October 14th, 2007
08:22 AM ET
7 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. laurinda,ny

    LEE LIA So why not finish and say that Putin left them sitting there for quite awhile to show his disrespect for our country.

    October 13, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. Lioness, Washington DC

    James Warner, you said:

    "Thats why your slipping quickly, give it up obama…. CLINTON WILL BE PRESIDENT IN 2008"

    I suggest yuou heed your own advice and give it up. Clinton will never be elected president. A vote for her is a waste of time. You neglect to consider the Anybody But Hillary Crowd – composed of Republicans, democrats, independents, conservatives, moderates, and liberals.

    Vote Obama if you want a great president, and someone who could win in a general election. Otherwise, vote Rudy.

    Interesting how so many Hillary supporters either simply want to "pick a winner" or think she is "decent." The first is wishful thinking. The second is like calling Michael Vick a PETA advocate.

    October 13, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. Jennifer, Houston, TX

    I find it interesting how many Obama supporters are praising him for not making personal attacks, then, in the very same post, making their own personal attacks on HRC. Elevating the dialogue...

    Oh, and re. the vote to condemn the moveon.org ad: Obama's decision not to vote on that was intentional. He thought it was a diversion and a waste of time, and I thoroughly agree. I am so tired of elected officials wasting our money voting on these inane resolutions that do absolutely nothing to help the people of this country.

    October 13, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. Ayyub

    I want to say something to all the Clinton Bedroom supporters.
    HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MINDS! Please you all sound desperate to get this woman in to office to the point you would blindly protect her if she's being called on something she did wrong. And if you're going to bring up where was Obama on the day of the vote you should have watched CSPAN! If you know all that match about politics at all. I hope Hillary doesn't tell you people to jump off of a bridge because right now I truely think you would do it.


    October 13, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. Michael Guinn, Port Hueneme, CA

    Senator Obama does not engage in personal attacks and speaks of the ISSUES.
    He can NOT be called a "dirty politician" because he is NOT one.

    He has NOT abandoned the "Politics of Hope" as it is being told by the Clinton campaign.

    There is a time for change....and this is it!

    Got Hope? You BET I DO! OBAMA 08!

    October 13, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. Mike Longview, TX

    Oh now that Brad in Salt Lake City has "thrown another $50 at Barack", all of us Hillary supporters just better pack in it. It' over! LOL!
    HILLARY '08 and '12

    October 13, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Heather, Honolulu, HI

    Joseph and Q. Christian –

    If you are actually interested in reading specifics on Senator Obama's policies, I wouldn't suggest trying to learn about them in the comments section of a CNN article. Or even learning about them in the article itself. I did a lot of reading at Edwards', Clinton's, and Obama's websites (as well as Ron Paul's), and that is how I decided to support Obama. You might find it gratifying to do your own homework!

    October 13, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  8. Jim Bremer

    I wonder which direction Barak Hussein Obama prays in – and maybe he prays 5 times a day ?

    October 13, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  9. Jon Schenkemann New York, NY

    Some people tell me "Hussein" means "nice" in Arabic.

    The other day there was a mad Jehadi terrorist called "Hussein" captured by Israeli police.

    Now that I know, he is probably a "nice mad Jehadi terrorist".
    Good job Barack Hussein Obama !!

    October 13, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  10. Dave, Cheverly, MD


    Jim (Tammie Faye) Baker Lite! He probably prays the same amount of times as you do. See your still rambling on about peoples name association. Allow me to add that you must also be "Jim Jones" Lyte and planning to poison the Kool-Aid. What a moron and you seem to be proud of your ignorance.

    October 13, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. Q. Christian Atlanta GA

    Heather in Honolulu I have read Senator Obama's policies. The problem is they don't differ much from any of the other candidates. No bold new policy initiatives anywhere. No new strategy to fight Al Qaeda. No viable way to reduce the deficit. Just more of the same. Anyone who follows Presidential politics closely will tell you that 80% of the electorate does not research the candidates they are supporting–they merely support them based on party affiliation. Within that 80 percent of people, 95 percent of them will get their information on the candidate from TV, forums like this or their friends. Most are like sheep, they will blindly follow without attempting to verify anything on their own.

    If you read my first sentence this is the problem that Senator Obama is having. He should be using forums like this and his ENORMOUS media coverage to tell the American people more about his agenda not constantly letting everyone know that he was against the Iraq war, and Hillary wasn't. This is the central theme of his campaign. Even a dedicated Obama supporter like you can find this a little annoying after awhile. Someone can ask Senator Obama a question about healthcare and like a robot he will say, "Well I was against the Iraq war so that shows I have better judgement." It's like that's his answer for everything.

    You can honestly say that most coverage of Obama is of him telling everyone loud and clear he was against the war. This is where the lions share of his support comes from. It's not because he has a bold way of providing healthcare to all Americans. It's not because he can deliver us from this never ending war on terror. In each debate he hammers home he was against the war. WHERE ARE THE POLICY INTIATIVES???? They are absent from his public appearances just like his experience. We get it already Obama you were against the war. Can you please start a real Presidential campaign now?

    Hillary 2008

    October 13, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. Ron, TX

    Obama comes out with the MOST well developed policy ideas of ALL the candidates, but for some strange reason, the major news outlets do not cover it...
    -Just a few days ago, he released the most comprehensive energy policy to date that will be funded entirely through the free market.
    -He outlined a specific plan of withdrawal from Iraq, FAR more than anything Hillary will commit to.
    -He came out with a health care plan MANY MONTHS before Clinton released her plan, which ironically seems to follow Barack's plan very closely.
    -His education policy has been delineated very thoroughly on very strong economic ideals such as basing pay on teacher performance, a measure that TRULY counts.
    -He's come out strong with a stance on diplomacy. "Not talking to America" is NOT a punishment for foreign leaders. It serves NO purpose. It hurts NO ONE but us and the people we want to help.
    -He's strong against terrorism. Remember his comments about going after Bin Laden in Pakistan... He'd act without Pakistani approval to eliminate Bin Laden, as any strong President would.
    -He wants to clean up Washington. He actually releases his federal earmarks to the general public. Hillary Clinton HIDES hers. He's a leading ethics reformer and a strong advocate of governmental transparency- shouldn't you know where your dollars are going?
    -He's not afraid to stand in front of Wall Street executive and CRITICIZE Wall Street. He's stood in front of automakers and call for tougher emissions standards. He told the National Education Association that they need merit-based pay to increase quality of education, which they widely oppose.

    Anyone that says they don't know where he stands on issues needs to stop relying on mass media news outlets to find information. They DO NOT report about the issues. They report about the news they think people want to hear. Anyone who says they don't know where he stands just haven't listened.

    October 13, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. SB

    Jim Bremer:
    Your efforts to paint Senator Obama as anything other than the Christian (Protestant to be specific) that he is will not work.

    You apparently subscribe to the philosophy that if you can't really find anything wrong, just make it up. And better yet, make up something that will play into the fears of the public.

    Karl Rove has taught us alot about using fear to influence the way people vote. Unfortunately for you, we have figured this out and it will not cause us to make the same ridiculous mistake that many made in voting for GWB. When Bush told the American public that they wouldn't be safe with anyone else, they bought it. Now let's take a look at how that worked out. I don't think we'll buy the "fear talk" again.

    October 13, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  14. sonya, atlanta, ga

    Jim Bremer, another racist attack. Is that all the HRC camp can do-send email lies like a virus calling Obama a muslim. If this is what the democratic party is about, change your sheet and join the Republicans. Hillary is more republican than democrat. And it's so good to know that you guys can't point out where his position is flawed but have to resort to name calling. Get a life, or better yet, get a brain.

    October 13, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  15. Truth Teller

    Mike in Texas:

    Take out your calculator and multiply Brad's $50 by 352,000. Now laugh.

    October 13, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    Go Blue! Go Left! Go Obama!

    Obama 2008

    October 13, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  17. Tim St. Louis Mo

    please elect Obama. we need someone who isnt a criminal like Bush.

    October 13, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  18. Phyllis, Dallas, TX

    Alright HRC, you've thrown the first punch, so don't get upset when you get hit back.

    You did not honestly think that you would be able to float through to the nomination with anyone questioning your stance on the issues, your flip-flopping and your unanswered "hypothetical" questions.

    Obama's judgement alone is enough to get my vote. Your thurst for power is reason enough for me not to vote for you.

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!

    October 13, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. Lee, Estherville, IA

    I feel sorry for all of you out there in La-La Land that think either of these lying jerks can make the grade as a National leader. Every one in both parties are nothing but extremely accomplished liars and charlatans who have managed to stimulate your little pleasure buttons. Wake up folks and smell the coffee....

    October 13, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  20. anon, ottawa, OH

    OBama is an unconventional man, with unconventional look, unconventioal behaviour, and unconventional thinking. He is a half white muslim.

    October 13, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  21. Mike Longview, TX

    Truth Teller:

    Thanks to my speedy calculator, I have figured that for you! $ 17,600,000.!!
    And I am not laughing, I actually pity the Obama supporters for feeling the "NEED" to bash Hillary! She is running a helluva campaign and her poll numbers are through the roof, not only against her peers, but the GOP nominees as well. I could say a lot of negative things about Obama, and and state why I don't care for his policies, but I will take the hign road and just say, "Keep on keepin' on" Hillary!!!!!!!!!

    October 13, 2007 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  22. Louis, St. Louis, MO

    I am God,
    I am Joshua,
    I am JFK,
    I am Lincoln,
    I really like to be Al Gore for one day (get the prize money isn't bad!)
    I am hypocrite!

    Hillary doesn't even know how to drink milk...

    So you folks all vote for me – I am Barak Hussein Osama

    October 13, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  23. Antony, Dallas TX

    TheInsider ; Caren ;David Lauer ; Providence, RI

    I wonder what you guys are gonna do when HRC loses IA. You guys are going to have a heart attack. You are trumpeting her invincibility but I can guarantee you, IA and NH cannot be told who is invincible and they like going their way. You may wonaa hold on the champaigne bottle folks. Its was sorry scene when I came across these group of girls publicly support HRC for fear of being seen as a sellout and later admit that they will vote for Obama once in the poll booth. Guys, come IA, I will need some popcorn and some coke coz its gonna be a show!
    GO OBAMA 08!!!

    October 13, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  24. anon, new york, NY

    Hey Obama & Edwards,

    Have you guys noticed that since you guys attacking Hillary, you both are sinking in polls, while she is climbing? Guess the dem voters dont believe what you said.

    Edwards: You should start going back chacing abulances and insurance companies for your clients.

    Obama: Your chance of Hillary's VP running mate is decreasing whenever you and michelle open your mouth.

    October 13, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  25. Mike Longview, TX

    As much as all of us supporting Senator Clinton would love for her to win the Iowa caucuses, it will not be the "end of the world" if she doesn't.
    HRC leads in NH, SC, NV, CA, FL, and many more (around 30+) states. I have several friends who live in Atlantic, Iowa, and they have told me that they predict it will be a close race, but that Hillary's name is mentioned as much as Obama's, so who knows how the Hawkeye state will go? But Hillary is IN IT TO WIN IT!!

    October 13, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
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