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. halcyon24

    Tristan – It'll be OK

    Yes, it will be UGLY ! And I for one, can't wait. What else can we possibly find out or care to find out about the Clintons? (OK, there is that one thing, but it'll never be proven) But on the other hand (the one on the Koran), well, that will be quite INTERESTING. And Hillary – please let Bill speak as much as possible when it does turn to the nail bitting fun.

    January 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  2. Ann


    Get your facts straight!!! Obama not salute the flag? I think " the rumors" you heard refers to a photo that was taken with some of the other candidates where he did not have his hand over his heart. The other candidates had their hands over their heart while the National Anthem was being played NOT while saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

    I imagine there ARE a lot of rumors going around. I didn't know that being a Christian was a prerequisite for the job. Who cares? I am sick to death of this "Christian" thing. We've had "a Christian" in office who has managed to offend the world, lie, responsible for thousands of deaths, graft and corruption everywhere, resort to ignoring the Constitution and make his own rules, surround himself with corrupt people, and make sure that he and his buddies have reaped what they can in making the rich richer and themselves as well. Oh, I could go on. If being a "Christian" is so important to you, take a real hard look at the shame our country has endured because someone calls himself a "Christian". America is a melting pot of all religions, skin color, and beliefs.

    Educate yourself and take a little time to see the whole picture. It is ignorance to assume that being a "Christian" is necessary to run a country, not in this day and age. There are too many pressing issues to deal with and undo the disasters our "Christian" President has created.

    January 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. Shannon, Charlottesville, Virginia

    why isn't rove in prison?

    January 10, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  4. Heartlight 3, Maui, HI

    Annabelle – you can check out the veracity of email rumors on Snopes.com. Snopes is a website that fact checks all of those erroneous emails that are sent around trying to catch people like you who tend to believe everything they hear without researching whether they are true or not. Almost all of them are on there. Go to Snopes.com and look on the left side at the hottest urban legends. Barack Obama is right on the top. I wish we could lay this to rest for good. I can't believe there are so many people out there who will still believe whatever they hear even if it is totally made up. There is always a way to check the facts.

    January 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  5. richard

    It doesn't have to get ugly – just give Hillary the nomination she's so obviously entitled to by virtue of being married to a president for eight years. Just like it didn't have to get ugly for the Kathleen Wileys out there – outta the way, everybody – Team Clinton coming through!

    January 10, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |

    Unite The Democratic Party !!!!!!!

    Let's make the 2008 Democratic Presidential Team Clinton/Obama.

    Obama will be the heir apparent in the 2016 election, too.

    We ALL can win, and Hillary could put the rest of the
    Democratic hopefuls to work in the Clinton/Obama Administration !

    January 10, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  7. Gil - California

    Let it get ugly, I'm now done for a couple months. I cast my ballot yesterday in California and mailed it in. I don't need to listen to any more racist comments from women who think I am sexist because I don't like Clinton. My view to any who cast the sexist stone is that they are racist because they don't support Obama.

    To those who aren't name calling, pick your candidate whom ever it might be and good luck to you. It is an exciting season when people who have never voted get out there participate. Just leave the name calling at home and enjoy.

    January 10, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |

    Indyin Illinois:

    I am also from Illinois, but I have an entirely different take on "corruption" in Illinois-you leave out our infamous, shameful George Ryan, former Govenor before present-Governor Blajegoyavich (sp)......Ryan now sits in prison for corruption charges. Before he left office, Ryan also dumped a huge Illinois budget debt on the present Illinois Governor to deal with. Republicans have a way of doing that. And, people don't get elected to office except by a majority of the people. Apparently, the fact that there are Democrats running most of Illinois now shows that the people of Illinois were fed up with Republican corruption and "threw the bums out", like the American people are preparing to do to the Republicans on the Presidential level in the 2008 election.........

    January 10, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  9. John

    Nancy... perhaps you can't navigate the site? From the front page, click "Continue", then look through the "Issues" drop-down at the top.

    CNN can only report democratic news in terms of Hillary Clinton– If Obama is winning, then the story is "How does Hillary come back?". If Obama is losing, it's "Hillary makes comeback!". She got more "free airtime" then all the other candidates put together for her teary moment which was run twice an hour for two days.

    And don't get me started on CNN waiting until after the election to bother running a brief story about Bill Clinton completely misrepresenting what Obama had said– That's fair and balanced reporting for you. It's sad to see the Clintons stooping to Karl Rove's level in this campaign, and it's sadder to see CNN helping them every chance they get.

    January 10, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  10. Eric in Massachusetts

    John of New York wrote this:" 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."

    John, you couldn't be further from the truth. How on Earth could you think Obama is honest and good? If that were true, why did he skip most of the "big" votes in Congress during this freshman term? He did it because he was running for Pres and did not want anyone picking apart his voting record. So, he didn't vote. That's cheap. He's lying to us and he's lying to himself. He doesn't know what race or religion he is either. He's confused. Oh, and the Red Sox are better than the Yankees! 🙂

    January 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  11. charlotte

    Wolf, love your show. It will get uglier especially if Obama, Oprah, the media keep bring up race. The first race card was played by Oprah, mention Martin Luther King, and you stir that pot. Obama refers to Kenya more and more and talks of slaves of the past< he is playing the race card and it will backfire.

    January 10, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Nancy: That's a good question so I'll ask Obama if he can do anything to change that. But until then don't believe all the negative and unfounded slander. Trust me, our Government has thoroughly investigated Obama's background from the time he was a child. If you have ever applied for a law enforcement or Government job, as I have and cleared, it is an experience you'll never forget. That's why I say again, the slander against Obama is unfounded and nothing but slander. I don't like these dirty politics played on any candidate or anyone else for that matter.

    January 10, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. charlotte

    Oh, one other thing, Bloomberg, an independent, talk about a flip-flopper. He can't make up his mind if he's a demorcrat, republican, or an independent. He will on take votes away from one or the other and leave the waters muddy.

    January 10, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. Truethis

    Bert, did you used the mouse and select LEARN on the top of the Obama's website?

    January 10, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  15. Walt, Belton, TX

    Pretty serious stuff when you quote a former President from Arkansas. Bill Clinton, whoa! No credibility problems there. Just so he keeps the cigar in his mouth.

    Guess old Wolfie needed some face time with the media folks. See you next election, Wolf. Now, say good night!

    January 10, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  16. Kay

    There are some very difficult decisions to make in the next 10 months, that will determine the future of our country and effect each and every one of us and generations to come.
    After reading the comments here I just hope that people will let go of all their petty attitudes and drop the nasty remarks against all candidate and make their decisions based strictly on facts, and the opinions and abilities of the candidates. We cant afford to make another mistake this election. Lets not let ourselves get manipulated again with "fluff", nice smiles, good speeches that really say nothing, or down home cowboys. Been there, done that...we truly need to get very serious this time around...we are running out of time, money and in danger of losing our way of life.
    I am personally supporting Hillary Clinton and glad she is willing to take on the responsibility and the hard work it will take. She knows how to do it, and has the will and energy . I have nothing against the other candidates but feel she is best prepared to take over immediatly.
    The next elected president of our country will need all the support and help we can give them, regardless of who they are. Lets skip the petty hate this time kids, we havnt the time for it.

    January 10, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  17. Audrey in Virginia

    If it gets ugly, Barack Obama will stay above all that makes campaigning ugly. His character time and time again is showing America and the world that he responds and thinks in a different way to what we often expect in American politics. And that is why so many people are watching and are drawn to him. Think of this – without Obama in the race we would have a boring, 2008 election. He woke up American Politics.

    January 11, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  18. norcalmom

    Nancy....not true.

    Click on "continue to website" and you can read anything on Obama you want without joining his campaign. The link is in the bottom right corner.

    January 11, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  19. ken locke

    Yes it is going to get ugly or should we say uglier.
    Looking at where we are starting from.

    Clearly we have a prominate candidate standing out .
    and that candidate is Ron Paul.

    Knows the Constitution and will stand by it... and Defend it....

    About time.......................

    oh yeah Human Rights and Freedoms

    that will all come back with Ron in office. 🙂

    Honestly, all the other candidates need to back Ron Paul.

    Lets claim America back 🙂

    Ron Paul for President 08

    ken locke
    Ron Paul Riders
    Journey for Justice Seven

    January 11, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  20. Chris Flew...

    Here is an interesting take. During the New Hampshire debate, the republicans went out of there way to praise Mr. Obama and talked highly of him. Did you all believe them? Not me. I'm convinced they want him to be the dem. candidate. I think the party knows some pretty bad dirt on him, and can't wait to get it out there once he is chosen.

    I noticed Hukabee especially talking highly of Obama. Didn't you all notice how Hukabee beat Romni despite the millions spent by Mits campaign? It's no accident. This country is still very much concerned about the religious views of their candidate. The republicans are also taking close notice to this and gearing up to blast Obama on the issue. Is it right? No. It will happen though, and it will hurt Barack bad unless he can show some really "faithful" background.


    January 11, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  21. Steven Bengtson Sr.

    I hope that Democrats realize both our main choices will need to be able to repair the damage we do to ourselves to win the big race! That was why that weasel Rove tried the cheep shots at Obama (who should consider the source). We, just the Democrats you republicans can rip deep, need to be looking ahead!

    January 11, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  22. Vertigo

    I think that Obama will have a solid plan for America once he gets the rest of these democrats off of his back.

    Really, all presidents have aides that write most of them plans anyway. None of them are economic professors or anything. And really, if Bush could get in to the White house, after failing as a governor in Texas and as head of the Texas Rangers, and with a DWI record, then anyone could get in.

    It is all about perception, I am willing to go with the guy for now that at least you can talk without using improper syntax or saying good ideas like they are against Bush, even though they have voted several times in support of them.

    Plus do you know that the Bushes and the Clinton are distant cousins, but they also have been sighted at other picnics and events together in the past. They really are just pushing the same stuff, just wording their language differently. Maybe Obama likes to take big lobbying money as well, but at least he advocates for the return of habeus corpus, and I think that is a good start.

    January 11, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  23. Audrey in Virginia

    If it gets ugly, Barack Obama will stay above all that makes campaigning ugly. His character time and time again is showing America and the world that he responds and thinks in a different way to what we often expect in American politics. And that is why so many people are watching and are drawn to him. Think of this – without
    Obama in the race we would have a boring 2008 election. He woke up American

    January 11, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  24. Ray

    The era of the Clinton's is over. Republicans will not be given the mantel again after 8 years of George Bush. The time has come for new progressive democrat to lead this great nation. Senator Obama has an energy that I have not seen in this country since the era of John F. Kennedy. We will see after super tuesday and the dust has settled. God save us all.

    January 11, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  25. Jeanie

    Obama does not take fedeal lobbying money. He does accept money from state level lobbies. The federal lobbies are a very nasty business. I worked for one of the national organizations a 501c that lobbied under the guise of "outreach and education". But what they were really doing was meeting with Congress to get congressional earmarks to support their particular issue. This is very important because senators should listen to what is being said at the state level. 501cs are part of that shadow government. They have a huge amount of influence on the character of federal laws, which ones get passed and which ones get funded. I think they're a cancer on our system and I agree with Obama, they can have A seat at the table but they can';t have the table.

    January 11, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
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