November 20th, 2007
04:55 PM ET
11 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. pam Eugene,OR

    The rest of the world probably does know you Hillary but they DO NOT look up to you. They know what you are and what you represent. Lies,lies and more lies.

    November 20, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. jasmin,iowa city,iowa

    war of word? Christian vs Muslim...female vs male...junior vs york vs that's funny.....honestly...Clinton 08!!!

    November 20, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. Jeff Sacramento, CA

    Bill Burton hit the nail on the head. Conventional "Washington" thinking V.S. judgement and honesty. Clinton says she'll usher in change, but stands by the status quo on so many issues. Relations with Cuba, not holding direct talks w/ rogue nation's leaders, to name just a few. This is the hard headed thinking that in part, got us to where we are now in how other countries percieve the US. So the solution is someone with "expierence" enough not to rock the boat in D.C.? Is it "expierence" that says a polished exterior wins out over substance?
    My self, I don't want our next President to have any "experience". I don't want him or her to be a seasoned Washingtonite, intrenched in partisan politics and vendetta. I want an open mind. A different perspective. Honesty, & direct answers to direct questions.
    Clinton is too polarising a figure. Similar to Bush. They could have all the best ideas in the world, but the opposite party will never follow their lead. Who do you think has a better opportunity to to give a fresh start to the U.S.? Who has the better chance of mustering support that transcends party lines? Experience or Judgment?

    November 20, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. J - San Antonio

    WOW – Obama talking? Go figure on the debates he always seems at a loss for words. Oh he speaks well but he just doesnt cut it on the debates.

    November 20, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. C. MacLean, Raleigh, NC

    I'm confused – what foreign policy experience does H. Clinton have, exactly? She's been a lawyer and a First Lady.

    Of course, she's also a senator, but so is Obama. So who has foreign policy experience?

    The only democratic candidate with any true experience in foreign policy outside the American senate is Bill Richardson, the former ambassador to the UN and current governor of New Mexico.

    Ambassadors use diplomacy and negotiation, not acid rhetoric and bombs.

    If you want real foreign policy experience, you won't find it in Clinton OR Obama (or Biden or Edwards, either.) Senators don't have foreign policy experience.

    November 20, 2007 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Jonathan Brennan, New York, NY

    She's taking Joe Biden's words right out of his mouth and yet when she says them they get all the media's attention. kudos to clinton, obama and edwards for their public relations team and for nothing else.

    November 20, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. Matthew

    I think Obama was way off base saying living in a foreign country as a child has given him the foreign policy training he needs to be President. Well, maybe I'm off base now...he could be President of his Student Council with that experience, but to be President of the United States, well, it takes a lot more real life adult experience than that.

    Senator Clinton has got my vote!

    November 20, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. FT Doylestown, Pa.

    Hillary if such a Joke.....She has the
    Experience Because she was Married to Bill Clinton and lived in the White House!? AMAZING !
    So I guess the White House Chef is more Qualified as he's been there for 15 years.
    Hey,If you needed Heart surgery but the Doc was busy...however you Asked if his Wife could operate on you....DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD SAY THIS????


    November 20, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. Atlanta, GA.

    I think the candidate that the Republicans really want to win is Obama, not Clinton. I feel it is he that would have a bigger problem with electibility.
    He is an inspiring person. But he also has a Muslim name and attended a Muslim school.What do you think the Republicans would do with that in the General election.
    Seeing that we have been in a war with a Muslim country for 6 years, and it was a group of Muslims that attacked the US on 911, doesn't anyone else see that nominating him as the Democratic candidate is a PROBLEM?

    November 20, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  10. Christian, Tampa FL

    Oh for Pete's sake.

    Both campaigns need to be very careful, Hillary's especially. She's really starting to seem quite mean.

    Obama just needs to be careful with his next move. He can keep going up, but he can also go way down.

    November 20, 2007 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  11. Perry Stone Chicago, Illinois

    that looks like a personal attack, is Clinton deciding to "finally" sling mud? what a hypocrite!

    November 20, 2007 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    Having lived abroad gives one a global perspective. "Lived" does not mean "toured." American politicians are generally ignorant and arrogant, with Obama being an exception.

    November 20, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  13. Harold Reid South Dakota

    how interesting that the dinosaur would think that you have to be a certain age to learn from life. Isn't that what life is all about? to continually and consistantly learn? I've had enough of the past and look forward to the future, Clinton is old politics, lets get in the new politics

    November 20, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. Lewis Stapleton DC

    How come Hillary can say this, but if anybody says something similar about her it is mudslinging and piling on. After she loses the nomination she should so a show down in Las Vegas. Hillary is great at smoke and mirrors!

    November 20, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. John Halverson DC

    I guess for the old HAG she is the only one that has learned anything from life. What a joke. There are people that learn quicker then others, some people don't have to be as old as dust to have experience. Also if she has more experience why is she shadowing his campaign. Obama comes out with a new slogan, Hillary also comes out with one that is similar, he changes again so does Hillary. She doesn't have experience unless coat tailing counts.

    November 20, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  16. AT, new york, ny

    Hillary, right on, time to fire back at Obama and Edwards.

    As indicated in the Iowa poll and other polls, you are still the best of all democrat candidates in:

    – worked the hardest,
    – most relevant experience,
    – best leadership qualities, and
    – most electable for next presidential election.

    November 20, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. Oliver Shelby Houston, Texas

    Boy if Obama had said this Bill would be out boo hooing for her claiming Swift Boating, but some how she can say it without swift boating, mud slinging or piling on. After they give us the definition of "is" could they please let us know the definition of the others?

    November 20, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  18. Hypocrite DC

    what did Hillary do at age 10? I think they were chisling stone at that time.

    November 20, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  19. Bill C Iowa

    Once again she shows that all she can do is tear down her opponents and can't stand on her own 2 feet! I guess that is a symptom of coat tailing

    November 20, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  20. Brandon W DC

    boy that statement sure inspires me to vote for her wink wink. Who are these people that look up to her, could she please state names?

    November 20, 2007 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  21. M. Andrews

    I'm sorry but I must have missed a big piece...what countries "look up" to her...and what is this based on?

    November 20, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  22. read this

    Hey, but just because Novak served up "shamelessly unethical" and "unconfirmed crap" doesn't mean Mr. Obama should use it, right?

    Oh, and if you're wondering why I'm targeting Mr. Obama right now it's because his latest stunts are worthy of lambasting. Any Democrat using wingnuts to attack a fellow Democrat raises my suspicions. It further convinces me that Mr. Obama and his team have no dividing line and no party or Democratic policy loyalties (see Social Security), but only want to win as well as use Republican talking points to do it. It's further evidence that he will govern like a Joe Lieberman Democrat in the White House, to put it bluntly, seeing no party delineation at all, but preferring to bring anyone to his side he can, regardless of whether they will stab him in the back at the first oppportunity, not to mention make us compromise on policies we believe in strongly.

    Obama's latest behavior is not the politics of change, or making the case on ideas, in case anyone is paying attention. It's the old school politics of Chicago, with a little Lyndon Baynes Johnson rolled into it. A friend over the weekend reminded me of an oldie but goodie (that I can't believe I forgot!).

    November 20, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  23. Jose Card

    I was most impressed by a 2005 marriage proposal for Miss Chelsea Clinton offered by a Kenyan councilman after a few Clinton adventures in Africa. I thought the dowry that includes 40 goats and 20 cows was very interesting.

    November 21, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  24. Bob, Tampa Florida

    In my many travels throughout the world, I had the opportunity to live in several countries including 15 years in Europe, 9 of which were after I left the military.

    If anyone thinks that traveling the world where you spend several nights in heavily fortified and catered hotels and embassies counts as foreign experience then they too must believe that experience as First Lady is equal to that of being VP or even President as some would try to lead us to believe!

    Hillary Clinton’s experience amounts to just what it is, 6 years in the Senate and not more. Her flip-flop on what is clearly a sensible stance regarding issuing some form of drivers permit for non-documented aliens is only just a small example of her clear attempt to play every side of the issue.

    Sorry Hillary I find it hard to believe that you are actually personnel friends with any foreign leaders by most Americans definition of personnel friends I think you mistake your limited contact with those leaders and the exchange of Christmas Cards as a sign of true friendship. While Barack's experience living overseas may not be what you consider foreign experience it is one of many factors that make up Barack Obama’s core fabric and moral integrity. Something you clearly lack

    November 21, 2007 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  25. alan St Louis MO

    We already know Clinton foreign policy

    Clinton Policy is the same as Bush policy

    You blind Clinton supporters prove it other wise. I SEEN HER VOTING RECORD IN THE SENATE What ever KING BUSH the second wanted SHE voted YES to it. She only begin to vote against Bush when the election race started. And even then she will still vote for Bush Foreign policy.

    The Declare war on IRAN bill she voted yes. The US policy is that any one labeled as a terrorist can be attacked by the Military. Labeling the IRAN army as a terrorist authorizes the military to wage war on IRAN. Bush didn’t need that law passed to do small military strikes against Iran. OR do secret mission against Iran. He needed that law so he can start a war with Iran. And SHIRRLY voted YES.

    Which means

    Bush Failed Policy===Clinton Failed Policy

    You Clinton blind sheep Lovers prove it otherwise. Please prove it. I got all the proof with her Senate voting record.

    November 21, 2007 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
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