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. Jim Bremer

    I don't get it.

    Some people are claiming that Barak Hussein is not Islamic – that he is true-blue Christian Protestant.

    Whereas other, probably Islamic posters, are claiming that his HUssein name just means "nice" in Arabic. Basically – "Yeah, he's Muslim, but you should not be afraid of that"

    Well, which of the above is true – I think Barak Hussein needs to clarify this to his supporters because right now there is confusion. Or is this another ploy in the "Politics of False Hope ?"

    October 13, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  2. sonya, atlanta, ga

    Obama supporters bashing. With all the hate HRC people are doing. We don't need to stoop to the level of calling him naive, irresponsible, or muslim. That is your card. And run with it. Because it won't get you to the WH.

    October 13, 2007 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  3. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    It is sad to see the bloggers focus on whether or not Obama is "attacking" Clinton, instead of considering whether or not he is correct in saying his thinking and approach is more bold and unconventional. It is patently obvious that he is a deeper thinker, and will bring a more unconventional governing style to the White House. The debate should be whether or not this sort of change is best for the country. Personally, it is what I have longed for since the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in 1968. But regardless of preference, no one should kid themselves into believing that the Clintons will not represent a more conservative, conventional approach to governance.

    October 13, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  4. Ben

    Jim Bremer:

    Sounds like you just don't want to get it. Barack Obama's father was an athiest. Barack opted for his protestant religion while working as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago where he met many people of faith and made his own choice.

    His religion is irrelevant. The point is, you attempted to make it relevant here, and if you choose to do something like that, you should have the integrity to be informed and tell the truth.

    Vote for whomever you wish. Live with the consequences.

    October 13, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  5. Emmanuel

    Hillary is yet to respond, you see she has to wait for Bill to get home so they can plan in their BEDROOM. BEDROOM POLITICS is what she gives and Hillary supporters should wake up to this fact.

    AYUUB you got it right! Tired of people who feel they can plan America from their bedroom and get away with it. America is above any couple and Hillary supporters should know she has nothing to offer, and America has more qualified candidates.

    Yes the years of Bill Clinton was okay so snap out of it and stop living in the past, please move on and stop acting like your future is in the hands of just one man; that is just so sad.

    Like it or not Obama will best the years of Clinton, and everyone will love him for bringing the Government back to Americans to the point that no other future President can destroy it because Americans will cry foul.

    Obama 08!

    October 13, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  6. Darin,PA

    I was in the spirit and praying for Guidance for this country. A calm peace that came over me.
    Then I saw why:

    I was at an Inauguration.For the next president. People were cheering and Shouting.I look to be hold. America voted for their first Black President.

    the point to this:

    The American people Will Decide who the next president will not the Washington Insiders and The Political establishment.

    October 13, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  7. Denny

    I was in the spirit and praying for Guidance for this country. A calm peace came over me.
    Then I saw why:

    I was at an Inauguration.For the next president. People were cheering and Shouting.I look to be hold. America voted for their first Black President.

    the point to this:

    The American people Will Decide who the next president will be not the Washington Insiders and Political establishment.

    October 13, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  8. charles, fort-wort, texas

    In politics you need to avoid flip-floping. Lately Mrs. Clinton has been doing that. She said no about meeting the leaders of the rogue states and now she says yes. Obama had said longtime ago that he would meet with those leaders.I am afraid that the republicains would use that against
    her in the general election and the situation would be catastrophic.

    Mrs. Clinton changes the position whenever the wind is blowing. It is a huge mistake for Mrs. Clinton and her campaign. It is really sad. Senator John kerry lost the 2004 election because of that. This is a wake up call for us to choose Obama.

    October 14, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  9. Voice for the Uniter FL

    I think both candidates are a little guilty of exaggerating eachothers motives. I think it was disrespectful for hillary to call barack naive. Insults are the low point of any disagreement.

    Barack had a responsibility to make his difference in oppinion with hillary clearer. Neither of them has said they would meet with anyone specifically and he was wrong to not clarify that.

    In January all of this will be old news. The questions that we will take away from this back and forth will be these.

    1) How much does diplomacy with foreign enemies matter to me when I vote?

    2) Which Presidential candidate do I think has the best policy on this issue?

    3) Which presidential candidate do I trust to do what they say on this issue?

    I will admit that I support Senator Barack Obama on this issue. I believe the President's first priority in dealing with foreign nations should be to talk things out. I believe that history has proven that speaking as directly and openly to your enemies as possible without hesitation gives you the best chance for peace. I think all conflict stems from fear and that we perpetuate that fear by isolating ourselves. I trust Obama most to do this because his position has been clear, forthright, and consistent even under attacks from some of his opponents.

    Hey guys what you just saw was called debating. I think everybody has the right to their oppinion as well as the right to disagree. What is your goal in hacking at eachother? You will only make people want to go out and vote against your candidate.

    Im sorry CNN if this isn't the kind of comment that infuriates and generates more hits but the voice of logic does not scream.

    October 14, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  10. Fred Seattle WA

    Whatever happen to the politics of HOPE Mr. Obama?

    Bring It On! Clinton takes a lickin and keeps on tickin, hell, even republicans are starting to realize that she's most capable. She's the full course menu–Obama, Edwards, Richardson are just side salads/appetizers.

    October 14, 2007 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  11. Coach Haughton NH

    Someone With the name Bremer is not a Nazi?

    Someone With the name Bremer is not Fascist?

    Bremer is just a nice name from germany, the country responsible WWI, WWII, the worst genocide in history etc. But thats Okay right?

    So are you a Nazi or are you fascist?
    Or is this another "ploy in the mind of a moron"?

    October 14, 2007 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  12. Coach Haughton NH

    Wow guys this name game is fun! I should've joined a long time ago! If we vote based on name we can just ignore everything else and punch next to the best looking name on the ballot.
    We don't even have to worry about the candidate's sex, race or god forbid the issues! You've made this sooooo much easier for everyone. GO JIM HITLER BREMER! A visionary and a true social genius.

    Is the name Clinton not British?

    Is Hillary Clinton not a Redcoat?

    Did Britain not infringe upon the rights of the founders of this great nation?

    Have we not declared independance from Hillaryland?

    Is Hillary Clinton not a royalist?

    I think we need Her Majesty The Clinton to clarify her supporters because right now there is confusion.

    October 14, 2007 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  13. peacesource

    Obama should not try and talk tough and peace at the same time. He should go all the way with the NPT and peace before we are drawn into an abyss.
    The plan to nuke/attack Iran is brilliant is it not? It will opens up a third front when the other two wars are failing miserably. It will lead inexorably to a catastrophic explosion of violence and general conflagration in the Middle East. It will probably lead to a compete freeze on oil exports and a depression in the US.
    It will legitimise the use of Nuclear weapons against the US by its enemies. It will confirm all the worst opinions other nations have of the US.
    It will lead to a complete breakdown of the NPT and trigger off a worsening global arms race and cold war. Currently the US is in breach of the NPT see 'People Against the Bomb' on Google Video, and the report on weapons of mass destruction: http://www.wmdcommission.org/
    It will be the third time the US has dropped WMD making it the only nation to commit this horrific crime thrice.
    Iran has declared it want peace.
    These threats only make their need to manufacture nuclear weapons more likely. US voters 66% of whom do not want WMD Obama should deamnd demand 'No First use' and make the NPT a major issue. Nuclear Winter is not the answer to global warming.

    October 14, 2007 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  14. Jim Jefferson

    Obama ad is misleading
    It's presented as a clip from an important Barack Obama speech, but it's actually a re-recording. CNN's Josh Levs reports.

    Now obama is making a fool of himself...its time for him to leave the race...We are tired of hearing him babble

    October 14, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  15. Rocco, Wellington, FL

    Hillary Clinton in all respects is the candidate for Our time in history. The next President will be face with a country torn apart by the NeoCon leadership of the Bush Adminisration, a War with no end, and a World stature that has sank to the lowest level I can ever recall.

    Now Who better to fix this mess a seasoned Senator from the state of NY or a junior senator from Il. A senator which will have dinner each night with a former Great President of the US or a senator who will have dinner with his wife a very nice lady. This Choice is not going to be difficult if the voters keep in mind "What does America need to fix the Mess left behind by Bush"

    October 14, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  16. Jim Bremer

    Dear Coach Haughton, I do not know why you are getting worked up. The time for jehad is not here yet. Please wait, there may yet be a chance for Barak Hussein Obama to create Koran law here and then you can have a field day.

    PS – Bremer is a Jewish name, not that it will make any difference to a Islamofascist.

    October 14, 2007 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  17. Ayyub, Richmond

    Hillary Clinton in all respects is the candidate for Our time in history. The next President will be face with a country torn apart by the NeoCon leadership of the Bush Adminisration, a War with no end, and a World stature that has sank to the lowest level I can ever recall.

    Now Who better to fix this mess a seasoned Senator from the state of NY or a junior senator from Il. A senator which will have dinner each night with a former Great President of the US or a senator who will have dinner with his wife a very nice lady. This Choice is not going to be difficult if the voters keep in mind "What does America need to fix the Mess left behind by Bush"

    She's not seasoned. Do you even know how many years she's been in the senate? Not just one person can fix what Bush has done. What's your proof that Hillary is the best person for the job.

    October 14, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. roger, conway sc

    Obama is coming out swinging against Hillary sounds like Edwards & Elizabeth and it sure did not help the Edwards campaign...he would do better to stick to HIS issues and thoughts rather than be concerned with what Hillary is doing...sounds like he is whining...

    October 14, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. Ayyub, Richmond

    Obama ad is misleading
    It's presented as a clip from an important Barack Obama speech, but it's actually a re-recording. CNN's Josh Levs reports.

    Now obama is making a fool of himself…its time for him to leave the race…We are tired of hearing him babble

    Posted By Jim Jefferson : October 14, 2007 8:11 am

    You are a fool Jim. I watched it on CNN just like you did. He recorded it again because LIKE CNN CLEARLY SAID there wasn't a good enough quality recording of the original speach. So come on. If you're going to give someof the information Jim give it all!

    October 14, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. ZTL

    I don't know the kind of hypocrisy Americans practice. Americans are the most self righteous people in the world, they go out to other nations preaching the gospel, yet, in our backyard, we still judge the level of Christianity based on someone's middle name. To me that is really pathetic.

    We've had pastors who preached to large congregation, yet, went behind the covers of the night to have gay sex. That is perfect with you hypocrites.

    Election 08 is far beyond the notion of middle name. People are really hungry for hope for a very bright future and the only person with the ability, track and judgment is Barack Obama. Obama will restore American prestige in the world yet again, make affordable health care for all, bring American dream back.

    Let us move away from textbook politics that has plagued Washington for over 2 decades and do politics based on the realities of world we live in and what the future holds.

    Obama 08 … Because Change will happen!

    October 14, 2007 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. Adam for

    Hillary Clinton in all respects is the candidate for Our time in history. The next President will be face with a country torn apart by the NeoCon leadership of the Bush Adminisration, a War with no end, and a World stature that has sank to the lowest level I can ever recall.

    Now Who better to fix this mess a seasoned Senator from the state of NY or a junior senator from Il. A senator which will have dinner each night with a former Great President of the US or a senator who will have dinner with his wife a very nice lady. This Choice is not going to be difficult if the voters keep in mind "What does America need to fix the Mess left behind by Bush"
    Posted By Rocco, Wellington, FL : October 14, 2007 8:17 am

    definitely not hillary "bush-cheney lite" clinton.

    October 14, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. George

    Dear Coach Haughton, I do not know why you are getting worked up. The time for jehad is not here yet. Please wait, there may yet be a chance for Barak Hussein Obama to create Koran law here and then you can have a field day.

    PS – Bremer is a Jewish name, not that it will make any difference to a Islamofascist.
    Posted By Jim Bremer : October 14, 2007 8:56 am

    Judaism, like Islam, is a religion, not a nationality, and any surname is potentially either both or neither.
    You two have a lot in common, you are both hot-head racists who post inflammatory garbage that has more to do with your own problems than the problems facing the country.
    My advice, get a room.

    October 14, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. stan pitts p.a

    Sen clinton will not be 'SHOVED' down my throat, this is not a monarchy, she does not deserve the throne, neither is she next in line to be president, the people will speak in due season, and barack obama will win!!!

    October 14, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. Coach Haughton NH

    Ahh again I am graced by the eloquent insights of George Hitler Bremer. I don't know some reasearch also indicates that Bremer is a german name. you say its jewish, So which is it? are you a Zionist? Or a Nazi? Is that why you are so paranoid about a presidential candidate having an arabic middle name? Or are you a Nazi and the Idea of barack doesn't sit well with your beliefs on racial purity? Rooting for good old blond haired, blue eyed hillary?

    That's why this guy is so crazy, he has an identitiy crisis. A Zionofascist, something new!

    You know it's amusing to see YOU call someone racist.

    I am a white man (with a redcoat name) voting for a black man for president.

    October 14, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Coach Haughton NH

    Wow guys this name game is fun! I should've joined a long time ago! If we vote based on name we can just ignore everything else and punch next to the best looking name on the ballot.
    We don't even have to worry about the candidate's sex, race or god forbid the issues! You've made this sooooo much easier for everyone. GO JIM HITLER BREMER!(Prefers to be called Zionist) A visionary and a true social genius.

    Is the name Clinton not British?

    Is Hillary Clinton not a Redcoat?

    Did Britain not infringe upon the rights of the founders of this great nation?

    Have we not declared independance from Hillaryland?

    Is Hillary Clinton not a royalist?

    I think we need Her Majesty The Clinton to clarify her supporters because right now there is confusion.

    Posted By Coach Haughton NH : October 14, 2007 1:55 am

    October 14, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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