October 14th, 2007
08:22 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama: Clinton thinks more 'conventionally'

Obama took questions Saturday after canvassing door to door in Des Moines.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said Saturday that he and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, differ on a "range of issues." Specifically, he said Clinton thinks "more conventionally" on the international scale.

"On foreign policy I think that she tends to think more conventionally, at a time when we're facing a series of unconventional threats," the Illinois senator said.

Speaking to reporters in Des Moines, Obama implied that Clinton may be more willing to "go along with Bush policies that could provide a rationale for keeping troops in Iraq longer or engaging in aggression towards Iran."

Related: Obama: Clinton doesn't know where she stands

He also said the two differ in how aggressive they are in direct diplomacy and the kinds of messages they're sending to the world with respect Iraq, but he admitted that "there is overlap in terms of our positions on healthcare or some other issues."

When asked if he felt the campaign could be getting ugly, Obama responded by saying his campaign is not undergoing any fundamental transformation in their approach.

"We continue to offer a hopeful and optimistic message about where we want to take the country," Obama said. "Obviously there are going to be differences between the candidates...and the voters are going to need to know where those differences are."

"None of these differences I think rise to the level of personal attacks or gratuitous attacks, and that's the kind of politics I think people are tired of."

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • New Hampshire • Race to '08 • South Carolina
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Lioness, Washington DC

    "None of these differences I think rise to the level of personal attacks or gratuitous attacks, and that's the kind of politics I think people are tired of."

    That's exactly it. Obama is calling Hillary to the carpet, but without insulting her or name calling. He is doing it based purely on the facts and on matters of policy.

    A far cry from when Hillary called him "irresponsible" and "naive."

    October 13, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. wEIPE, NY

    Guys, listen to Obama state very clearly, that his campaign does not involve personal attacks. I believe him. Anyone out there thinking that Obama is attacking Hillary, it is time to wake up. The politics of HOPE also means that we have the audacity to HOPE for a president who does not FLIP-FLOP like Hillary and that when she does FLIP-FLOP, we will always have the audacity to let her know and that there will be no more of that "what happened to the politics of HOPE" BS. We will answer back, "what happened to the politics of LETS CHAT and LETS HAVE A CONVERSATION" as Hillary promised at the start of her campaign. It is time Hillary started answering difficult questions the right way, not by cackling, not by telling the questioner he was sent by someone to ask the question (like she did in Iowa) with the Iran question, and definitely not by using her campaign staff to use that OLD "what happened to the politics of HOPE" LINE.

    October 13, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. RICHARD STRUNK--JACKSON MICHIGAN

    SENATOR--DONOT FOCUS ON SENATOR CLINTON AND HER PROGRAMS–FOCUS ON YOUR IDEAS AND PROGRAMS AND SELL THOSE TO THE VOTERS-RICHARD STRUNK

    October 13, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. TheInsider

    Look for this to be a bad week for Barack. The FEC filing of cash on hand, his alarming burn rate, slipping even further in the polls, and some kind of staff, "reorganization", will all contribute to the sense that the wheels are coming off the Obama-wagon.

    October 13, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Maria, Houston

    Hillary Clinton reinvents herself every few weeks. What I found personnaly offensive is that she's trying to sell herself as a candidate of middle class women. Mrs. Clinton reaped every benefit there is from being a highly paid lawyer and a wife of a very powerful man. She never had to worry about day care,health insurance or colleage costs. She conveniently overlooked her husband's infidelities and yet made condescending remarks about women who stay home and bake cookies... She's never been truly on her own and her husband steps in every time her campaign needs a push. His old cronies are paving the way and his political machine is doing the heavy lifting and dirty work. So please Hillary, don't tell me how you understand the middle class or middle class women. You've never been a soccer mom or a poor single mom or a stay-at-home mom who sacrificed her carrer to raise kids.
    You just pander to get our votes.

    October 13, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    It is not "negative" politics to be brutally honest and "comparative" when you offer yourself to the Nation as an alternative to a tired old hack like Hillary.

    This campaign is not moot court or the Harvard Law Review, and it's time you learn how to marshall the facts and make your best arguments against an extension of the Clinton dynasty.

    Unfortunately, I still don't think either you or she are electable Outside the Beltway.

    October 13, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. TheInsider

    I'm at work right now so I can't canvass, but I"m taking a group of people around town tomorrow to knock on doors and tell them why Obama is the leader we need and that we've been waiting for.

    Obama 08!!!
    Posted By Lance in Monrovia CA : October 13, 2007 3:12 pm

    Clinton's up by 22 in the latest San Jose St.Poll, which is consistent with every other poll taken in your state in the last six months. Sad to say, he may not even make it to the Ca. primary, at this point.

    October 13, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Caren

    Still drinking the kool-aid I see. Didn't vote on the Iran amendment, didn't even feel it was important enough to ask questions when it was before the committee you sit on. Didn't mention it in the last debate as an important issue. Was against the war in 2002 but voted exactly as Clinton when you got to the Senate.
    All you kool-aid drinkers are a joke.

    October 13, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Mark, Mokena, IL

    Obama,
    What you mean to say is that you bring an "internationalist" perspective to foreign policy instead of a pro American one, right?

    October 13, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. sonya, atlanta, ga

    Obama will make it to super tuesday when California votes. I think we will know by March who our nominee will be. HRC has a strong organization on the national level especially scripting her for the national media. But her organization on the ground leaves alot to be desired. Alot of articles in Iowa's newspapers talk about how nasty and aggressive her campaign staff are. That she won't talk to local media (big mistake, huge). Here is my predictions: Obama wins Iowa, places second in NH, wins SC (he has the local district politicans all sown up), places second in Nevada, Michigan and Florida doesn't count and its a free for all on Feb 5th. I suspect that Obama will win most of the southern states like Georgia, Texas, they will spilit the midwest, HRC will win California but Obama will win the Northwest states of Washington and Oregan. NY delegates are given proportionally so I will give the advantage to HRC. It will be a close race to the nonimation but I think Obama will be victorious in the end.

    October 13, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. TheOtherInsider, H Street, D.C.

    Dear TheInsider,

    I'm afraid your momentum-killer claims are inaccurate. All information I have indicates upward momentum from the Obama campaign. You underestimate the springboard he'll get from taking Iowa, and his inevitable traunching of the other candidates in South Carolina.

    October 13, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. amy, Seattle, WA

    Politics of Hope? Its exactly what communists used to sell.. hope and light at the end of tunnel! You never get there, but you keep hoping!

    Sorry, I prefer someone who is realistic about what/when/how things should be done, which is what Clinton is capable to offer. She is a decent and smart person.

    The other candidates attack her stupidly, they should focus more on who they are and what they want or will be able to do. All they do instead is to hunt Hillary's statements and reinterpret her words. This is disrespectful to the American voters..

    October 13, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. Ron, TX

    Great points Obama! The politics of hope doesn't mean standing by while another candidate misleads people and insults you personally. Differentiating yourself and having hope for the country are entirely compatible goals. It's time for REAL change! Changing names just isn't enough Hillary. We need a change in politics. Obama '08!

    October 13, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. TheInsider

    Dear TheInsider,

    I'm afraid your momentum-killer claims are inaccurate. All information I have indicates upward momentum from the Obama campaign. You underestimate the springboard he'll get from taking Iowa, and his inevitable traunching of the other candidates in South Carolina.
    Posted By TheOtherInsider, H Street, D.C. : October 13, 2007 4:01 pm

    He has fallen in the polls. His fundraising is down. On Monday, everyone will be able to see how much money he's blown to be so far behind.
    The only momentum the Obama campaign has right now is backwards, and you don't even have to be an insider to see that.
    Mark my words; Within two weeks (maybe less) the depth of the Obama campaign's troubles will be the biggest news coming from his camp.
    PS Real political insiders can spell.

    October 13, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Daniel

    This race has become stunningly more engaged in the past few days (check out yesterday's back and forth between Obama and Clinton), which will also probably have the effect of marginalizing Edwards.

    October 13, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    From the looks of the picture, he even walks unconventionally!!! I'm not convinced 'unconventionality' is the answer we need, what we need, in my humble opinion, is leadership gained through action, not words.

    October 13, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. oxertw, NY

    TheInsider, I am sure you are hoping for a bad week for Obama, but I would love to see your face when Obama says how much money he still has. You are one of those people who until now are still surprised that Obama is still in the race. You were hoping that he will lie down, not have the guts to challenge Hillary. C'mon, wake up to a new DAY. I am sure you are really MAD that someone at last can stand up to the Hillary/Bill so called "machine."

    October 13, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Brad, Salt Lake City, UT

    TheInsider, you're nuts. I was out at a local Democratic function last night. All I heard was how great Obama was and how everybody hopes HRC doesn't get the nomination. The momentum is definitely on Obama's side, especially now that he's more aggressively engaging Hillary. HRC's campaign won't know what to do with the fire coming from all sides.

    October 13, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. MillyB, ATL, GA

    Obama makes and stands by tough decisions, opposition of the war, negotiating with enemies, going after alKaida wherever they are
    honest, truthful and confident

    Clinton makes decisions to make HER LOOK TOUGH, with a scripted brand for debates and slips of the tongue when confronted on the ground

    So much of a choice

    October 13, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. David Lauer

    Dear Obama, I think you are desperate now so you want to attack Hillary. From the beginning we American people knew that you have no experienc ein politics. You have no ideas and policies on your own. You have no experience at all on the international scale. It was a mistake for you to stand for election and simply waste of money. Believe me. Grow up my friend.

    October 13, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Ayyub, Richmond

    He has fallen in the polls. His fundraising is down. On Monday, everyone will be able to see how much money he's blown to be so far behind.
    The only momentum the Obama campaign has right now is backwards, and you don't even have to be an insider to see that.
    Mark my words; Within two weeks (maybe less) the depth of the Obama campaign's troubles will be the biggest news coming from his camp.
    PS Real political insiders can spell.

    Posted By TheInsider : October 13, 2007 4:19 pm

    You sound like a sick Clinton Bedroom Politian. C'mon, Hillary fell flat on her face for saying that. Than you're going to say this mess. Hillary should stick to what she says. He looks like what she is a HYPOCRITE! The only thing I wish for Christmas is that you Hillary Support clean your ears out, follow the race more, and learn some morals and than think about how life will be in the future if this person is in office. We don't need a female version of our current president in the WH.

    October 13, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    To Theinsider,

    Now that you have let us all know what next weeks pre planned Media smear on the Obama’s campaign is going to be. Let me say that. Just because Media says something does NOT make it become TRUTH Just ask Howard Dean. Obama is doing just fine and on coarse and it worries you/Media and Hillary. That’s why Florida and Michigan are moved up to Jan. So after she looses in most early battles. The Media can help her by keeping her name in the news IF she wins in Florida and MI. Now that’s a Campaign fallen off the wagon. Report that next week.

    October 13, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. Elizabeth Jones

    Its over! its all over everyone! Barack has won it all. A poll on people with cell phones gave Obama 68%. WOW! Hey bring it on. We have won, we have won, thank god Americans have seen it all. Let the parade begin its all over! national polls are wrong again this coming election.

    October 13, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Barry, Chicago, IL

    I keep thanking the Lord that I didn't vote for this man for senator. There is nothing here. There is no politics of hope. There is only empty rhetoric. Maybe Hillary isn't a perfect candidate, but at least she isn't an empty shell. What has he ever done? And if he is so annoyed with her vis-a-vis the Iran vote, where was he during the debate and vote?

    October 13, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. Korrey Detroit Mi

    To all of you Clintonians on this site,

    Go to hell Obama is attacking her on issues not personally.

    October 13, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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