November 20th, 2007
04:55 PM ET
7 years ago

War of words between Clinton and Obama

Another foreign policy spat has broken out between Sens. Clinton and Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The war of words between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama over foreign policy experience continues to escalate.

The latest salvo came Tuesday from Obama spokesman Bill Burton, who accused Clinton of supporting the Bush administration on matters of foreign policy.

"Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld have spent time in the White House and (traveled) to many countries as well, but along with Hillary Clinton they led us into the worst foreign policy disaster in a generation and are now giving George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran,” Burton said in a statement. “The real choice in this election is between conventional Washington thinking that prizes posture and positioning, or real change that puts judgment and honesty first."

Burton was responding to criticism by Clinton, who knocked Obama for saying earlier in the week that his experience living in Indonesia taught him how “ordinary people in these other countries live.”

In criticizing Obama, Clinton said that America needs a president with more foreign policy experience than he has to offer.

“Now voters will judge whether living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next President will face,” Clinton said. “I think we need a President with more experience than that. Someone the rest of the world knows, looks up to, and has confidence in. I don’t think this is the time for on the job training on our economy or on foreign policy.”

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Christopher, Homewood, IL

    I have been eligible to vote for 25 years. I have seen the Reasgan years, the Bush (41 and 43) years, the Clinton years, and I have personally prospered under these administrations. I have seen "experience" do great things, and I have seen it cost a lot of lives. I have seen experience save tax dollars, and I have seen it cost so much money that it has caused me to lose faith in government at many levels. I have been to Washington D.C., and I saw the Lincoln Memorial,and I saw the gravesite memorial of President John Kennedy, and saw words etched in concrete that reinforced my belief in America the beautiful, America, the strong, America the kinder, gentler country, and that's who I want us to be. Thst's the face I want on this country. From what I have read online, from what I have seen on television ,and from what debate I have listened to, I strongly believe that to be Obama.

    November 21, 2007 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  2. Independent in IA

    Sorry....seems to me neither is qualified to carry a water-bucket.

    November 21, 2007 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  3. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    And where was Obama when it came time to vote on these crucial matters? MIA

    November 21, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  4. Jack, Fort Myers, FL

    This will be a short war! It seems Mr. Obama is his own worst enemy. Recommendation: Engage brain prior to opening mouth.

    November 21, 2007 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  5. Chris, Pensacola FL

    No one I know of has confidence in Clinton. Sure we all know the name. What experience does she have? I don't think many people look up to you. Have you seen the MAJORITY of the posted comments?? That's not an accurate statement ma'am.

    I don't know how much experience is required to take Bushes place of using bombs rather than words, but Clinton can't offer the world anything. Those countries don't want to deal with women. I'm surprised they tolerate Rice, unless that is PR stunt on TV.

    November 21, 2007 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  6. Rodney Dallas TX

    Scott, Royal Oak, MI

    Clinton is a US Senator and was overwhelmingly voted in twice. Obama in currently in his first Senate duty. Hillary has been in longer. Makes her more experienced.

    Furthermore, Obama has missed over 80% of the votes in the Senate since he's been running for President, including the most important one that he continues to bash Hillary over. He's not doing his job now in the Senate, (voting on behalf of the people of Illinois), but rather out "partying" with the people. He lacks every thing needed to be president.

    November 21, 2007 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  7. Tom Dedham, Mass

    What experience is she FOREVER touting?

    Her getting national healthcare passed ..... oops.

    "Staying at home having teas and cookies"....oops.

    One of her few succeses was turning a $1000 overnight into $100,000, but that was just "luck".

    She successfully found some missing papers on a coffee table YEARS after they went "missing".

    She successfully touts her being named after Sir Edmund Hillary who was a "world renowned bee keeper" when she was born.

    How can you tout your REAL experience when ALL of your RECORDS are sealed?

    The most experienced and successful at geting things done ACROSS THE AISLE on the Democratic side is Joe Biden.

    He forgot more than Hillarity knows, but he doesn't get the coverage or the MONEY and that is a shame.

    Somewhere along the way we could have used a Biden/Lieberman (or vice-versa) ticket and this is coming from a Republican.

    November 21, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. anon, new york, NY

    How naive can Obama be to think that his 4 years in Indoesia with his stepfather gives him the foreign experience to be the next president? How blind can people be in believing his logic?

    If norminted, the republicans can tear him down bad. The dems party will have NO chance to have a dem president.

    I have yet to see a state or national poll of the dems voters that Obama beats out Hillary in electability, experience, and qualifications.

    November 21, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Steve in SC

    This picture looks like she is being scoulded for stealing a cookie!

    November 21, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. repeatloser

    When will the dems actually nominate someone electable??

    November 21, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Amanda, Austin, TX

    "I regret that Obama still does not understand that he is not electable. He is the main subject of the republicans political play book. If he is the democratic candidate then the republicans will retain the White House, because 20% of democrates (sic) will not vote for a black American"....

    Well 50% of this country has already said they will not vote for Hillary, so what does that say? Obama has a MUCH higher chance of snatching some of the undecided or moderate votes than Hillary does. Also, I find it funny that she things other countries will "look up to her" when A LOT of the countries she is referring to don't respect women, period, much less a woman in power. She will have not a chance in hell trying to negotiate with some of those countries.

    November 21, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Beverly H., Discovery Bay, CA

    The majority of these comments are from Republican Hillary Haters posing as Obama supporters. What a great forum for them! They have been scared to death of Hillary for over a decade and now can't believe she is such a formidable candidate: experienced, strong, balanced, and brilliant. As for Obama, he and his campaign people are in such a panic that they're wasting valuable air time bashing every move Hillary makes instead of articulating their own agenda and giving clear, direct, knowledgeable answers. Oh, that's right, you'd have to have knowledge based on ACTUAL experience to do that.
    Bottom line, Republicans want Obama as the Democratic candidate because they can beat him (after they've ripped him apart in the campaign).

    November 21, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Jack, Fort Myers, FL

    Lieberman is a member of the Knesset posing as a member of Congrress. As an Independent...he can keep his backing and play all sides of the track. Wake up you dummies.

    November 21, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. PENNSYLVANIA

    I have posted this about a billion times now... will someone please tell me WHY being First Lady means you have more experience? Someone? Anyone?

    November 21, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Colin742

    Obama says his experience living in the foreign culture of Indonesia between ages 6/10 give him a stronger base than Hillary to handle foreign policy. When asked, Senator Biden responded smiling "I think he's right .That is his strongest [foreign policy] credential”. Over about 35 years Hillary has been to about 80 nations sometimes talking to leaders about substantive issues. She was the keynote speakers at a conference in China of 3000 from all over the world.
    The Obama site does not indicate that he speaks any language other the English. I assume he was part of the Indonesian English speaking Protestant minority. A 6 or 10 year old child living and playing in his small world has candy on his mind, not international relations. Somehow Obama’s words seem SILLY, CHILDISH, JUVANILE

    November 21, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. Jose Card

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/19/AR2007111901793.html

    "Censorship! That's what some art lovers whispered during the Hillary Clinton fundraiser Nov. 5 at the Woodley Park home of Tony and Heather Podesta. ...

    The Podestas are part of Washington's Democratic elite: He's a top lobbyist and brother of Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta; she just launched her own lobbying firm."

    There is no free lunch and Hillary knows it. Washington is a well connected place for conflict of interest, and our constitution is out of date for keeping lobbyists away from the White House and Congress. The lobbyists gave Hillary plenty of money and she called them good Americans. That's why she is afraid of answering unplanted questions from voters in Iowa. She doesn't know how to look at America from outside for lack of living abroad experience, neither does she know the inside story of American heart land.

    We need a true leader, not a princess, who brags and blames everybody else. You can't blame her for thinking the White House is her permanent home if you vote her and Bill in again.

    "Global spread of democracy stalled" –
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1121/p01s02-usgn.html
    It is occurring in the U.S. as well as in Russia, Pakistan, and Venezuela. Do these good Americans know what they are doing to America?

    November 22, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  17. Benjamin, San Diego, Ca.

    One comment earlier mocks Sen. Obama for his lack of particular attention to stay within the "Democratic" mind set. Well, if there is anyone out there that can say they would like a president with a closed mind and focus on just one side of the house, I pity you. Being an experienced traveler myself I can tell you that America is not always looked upon as favorable, due to our apparent closed-mind policies. I am an American and a very proud one at that. Although living in a country at such a young age does not shape ones foreign policy understanding, it could open ones mind to what is really going on out there. Ask any parent at what point does a child learn the fastest, shaping mind frame and outlook for later years?
    Alcohol, drugs, and awry fun? Yes, Obama did these things as a young man. He also admitted it beyond doubt and in writing. I would like to meet more people that can open their closets and release the skeletons with such courage. We have all made mistakes, it is the lessons learned and what you do with it that makes the difference. Obama 08

    November 22, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  18. Jose Card

    Being a naturalized citizen, I totally understand what living abroad is about. That valuable foreign experience came from interacting with local people and local culture. You get to know how they think and what they value. You live among the locals as equals. You won't get this experience as a well-protected first lady. After several trips to Africa, Chelsea received a marriage proposal offered by a Kenyan councilman with the promise of 40 goats and 20 cows. Obviously, that was not what Hillary had intended to achieve, but she still has not learned the tools of the trade in foreign services according to her critique of Obama’s foreign experiences.

    Many people around the world love and hate us. You can call this American Syndrome if you wish. Visiting a country is not the same as living in one. Misunderstanding or ignoring area studies can cost us lots of lives, money and setback in foreign policies. I don't think Hillary was trying to lie about her being more experienced than Obama in foreign experiences, but she is simply very ignorant of it.

    November 23, 2007 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  19. john, NY,NY

    I have lives in four different countries as an adult. Now as a adult you could have experience. As a child, it is pathetic to label it as foreign experince. It is even more childish to support such assertions.

    ___________________________________
    Being a naturalized citizen, I totally understand what living abroad is about. That valuable foreign experience came from interacting with local people and local culture. You get to know how they think and what they value. You live among the locals as equals. You won't get this experience as a well-protected first lady. After several trips to Africa, Chelsea received a marriage proposal offered by a Kenyan councilman with the promise of 40 goats and 20 cows. Obviously, that was not what Hillary had intended to achieve, but she still has not learned the tools of the trade in foreign services according to her critique of Obama’s foreign experiences.

    Many people around the world love and hate us. You can call this American Syndrome if you wish. Visiting a country is not the same as living in one. Misunderstanding or ignoring area studies can cost us lots of lives, money and setback in foreign policies. I don't think Hillary was trying to lie about her being more experienced than Obama in foreign experiences, but she is simply very ignorant of it.

    Posted By Jose Card : November 23, 2007 1:25 am

    November 24, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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