in $850K)

    Voted for Iraq War?? Oh I got fooled into that one by the President.

    Voted to fund the War?? Oh – I was still being fooled.

    Florida / Michigan?? Oh – I'm not REALLY campaigning there... just leaving my name on the ballot after we all agreed to remove our names.

    See?? No flip-flop!!

    October 12, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. james

    Wow It sounds like the gloves are coming off. This could get ugly, but I can't wait for the next obama youtube video like the Apple computer spoof.

    October 12, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. laurinda,ny

    Obama has shown us all how he differs from Hillary. That's why Hillary is going to win!

    October 12, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Joseph, Brooklyn NY

    Obama can't criticize Clinton's Iran vote. He didn't vote at all.

    October 12, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Daniel

    Check out Obama's op-ed yesterday on Iran, and tell me whether his position isn't just as triangulating than hers - he is basically saying Iran engages in terrorism, just not in Iraq. Full analysis here.

    October 12, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    Well said, Mr. Future President! While you were unable to vote against Iraq, you expressed dislike. You foresaw the consequences nobody else comprehended until the last few months. And, undoubtedly, HRC or any of the GOP candidates will likely pursue war with Iran. Where Iraq was a virtual walk in the park, Iran will be all the chaos of a big city's rush hour. Yours is the vote we need!

    Obama '08

    October 12, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Chris, Dallas

    Thank you my best political friend from Washington DC. You are so right. Obama is lying, Hillary is right on this one.

    Hillary 08!

    October 12, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. WR, Plano, TX

    This Obama guy actually has some consistent judgment, he doesn't flap in the wind like Hillary and John Kerry. I might vote Dem if this guy gets the nomination.

    October 12, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Sarah, Laconia, New Hampshire

    I've compared Clinton's campaign issues to Obama's. They actually have very similar policy ideas, but there are slight differences and I happen to think that Obama's ideas are better thought out. The main difference though, is that I think he will be more able to implement his ideas. I'm worried that if Hillary becomes president, nothing will get done for the next 4 years because no one will work together.

    Reasonably, people will have different opinions, but I encourage people who are unfamiliar with his policies and his previous experience to look into it a little more.

    October 12, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Joel browski

    What is wrong with pro-hillary supporters please stop all these nonsense and talk smart.

    We know the game that was played on Obama that made him miss the vote. It didn't stop him from giving a statement on where he stands before the votes were actually casted. And you all can't deny that because he was ready to seperate himself from other voters.

    How can Hillary meet with Iran or contact them and ignore their President? What if the mad man says no and insist on direct talks how will she solve the issue? PLEASE ANSWER ME IF YOU DARE, WHAT WILL SHE DO? GET READY TO BORROW MONEY JUST TO PAY FOR GAS FOR 4 YEARS.. And we can't force their representatives to meet us you guys talk like Iran is our puppet and will meet with us on our own terms. Get a life! Hillary is a flip-flopper period! She messed up on this one so just wait for the next debate and see sparks fly.

    If you guys ever vote Hillary in just to see Bill's face in the white house hoping BEDROOM POLITICS will help solve our problems then think again.

    Please if not Obama, if you hate him that much then vote someone else. Anyone that votes Hillary will be putting the final nail on the coffin thereby burying any hope for Republicans and Democrats to work together.

    You don't believe me? Look at the polls or conduct your own polls it will cost you only $45 on-line.

    Look at what congress has been able to achieve today if anything at all because it will be a child's play compared to clinton in the White house. And that is if she can win it which won't happen.

    Please put blind passion apart and vote smart to make sure congress works for us. YOU ALL HAVE BEEN WARNED BEFORE YOU MAKE A MISTAKE AND POSSIBLY TAKE YOURSELVES TO ANOTHER WAR BECAUSE I'VE FOUGHT ONE AND WON'T FIGHT AGAIN EVEN IF IT MEANS GOING TO CANADA. SUCH NONSENSE FROM HILLARY PEOPLE!

    October 12, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. Kim, Saugus MA

    WHY do we want to Negotiate with the Enemy when we should be drawing alliances with our allies! The Dems just dropped a Bomb on our relationship with Turkey this week - Smart Move !!

    Keep in mind that Turkey allows over 70 percent of all air cargo intended for U.S. forces in Iraq and 30 percent of the fuel consumed by those forces fly through Turkey. Basically this action by the House Committee on Foreign affairs puts out troops at risk, while severely straining our relations with Turkey.

    Hillary, Obama and the liberal leaders in Washington are naive and inept when it comes to foreign affairs. For you hear nothing about this in their campaign!

    We need a TRUE Independent Voice in Washington! We need a leader like Pete Grasso!

    Check out this Article: Why Are We Negotiating with the Enemy?

    http://www.grassoforpresident.com/site/Viewer.aspx?iid=11168&mname=Article&rpid=3861

    Grasso For President: http://www.GrassoForPresident.com

    October 12, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Q. CHRISTIAN ATLANTA GA

    I'm trying to understand why have a strong stance against a State sponsor of terrorism is bad. This is why Barack Obama is not ready to be President. Sometimes it looks as if he intentionally has blinders on when it comes to what Iran is doing in Iraq. The leadership of Iran clearly has a HOSTILE stance towards the United States. They are sending money and arms and are responsible for the killings hundreds of American soldiers. This fact cannot be ignored.

    It's time Barack followed the politics of truth and let the American people know the truth. Iran is not a friend to America. I think Jimmy Carter learned this lesson very well. It's time that we elect a leader that will be smart and forceful when speaking to our enemies. That person is Hillary Rodham-Clinton.

    October 12, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. John Adkisson, Sacramento, california

    Obama is absolutely correct to point out this cycnical inconsistency in Clinton's attacks on him. I remember the debate, and Clinton's "mock sincerity" when she derided Obama's sensible call for a new, open diplomacy that did not set preconditions but remained steadfast in defending American interests. Clinton's attempt then to paint Obama as "inexperienced" should now be seen its true light– a return to 90's attack politics that elevate imagery over substance. Obama's judgment is again confirmed, and I hope he continues with his new style of defending himself against unfair political attacks.

    October 12, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. Dave, NY

    Obama is so right ...the MSM has continually covered up for Hillary's Triangulation

    October 12, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Heather, Nashville, TN

    Wow Obama I'm beginning to wonder where you stand except that you make it abundantely clear that it is opposite of Senator Clinton. How do you expect to work with foreign leaders and diplomats when you have made it quite clear that you can't even work with Senator Clinton and she is even in the Democratic party. Why would we want someone who continues to make it clear that delaing with those off opposing views is not in his realm of possibility. Makes me wonder....

    October 12, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Kim, Sacramento, CA

    How can anybody possible defend Hillary against this one. She was very vocal with her critism of Obama for saying that he would sit down with Iran, now she says it and Obama is wrong? Come on people – wake up to quite a few things here.

    1) Obama is absoutely right to call Hillary out on this – it isn't mudslinging, it isn't negative campaigning it is pointing out a very big flaw.

    2) Hillary is only where she is because of who her husband is. She has no original ideas, no original thoughts. She has spent her time in the Senate doing next to nothing.

    3) Hillary is a very divisive person. She will not win the general election and her getting the nomination will have negative effects on the Democratic party all the way down the ticket.

    4) See three. If by some miracle Hillary were to win the Presidency (which she won't) she wouldn't get anything done because the Republicans WILL NOT work with her.

    Think hard America before you make your choice. I was once a Hillary supporter but I have seen the real deal and it is Obama all the way.

    October 12, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Brian, Austin TX

    YOU NEED MORE DIRT!!!! We definitely DON'T need Hillary, come on Barack!
    GOD SPEED, OBAMA '08!

    October 12, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Howard Dean, Padded Cell, OH

    YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

    Sincerely,
    Howard Dean

    October 12, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Heather, Nashville, TN

    Listen Kim,
    in the beginning I supported Obama as well. The first time I heard him speak in public I was blown away. But then I started looking at what he was saying not just how he was saying it. Yes he is a very good speaker, many people are. I want someone who has more than a vision I want someone with a plan. And of course that's Hillary. Look into his politics and then make a decision that's the only way to find out which candidate you truly support. Everyone who votes should do this.

    October 12, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. sam

    All this guy Obama needs is an endorsement from al gore and his campaign is toast.

    October 12, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. not a blind follower

    Both Obama and Edwards are sour grapes. They have no new ideas (Obama
    keeps talking like a teenager about something happened five years ago: I opposed the war in 2002, I opposed the war in 2003, I....in 2004, I....in 2005, I ...in 2006-doesn't it sound like teenager? ), nor policies, no plans, no strong support. Now they start to analyze each word from Clinton. Boy, that is what the combination of sour grapes and desperation sounds.

    October 12, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Lets see if Obama stands by his words – Hillary is a waffler and a socialist – her corruption goes back to Arkansas and continued till today. Her speeches she says nothing...and the left left lap it up. If he truly believes what he is saying – he will refuse to throw any support to her if the numbnuts in her party choose to ignore the truth and buy into Hillarys crap machine

    October 12, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. James Siet

    Rather than give Obama the credit for staying true to his Judgement on how to deal with Iran, the hillary lovers are critizing him for staying firm and pointing Clinton out now after laughing at him. First they call him naive, then they say he is not praticing his politics of hope. Who is fooling who? Having hope and playing nice doesn't mean being dumb, it means point out the facts. Obama is simply calling a 'Spade' a 'Spade', what is wrong with that? What do you want him to do? Call a Spade a shovel? Get real. Its getting to christmas and Hillary is making my day sweet by finally caving in just like the Republicans caved in on the pin-label nonsense. No human being can stop the sun from rising, and no spinning msms, haters, and hypocrites can stop Obama from being our leader. It is who he is, he is not acting it, it is his nature and he can't change it even if he wanted to. That reminds me, since when did we start hating someone for telling the truth just because we are used to being lied to?

    OBAMA the White House is waiting and Bush knows it.

    October 12, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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