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. tracy

    I need to call my republican Dad and apologize for all those arguments we had where he told me what a liar Clinton was and I defended him. They are both liars and have totally demolished any respect or admiration I once had for them. I can't believe I could be forced into voting for a republican next November. I just hope McCain is the nominee if Hillary is for the democrats. I could live with McCain, 4 or 8 more years of the Clintons is out of the question for me after the way they have handled their campaign.

    January 23, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. OAB

    Do not be fooled DEMOCRATS. Most of these blogs posted are from registered REPUBLICANS and not Obama supporters per se. BEWARE else we (Democrats) will be the looser. Experience matters a lot and remember that we are still suffering from some peoples decision in voting the wrong President. God Bless America.

    January 23, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Steve, San Ramon, CA

    Susan, you're an idiot.

    January 23, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Staylor

    I am so tired of the Hillary & Bill show. If Obama doesn't get the nomination, I'm afraid that I too will vote for the Republican nominee.

    January 23, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Karen

    For everyone on this site that is an adult and not a first time voter or just someone who is so filled with hatred and dislike for one candidate or another(by the way I do believe that most of the individuals that are on here spewing hatred are republicans), but if you are truly an intelligent adult, it comes down to bottom line, what are your concerns? and who is addressing those concerns? period, not who is black, who is white, who is a woman, they are all politicians so lets get that straight, some of you are so pro Obama you fail to see that he has dodged the important questions, even during the debate when the direct questions came, he either attacked Hilary or he started trying to joke around, which is his supposed charasmatic self, so lets be clear if you are voting for Obama, be bold enough to look at his record, and be fair to Hilary and look at her record, this is not a popularity contest, this next President will be seating Judges, dealing with the mess that has been created by the Bush Regime and moving this country further, it 's funny how so many blacks are now so easily able to criticize Bill Clinton, but when he was in office and they were living so fat on the hog, they did not have a problem, how quickly they forget, but vote your concience, because in the end , just like all of those individuals that voted for George W. Bush, when the mess hit the fan and the country goes one way or the other be prepared to be accountable for your vote, and understand that you are part of the problem or the solution, however it goes, there are many kicking themselves now for voting for Bush, their kids are at war and they are losing their jobs and their houses, but they voted for who they believed was best for them, so now they have to deal with it, because obviously he was not, maybe for the top 1% but no one else, and it's so funny to see how the die hard Bush people no matter what he does still back him and still say that there is nothing wrong with what he has done, don't end up in this position Democratic voters, be knowledgable voters and be accountable for your votes, remember what is important to a 40 year old may not be to a 20 year old, we have different concerns, so younger people may be pumped about the word change being thrown around, but words are words. I need action. I have concerns that are relevant to my family and myself, so vote smart and vote wise, not from the heart but from the mind.

    January 23, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. A Democrat

    If Obama was neither praising nor denouncing the Republicans with his statement- why make the comment at all? Of course he brought it up to appeal to Independents and perhaps Republicans. Obama seems to be a very intelligent and articulate person. I respect that. But he needs to acknowledge that he is playing politics just as much as the rest of them. It's almost as if he purposefully made the comment with an escape clause (so it could be said that he never said they were GOOD ideas). Analogous to voting "Present" rather than committing to a firm "Yes" or "No." He needs to show more substance.

    January 23, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. TomWinWA

    The irony is that Hillary is simply reinforcing Obama's point.

    Yes, the POINT is that the Republicans HAVE put out a lot of damaging ideas, just like Hillary said. Thank you for elaborating on those ideas.

    The LIE is to say that Obama PRAISED them.

    The STUPIDITY is if you BELIEVE the Clintons when they tell lies like this.

    January 23, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Donna Drummond, San Francisisco, CA

    Based on Obama's simple statement in your article I am not sure if he regards the Republican ideas as good or bad. And clearly Hillary doesn't know either since she says "What ideas" and then goes on to give a wonderful list of Republican ideas, many of which she voted for.

    Hillary's experience as an elected official is more limited than Obama's so I don't understand her boasts of "vote for experience." I have been a minister's wife for 35 years but you won't see me demanding to get into the pulpit.

    Hillary must think the American people and specifically the people of South Carolina are plain dumb and will fall for these nasty word tricks Wake up American! Vote for someone with integrity.

    DD in SF

    January 23, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Rodney

    People say that Obama needs to stop crying. I rembember Hillary crying like a baby when her butt was getting kicked, and the NH people felt sorry for her and voted for her. Then, her pimp (Big Daddy Billy) started attacking Obama because his "woman" was all upset. Don't worry Hillary baby. Big Daddy Bill well take care of it for you. Women should be ticked with at her. She does not look like she's up for the job. Whenever there is any trouble, she goes crying to her Big Daddy to fix it for her.

    January 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Kim, Los Angeles, CA

    CNN, why does your headline say "Hillary goes negative"? That is a value judgment, not good reporting of journalism. In fact, I do not find that radio ad negative at all. It is simply stating WHAT OBAMA SAID...IT'S HIS OWN WORDS.
    Please get back to reporting and not putting your own spin on the news.
    That radio ad tells the American public what Obama said....if the Obama campaign doesn't like the ad, perhaps Obama should THINK BEFORE HE SPEAKS. He is obviously a loose cannon, and I would never vote for him.
    He is much too immature and volatile to be Commander in Chief. I began this process undecided. Now I am firmly for HILLARY CLINTON, OUT NEXT PRESIDENT.

    January 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Steve, Landing, NJ


    How about the fact that in Iowa and every state so far Obama has pulled in vastly more Independents and Republicans than Hillary? The fact that he has a history of crossing party lines and working with the opposition to get things done? The fact that all his rhetoric–which will affect how he's viewed by voters and the opposition–is about bringing the country together, while Hillary is all about "fighting" Republicans?

    Obama did it on several contentious issues in in Illinois. Give him a chance and he can do it for the rest of America, too.

    January 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Cory, PA

    Obama was simply making a comparison that Regan brought both republicans and democrats together in order to achieve goals for the country.... I am 100% certain that is something you could never do.

    Obama '08

    January 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. DriveAMclaren

    I hope everyone has noticed the pictures published of Hillary these days have her with this fake smile, sometimes laughing (even more fake)...

    January 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. Andrew, Columbia, MD

    I just want to comment on what has been said about Daschle and Kerry's comments towards the bill and hilary campaigning. This is not about taking it easy, in fact, if you wanna watch the responses and debates, you can see both hilary and obama taking equal licks at each other. The issue is that its short-sighted.

    Come november, the democratic party is going to need to be a unified body. They're going to need to have their house in order if they want to grab up the necessary independant vote to take back the white house. And the way Hilary has initiated this bickering is causing a gigantic rift in the party. You're going to need people like Bill Clinton out there campaigning because his support amongst democrats is still astounding. But when he launches baseless attacks filled with half truths, he sullies Hilary Clinton's name and he alienates Obama supporters.

    As to whether this matters or not, you better think it does. Kerry and Daschle still have tremendous pull in the democratic party. You can bet that right now they're shoring up superdelegate votes, which in the democratic party's process, accounts for around 25% of what you need to get the nom. Hilary may etch out Obama fighting the way she is, but she's turning off party leaders with her actions.

    Hilary's current strategy is a departure from Democratic campaigning over the last 20 years. Bill has apparently abandoned his good-guy strategy and gone on the offensive. It doesn't work in the long term. It's going to hand the white house to the republicans for another gruesome term. THAT is why the party's leaders have come out against the Clintons so vehemently.

    And just so we're clear, Hilary is basically going with the flip-flopper argument that nearly all democrats thought was baseless and retarded when it was used against Kerry. So if you're going to support Hilary doing this, you're basically admitting that the political process doesn't matter, and that you're just a partisan hack with no interest in politics. Its not that the democrats need to lighten up or pitch softballs to eachother. Its that this is a primary process, and the more the democrats hack eachother down, the more they're gonna pay come November.

    Ronald Reagan was an idiot, but there is serious, empirical evidence to support the 11th Commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." I don't support his policies for a second, I think he was a very weak president, but this ideology has led to consistent republican control over the last 50 years, and its time for the dems to wake up.

    January 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Anna, IL

    In response to DMW "All of the life long Democrats who will not vote for Hillary…so what, who cares."

    You will care big time if we end up with a Republican President. Not only am I disgusted with the Clintons, I am just as appalled by the attitude of the Clinton supporters. Thanks to Hillary and Bill for not only dividing the country, but also for dividing the Democratic Party. The '08 election would have been a shoo-in for the Democrats had it not been for Hillary and Bill.

    January 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Earl Johnson, Pennington, New Jersey

    Why is Barak whining all of the time? If you are going to throw punches, you have to be able to take some. You can't strike out at people and then be upset when they strike back.

    January 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. WPNSGY

    Another Clinton Attack Machine!!! She whines and cries about a Republican Attack Machine when it was Her and Her Bill that were contantly on the attack for 8 years and ushered in the current political enviroment of no compromise and personal attacks. I hope she continues to destroy Obam and Herself we might actaully get some one elected who can appeal to both sides Senator McCain

    January 23, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. hillary 08

    Too much negatives about Hillary. Obama is a lier too. He said he only tells the truth and straight to American people. Factcheck.org proves that he is a lier. He said "I never said that we should never go ahead and get single payer" but in fact he gave a speech in 2003 saying "I happen to be a proponent of a single payer health care program". lol
    So both Hillary and Obama do not always tell the truth. They both are aggressive and go negative. The important thing is that people need to concentrate on the issues. I think Hillary has the most experience of all the candidates and I believe she knows how to solve the problems. Hillary is stronger in economy and health care than Obama and that's what we need now. Go Hillary!!!!

    January 23, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. dawn

    Hillary is so pathetic. Doesn't she have enough confidence in herself to point out her attributes without skewing the credibility of Obama. I was a Hillary fan but her and Bill have turned my stomach. Go Obama and even better Go Obama/Edwards.

    January 23, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Deborah

    It is always amazing to me that people say they are tired of negative campaigning but as soon as one candidate does they are perceived as "strong" – what is strong about being ugly, lying or deceptive?? What is weak about saying – if you want to debate let's start with the truth? The voters will get exactly what they vote for

    January 23, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Mimi

    It's funny to read comments like:

    "I am republican and I like OBAMA. I will so vote Obama over hillary"

    of course you guys like obama, because you can't wait to eat him alive.

    January 23, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Anthony

    Sen. Obama seems to lack the temperament and missing his mojo in dealing with the attacks from The Clintons. We're in the middle of a grueling campaign and he's already getting frustrated, which was farily obvious in the last debate. If he gets the Democratic nomination, do we really think he could take on the "Republican Dirty Tricks Machine" and the unregulated 527 Groups?

    January 23, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Jen, Cedar Falls, IA

    "Goes negative"? Try again, she's never been anything BUT negative.

    January 23, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. MD

    These latest attacks simply highlight how superior Hillary and her campaign really think they are to us "little people" who she and her group apparently think are too stupid to know the difference. I say "go for it" Hillary, because you'll only end up shooting yourself in the foot (even more). The American public is a lot smarter than you think - and definitely not of the inferior mind that you clearly presume.

    Have you also noticed how the Republican owned Media (Fox) is on board with the lies regarding Obama? That's because the Republicans are now openly admitting they WANT Hillary to win since they feel certain their candidate can beat her, but not Obama.

    How stupid do both parties think the people are? I think everyone is going to be surprised this time.

    January 23, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Bonnie O., Raleigh, NC

    Hillary and her sidekick, Slick Willy, are masters at distorting the truth. I, for one, hope they keep it up; it only proves why we need Barack Obama to lead this country. Good job, Hillary!

    Obama '08!

    January 23, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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