January 6th, 2008
12:25 AM ET
7 years ago

Clinton seeks to portray Obama as a flip-flopper

McCain and Huckabee both have an interest in seeing Romney lose in New Hampshire Tuesday.

Clinton tried to get tough on Obama Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton pointedly criticized rival Barack Obama at a crucial New Hampshire debate Saturday night, seeking to paint him as a flip-flopper on key issues.

No longer the party's clear frontrunner after her third-place showing in Iowa, Clinton went after the Illinois Democrat at the top of the debate for what she said was shifted stances on the Patriot Act and funding the Iraq war.

"Well, you've changed positions within three years on, you know, a range of issues that you put forth when you ran for the Senate, and now you have changed," Clinton said. "You said you would vote against the Patriot Act. You came to the Senate; you voted for it. You said that you would vote against funding for the Iraq war. You came to the Senate, and you voted for $300 billion of it."

"So I just think it's fair for people to understand that many of the charges that have been leveled, not just at me, but also at Sen. Edwards, are not totally, you know, unrelated to the very record you have," she added.

Obama immediately took issue with Clinton's characterization, and hit back saying, "I think the people of America are looking for are folks who are going to be straight about the issues and are going to be interested in solving problems and bringing people together."

The crucial debate came the same day a CNN/WMUR poll out of the Granite State showed the two candidates locked in a dead-heat, each drawing 33 percent of support among likely Democratic voters in the state.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

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soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Ginny, Ca

    Hillary won the debate hands down. She was focused, zeroed in on issues, showed tremendous knowledge of the challanges facing America, displayed indepth understanding of foreign relations, and more. She out-classed Obama and Edwards, and showed stength in defending herself against their labeling of her as "status-quo". She provided some rather sweet humor when she said her feelings were hurt because people didn't think she was likeable. Unlike the arrogant Obama who, without looking up from his note-taking, said to her, "You're likeable enough." (This, after she graciously and light-heartedly said she thought Obama was very likeable.) Hillary held her own when Obama and Edwards ganged up in their attacks on her. I'm so glad she is fighting back . Keep it up, Hillary. A lot of voters really got a good look at you and saw that your strength, experience, dedication, and hard-work trump "hope" any day.

    January 6, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  2. guo5598

    Obama all the way!

    Not because Clinton is not good, she just not good enough for this job, she voted yes for most of the Bush/Cheney things and she should just quit the compaign and support Obama for the American.

    January 6, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. Bill

    Who is she fooling...The Senator invented "flip flop"

    January 7, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  4. Mike - CT

    Papers across New Hampshire have declared Hillary the best choice for president and I agree with them because Hillary Clinton is the best choice.
    Check this short ad on You Tube:


    January 7, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  5. George K, Indiana

    PLEASE – the woman can't even tell us what her own name is.

    January 7, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    How can anyone tell if Obama is a flip-flopper, he barely ever makes it to the Senate for a vote....

    January 7, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. elizabeth

    Hillary needs to understand that this is not a junior-high personality contest; it is for high stakes; we are in trouble as a nation, domestically and foreign. "Please Hillary, take the American people to task." We are not interested in personality, we want substance and experience and you are the one to give us that. And I might add, Obama needs to understand this as well. He will do us much harm if he continues to believe that because he is a superb orator, that he is America's answer. Remember, Adolph Hitler also had the gift of oratory, and he gave the German people what they wanted in his speeches and propaganda. All the "older" people know the outcome; the young should, through their history books, understand this as well.

    January 7, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. kingbakkenisdead

    Nobody gets it.The corpo-fascists have decided to go with Obama.Why was Obama getting all the corporate money when was 20 points behind in national polls.When Howard Dean was in the lead in "04 he got nothing.John Edwards finished second in Iowa and has still gotten virtually nothing from the corporate interests.They don't give money to agents of "change." Obama is the perfect candidate.The media loves and he'll get a free ride.If he fails the democrats will be stuck with him in 2012 and then here comes Jebby!

    January 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
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