January 10th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Blitzer: It's going to get ugly

CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

(CNN) - Jack Cafferty’s best-seller is entitled “It’s Getting Ugly Out There.” I suspect the presidential campaign eventually is going to get very ugly.

The bitter back-and-forth between the various Republican candidates, and the similar nastiness among the Democrats, will be child’s play compared to what is likely to happen after the political dust settles and the two major parties have their respective nominees in place.

Indeed, the two parties’ opposition research is already in high gear preparing for the political struggle for the White House.

Former White House political adviser Karl Rove, writing today on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal, seemed to signal this. “Former President Bill Clinton hit a nerve by drawing attention to Mr. Obama’s conflicting statements on Iraq,” Rove writes. “There’s more – and more powerful – material available.” Rove added that Obama “won’t escape criticism on all this easily.”

Drawing distinctions between the presidential candidates is totally appropriate; it’s part of the democratic political process that we cherish. That is what elections are all about – making choices about our leaders.

Having said that, if you think it’s rough out there right now – just wait. No matter who the nominees are, it will get a lot more intense. In recent days, I’ve discussed this with some of the campaigns, and top staffers on both sides assure me they fully understand what’s in store. They insist they’re ready.

- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. roger, conway sc

    It gets ugly with both parties because of the media they stir things up & they misquote things intentionally to get the headlines & something to talk about for 24 hours...look what they attempted to do to Hillary after Iowa they had her dead.. thanks to the independant thinking people in NH they made their own decision... the media gets real defensive when someone calls their hand....Cafferty gets real defensive & Wolfe just kinda ignores the fact when confronted...nothing personal just my thoughts....I have loved politics my entire life but after the corrupt Bush administration & the biased media toward individual candidates I am losing interest rapidly....if you listened to the media during the Iowa caucus you would have thought it was the general election, the bounce for the winning candidate is caused by the media if you did not win you are totally ignored or prounced dead...but again I give the NH people credit they did not let the media influence their vote....

    January 11, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. larry buchas, new britain, ct

    It will get ugly if Hillary gets the nomination. The country has been polarized by either Bush or Clinton the past 20 years. When will we reject these dysfunctional candidates?

    Never mind a recession. We're moving closer to world war III.

    January 11, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Enuf Is Enuf

    Think it's ugly now, what'll she gets back in the WH.

    Just to refresh everyone's memory ......


    January 11, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. roger, conway sc

    Tom Dedham Mass-Everybody has baggage even the ones you applaud so dearly... just like all of us have different opinions of Senator Clinton & former President Clinton, I do not agree with alot of the things both have done BUT alot of people have judged them on accusations which is not right, they both have been investigated so much ( paid for by the tax payer) I feel confident that had either done anything wrong other than what we already know they would have been sentenced to LIFE in prison by the right wingers...I personally feel Senator Clinton represents women very well, she is a politican like all of the other candidates she just happens to be a very intelligent women. Had she & President Clinton went their separate ways they would have been just like most of the GOP candiates who are on there 2nd, 3rd, or maybe 4th marriage & these are the candidates who represent the party with the high & mighty moral standards. How she & President Clinton deal with their personal problems is of no interest to me as long as they do the job they are elected to do...

    January 11, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. halcyon24

    In response to Tom –
    Hillary is a professional and extremely driven. She is providing our country with a very good example of what is to come from more and more women – soon. She is not the 'where do you girls want to go to lunch' type. She is business. All business. Can she help that it is in her 'makeup' so to speak? I see her as trying her best to relate to every one (not just women) on a more 'warm and fuzzy' feeling because she realizes that, as a woman, most people expect that from her. She was genuine in her moving 'teary' eyed speech. There's a certain 'lump & swallow' women get in their throats when they are speaking and emotion takes over and I saw that with her. She'll be back to all business soon enough and that is were she belongs and that is her choice.
    Bhutto – go read some more true reports on her, you've missed some stuff.

    In resonse to Hillary being privy to WH meetings/whatevers – I'm sure she was and I'm sure it was more than pillow talk. She was probably on Bill every single solitary day he was in that office to pass this or review that. If my husband was president, I'd be all over it too.

    January 11, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    Who cares about Obama's religion? I don't. I care about the facts:

    1. He said he wouldn't support the Patriot Act but he did.

    2. He said he was against the Iraq War but voted to fund it. You can't run on a campaign where you say you're the only one that had good enough judgement to stand up against the war from the start and then vote to fund it when you're in a position to stop it.

    3. He criticized Hillary Clinton for her vote on Iran but he himself didn't even show up to cast a vote himself. What's more telling is that his campaign's intial response to his absence was that he didn't get enough notice of the vote. When it was disclosed that he got the same notice as everyone else and Dodd, Biden and Clinton left the trail to stand up for what they believe in unlike the so-called change agent he quickly retracted the statements of his campaign and told the truth, he was out campaigning instead of doing the work he was elected to do.

    4. In early 2007 he said he'd release his papers while he was in local government. He called Hillary Clinton out for not releasing her papers as First Ldy, even though 75% of those papers are public record and the others are being released in a steady stream. Then after the debate the media asks him to release his papers. He says he doesn't have any papers. Which one is the truth and which is a lie? Either he lied earlier in the year when he said he'd release his papers or he doesn't have any papers. Either way one of his statements is a lie.

    5. He says he's against lobbyists but he employs former lobyists in his own campaign. He was associated with powerful lobbyists during his time in Illinios and there's a real estate scandal going on right now where he might have done some crooked deals with lobbyists.

    6. He says he's the change agent, but in addition to skipping the Iran vote, he skipped over 120 votes when he was in Illinois by voting present instead of for or against major legislation. If he can't take a stand on the issues with actual action, how can he be a good President?

    7. Further, during his short time in the Senate he has not authored ANY major legislation to change anything. And if you look at his voting record, he has voted lock-step with his party on almost every major piece of legislation.

    8. He says the system is broken. He's right, but as President he will inherit that same system. If he's proven that he can't work within the system to make change happen by now, how can we trust he'll do anything as President?

    9. Now let's talk about his foreign policy stances for a second. He said he'd bomb Pakistan if he had actionable evidence of Bin Laden's whereabouts. Even with "actionable evidence" it's no a sure thing that you'll get him and in the process you'll be killing innocent civilians. This will enrage the Pakistani people, they'll seize control of an already unstable government and potentially use their nuclear weapons, which they have, against us.

    10. Then he says he'd negotiate with anyone, no matter if they're an enemy or not. Good idea but let's do the proper background work first okay. Look at this Isreali/Palestinian peace summit that was just thrown together by Bush in six days without laying any groundwork ahead of time. Big surprise, it's not working.

    11. On health care he can't decide if his plan covers everyone or not. He's said it does and he's said it doesn't. He thinks the solution is to make health care "affordable," but no matter how affordable you make it, certain people still won't be able to afford it. It's just common sense. We need universal health care for EVERYONE, not just affordable health care.

    People, these are just the facts. They can't be disputed. Forget about all the mudslinging about religion and drug use. We deserve the facts before we put someone in the White House again that makes a lot of promises and doesn't deliver. He says he's a new politician but going around talking about hope, being a uniter and long list of things he will do if elected seems like politics as usual to me. What politician doesn't talk about a better future for America? What politician doesn't make promises, false or otherwise?

    Make no mistake, this is nothing new.

    January 11, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Tom Dedham, Mass

    "In resonse to Hillary being privy to WH meetings/whatevers – I'm sure she was and I'm sure it was more than pillow talk. She was probably on Bill every single solitary day he was in that office to pass this or review that. If my husband was president, I'd be all over it too."

    Only two responses to my post, I am actually not suprised as facts tend to get in the way of some peoples "arguments".

    I didn't miss anything on Bhutto, I am not saying she was the greatest thing, I was just making the point of how strong she really was and how much GUTS it took to do what she did. She is the definition of "strong woman".

    I never mentioned about Hillary being privvy to anything, but since you mentioned it.

    I talk to my wife about work al the time and it involves computers, hardware, programs etc, etc, but yet she is no closer to being an IT Pro than she was when I first married her.

    If you and "roger" have no problem with all the factual points I make or simply choose to ignore them, go ahead and vote for Hillary as your given right as a citizen, I ENCOURAGE it, I just disagree with it.

    January 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. pam Eugene OR

    No it is not true that Obama used the Koran to be sworn it. He used the Bible. He does wear the the flag pin but not every day. I might add that neither does Hillary wear it every day. Obama is a true American. What you are hearing is a small part of the Clinton machine dirty tactics. While I am on the subject he is also a Christian and not a Muslim. His father was a Muslim but has not been involved in his life since he was 2 years old. His mother is not a very religious white woman from Kansas. It is so hard for me to hear day in and day out all these outright lies repeated about Obama. If you don't like his plans or don't agree with his policies that is fine but please do not judge him on the horrible rumors started by the Clintons. All these things can be verified by looking them up on the web. Please do your homework and find the truth about everyone running. You will find probably each of them will have something that you don't agree with but at least make sure it is a fact and not a Clinton fairytale or outright lie. Hillary will stop at nothing to win the office she feels is due to her. I wish I could support the first female to be the President because I too am a woman about her age but she is the same old tired politics that has not worked for over 20 years. I want to hope for a better tomorrow and she is just more of the same. I promise the next qualified woman running will have my vote and I will fight for her. I can not do that for Hillary. She is a divider and there will be nothing accomplished or made better for 8 more long years.

    January 11, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. Barbara Neithardt

    PLEASE, PLEASE ask the canidates how they plan on funding UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. It is a wonderful concept. But, it's not FREE. That is misleading to tell the American people. American TAX PAYERS pay for everything the government funds. We are on the verge of a recession. Gas prices and food costs are on the rise. People are losing their homes. Please tell us HOW, in DETAIL, this project will be funded without raising taxes. I also want to know how the American people can be confident that Universal Healthcare wont go bust like Social Security and fall apart like Walter Reed. How can we be confident that we wont be figting for coverage like out Veterans do? I am apprehensive to trust the same governement with my health care that has failed at these other somewhat smaller projects.
    PLEASE, PLEASE. I need these answered
    Thank you for your time.
    Ridgewood, New Jersey

    January 11, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |


    January 11, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Brian Soe

    I am watching US democrat primaries via CNN and I wonder why voters in the United States believe that Republicans will simply give up the white house. If I were a republican party's strategist, I will never choose to fight with some person who fought 2 campaign wars with us and beaten us. I prefer someone new to
    the game so we could amass our ammunition to take that guy down. Since no one is squeaky clean as some politicians like to claim. An everyone has own vices. It will be extremely easy to find the chink in the armour of the new guy
    rather than thinking of new weaknesses from the democratic nominee. If Hillary were become democratic candidate, all GOP have are failed tactics those did not work twice.

    January 11, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. Jose Card - Independent

    To accuse McCain's adopted child from Africa is his illegitimate child is nothing but ugly.

    January 11, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  13. JT

    Hillary Clinton's campaign was not marred by negativity or attacks until her opponents released a never ending attack upon her.
    It seems Mr Obama has a lot of surrogates using race and baiting. It seems he profits from Mr Edwards playing attack dog.

    But Mr Obama seems to be unable to be criticized in any way. Any statement made ir retaliated with a racial undertone. I think that makes it very ugly.

    Mr Obama needs to do more than talk about hope and change.He needs to explain his policies with specifics. He is consistent in being vague. This is a time when multiple issues and problems exist. How does the economy turn around and who sacrifices? What is his definition of sacrifice., What is his definition of affordable health care? As a worker my benefits keep getting cut. But privitizing most will only cut them more. Mr Obama is not for national health care. He still retains a private sector solution. I wonder just how long it will take for another donut hole to destroy us? I want specifics not vaguaries. I cannot vote just for hope and a prayer. I need to see someone with genuine solutions.

    In one thing Mr Clinton was right. Martin Luthor King fought, but he also knew he had to back politicians to effect the changes he so wanted and make them policy. I want to know the policies, I want to know the specific programs and the specific losses to the taxpayer and who pays. I cannot live just on chance and trust. My vote goes to people with genuine solutions and who clarify for me what they intend to do. Trust me is not good enough.

    The sexism and racism does not belong here. We just need someone who can solve problems.

    January 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Gloria

    I would like to hear someone ask Clinton about the more than 40 associates who were either murdered, committed suicide, or had untimely accidents because of what they knew about the Clintons.
    I would like to hear some ask Obama about the church he attends that has strong ties to Kenya and what is his position on Kenya, being that he has relatives there.

    January 15, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  15. Jack

    So the dirty tricks are starting again in the South Carolina Republican primary. That state is a walking audition for the Jerry Springer show. If they're going to vote based on the latest dirty tricks (again) let's just ignore them and let the rest of the country choose a president.

    January 17, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Laura

    How much those little surragotes sitting in the chairs make? Let see their tax returns. We pay huge cable bills to support shows like yours, its time America knows what you all make.

    February 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. Laura

    Just call DC, you all are dying to.

    February 12, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. Laura

    What about Ms. Obama's attacks on Hillary. I see thats different, she is an OBAMA!

    February 12, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  19. Laura

    CNN just pacing to post big results for Obama.

    February 12, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Laura

    Oh big news, Obama is in the lead in the delegates, like we didn't know. CNN is on it.

    February 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. Laura

    Lets keep it up, superdelegates. What about people without a chance to voice their vote?

    February 12, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7