November 19th, 2007
04:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama brushes back Clinton criticism

Obama reacted to Clinton's allusions that he is inexperienced on fiscal issues.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama fired back Monday at Sen. Hillary Clinton, who said in a speech earlier in the day that the country can’t afford a president in need of on-the-job training, especially when it comes to fiscal issues.

“I am happy to compare my experiences to hers when it comes to the economy,”

Obama said when asked about Clinton’s veiled criticism of him. “My understanding was that she wasn't Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration.”

Clinton said in a speech in Knoxville, Iowa, that “every day spent learning the ropes is another day of rising costs, mounting deficits and growing anxiety for our families. And they cannot afford to keep waiting." She noted that electing someone not ready for the task “could be the costliest job training in history."

Obama countered, “If she has specific differences with me with respect to economic policy, I'm happy to have those debates. But this sort of general notion of experience based on longevity in Washington I don't think is sufficient to make the case to the voters of Iowa or the American people."

Clinton of New York and Obama of Illinois are competing for the Democratic presidential nomination.

- CNN’s Alexander Marquardt and Chris Welch


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. KELEO, Honolulu, Hawaii

    ALOHA NO....GREETINGS FROM HONOLULU!

    BASED ON HILLARY'S RATIONALE THAT SHE IS THE MOST EXPERIENCE CANDIDATE, I THEN THINK THAT IT WOULD BE SAFE TO ASSUME THAT LAURA BUSH WILL BE THE NEXT MOST QUALIFED CANDIDATE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012! THE FACT THAT HILLARY WILL NOT RELEASE HER WHITE HOUSE RECORDS SPEAKS VOLUMES. YOU AND I BOTH KNOW THAT ALL THE CLINTON'S WOULD HAVE TO DO IS MAKE ONE PHONE CALL TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

    HILLARY IS SO OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE AVERAGE AMERICAN, THAT SHE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT THE AVERAGE ANNUAL SALARY OF A MIDDLE CLASS AMERICAN IS $97,000! DURING THE DEBATE IN VEGAS SHE STATED THAT THIS $97,000/ANNUALLY IS INDICATIVE OF MOST FIREMEN AND POLICEMEN IN AMERICA. TALK ABOUT BEING OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE REAL WORLD!

    OBAMA HAS THE INSIGHT AND EXPERIENCE TO LEAD AND BRING POLITICAL PARTIES TOGETHER. NO MATTER HOW HARD PEOPLE PUSH FOR HILLARY...SHE WILL ALWAYS BE A POLARIZING FIGURE IN AMERICAN POLITICS. UNFORTUNATELY, YOU CAN'T TEACH PEOPLE HOW THE WORK WELL WITH OTHERS AND GAIN THEIR RESPECT. YOU EITHER HAVE IT OR YOU DON'T! IT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT. UNFORTUNATELY THERE WERE A LOT OF SCANDALOUS THINGS HAPPENING IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHEN BILL WAS PRESIDENT. TELL ME THAT THE REPUBLICANS WILL NOT TAP INTO THIS IF SHE MAKES IT TO THE GENERAL ELECTION

    I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THE CHANGES TO COME AND I THINK AS PEOPLE GET TO KNOW SENATOR OBAMA, THEY WILL UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE WILLING TO WORK SO HARD TO MAKE HIM OUR NEXT PRESIDENT.

    GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

    OBAMA 2008!!!! WE ARE FIRED UP AND GOING STRONGER EVERYDAY IN HAWAII!

    ALOHA HUI LOA,

    KALEO

    November 20, 2007 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  2. Honestly, TX

    Posted By GGB – NY, NY : November 19, 2007 6:45 pm

    GGB, you are wrong, she only has a record of accomplishment as a Senator, not first lady. We don't have indpendently verified records of any "accomplishments" from her White House days. Except for accounts of how she displayed terrible leadership skills in the health care fiasco. Bill even preferred to use interns from some White House jobs.

    Biden and Dodd are the experienced candidates if years in office are the only criteria that matter. If leadership counts, the record shows Clinton to be one of the worst candidates.

    No thanks, I'll take Obama's better ideas, better vision, and better leadership skills over Clinton any day.

    November 20, 2007 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  3. mark wilkes barre pa

    Being on a comittee asigned to foriegn affairs or policy might look good on a resume. having a hand in forming bills to be passed also might look good too. Having a resume inside and out of the political arena that shows a candidates ability to leed might be helpful. Get where I'm going with this ???

    November 20, 2007 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  4. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    I am so hopeful that when Sen Clinton becomes President, she sends this arrogant buffoon to political Siberia, never to be seen or heard from again.

    November 20, 2007 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  5. Hank, Fort Myers, FL

    It's not his experience. It's his comments themselves. One second he talks about diplomacy...the next he makes an aggressive utterance about how to manage Pakistan, then he gets bent out of shape because our Senate declares the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, then he doesn't acknowledge the importance of placing your hand over the heart during a flag ceremony. His comments–and viewpoints are scattered all over the place. His message is inconsistent–his actions and reactions and unvetted comments are telling and spin won't change those impressions.

    November 20, 2007 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  6. Ray, Lima, Ohio

    Being first lady doesn't count for experience. If the American people believe this premise the next president will be Jeb Bush. " I have the most experience my dad and brother were both presidents." Then the following election you'll have Chelsea Clinton running after Jeb Bush, " My Dad and Mom were both presidents, I am the most qualified." The American people are looking for real change.
    Obama '08

    November 20, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  7. RIghtyTighty

    A picture is worth a thousand words and CNN picked a good one for this post. This women has sold her soul for a chance at the presidency. The dirt of his past is the last thing Obama should be worried about..

    November 20, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Matt, from Iraq

    So the democratic supporters are stuck between Clinton and Obama for the most part, and even with all of her "experience" she can't shake this guy. Well, the reason she can't seem to put him away is because he is smarter, has better judgment, and is willing to tell people what he is really thinking. Can anyone give me one example of anything she did while her husband was in the White House, other than the failed health care plan? Even if you accept the fact that he can't "lead day one", can you imagine how good for the country he would be as soon as he figured it out? I think he has already figured it out, and he will have a complete plan to his first year as President well in advance.

    Obama in '08

    November 20, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. Arshad, Newburgh, NY

    It's true that she shared a bed with a running President for 8 years in White House. However there is no scietific evidence that suggests, during night time, one person's knowledge or wisdom or experience somehow transmits to the next person sleeping on the same bed by Osmosis or similar mechanism. That would be the ONLY way for Clinton to claim she earned Executive experience during those 8 years as first lady to the extent that she can be the most effective as the President from day 1. First lady is not an elected post. She had no mandate from people to do anything on behalf of people. She was not employed by the President to run any government agency. So she did not have any legal executive power or experience. She was allowed by Clinton (unusual and unprecedented) to run a task force on healthcare and she screwed it up so much that we are still talking about Universal healthcare after 14 years of her failed effort. That's the only initiative she took during that 8 years of Clinton presidency and it's a story of failure. So what Mrs Clinton is claiming for experience. There is no experience but experience of failure.

    If we come to legislation, Obama has been a state senator in IL for 8 years and a US Senator for 3 years. That's 11 years for Obama as an elected official vs. 8 years for Clinton. Let me ask if Clinton has passed ANY hallmark legislation that has changed lives of American people or changed the way business usual in Washington. So help us to understand, where this expericence coming from? Doing what? Where? Accomplishing what? How? When? Where?

    November 20, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Let's see Clinton's experience 8 years behind the sence in the White House during that time headed health paln, yes it failed but she gained experience. Behind sence player in Arkansas at state level, US Senator. Obama experience, not much.

    Given the two of them I would have to say Clinton has more experience in getting something done in government than Obama. Plus I would have to put a little credit to her advisor who seems to have 8 years of experince in federal office. But then that was with a dollar that was not nose diving, a world that actually looked up to the nation, a foriegn policy of communicating with nations that you liked and those that you did not.

    So once again, if there is something to say please say it in the form of a policy statement and an attack on an other canidate, expesically, from the JUNIOR SENATOR from Illinois.

    November 20, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. JJ Jax, FL

    What is Hillary talking about? Overhearing the fiscal meetings in your husbands presidency does not count as 'experience'. Anyone who has a brain and USES IT could tell you that First Lady is a TITLE, not a POSITION. And about any other experience she has? She won't let us see it! She does so because she has 'Bush/Cheyney' experience(y'know, play politics, double talk, give in to anyone who has a large wallet, etc., etc.).I enjoy having the idea of a female president, but NOT THIS ONE. Vote for someone who will ACTUALLY CHANGE THINGS FOR THE BETTER! VOTE OBAMA '08!

    November 20, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Nicosia Davis, Petersburg,Va

    Finally people calling Hillary out. As a young woman Hillary saddens me because she is taunting experience of being a man's wife. All of those trips that someone spouted about were in her job description as first lady "Make your husband look good to other nations" and photo ops. Hillary was having tea and shopping not looking at the global economy. I had been undecided about my vote for POTUS but after this woman thought 97k was the going rate for middle class America I definitely know it is not her.

    November 20, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Christian, Tampa FL

    Oh please. Obama has actually been in office longer than Clinton has.

    I like Obama. Out of the top-tier candidates for the democratic nomination, I think he's the best.

    Overall, though, I think that Joe Biden has demonstrated a thick resume with good judgment and the capacity for bipartisanship. I wish he were higher up in the polls.

    November 20, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Teresa from San Francisco

    Compare This:

    Obama has lived " Outside the Box ", which is an eye opener. Okay, he was a child,but aren't these our formative years? I'm sure the leaders of this world would like a refreshing encounter with a US leader full of Hope and integrity. (Past presidents have tried) Lets get it right this time.

    H. Clinton did the red carpet tour of the world, surrounded by bubble wrap, having learnt nothing but how to shake hands and take a few pictures with some truly important people. Oh and let us not forget the nodding of the head, with the big cheesy smile. She was only friends (with world leaders) by association. Can we move forward?

    November 20, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. anyonebutbo

    he cant even speak without syaing uhh uhhh and uhhh..we dont need a rookie,Hillary will fix this nation,you can count on that this man has nothing to offer hes not expierence to lead..with uhhh and uhhh's and more uhhhs..change his Politics of hope to mudslime hillary i dont vote for one who does that to there own party..I think hes an angry man too.he yelled at some lady in Iowa when ask a question...He hate's seniors he hates gays he hates anyone who doesnt agree with him.we do not know this man,he came up as a media made up Canidate.HIllary )* thats a plus at least we know her.what the hell us do we need to know she has it all out there..his is coming out slowly but some wont come out until after hes elected then we might be sorry.and To OPRAH..said back in 2005 She wanted Hillary to run for president because we need her ...thats is going to fly over like a Balloon Oprah will back OUT from Hitting the trail.well see flip flop OPRAH.

    November 20, 2007 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
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