January 10th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
2 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. frequantFlyr

    I see it getting ugly between Obama and Hillary and to a lesser degree Edwards. But other than that, I don't think it'll be any more contentious than last election...

    January 10, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Dave, California

    I like wolf blitzer and all, but he's really running out of material! The past couple days have been some of the most mindless, "DUH" articles ever. Yes, we KNOW it will get ugly! This is american politics after all!!
    Wolf, maybe it's time to take a vacation, read a book or two and relax! When you come back hopefully you'll have some more compelling articles.

    January 10, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. blitzerisanairhead

    How ugly?

    January 10, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Sarah

    That is exactly what the problem is! I yearn for a time when candidates rely on intelligent debate as opposed to personal attacks and slander. Politics have become far too personal and the profound lack of respect candidates demonstrate for eachother is frankly appalling.

    Stick to the issues. Defend your position. And may the best candidate win.

    January 10, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Sal Phoenix, AZ

    There's nothing that brings out the nastiness in men more than a woman who can compete with them mentally..

    January 10, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    KARL ROVE IS JUDAS, DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. HE IS ATTEMPTING TO DESTABLIZE THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IN THE INTEREST OF HIS REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES. HE IS THE REPUBLICANS PARTYS' NUCLEAR WEAPON TO DESTROY THE DEMOCRATS PRESIDENTIAL WIN. THIS IS A DOWN AND DIRTY POLITICAL TRICK.

    January 10, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Tom Davie

    I have belaboured this whole fact. The Obama folks know this deep down.

    bickering about slight differences within the Democratic party and who is ready to 'change' is one thing. Defending yourself against someone you have little in common with is another.

    He will have to battle a hard and tested Republican Candidate -either McCain or Guliani or whomever, and he will be torn to shreds on issues he takes for granted right now being in the democratic party.

    The republicans are keeping quiet right now so he gets in.

    January 10, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. John New York, NY

    It doesn't have to be ugly.

    Not if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee and Mike Huckabee is the Republican nominee.

    They are two honest, good men who have publicly expressed their genuine respect for one another.

    I think Barack Obama will win, but on election day, people will come out in droves to vote for two choices they feel good about.

    January 10, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    Just curious, if you say "drawing distinctions between the presidential candidates is totally appropriate" why have the news media, including CNN, refrained from reporting on Obama's record and several inconsistencies in his actions? If the media, including CNN, continues to paint this guy like the second coming we'll be headed for another Republican candidate because the Republicans won't hold anything back. A big part of the negativity towards Hillary Clinton is because of how the Republican machine has treated her, but she's still standing and fighting on. I wonder if people will still support Obama after various truths become known to the public as this year progresses.

    January 10, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. jcw - palmdale, ca

    Wolf, it's looking like a combat zone when it comes to politics. Ever played role-playing games, like multimatches? It's dog eat dog eat dog eat dog. Everyone saying they want to protect the flag, but, willing to destroy everyone else in the process. Politics is meant to be messy. It's meant to be a battlezone. Or, some cases, a major auto race, where everything goes. No rules, just find a way to be first, and wreck everyone else. Find dirt on people, expose skeletons, blame things on everyone else, and claim that you are the ONLY ONE that can solve their problem, by CONSTANTLY SHOWING the blame!!

    Doesn't anyone ever watched, "The American President"? Lovely examples about politics. A flawed movie about flawed people trying to either keep the Presidency, or knock off the current reigning President.

    January 10, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. annabelle

    I completely agree that things will get ugly before this campaign is over, I am looking for an answer to a question, an e-mail would be great. There is rumors going around( on the internet) that Barak Obama will not salute the flag and used the koran when he was sworn in. I am for Hillary, we just have to be rid of the idiots that are in power now. An answer from anyone would be great.

    January 10, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. BR-New York City

    Who cares...it's not going to be any different than it has been in previous elections. We all know that the republican machine is a bunch of slime buckets...the good thing about is that their days are numbered.

    OBAMA08

    January 10, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Jake, California

    Well, it is ok to get nasty so long as Mr. Clinton doesn't twist stuff.

    We can bring out dirt on Hillary any time, as and when we want to but that's not our campaign style. We believe in telling the American people what we are going to do for America not digging people's grave yeards for dirt. It will only set us back.

    if you dig dirt, just make sure it is dirt that is actually there, don't make up your own dirt.

    And who cares about Karl Rove anyway, I am surprise he is still breathing!

    January 10, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Joe

    You can see the ugliness now by reading through the comment section of each new post on CNN.

    As much as Obama talks about uniting, his supporters are not getting the message. You may not want to post personal attacks against each person who decides to have a different opinion than yours. A uniter and not a divider looks for common ground to bring people together. Try posting a negative comment about Obama and watch the childishness start.

    Hillary supporters seem to do this too but not as much as the Obama supporters.

    This is suppose to be a forum of opinions about a news article. Does anyone truly believe one post here is going to change someone else's opinion because they read what you have written? Highly unlikely. Especially when the conversation turns ugly. It only inflames the division.

    January 10, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. John G, New York, NY

    Hmmm…Hasn't Rove also gone after the likes of Gore, Kerry, Valerie Plame, and the fired federal attorneys? They're all still standing and its Rove who is going hat-in-hand to anyone in the media who will give him the equivalent of table scraps of attention. Sadly, in the end, despite his obsession with power, it seems he will go down in history for being the bride on the top of the Bush legacy cake, while his primary adversaries have gone on to do things like…well…win the Nobel Peace Prize.

    January 10, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. OverTheRainbow, KS

    If the Clintonistas are involved it will be ugly, and dirty. Count on it.

    January 10, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Eleanor

    I Felt the remark by Bill Clinton was a little distateful about Obama being a fairy tale even Tho I do like Bill Clinton and Hillary
    Barack Obama had as much right to throw his hat in the ring for president as Hillary
    They should try to avoid too much negativity as when push comes to shove they are all democratics and want a change and the oval office
    I think Barack needs to focus more on the 'issues' instead of the "Change message"
    Besides if one or the other wins hopefully they can get past the negativity and share a ticket one way or the other!
    that would be a sure win for the oval office!!!

    January 10, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. Yusuf

    I do not think that this race is going to get ugly. In fact, when Edward drops out, you will see a positive based on issue race. Based on recent interaction between the candidates, i believe they will rise above the nasty politics that is Washington.
    Yusuf, Arlington, Va

    January 10, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Robin, L.A.

    In response to John in New York:

    Barack, an honest man....really? How do you characterize his inconsistent Rezko explanations?

    How do you explain his ongoing associations with lobbyists while insisting he doesn't do business with them?

    Answers, please.

    January 10, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. Gracious & Logical

    The initial strategy was to weaken Clinton during her ‘inevitable’ coronation as the Democratic presidential nominee. Now that a wave of hope and change has been sweeping through registered Republicans and Independents alike, the Republican’s attack dogs are at it again. Even they have come to realize the strength and inspiration of Sen Obama – captured in his vision and manifesto for a better and unified America.

    Republicans do your worst… then again, the Clinton Machine is currently doing just so.

    DG

    January 10, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. Indyin Illinoiswrote

    Wolf when are you going to start talking on the incoming trial of Rezko in Chicago. It's schedule to start in Chicago this Feb 25 and will be alo tof news about Obama's deal and association with this guy for almost 15 years.

    As a resident of Illinois I have long been disgusted with the "under the table" corruption that runs RAMPANT here. What disgusts me even more is that when blatant evidence is exposed, the accused individual always finds a way to "make it go away". Chicago Mayor Daley is the chief source of most of the corruption in the state ("Operation Silver Shovel", etc.), but somehow he's always able to walk away with his hands clean. Oh, by the way, he's a big Obama supporter. Also, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (and current Illinois Democratic Party Chairman) was under investigation by the Feds. No problem. He and the Illinois Democratic Machine got Madigan's daughter elected Attorney General of Illinois. Gee, what ever happened to that investigation...........As far as the Rezko case, Obama is not the only one having a connection to Rezko. Rezko was a fundraiser and close friend of the current governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich – a governor who is also being investigated by the Feds for his own corrupt practices. (Ironically, Blagojevich came to power by vowing to clean up the corruption created by Republican Governor George Ryan.)Those of you who still aren't convinced that Barack Obama is yet another cog in the Illinois corruption machine should look up the Todd Stroger Cook County Board election scandal. Barack Obama unabashedly threw his full support to Todd Stroger despite the dubious way Stroger even got to become a cadidate. Why would Obama even endorse such shennanigans? I don't have enough time to go into this one, but trust me, it's a beauty. Look it up!Whether Obama himself is corrupt is yet to be determined, but his associations do cause alarm. Are these the same associations that would follow him to the White House? Obama is not "squeeky clean". We in Illinois know better.I will close by saying that I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I have been forced into cynical independency from Illinois polititians that continue to disappoint.

    Isn't time CNN starts some balanced and objective reporting.

    January 10, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. Scott, Madison, WI

    John, New York, NY:

    I agree. I'm a lifelong voter and think the two of them have remained the most civil. They've had to stave off some of the sideshow antics from the competition, but for the most part, have remained gentlemen. I find it very odd that the MSM of all entities, derided Huckabee for showing his negative ad exclusively to the press but never complimented his good judgment in pulling it. But then, again, there's no ratings or money without that sensational drivel. Sad, very sad.

    January 10, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. Ted

    it already is ugly, Wolf. come on. voter fraud already happening this early. people we must unite to make our votes count. no more Diebold electronic machines. and the public must be allowed to witness counting.

    January 10, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Jim Wales

    When Blitzer bashed Bill Clinton and the Hillary campaign on New Hampshire primary election. day...for "attacking the media" I wonder how much of his sneering was due to his polling predictions?

    January 10, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Cynos Lee

    It has always been ugly in American politics! Sometimes it's too ugly that normal people just cant imagine!

    January 10, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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