November 14th, 2007
07:40 PM ET
11 years ago

Candidates criticize Clinton's reaction to Spitzer

Clinton said Wednesday she is against a program that gives driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - After New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer ended his bid to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Sen. Hillary Clinton's rivals came out swinging against the Democratic presidential hopeful for her reaction.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, called her action "flip-flopping cubed."

Bill Burton, a spokesman for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, also sharply criticized Clinton for switching her views on the issue.

"When it takes two weeks and six different positions to answer one question on immigration, it's easier to understand why the Clinton campaign would rather plant their questions than answer them,” Burton said.

Clinton received flak for saying that his plan made "a lot of sense" during a debate in late September. But on Wednesday, she said she is supporting Spitzer's decision to withdraw the proposal and blamed Congress and the White house for failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

"As president, I will not support drivers' licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration including border security and fixing our broken system," Clinton said in a statement.

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. NeverUnderEstimateHillaryandTheClintonistas, NY

    Spitzer dropping the plan the day before the debate has the Clintonistas written all over it. She didn't want to have the moderators bring it up again as an issue in the debate tomorrow night, ergo ... call Spitzer, tell him to drop the whole plan. She then states her position (after the pollsters are done telling her what to "think?"). She takes all the flak the day before, the issue never comes up at the debate, and she isn't embarrased trying to explain herself (again). Why would the moderators talk about it now? If they do bring it up, she'll say "Wolf, I've already clearly (ha, ha!) stated my position." Classic Clintonistas "makin' a call" to get an issue off their back .... just classic.

    November 14, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. JB Boston MA

    By the way-

    This eliminates Hillary's ability to accuse others of flip flopping. This will hurt her drastically in the general election.

    I am sure Romney and Giulliani are laughing their butts off!!

    It just ensures her loss against a R if she gets the nod

    November 14, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. Carl, St Petersburg FL

    Oh my God a politician that changed their position on an issue. What a shocker. What will we do? So what, Mrs. Clinton continues to prove that she can run with the big dogs. Good for her!

    November 14, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  4. Jose, Atlanta GA

    Finally Hillary gets exposed for what she truly is. Now where did she put her principals, morals and values (probably the same place George Bush put his).

    November 14, 2007 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  5. FT Doylestown, Pa

    Hillary Voted for all of the Immigrations "Dream Act" Bills that the American People BEAT BACK FOR FOUR TIMES just this year. She's Knee Deep in ILLEGAL Imigrants and this MUST be CLEAR TO AMERICA!!!!
    If you Want Open Borders...Yep She's your GIRL!!!

    November 14, 2007 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  6. theresa lv

    Hillary never votes or answers questions until she sees which way the wind is blowing. So taking two weeks to answer the immigration question is right on target for her.

    What a leader! Such judgement!

    November 14, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. Abdullah

    "Experience" + Clinton= I'm a democrat, but will vote republican if she gets the nomination!
    Hillary is too wedded to the system, to affect real change—she’s to calculated, I don’t see her living her values and ethics (planted questions, voting in unison with the Bushites). As someone who works in the field of social welfare, both domestically and internationally, the Republican Party and their "small government" mantra sicken me and marginalized populations I serve, but if the Democratic Party gives Hillary the node, I'm voting Republican. Just as I did not vote for the Bush dynasty, I will not vote for Clinton dynasty.

    November 14, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  8. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Oh boy, I can't wait for all the vitriol that's coming this way!!!

    I'm sure it'll be the usual bla, bla, bla, from all the haters.


    November 14, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  9. Pete, Washington

    Thank you Hillary. You have shown the American voter, once again, that you can NOT take a position on any issue without checking the polls. That is not leadership. Stay tuned, Hillary may, very well, 'flip-flop' again. These past three weeks have exposed her and her campaign. It looks like the wheels on the Clinton bandwagon are coming off.

    November 14, 2007 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. therealist

    One thing we do know for sure is that we don't know where Hillary will be standing on immunity for illegals next week.

    November 14, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Kyle G. Columbia SC

    WOW!! Clinton camp has to honestly be kidding us. Now, if she thinks the American public will buy that after I (PERSONALLY) sat thier and watched her answer that question at the last debate I must have "BOZO da CLOWN"!! Hillary I never had a thing against you but I will work even EXTRA HARDER TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T WIN MY STATE; SOUTH CAROLINA!! CNN must have had a typo cause reading this article I am at a COMPLETE LOST!! They gave Kerry the mask as a flip-flopper on a more serious issue like SERVING HIS COUNTRY. I just wonder what in the WORLD do they plan to give HILLARY!!

    November 14, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. frank rivas

    Meanwhile, new early state polls have Hillary Clinton up with massive leads in the key primaries of South Carolina and New Hampshire.

    Yeah, democrats are as stupid as republicans.

    November 14, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    i dont see it as flip flopping ! if the governer of new york wants to drop the issue it makes it all that harder for hillary to really even move forward with it ! after all when hugely populated states like new york withdrawl from participating in such legislation it pretty much is a dead issue, wjen you dont have the support of states like new youk and california it seems its just beating a dead horse! i call it a change of heart not flip flooping, whats so wrong with changing your mind on an issue> times change people change outr ideas and opinions change! why cant a politicians?

    November 14, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  14. BOB



    November 14, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. Joe M. Dayton, O

    Is there any issue she doesnt place the blame on President Bush and/or Congress? Since she is part of Congress, she is part of the problem and not part of the solution. How about we do away with the whole lot of them in Washington and start this all over again. Maybe then we can straighten out the issues. All the "career politicians" and the hot air the spew forth, are the main source for Global Warming.

    November 14, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. Michelle U., San Diego, CA

    She has to be absolutely insane. I can't think of another logical explanation. Either say you don't have an opinion, or are not informed enough at the moment to make a decision or answer clearly if you do have a position. How hard is that. But what blows my mind is that not only does she answer two different ways during the same debate, but then she answers again two days later, and then retracts 3 weeks later when the Spitzer retracts. WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE IN??????????

    November 14, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. RS, Los Angeles, CA

    This entire incident has just been a perfect example of the flaws in this nation's governance at the highest levels. After George W. Bush's "stay the course" and Hillary Rodham Clinton's "flip-flopping cubed", we as members of the American electorate need to seriously evaluate all of the potential candidates so that the Clintonian embarrasments and Bushism fumbling doesn't occur again.

    From the Democratic side, the only person who seems to reasonably be up to task is Sen. Barak Obama...

    November 14, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  18. Trollmaster, CA

    "As president, I will not support drivers' licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration including border security and fixing our broken system," Clinton said in a statement.

    She'll have a different position on this next week.

    Did she beat Kerry for the world heavyweight flip floping championship or something?

    Please Democrats, vote for Obama, don't make the same mistake you did with Kerry by having another phony running that's going to end up turning off way too many people.

    November 14, 2007 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. Bill

    No more Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton nonsense!

    Enough already. Hillary is an OLD WOMAN.

    Vote for real change, Obama 08!

    November 14, 2007 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |


    November 14, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. Rob, AZ

    I am so sick of politics on this issue. Do you leave the front/back door of your house open? Do you want to know who is in your house and what their intentions are? DUH, secure our borders! Hard to believe that non- citizens are the largest lobby in DC.
    Next demonstration, makes it easy to round them all up, ship them to their country and send that country the bill adding to THEIR deficit.

    November 14, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Jeff

    Currently I am serving the military and if Hillary is nominated myself and many others will be leaving the military. I refuse to work for commander and chief who has no values what so ever. I served under her husband who gave us nothing for pay raises for 8 years yet had no problem embarassing the country. By the way he went to Wr with out UN approval and none of you liberals said anything.

    November 14, 2007 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  23. Richard, Bettendorf, IOWA

    Is there really any question as to where she really lies? The Clinton's the first 8 years said they would have National Health Care in the first 90 days that he was in office. They even showed a photo ID Card, and what did we end up with? I think everyone has forgotten about those days and can only look at what Bush as or has not done during his time. But he never lied about what he was going to do.... I am not a complete Bush fan as he has done some stuff that has really not made sense to me but another Clinton in the White house would be total disaster for us. Read what the law says about those that are in this country illegally!! What is supposed to happen to them if they get caught.

    November 14, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. Squared Stephen

    Flip-Flopped Cubed I like the sound of that, Hillary "Flip-flopped Cubed" Clinton. This will be a focus of the debate tomorrow night I can not wait.

    November 14, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Shawnie – Grants Pass, OR,

    "Flip-flopping cubed" is right!"

    LOL ... and you're supporting WHO again?

    Romney right?

    Feel free to step up and list as many Hillary flip flops as Romney has.

    Got game? Here we go ...

    A (probably only PARTIAL)list of Romney's flip flops:

    1) He was a liberal in Massachusetts, where he TWICE ran for statewide office as a pro-CHOICE candidate but now says he opposes Roe v. Wade;

    2) he was dedicated to "full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens" and now describes himself as "a champion of traditional marriage";

    3) he signed a no-new-tax pledge (that he once mocked) in an attempt to hide his tax-raising record;

    4) in Massachusetts, he bucked the National Rifle Association by supporting the Brady Bill and an assault-weapons ban, boasting, "I don't line up with the NRA.", yet (in August of 2006) he bragged that he joined the gun-rights organization as a life member;

    5) he was FOR gays serving open in the military before he was AGAINST it;

    6) he endorsed federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research in 2005, but now claims he opposes it;

    7) he may or may not be an avid hunter since he said "I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all my life," he told a man sporting a National Rifle Association cap – even though he’s been on a total of TWO hunting trips in his 60 years!;

    8) Romney said he doesn’t believe in overturning juries, yet he fully supported Dubya’s commuting of Scooter Libby’s sentence before a single day of jail time was ever served;

    9) thinks that his sons driving around in SUVs to campaign for him is equal to, or better than, serving his country helping patrol the streets of Baghdad then said ihe doesn’t;

    10) flip-flopped on amnesty for illegals when he criticized cities that offer sanctuary to illegals via a radio ad saying: "Immigration laws don't work if they're ignored. Legal immigration is great, but illegal immigration, that we've got to end. And amnesty is not the way to do it.". But this was AFTER he said he supported selective amnesty (to those who have ignored and BROKEN those same immigration laws by coming here and staying here ILLEGALLY) in the March 30, 2006 Lowell Sun, saying: “I don’t believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country …Those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.”

    LOL ... I'll be waiting Shawnie... for at least ELEVEN Hillary flip flops on her campaign!

    Let me guess, like most hypocritical repubs, you'll NEVER actually put up when called out right?

    Or will you just try side-stepping the challenge (as usual) and try to say "But ... but ... they ... WEREN'T ... flip flops!"

    Smart money is on you NOT listing 11 of Hillary's AND trying a dodge in the same post!

    November 14, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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