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. John August Olsen

    Mr Blitzer.... Campaigning is indeed Poetry.... My letter to the editor in the Spokesman Review in Spokane Wa Sunday January 6th. Warm Regards Gus

    A Sea Change is Coming…. Flowing Gently…
    Pushed by The Breath of Hope Residing in all Hearts.

    The Gentle Warm Breath of Equality Caring and Peace.

    The Rising Tide of Caring and Love for our world continues to Grow and Wash the Seeds of Doubt Despair and Fear from this Earth.

    Dry Small Seeds no longer allowed to Germinate and Grow into Trees of Hate and Violence.

    Senator Barack Obama is that Sea Change…
    Hopeful Youth that once revered John and Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King….
    Nurturing those Tender Tendrils Sequestered in the Hearts of Humankind…..
    Raise now Your High Hope that the time Finally is Now.

    Consider the Truth of Senator Obama….
    Truth in Consistent and Constant positions for the Lives of “other” in our Families, Cities, States, Country, and in the World at Large.

    John A Olsen O.D.
    Spokane Wa

    Copyright 2008

    January 10, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. FedUp

    John New York, NY,

    What you've just described is absolutely boring – Obama and Huckabee are two most boring candidates out there – nothing but rhetoric and no action. Sorry, I wouldn't vote for either one of them.

    January 10, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Sadly, it will get ugly. I'm especially fearful of what the Clintons will pull out of the hat. . .true or not. They are together clearly determined to take back the White House no matter what the cost.

    January 10, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. docrock,tx

    Watch out Wolf,I fear a backlash from the rabid Obama fans out there.Has anyone ever wondered why anyone questions anything about the man,they are automatically labeled as a Racist?If I am not allowed to question a mans' objectives or patriotism without being smeared,then this country is truly in trouble.I am not even sure if a woman will be allowed as President,because all anyone seems to know is attack-dog politics.What are you trying so hard to hide behind the "Race"card Obama?And before you try to label me racist,just know I have a black sister-in-law whom I have loved since 1969.

    January 10, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. Tristan Penton

    And someone please tell me why it's okay for him to say things arrogantly like "Oh, you're likeable enough," and "Oh, Hillary is so silly," and attack her by challenging her foreign policy experience and not call that "TAKING LIBERTIES?"

    SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHY IF BILL CLINTON AND HILLARY CLINTON SAY THINGS LIKE, "YOU KNOW – THE NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN HERE IS NOT MINE. IT'S HIS. I HAVE NOT CHALLENGED HIS RECORD OR CHARACTERIZED HIM – BUT IF YOU LOOK AT HIS VOTING RECORD AND WHAT HE IS SAYING ON STAGE THEY ARE TWO ABSOLUTELY DIFFERENT THINGS."

    That's playing dirty? That's "taking liberties away from Obama?"

    God have mercy on us if we can't see through this man. GOD HAVE MERCY ON US IF WE CANNOT SEE THROUGH THIS YOUNG, INEXPERIENCED POLITICIAN WHO CAUGHT A WAVE!!!

    THIS IS OUR COUNTRY ON THE LINE!!!! HOW IN THE WORLD IS IT OKAY FOR HIM TO SAY SUBTLY SEXIST REMARKS ABOUT HILLARY BUT IT NOT BE OKAY FOR HILLARY CLINTON TO ADDRESS HIS RECORD????

    SHE EVEN HAD THE CLASS NOT TO MENTION HIS DRUG USE! AND I'M SURE THE REPUBLICANS ARE DOING THEIR HOMEWORK VERY WELL RIGHT NOW. VERY, VERY WELL.

    WAKE UP!!!!!! HE'S A GOOD SPEAKER, HE'S A NOVELTY, HE'S A NEW FACE - BUT DON'T BE FOOLED INTO THINKING THAT 3 YEARS IN THE SENATE (AND WITH ONE OF THOSE CAMPAIGNING TO BE PRESIDENT)... IS ENOUGH TO CHANGE THIS COUNTRY.

    ... WHAT DID HE SAY? "I'VE NOT BEEN IN WASHINGTON FOR LONG, BUT LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW IT NEEDS TO CHANGE?"

    OH GOD... THAT'S LIKE SAYING, "I WENT TO LAW SCHOOL FOR THE FIRST YEAR AND I'M GOING TO BE THE DEAN BEFORE I FINISH THE COURSE!"

    THIS IS NOT FAIR. PLEASE.... WAKE UP AMERICA!!!! PLEASE... WAKE UP1!!!!

    BLACKS, WHITE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE PEOPLE. DON'T MAKE THIS A RACE ISSUE PLEASE!!!

    HILLARY DOES NOT SEE COLOR – SHE SEES HUMAN BEINGS – SHE SEES AMERICANS.

    PLEASE, DO NOT MAKE THIS INTO A RACE ISSUE!!!

    January 10, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. james

    Wolf,
    I feel your standing as an unbiased journalist is in serious jeapordy. Why bother to bring up anything that Karl Rove says? I guess it's a guarantee for ugliness...

    January 10, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Sis

    Obama is the future and the old establishment is scared...very scared. We will need to wear very tall boots to get through all this mud. YES WE CAN!

    January 10, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. Cathy

    With all the reporting on the polling "catastrophe", is anyone investigating why instead of wondering? One media outlet dissected and compared the results with the polls and discovered the only HUGE discrepancy was Clintons outcome. Why were the percentages almost dead on for Obama and Edwards? Clinton out of nowhere won New Hampshire. MY GOSH, IS IT AT ALL CONCEIVABLE THAT THE CLINTONS SOMEHOW CHEATED?

    Didn't they have many people from other states drive in to her rallies?

    January 10, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Sarah

    Hi Annabelle,
    Obama has refused to wear a flag pin on his lapel. (I consider that a red flag, no pun intended)

    As far as the Koran goes, I think you're thinking of Keith Ellison who was sworn into office using the Koran, he is the first Muslim in Congress.

    January 10, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Sandy

    I am 36 years old. I have never voted republican in a presidential race. After Obama talked down to Hillary in the last debate, I will never cast my vote for him. He talked to her like she was his child not a respectable Senator of the US. If Obama's cocky ways and lack of substance speechs win the ticket, I will be voting the big R the first time.

    January 10, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. NewPatriot-Arizona

    Wolf,

    Its ugly alright! you said it ! the ugliness of the voting system that is not honest . Your CNNNews always brings up the injustice in other countries, without checking out ours first! I think this whole process is nothing more than a show and humiliation for us Americans.

    January 10, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. anonymous

    Yes, Annabelle, Obama was the first Senator to use a Koran for his swearing in. Keith Ellison also laid his hand on a Koran for his Washington swearing-in.

    January 10, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. mike

    Barack Obama voted to BAN all semi-auto handguns.

    That is NOT an American president!

    January 10, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Matt, Chicago

    you ignorant hilljacks – Obama is a Christian (not that it should matter). Stop listening to all the hateful xenophobes you come into contact with.

    January 10, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. Kate

    Annabelle, on the off chance you are really looking for answers, and not just an especially lame troll – Anonymous is full of it. Barack Obama is a Christian, sworn into office in a Bible. He's not a Muslim and only ignorant people keep repeating this rumor. Obama (whose parents obviously named him decades ago, long before most of the world had ever heard of Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden) has repeatedly explained the one press photo that had other candidates with hands on their hearts, though he did not. Look it up.

    There are rumors about all the candidates online, some true and some ignorant and some just plain malicious. Anyone can get to the bottom of them by using the Internet, as well as in thousands of magazine and newspaper articles, many of which will be at the local library; considering the bias of the sources; and using their brains. Visit the candidates' websites to learn what their positions on the issues are – in their own words. Be an informed voter. Do your own research instead of asking people on message boards to tell you what to think!

    January 10, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Tom from Dover

    Add another possible factor. I've heard of several independents in my area who figured Senator Obama was a shoo-in, so they took Republican ballots to vote for Senator McCain.

    January 10, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Ledie

    The thing that worries me the most is what they're not saying. There's a constant undertone of "if you think this is bad, just wait 'til they really dig up the dirt on so and so." In some cases, it sounds so sinister. Just what America needs to hear right now :+( Isn't there a single individual left out there that is honest and trustworthy?

    I wish John from NY were correct and it didn't have to be that way. How do we really know if Obama and Huckabee are "two good and honest men." There's some major trash just waiting out there to be released on Barak Obama. Is he just being set up? Then too, I've also heard criticism of Mike Huckabee for his work habits and for being manipulative. What's the truth?

    The media is so quick to jump on the bandwagon and blow any kind of negative comments totally out of proportion. Add special interests to that equation and I don't know if we'll ever know for sure what's up. Look how duped Americans were by George Bush – twice.

    January 10, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. ready to win

    Re the Koran comment – we have had several presidents who questioned the very believe in any kind of higher being, let alone use a Koran. Know your history, then you can comment on the present.

    January 10, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. Dave in Spokane

    It is an absolute lie that Barack will not salute the flag. Barack is a Christian, and absolutely did not use the Koran when he was sworn in. The guy who did use a Koran is a different guy, and is a member of the House, not the Senate. Barack Obama is a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ. Take a look at Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_obama . All that Koran stuff is a deliberately spread lie in an attempt to “Swiftboat” Barack.

    January 10, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. J.M.

    KORAN, BIBLE WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?????

    January 10, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. Jon B Olathe KS

    LOL seriously though...all you hitlery supporters and campaign plant rumor starters...

    OBAMA IS A CHRISTAIN!

    Quit spreading lies and the politics of fear....

    Either way, Restore the Republic, Vote Ron Paul!

    January 10, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Nita

    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 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The uglier the better, and soon. I am appalled at the support shown for unelectable candidates of marginal qualifications on both sides. They should all out each other's significant flaws in direct and unexaggerated terms so we can pick from a brutally vetted field.

    January 10, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. bert

    ANNABELLE DON'T YOU BELIEVE ANONYMOUS FOR A MINUTE. OBAMA DID NOT GET SWORN IN USING A KORAN. GO TO OBAMA'S WEB SITE FOR SOME FACTS. THERE ARE THOSE WHO WISH TO DISTORT FACTS FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES

    January 10, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. Val Carlson

    Things don't have to get ugly, if we keep our heads and adamantly refuse to be taken in by lies. Passionately caring about the unfortunate and downtrodden is the antidote to ugliness. I admire Hillary Clinton's explanation as to why she is running for the presidency. I do not see how Hillary can do anything other than run, because she feels so passionately that she can do the job of leading America back to its former glory days in the world - How? By caring about what happens to you and to me. And LEAD she will. And I for one will be happy to follow her. I respect her judgment and acumen and will follow where she leads. She has shown that the ugliness of the past 7 years can and will be overcome.

    January 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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