January 10th, 2008
03:55 PM ET
6 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. Sonofelma

    Karl Rove is so transparent (too bad he isn't for more transparency in government, like it would be under Obama). Rove would like nothing more than for Hillary to win the Dem nomination. He was elated as much as she was by the New Hampshire results. It is a simple math problem: Hillary falls short against anyone the Republicans throw up there in the general election. The math isn't nearly as comforting for Rove when it comes to Obama. He beats everyone on the Republican side one-on-one. C'mon people, wake up to Rove's manipulations or we are going to have yet another Rove-decided election.

    January 10, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. Dissapointed in TX

    More on Obama the Christian . . . with real reliable sources . . .

    Obama Has Been A Member Of Trinity United Church Of Christ For Twenty Years. Monroe Anderson stands up for Reverend Wright's ministry, "For the past two decades, Barack Obama has been a faithful member of the congregation at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ." [Chicago Sun-Times, Monroe Anderson, 3/25/07]

    Obama Was Baptized And Attends Church Once a Week When He is Able. In the Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote, "I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized." In 2004, he "attend[ed] the 11 a.m. Sunday service at Trinity in the Brainerd neighborhood every week - or at least as many weeks as he is able. His pastor, Wright, has become a close confidant." When asked about his decision to be baptized, Obama said "Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth." [Audacity of Hope, p.208, Chicago Sun Times, 4/5/04; AP 6/28/06]

    Obama Reads The Bible, Finds Time to Pray On Campaign Trail. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Obama says he reads the Bible, though not as regularly as he'd like, now that he's on the campaign trail. But he does find time to pray. 'It's not formal, me getting on my knees,' he says. 'I think I have an ongoing conversation with God... I'm constantly asking myself questions about what I'm doing, why I am doing it.'" [Chicago Sun Times, 4/5/04]

    Obama Held His Personal Bible When He Was Sworn-In As A U.S. Senator. "...Even before the makeshift office was up and running in the basement of a Senate building, even before he raised his hand Tuesday to take the oath of office as the junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama was already a political rock star and a celebrated new face in Congress. He arrived Tuesday, his first official day in the Capitol.... In the circles he runs in now, celebrity status is checked at the cloakroom door...When it was finally time to take the oath, he held his personal Bible, as family from as far away as Kenya watched from the visitors' gallery above. His daughters, Malia, 6, and Sasha, 3, in velvet dresses and patent leather shoes, bounced in their chairs when he looked up and waved." [Los Angeles Times, 1/5/05]

    January 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. Nancy, Dallas TX

    This is exactly why Hillary should be the Democratic nominee. Obama would not survive the intensity of the Republican attack machine. Hillary has had years of SUCCESSFUL experience dealing with Republicans. The media is giving Obama a pass on his ultra light resume, his lame voting record and the insubstantive rhetoric of his schtick about 'change' and 'different'. The Republicans will not be enamored like the media is. The Republicans took down Al Gore and John Kerry; they will have an easy time of it with Obama.

    January 10, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. nobama

    Um, do we need Wolf Blitzer to tell us that it's going to get ugly? Nice observation, Einstein!

    January 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Nando, Florida

    Your right if you keep showing WOLFE'S BLIZTERS PICTURE ON THIS WEB SITE
    EVERY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 10, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. ConfusedDemocrat

    If democrats don't play this well, they will lose. Here's what I think: The black vote is very important and if they keep the black folks home, republicans will win. I hope Clinton is planning to chose Ford Jr as VP if she wins the nomination.

    January 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. sheila

    Funny, isn't it, Annabelle, that those who spread ugly and untrue rumors always seem to have the same name: "anonymous"!

    January 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Mike MacDonald

    McCaferty hit it right on the head.

    So the GOP unites in declaring that Hillary will be the easiest candidate to defeat,

    So Karl Rove starts throwing barbs at Obama.

    So the GOP wins the White House again.

    Wake up America.

    Karl Rove continues his mischief.

    January 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Ilyas, Los Angeles California

    No Annabelle, Obama did NOT use the Koran for his swearing in ceremony – no matter what "anonymous" might proclaim. I am Muslim by the way.

    January 10, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Zoe Artemis

    No Annabelle, it was not Barack that laid his hand on the Koran....it was Rep. Keith Ellison....that's a fact. As for the salute to the flag....they were singing the national anthen, not saying pledge of allegiance, but regardless, this photo was taken seconds before Barack did place his hand on his heart. As a former White House staffer for President Carter, I know my facts.

    January 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Anonymous


    January 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Steve

    I agree with you, Wolf, it'is getting extremely uglier and uglier. So now we all know whose side you are on.

    I just learned on your show that experience does not count if the person does not have personality.

    On that basis, you should resign immediately, since you have the personality of a petrified log.

    January 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. Angela

    I think our elected officials should use a copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
    to get sworn in while draped with an American Flag.

    January 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. Mike in Kentucky

    Many people bemoan the "dirty" nature of politics in these kinds of posts and the Obama supporters constantly castigate the Clinton campaign for their tactics of attack and defend, react and adjust.

    This is not a Pollyanna, "pie in the sky" kind of game. The stakes are enormous.

    Mr. Blitzer's article makes the correct observation that whether the Democrats nominate Clinton, Obama, or Edwards (unlikely, in my opinion), and the Republicans nominate McCain, Romney, Huckabee or Guliani, in the general election, the gloves will come off like we've never seen.

    You cannot beat a bare-knuckle fighter with hugs, kisses and flowers.

    To the Obama supporters, if you think the Republican machine is going to practice the "new politics of hope" rather than the tried and true "politics of dirt and innuendo", then you are all naive. Can anyone say "Swiftboat"?

    We know all about the dirt of Hillary Clinton, it's been hashed and re-hashed...Ken Starr and the Republican machine have made sure of that for years.

    We know little about the skeletons stored in Mr. Obama's closet. The hatchet men are looking for that dirt now and they will find it or make it up!

    Yes he is from Chicago, famous for rough and tumble politics, but I wonder if he has ever been hit in the face with the political equvalent of a hard right cross!

    January 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. Mario

    Sounds like Blitzer is trying to create a story Like Gergen is trying with Ron Paul.

    Whats the matter Blitzer, can't get enough attention at home, trying to create a story that hasn't developed yet.
    Of course it is going to get ugly, politics always do that, have you forgot 2000 or 2004, what are you a knucklehead or what.

    Things got ugly then, it will again, geeze your such a geniuse Blitzer.

    Get a shave and a haircut Blitzer and go sell papers instead of trying to be in them.

    January 10, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. Sam

    Check Snopes.com: Obama did NOT use a Koran for his swearing in.

    January 10, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. Sid

    ANNABELLE – That is NOT true!! Barack is a devout christian who is very involved in his church. He didn't even have muslim parents! Keith Ellison is muslim – and black. He used a Koran, but please don't believe this ridiculousness. People must have confused them – happens a lot with black people.

    January 10, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. Aly


    ( " 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." )

    You've got that that right! And i hope they keep drawing these " distinctions" between each other , and what i think is most important is that they stop talking about who can bring about the most CHANGE but answer the question with how they plan to do so! so when we go to the booth to make our choice on who our leaders will be , i hope they have given us insight into there plans.

    January 10, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. anonymous

    Check this link. That rumor about Barack using a Koran for his swearing in is absolutely untrue!


    January 10, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. Grace Smith, Charlton, SC

    I'm praying seriously for Obama vs Huckabee. It will be a civil debate – one that the American people deserves. This country is sick and tired of this rubbish.

    Our children are tired of watching and listening to garbage from people who want to lead a nation of decent people.


    January 10, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. Kevin

    Actually no, Sen. Obama did NOT put his hand on the Koran when he was sworn into his Senatorial Office. He put his hand on a Bible because he is a practicing Christian. Most people use their religion's holy book for those sorts of important oaths. At present Congressman Ellison is the only sitting member to be sworn in using the Koran.

    And Sen. Obama DOES salute the flag by placing his hand over his heart. This is an old story that he did not salute the flag during the national anthem. The truth of the matter is that he was taught by his grandfather that a person puts their hand on their heart for the Pledge, but sings the National Anthem instead of putting their hand on the heart.

    I really don't suggest listening to Internet rumors about Sen. Obama, Sen. Clinton, or John Edwards. If you want to find out a fact, check their websites for official comments on the subject. There is so much lying and false attacks on the internet this primary season, I'd almost say to avoid most message boards of a political nature right now.

    January 10, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  22. Craig Finnegan

    Here's one of my favorite words in the English language: "Combativity." That's what we voters (of either party) need in their chosen candidate just as much as "electability." Bob Woodward made an important observation the other day right here on CNN: about how important it is when a candidate behaves deeply (not superficially) confident even when they LOSE. To me, that's a full half of what makes for combativity. I don't perceive hostility as combativity, insofar as hostility is rooted in personal weakness, whereas perseverance with one's convictions is rooted in inner strength. My main point is that, whichever party we identify with, we need a candidate who can TAKE a punch just as well as they can give one, because there is no doubt in my mind this year's election process is going to keep turning into a WAR. So, when deciding which candidate has that greater combativity we need, keep watching who turns even their defeats into victories....and even their victories into defeats.

    January 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. Val Carlson

    Mr. Blitzer: It's not a foregone conclusion that things are going to get uglier. Lies are what are ugly. Truth makes one free. Obama is an excellent orator, but is he truthful? I do not believe so. It seems to me that he is a person who could take either side in a debate and win, whereas Clinton may not be as polished an orator, but her passion and caring outweight glibbness. That she can lead this nation to a better future convinces me that we should listen and not make snap judgments about her ability She cares and that's not ugly, it's beautiful.

    Hillary may not be a great orator, and you can see I'm not a great writer, but this is how I feel. And there's nothing wrong with hoping, just as long as that hope is based in reality.

    I really don't care if yu publish this or not......I'm not running for anything.

    January 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. Andy


    It is a rumor. Go to snopes.com. Anonymous you are an id10t

    January 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Carl


    Annabelle –

    Barack Obama was NOT sworn into the Senate with his hand on the Koran. His hand was on the Bible – because he is a practicing Christian!

    Barack – Christian – Bible
    e-mail – fraud – meant to scare you

    As for the hand over the heart during the national anthem that was blow way out of proportion – Information can be found here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/anthem.asp

    At an event Mr Obama did not put his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem – he sang along – I do not think he was trying to be offensive or make a statement – though I bet he will never not put his hand over his heart during the national anthem again!

    January 10, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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