January 9th, 2008
03:25 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama: Bill Clinton 'took liberties' with my words

Watch Sen. Obama's interview on American Morning.

Watch Sen. Obama's interview on American Morning.

(CNN) - Barack Obama accused Bill Clinton of twisting some of his early remarks on the Iraq war in a speech the former president gave the night before the New Hampshire vote.

"Bill Clinton was taking some liberties with my statements," Obama told CNN American Morning anchor John Roberts Wednesday, after his narrow loss to Hillary Clinton in the Granite State’s Democratic primary.

Clinton had alleged that the media had not properly reported on remarks the Illinois senator had made, saying that Obama’s policy stands on the war had actually been identical to those of his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

"I'm not clear about what the contradiction is," says Obama. "I said from the start that Iraq was a bad idea. I also said from the beginning that if we were gonna go in then we would have an obligation to our troops and that's been a consistent position of mine. So, the notion that somehow that diminishes my clear unequivocal statement of opposition to the war even before the Congress voted to authorize it actually doesn't make much sense."

Obama won the Iowa Democratic caucuses by 8 percentage points over Clinton, but lost the New Hampshire primary to her by 2 points, despite showing a lead in most pre-vote surveys.

Obama says the record-setting Democratic turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire bodes well for his campaign. "What's pretty clear is that the American people are taking this process seriously. They want to bring about the fundamental change in how our politics works."

Related video: Sen. Clinton on her N.H. win

soundoff (1,012 Responses)
  1. Heretic

    Someone made a good point above that this was basically a tie. They both got the same number of delegates and that is all that matters. What he or she left out is that despite Obama's supposedly large victory in IA, he only got one more delegate than Hillary. As for superdelegates, she has about 65% more than he does. So, the reporting all around on who won this or that state and what it means has been bogus hype. What is true is she is way ahead in delegates right now. So, she is winning the race without "really" winning either state.

    January 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. J

    I am so proud of OBAMA! He is a true example of the American Dream. Regardless how this race turns out, I think he has shown that nothing is impossible. He has done an excellent job illustrating what he plans to do as the next President of the United States. He has just as much EXPERIENCE as JOHN F KENNEDY did when he was elected. He is highly educated, poised, and presidential in nature. This is the leader the USA needs to represent us in the Global Community as a diplomat. Just because one candidate served as First Lady, does not mean she has more experience. OBAMA has what it takes and I believe the American people can see through the lies of the Clinton campaign. As any young person today in a high position will tell you, experience does not guarantee expertise. There are a lot of people older in age, but that does not guarantee RESULTS. We need this new, fresh face in politics, to represent a new America that will use bipartisan ideas to move the country forward. Enough about the first black or the first woman president! While these are both important to progress, we need to select whoever is in the best position to unite Americans and move this nation forward. There is no rule in the US Constitution that says you must be VP before President, so as far as I am concerned OBAMA is READY NOW. American cannot wait for tomorrow, because today is the time to change the state of out nation. Go OBAMA and thank God for all the Americans in New Hampshire that came out to vote for change and selected OBAMA. The rest of us are excited and cannot wait to go to the polls to vote for OBAMA as well! Change today, because tomorrow is not guaranteed!

    January 9, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Nathan Keaton

    I hope her tactics in fighting terrorism are not the same that she uses against Obama—crying and stealing her opponent’s slogans.

    January 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. mark

    My money is on the fact that most of the pro-clinton posting support are Republicans. They know she's their best chance to keep the White House.

    January 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. DD, New York

    to blogger Ohio: Re Obama's speech referencing drug companies and health insurance companies having a seat at the table: That was Obama's comment on Edwards' speech when Edwards said that the health insurance companies and drug companies will not have ALL the seats at the table...But doesn't Obama have a big time lobbyist on his campaign team as we speak (blog)?

    January 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Justin

    I also think it's important to point out that Hillary lost by a much wider margin in Iowa than Obama did in NH. Hillary lost by 9 points in Iowa (coming in 3rd), while Obama only lost by 2 points in NH (coming in 2nd). His rise in NH is astounding if you look at where he was just 2 weeks ago. NH was supposed to be a no-contest no matter what happened in Iowa. It's even more impressive if you look back a few months. Obama was firmly behind Edwards AND Clinton in NH, but he pulled within a few points of first place.

    January 9, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Lisa,Corpus Christi, Tx.

    Since when is clariftying your position whining? The only problem is he should have done it sooner.

    I thought I heard him congratulate Hillary in his speech last night....sounds pretty gracious to me.

    Actually, the American people were the losers last night...the Clintons in particular. To see a former president attack a candidate of the same party in such a negative manner is disheartening. It would have been more logical for him to share Hillary's so called 35 years of accomplishments.

    Obama may very well get the nomination. It will be extremely difficult for President Clinton or Hillary to lend their support to the democratic party in crunch time. It was an extremely selfish move by the Clintons. This is exactly why Americans need a change. This is politics of the past.

    January 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Miles Anderson

    I hate to point this out, but while valuable, experience isn't everything. We've had plenty of experienced presidents who were able to goof just fine on a fantastic scale.

    January 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. republican, thinking of switching to DEmocrat

    Clintons dont like to lose. Hang in thier Obama, you an inspiration. Keep boycotting FOX!

    January 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Joe

    all i have to say is if Clinton gets it.. i'm moving to canada

    January 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. toejam houston texas

    The point Senator Clinton was making is that after the Nov.07' election, the platform the citizens voted for was to bring home our troops. Bush"W" immediataly afterwards shun the citizen vote and inplemented his "The Decider Surge" . The Democrars had to have at lease 60% of the vote to override his dictoral forcefulness. Senator Barack went to the side of Bush"W" That's what Senator Cleton was referring to. She voted opposite of Senator Barack. She stated she voted against Bush:W:'s decider vote because he lied already to her and the American citizen on information justifying attacking Iraq. You know that bushbots. You are making the art of eating your hats a common feat.

    January 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. av3

    i wish these blogs were civil dialogue rather than petty mudslinging/namecalling.

    there is rarely substance and fact to any of these posts.

    whats worse is that it is from all comers, not just one side or the other.

    as a first time voter, i just realized why people become politically apathetic. this is absolutely ridiculous.

    January 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. Sue

    Can't you do the attacking yourself, Hillary?

    January 9, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. john.smith@gmail.com

    I will put out a solid bet that the only way Democrats are going to lose this election is by making "Clinton" the nominee! Thank you Republicans for bring back to the conscience of America the following:
    "Hello, I never had sex with that woman, but now I will when HC is overseas!"
    "What is, depends on your definition of "is": What IS taking money from...?
    For those who have been following the Republican machine, there was a series that showed the number of FILE CABNETS that have been developed for the Clintons. Like the "ferry-boat", she is going to sink along will all the Democrats again! Wake up America, the enemy NEVER goes to sleep.

    January 9, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. Franky, New York, NY

    Way to go Clintons! Obama can now call the Clintons his Godparents for their Baptismal of him into the REAL world of politics.

    Obama was getting too cocky; even referring to the down Clinton campaign, as "depressing, pathetic and desperate". Maybe they were, but now take it in the teeth. Be aware, be humble, people are watching and listening, and the more this happens, the more they're going to figure out that the Emperor (Obama) has no robe..

    January 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Allen Seney

    I would like to know the following?

    A) What bill of bills has he been involved in the Senate , since he has
    been there?

    B) Has he changed his health proposal since it was found that
    it doesn't cover everybody?

    C) What specific steps would he take to end our conflict (War)?

    D) What experience (s) does he have that allows him to think
    that he should be our President?

    E) How many votes, has be made and had his vote count?
    Other then being present?

    F) He has great speaking skills, he is very smart and he is
    appealing but what strength does he possess that would
    make hom a strong candidate for the position of President?

    January 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Shaun

    Bill and Hillary are a joke. A vote for another Clinton is not a vote for change.

    Hillary Clinton whips up a few fake tears and you idiots in NH fell for it. Pathetic.

    January 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. citizens for change nyc

    How long before John Edwards, a good man, realizes he's playing the role of Ross Perot for the Clintons?

    January 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Amy

    Now you started against the Clintons. Last night all the Obamaniacs were quiet. Many idiots are there. Go and work lazy guys!

    Hillary'08!

    January 9, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Ryan

    Damien, not to go on a tangent, but radiation hardened (rad-hard) technology is used for any environment with high radiation, not just in the event of a nuclear detonation. Rad-hard is also useful in protection of radiation encountered in space and low-earth orbit from cosmic rays, solar particle events, and when in the Van Allen belt. In other words, Rad-hard chips are VERY useful in satellite applications!

    I'd avoid commenting on things you know very little about, or at least read the wikipedia page on radiation hardened equipment.

    January 9, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. mary

    Hilary is Smart, as is Bill, as far as i am concerned there was 1 mistake made in the Clinton years, and BIG DEAL none of anyone's business, Hilary will make a fine President of the United States and they will make a great team. Oh ya and Bill Clinton is the only one who fits in that catagory, not to bright.

    January 9, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. David, Brooklyn New York

    when President Obama takes the oath of office, Alot of you good ol' boys in Washington are...........otta here.

    alot of you CORPARATE THUGS are..........otta here

    alot of you DRUG COMPANY VAGABONS are...........otta here

    alot of you HEALTH CARE INSURANCE CRONIES are........otta here

    alot of you deep pocket CROOKED LOBBIESTare.....otta here

    and guess what....
    I saved alot of money switching to OBAMA!!!!!!

    FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ASK ,WHAT WILL OBAMA CHANGE.?...uhm WASHINGTON!!!
    it's about time!!!!

    January 9, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Debbie

    To Linda:

    GIVE ME A BREAK!!! So, you won't vote for the person who has the most experience and shows strength IN OFFICE because she decided to honor her marriage vows and give her cheating husband another chance?? How does that say she won't stand up for her country? If she takes a vow to protect her country, that means SHE WILL DO IT, NOT WALK AWAY OR LIE TO THE PEOPLE LIKE GWB DID. That would be the most pathetic excuse NOT to vote for her. On the contrary, I think the fact that she DID stay with him shows her strength and character. She was not an abused woman. If so, then I probably might not respect her. However, do you realize how many men cheat on their wives? The divorce rate in this country would be 90% if all the woman then left. Obama is a "nice speaker", and has a great outlook, however, he does not have experience at all. And, I'd like to hear, along with others, about HOW he expects to produce the change he is talking about without any experience. Look at what we have in the WH now. A man who tagged along on his daddy's coat tail.

    Also, to all you people condemning her because of Bill's lies, that was HIS lies, not hers, AND, did it effect the economy what his extracurricular affairs were in the Oval Office? NOT! Did it put our country at risk? NO! Did it triple our deficit? NO!

    Hillary is a strong, experienced woman and she has my vote. GO HILLARY!@!

    January 9, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. R West

    The way I see it, the election process is liken to an elaborate job interview. Assuming all candidates have met the basic requirements to fill the position, all that is left in the decision making process is prior experience. It is not probable that any candidate would have presidential experience, thus leaving only one option, deciding which one has the most experience in a related field. Get real, no one would hire a person to fill a high level position based on what he says he will do. The White House is no place for on-the-job training.

    January 9, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Seyi

    Prior to the civil rights movement, there were so many nearsighted folks that couldn’t realize the “fairy tale” of ending racial equality, likewise a fairy tale of an Arkansas governor with infidelity issues occupying the white house. The truth is, we love fairy tales and hope our dreams come to pass through them. Yesterday was necessary, what’s the use of a win without a fight? Stay tuned for the next fairy tale… More tears for Hillary on Feb 5 and the White house occupied by a guy who dreams big for our country and happens to be black. Clintonites... Get ready to hang it up!

    January 9, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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