January 23rd, 2008
03:49 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton goes after Obama's Republican comments in radio ad

Clinton is going after Obama in a new ad.

Clinton is going after Obama in a new ad.

(CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton is launching a radio ad in South Carolina Wednesday that targets Barack Obama's recent comments on the Republican Party – her campaign’s latest effort to capitalize on the Illinois senator’s recent remarks.

The spot highlights a portion of his recent interview with the Reno Journal-Gazette in which the Illinois senator said in part, "The Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10, 15 years."

"Really? Aren’t those the ideas that got us into the economic mess we’re in today? Ideas like special tax breaks for Wall Street," the ad's narrator asks.. "Running up a $9 trillion debt. Refusing to raise the minimum wage or deal with the housing crisis. Are those the ideas Barack Obama’s talking about?"

Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have repeatedly raised those comments on the campaign trail. Obama's campaign has said the two are mischaracterizing the original comments.

Responding to the radio ad, Obama spokesman Bill Burton called the ad a "negative, dishonest attack."

“In her newest negative, dishonest attack, Clinton claims that Obama praised Republican ideas apparently in an attempt to obscure her record of voting for Republican ideas like bankruptcy, NAFTA and, of course, the war in Iraq," he said.

"That fact that Hillary Clinton has praised Ronald Reagan and supported some of the very worst Republican ideas just underscores that she will say or do anything to get elected,” said Burton.

The Clinton campaign maintained the ad was straightforward.

"This ad straightforwardly uses Sen. Obama’s own words in his own voice saying the Republican Party was the party of ideas for the past 10-15 years," Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said. "We can understand why the Obama campaign would be frustrated with that. The bottom line is that Sen. Clinton is running for president in order to replace those ideas with new ones like jumpstarting our economy, creating jobs and protecting people’s homes."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
soundoff (1,035 Responses)
  1. Kris In Atlanta

    Politics is not a wine tasting gala; its gritty, dirty, and unapologetically mean and somewhat uncivilized. I believe the Clintons have every right to defend their legacy when an unprooven newcomer uses them as a catalyst to revive his slowly sinking campaign. Obama has injected everything from race to the Republicans in a Democratic primary to disguise the fact that he has no position on anything. The threats America faces and the unanswered questions that linger require someone who has the experience and tenacity to deal with these things, and this simply isn't Obama. His heartwarming speeches may be fine for a campfire gathering, but in 2008, holding hands and hoping won't solve America's problems.

    January 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Sad to Say

    Is it just me or is she spending too much time on what he says. Hillary and Bill are doing this to take the focus off of her like what are they good for except listening to what Obama says and then giving us their defination of what he meant. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book the worse I make you look the better I make myself look. This may work for them for a while with some of the democrats but it just ain't gonna fly at all with any of the republicans they are way to smart for that and this is coming from a democrat.

    January 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Ida Lula

    Obama brought this on by fishing for Republican votes. I can never support him now. I think the Democrats are to conservative, and for him to praise the party that has brought us Nixon (liar,) and the current idiot in charge (liar and thief,) is really beyond any kind of back-peddling and finger pointing to try and get from under his own mistake.
    The way he keeps pointing the finger at Hillary is a real turnoff. What does he expect? He has so little experience, and his record and what he says about his record just don't match up.
    He asked for it, and now he's reaping what he's sown by this view of how conservative he really is.

    January 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Brandon Q-C

    First of all i could have swore that Hillary and Obama had called a truce and now this!!
    All i have to say is thats just dirty Hillary taking things out of context like that.
    Before i did not know who to vote for but now i know Obama 08 !!!!!

    January 23, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Cheers

    Howdy Republicans!!!
    Wow, looks that all the blogs are against the Clintons and are pro Obama.
    I bet that 99% of these so called Obama supporters are actually registered Republicans.

    January 23, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Murry

    It's very underhanded of the Clintons to take Obama's comment out of context. And, shame on CNN for not broadcasting the entirety of Obama's statement last night. The man's just making a general comment; he didn't say Reagan's ideas were good! CNN you need to set the record straight.

    January 23, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Jay

    A woman and a mother? please Hillary set a good example for women, that we do not have to stood this low to get to the top. It just reminds me of the woman who will sleep her way to the top.

    January 23, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Ryan

    That's what he said but Clinton is mischaracterizing his intent. He did not say those ideas were good, or that he liked them better than Democratic ideas, only that at that time the republicans were the ones coming up with new ideas. That's it.

    For Hillary to then trumpet that across the nation claiming that he was praising the policies of Reagen, she'd have to either be really stupid or really evil. Either way I don't want her in the White House.

    I've said it before but I'll say it again, I'm a liberal but I will vote for almost anyone over Hillary Clinton.

    January 23, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Steve, Landing, NJ


    Obama never did anything wrong in regard to Rezko. This land deal everyone whines about containe d*no wrongdoing* on his part. Rezko's wife sold him *one-sixth* of a piece of land that she paid 300K for for 100K. He was not "given" "gifted" or "practically given" the land. He paid at least fair market value for it.

    It's also worth pointing out that part of the reason we even *know* that Obama received funds linked to Rezko is because he helped push for increased financial transparency in fund raising. And he has since donated the funds to charity. What did he do wrong?

    If you're going to paint Obama for his links to Rezko, go ahead and paint Clinton for her links to the felonious Peter Paul. Personally, I doubt either candidate did anything wrong in either case, but touting one while ignoring the other is flatly dishonest.

    January 23, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    Please, people, before you comment, read what was actually said. The problem is that the Clintons have treated Obama's comment as if it praised the Republican party. It is a mischaracterization because it treats the statement as a value judgment. It's not. If you have a problem with him for another reason, that's fine, but let's not have another election won based upon twisting information.

    January 23, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. say no to oligarchy

    hillary thought voting to protect credit card companies with her bankruptcy vote – was a good idea.

    bill clinton was more like reagan than anybody else. nafta, trade with china, media deregulation, banking deregulation, welfare reform, failure to enact alternative energy policy, etc. etc.

    the list is endless. a hillary victory will be more of the same and the progressive agenda will, once again, be swept back into the closet for another 8 years.

    January 23, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. winnie

    With the negative ad, Hillary and Bill sending out ,looks like Obama will be our next president.

    January 23, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. God Help US All, Atlanta,Georgia

    OH cry me a river Obamaites... the dude got caught saying something real stupid, in effort to pander to republican voters in Nevada.. hoping they'd cross over in the primary. And it backfired. Such as life. I've heard what he said, I saw the interview, it was clearly, an implication that Ronald Reagan and the republicans were the "idea" folks simultanously knocking Bill Clinton as non transformative. Big strategic error. Bill Clinton is the ONLY democratic president of the last almost 30 years.. no way you should praise Reagan and knock him in the same statement. It was bonehead.. and if Hillary had said something like this, you guys would have been wailing.

    How does it feel when the shoe is on the other foot?

    January 23, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Southern Gal

    As was said in the recent debate, all of the candidate's hands are dirty. They're politicians after all. And we're stupid, sheep to the slaughter if we believe otherwise. We just have to pick the least dirty.

    I say forget Clinton (she'll just end up impeached and still in office like her spouse) and Obama (starting to get a little too "preachy" without specifics for this bible belt voter) and go with Edwards.

    He has the right morals and values that will help bring honor and trust back to the White House. No one can know what shape our country will be in next January. We need someone who has great ideas/solutions based on the right values and morals in our lives that our citizens are screaming for once again!

    January 23, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Maxi

    Hillary (or Bill) will not be the main problem for Obama. It will be Razko and Obamas' comment in this regard at the Debate (5 hours work only – my foot). He cannot accuse others of untruthfulness and get away with being untruthful himself. I just wish they would all stop accusing each other of whatever. Nobody is perfect – not HIllary – not Obama – and not Edwards. In fact nobody is. Important is who has the best command of the issues.

    January 23, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. Hal Singer

    So Bill and Hillary Clinton are enemies of the truth. During Bill Clinton's administration he declares "The Era Of Big Government Is Over" to the wild cheer of Republicans everywhere. They lose the Congress for the first time in fifty years.! And now he's pissed off when Senator Obama simply states the truth. I opposed Reagan on almost every issue, yet I have said for years that he was an effective president.
    If Hillary cared so much about health care as she now tries to claim, why didn't she try it again when she was in the white house?
    Obama is the most honest poitician we have seen in a long time. Doesn't mean he's perfect. He doesn't have to be. He will be a GREAT PRESIDENT!
    If you want to go back to the acrimony of the 90's with none of the sucesses of it, then go ahead and elect Hillary. She will LIE< CHEAT and SAY ANYTHING to get back into the White House. The American people, however, do not need her there!

    January 23, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Justin, Houston, TX

    Stan Bennett... to answer your question, yes I have watched Mr. Obama. And he clearly states for the last 10-15 years, the Republican party was the party of ideas. He can try to spin all he wants now but the truth is he said it. Maybe everyone should watch it for themselves.


    Just like in 2003 when he was for single payer healthcare, but now that's not what he meant. Oh and just like he was, I mean is, completely against the war, but still funded it. Or maybe just like he only worked on the case with Tony Rezko for about 5 hours, but failed to mention that Rezko also helped him secure the land his home is sitting on.

    Everytime, Mr. Obama gets on tv he says the Clintons are lying. Funny how given every chance, he never tells what the lie is.

    January 23, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. Cheryl

    This article just shows that some people CANNOT READ. Read for meaning, not just SELECTIVE Reading. Why do Americans hate to accept the truth? Obamas statment says that Republicans had ideas, not good ones. At least republicans were coming up with something. Weak Dems were just sitting biting their nails. Thats all he meant. Obama is a uniter of Dems, Reps, Independents, Minorities, us all. And people hate it. Just admit that you enjoy dishonest politics. Again, Hillary wont get my vote. Obama must be the best candidate with all these attacks. Think people! You see how dirty Clintons play now, how will they if elected? I would respect Hillary more if she focused on her strengths and let the best one win, rather than trying to make others look bad so she looks good. Hill is NOT Bill ! I cant wait to see her cry in 11/2008

    January 23, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. tx

    Hillary is dishonest by saying he said they were "good" ideas. She inserted that in herself to make him look bad. Don't just take her word for it, read what he said!
    "good ideas" is not there. Hillary's true colors have come out. And I am not too happy. I loved the clintons but now I don't care for them at all.

    January 23, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. God Help US All, Atlanta,Georgia

    And by the way, all you whiners that claim you will vote for John McCain and the republicans if Hillary is the nominee better snap out of it. You nuts will march yourselves down there and vote for the democrat. Just as Hillary supporters will if Obama is nominated. Otherwise, this country is FINISHED. Get it... you aren't going to vote and screw us all over a GRUDGE!

    January 23, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Christine

    Good grief, Hilary Clinton – pick a new tune.

    I'm reminded of what it was like to have a Clinton in the office before. Lots of smiles on the surface . . .

    And all the self-serving backstabbing that went with it.

    I've made up my mind. Edwards or Obama – or both. Or McCain if Clinton is on the Democratic ticket.

    I'll wait on having a woman. Maybe we can find a better candidate in the future who can campaign using skils that represent the best aspects of our gender.

    If we wanted WWF – we'd elect a professional wrestler. And even they'd have more style and grace.

    January 23, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Amy in Cincy

    Call me old fashoined, but I want my Commander in Chief to be someone of character with core values. Sorry Hillary.....

    January 23, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Mati

    I am with Clinton on this one. Obama's mention on Republicans' ideas, and Reagan etc.. of course can re-interpreted by his campaign the way he wants, or we can understand them differently.

    The guy has 2 problems: he is very vague in the way he expressed himself because this thinking is fuzzy and he also tries to speak casual, so next he is starting to re-interpret what he said to make it good ('what I meant was..").

    Is there anything Obama does well except his appearance on stage? Even there, if you can look critically at the big words, there are many flaws.

    January 23, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Brandi

    I am a first time blogger, long time political junkie, and well informed voter. I simply wanted to express my absolute disgust at the tactics that Bill and HIllary Clinton are continually administering in this campaign. For the first time in my thirty one years of life, we finally, finally, finally, have a candidate in Barack Obama that could actually change the trejectory of this nation, make us a better nation, more peaceful nation, a more unified, and more fair nation. The clintons obviously understand the power of this, and thus instead of adopting a strategy to challenge, inspire, and uplift voters, with clear concise and tranparent policies, they choose to attempt to gain their candidacy through "swift boat" type tactics. Sounds like the type of slimely politics of Bush and those LIKE HIM!! Wake up America. Barack is for real!!

    January 23, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Jason

    Hillary, you know this is factually inaccurate. You and your husband are a disgrace to the American Political system, and that says a lot. I was willing to vote for you until Monday night, but you have thrown me over the edge. You DESERVE to lose the election. You are not worthy to be president of the united states. your lies and distortion are NO different that what the Bush administration has been doing for the past 7 years. You, Hillary, are a disgrace.

    January 23, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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