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. daniela

    In Italy the president of the region Sicily Cuffaro has been condemned, he has fallen there, the tentacles of the power have invited him and he has not been enough strong to withstand him. There is now a sentence, and as it is wanted to read it is read it, but a sentence remains.
    Does the free and honest citizens, that know live how to withstand the temptations, and do they make politics in honest way... I am of it? will you ask me, do they exist? him, I have found them, and they am to Taurianova in the province of Reggio Calabria. To you the link of the site of their movement.

    http://tauriademocratica.wordpress.com/blog /

    January 23, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. DLAF

    I can't wait until this is all over. I believe Hillary is a fighter and will be able to stand up to the opposition when the time comes. She has her flaws like everyone else and I can't understand why Obama thinks he is the best thing on this earth and that he is God's gift or ultimate solution for this republic. He has lied and distorted his opponents (remeber MLK and LBJ comments?) just like all politicians! To think he is above this is to be disingenuous and similar to be deceitful !

    Hillary has PROVEN herself ! We don't want to have anymore ON THE JOB training. We don't want anymore fluffy speeches and rehearsed lines. We want substance and solutions! We want experience.

    Hillary for President !

    January 23, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Jon

    Mr. Obama has, rather tepidly in my opinion, suggested that the Clintons are not being "factually accurate". I"l go him one better and say that they're lying, and they know it. Even with their long history of ruthless, stop-at-nothing-to-win tactics, the sheer viciousness of their recent attacks is, frankly, shocking.

    January 23, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Itoj

    The Clintons may be the smartest and most experienced, but what they are both lacking are integrity , consience, and self respect. One Clinton is enough!! I am a democrat and I'm voting for Obama or will be voting republican if Clinton is the top choice.

    January 23, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Gideon

    I think Clinton just cut her own throat...

    January 23, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Kris

    Are you kidding me Obama supporters. Obama said that the Republican Party was the party of ideas for the last 15 years. If you don't think that was a compliment then you are sadly mistaken. What about the ideas of the Democrats when the budget was balanced and we had a surplus? Or that our foreign relations were at an all-time high?

    Well Obama supporters, wouldn't you say the Democrats were the party of ideas and on top of that, and more importantly, the party of action? The new ad in SC isn't an attack, it is an exact quote of what Obama said and how he should be ashamed of those sttaements.

    Okay CNN, how long will this be under moderation? Kind of fishy

    January 23, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. John

    You all need to step back a bit and take a look from both sides. If you do that, you'll realize that both Obama and Clinton are pretty much doing the exact same things to each other. Obama twisted Clinton's fairy tale comment, and Clinton is making a big deal out of Obama's Regan comment.

    The only thing I don't get is, if Obama claims he never said they were 'good ideas', how does he then explain his praise for these 'bad ideas' republicans came up with? Like, why would you even bring it up if they are bad ideas for change? When it ain't broken, don't change it! So again, why praising a party who came up with what you yourself say are 'bad ideas'? It's one thing to want POSITIVE change, but to go and pray changes that would have made life worse for people? why?

    January 23, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. josh

    -Watching politics these last two weeks has made me quite depressed. Honestly, those of the us in the democratic party were supposed to win this thing hands down after eight years of Bush. But now we aren't going to. I'll never vote for a Clinton. Never have, never will. They have held our political process hostage long enough. There is no actual difference between Hillary and McCain, so I'll take McCain because he has way more experience than she does, and he is willing to cross party lines to make incremental progress. I'll still vote Obama in the primary, and urge others, including republicans, to raid the democratic primary – it's never too early to start voting against the Clinton's. The only other thing that really has me befuddled? Why do people vote for the Clinton's? I just don't get it. It boggles my mind. It's so strange that it reminds me of Einstein's paradox – if you send two twins into space, one traveling at the speed of light and the other at half the speed of light for forty years, when they come back will one of them be older? This is the only question that inspires the same level of confusion in me as the idea that Hillary is winning.

    January 23, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. bob

    Obaba's rule is: Nothing negative or out of context against me. That is my right to dish out for Hillary.
    You've got to be kidding. Grow up and understand that experience also means taking the fire during election time.
    Hillary GO!

    January 23, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. James

    How many times is the word "recent" used in this article?

    Thesaurus, much?

    January 23, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. MC

    Why is everyone saying the Republicans are going to "tear" him up. That they secretly want him to win because he is the "weaker" candidate. That is bologna! They are so weak. Have you been keeping up with their campaign!!!!!?

    This is just to scare everyone. If you really think about it Hillary has way more Dirt for them to dig up then Obama.

    Another thing about the majority of people here....we may be bickering between Hillary and Obama but their is NO WAY we are going to let another Republican back in the White House. Stop believing that scare tactic.

    January 23, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Elisabeth, Burlington, VT

    The DNC website is asking Democrats to pledge to vote for whoever the democratic nominee is in the general election. Clearly, there is concern that the primary politics are dividing the party. I wonder who has generated that concern. Whose campaign and surrogates have engaged in negative, personal attacks?! Factually highlighting concerns about a candidate's voting record or agenda is one thing; knowingly distorting facts is another. The latter is what I have problems with. Anyone who takes the time to read/hear Obama's comments about Reagan will know what he said. Voters, no matter who they support, need to do independent research and not depend on what other candidates are saying.

    Having done so, I highly doubt I'll be voting for Hillary should she somehow win the nomination. We'd be stuck with the same politics that have put this country's government at a bi-partisan stalemate.

    January 23, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. John-Dallas

    Hard for a black man to be president. Feel the resistance Obama?

    January 23, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Eric

    Does anyone else find it ironic that Hillary supporters are calling Barack a crybaby when Hillary is the only presidential candidate that I have ever seen cry during a campaign? You know, literally cry.

    January 23, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Jim

    Well I am a republican that is going to Vote for Hillary do to the fact that she would be able to help the economy more so than Obama could he doesn't have enought time on the job ,and I don't need another George Bush in the Whitehouse.

    I made my mistake on my last vote ,but this time I have looked on the net to make sure that they are telling me the truth.

    If you like Bill then You will Love Hillary.

    January 23, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. CDH

    Come on, Sarah from ARK, Obama said that the Republican party was "the party" with ideas during the past 10 to 15 years. What exactly did he mean by that? To me, it's easy. by using "the" he is excluding the other party (that is, the Dems) as a party with ideas. Note, he didn't say that the Republicans had some ideas or that it also had ideas.

    There is no value judgment? Of course, there was. He never said that their ideas were bad. He never said that the Dems had better ideas. He is a presidential candidate not a man on the street. He was speaking to the Editorial Board of a conservative Nevada paper seeking their endorsement. And the ideas comment came at the end of his statement speaking of Reagan's transformational quality. I think we are entitled to infer that he was praising the Republican ideas.

    If he meant something else, he should say it. But he cannot accuse Hillary of dishonesty when she included his very words and they were not used out of context.

    January 23, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Chris

    What's so negative about quoting him? I mean, he did say the Republican Party has been the party of ideas over the last 10-15 years.

    January 23, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. James Toney

    Why is she saying she can lead and solve all our problems from day one when she could not solve her household's?

    January 23, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Justin, Houston, TX

    Hillary isn't lying about anything. Unfortunately, it's Mr. Obama getting caught and twisted in what he said and then trying to backtrack by saying that's not what I meant.

    I guess his idea of running the country is one of two choices 1) saying present/not making a tough decision and then saying I told you so or 2) making a decision and saying that's not what I meant.

    Obama tries to do his dirt with a wink and smile and then cries when someone calls him out. This is the same person who said if you don't elect me now, I'm not doing it again. What kind of egomaniac, crybaby is that?

    January 23, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. AJ, IL

    Don of South Carolina and Susan....

    What was the context of the mailings you received? How did Obama campaign mailings attack Hillary? Please be specific. You have made a charge that needs to be backed up!

    I know people who live in SC and they till me that more recent Obama mailings are targeted at refuting Hillary's and Bill's distortions of Obama's record. The older mailings targeted Hillary's position on the Iraq War and other poor judgemental senate votes.

    Unfortunately, die-hard Clinton supporters want a fighter and not a uniter. Hillary is very divisive and partisan. If nominated, she would lose the general election vote against McCain or Bloomberg.

    January 23, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. James M

    I find it interesting that such childish squabbling is going on in a party of supposed adults.

    And I find it humorous that so many campaign operatives take the time to post comments here in hopes of swaying more voters for Hilary...and yes, I am sure that Obama's people do it, too. But as someone who endured Bill Clinton's spins and lies, it is interesting to see Hilary employ the same measures again. Her people desperately try to spin each CNN story with comments that sound obviously biased and untrue.

    As for thinking that the mere mention of Reagan is cause for shunning in the Democratic Party...well, that shows what sort of "uniters" the Democrats are. Many Republicans feel free to make admiring remarks about both parties. In fact, the Bushes make no bones about complimenting Bill Clinton's presidency where it is deserving. And Roosevelt and Kennedy have been complimented many times by Republican presidents. Republicans have no problem pointing out Nixon's faults, yet I hear very few Democrats who make mention of the perjuries committed by Bill Clinton.

    So why is it so awful to mention Reagan and his ideas? I can truthfully say something good about every president that ever lived based on my historical research...and I can point out each president's flaws. Until the Clinton era, I can say that each was thought of as American and patriotic. Now we feel it is necessary to say that only "our" party is doing it completely right, and the other party does nothing right. This is not only laughable, but it is obviously a lie.

    I suggest that each person take the time to listen to exactly what Obama said. His whole point was that Reagan could bring the two parties together and get his ideas accomplished...as Americans. This does not mean Obama considered them goo. He simply admired the fact that Reagan was a uniter. Personally, I saw Clinton do some of that. But he soon allowed polls and politics to rule his decisions, and problems and divisions developed. (Yes, Newt Gingerich and hos cronies were to blame for much of that, but it is the leader who should be strong enough to bring the "team" together...even if they try to fight him).

    If we are ever to reunite this country, then it will be necessary for both parties to realize that this country has been ran by Americans for the past 231 years or so. It has not been ran by Democrats and Republicans.

    Wake up, people, the Civil War has ended!

    Oh, for the record, I am a Republican. Who do I like this year? On the Republican side, I will choose McCain because I see that he can bring some needed change in this country. On the Democrat side, the one who could have probably done the best is Governor Richards...if only the media liked him. If I had to choose between the three left, then it would be very difficult as none fit the bill best, but after watching these Hilary antics, the slight edge goes to Obama. But mainly, my vote will go to the one who I feel has the best interests of America in mind. And so far, even though I do not agree with everything he does, I see that person as John McCain.

    January 23, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. noel

    It takes a big man to recognise and openly admit that the oppositon can be right some of the time. Should Obama no longer have the right to see any good in the repblicans cos he is a democrat? Come on Bill, i thot u were a bigger man than that. The clintons are clutching at straws. I am disappointed. Bill and Hilary should know better.

    January 23, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. HC

    1. Obama
    2. McCain

    This will be the year that centrists, independents take back the white house, one way or the other.

    January 23, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. DLAF

    That should be VICTIM and not VICTIME...mistake again.

    January 23, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Karen

    Okay people. Hillary and her cohorts have taken a chapter out of the Karl Rove book of dirty tricks. They have taken a statement by Obama and have twisted, distorted, and embellished it so that it sounds true. If it is repeated over and over again, people begin to believe it.

    Don't believe it!! You have got to see the whole visual transcript to understand the context of his statement. They cannot find issues to attack Obama, so they are starting to twist the truth.


    Don't pay attention to political ads either!! They are usually not accurate either!!

    January 23, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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