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. Benji

    I'm so tired of Clinton's misleading claims. Does she think we're stupid? Obama never said he agreed with the Republican ideas or that they were "good" ideas. He simply said they were the party with the ideas of the time. Isn't that true? Remember the Republican Revolution?! Whether you agreed with them or not, they took over Congress because they promised voters a NEW direction for America, NEW ideas compared to the Democrats who had run Congress for 40 years. Accepting that historical fact isn't the same as agreeing with those principles. Clinton thinks we are stupid enough to believe that 1 + 1 = 3. Why wont anyone in the media come out and call her what she is: a manipulative liar.

    January 23, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Katherine

    Jesse – you misunderstood. I wouldn't vote for Hillary either! I'm not suggesting that at all! I'm suggesting, if Hillary gets the nom, look for another alternative, like Bloomberg, before voting Republican.

    January 23, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. ConcernedDem

    I wonder where all the Obama backers were when he and his campaign happily went about trashing Hillary's record ,her truthfulness and character.He is a politician too ,people stop worshiping him and let him answer questions about his policies.

    January 23, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Whine

    Obama, needs to get over it. Just like every other candidate, his record, his votes, his shifting statements, his positions are going to be looked at, questioned and picked over. Clinton got the loudest applause of the evening when she said, We're Just Getting Warmed Up.

    My treat of the day... the new Obama video. No narration, just Obama's 'inspirational' voice....

    I have never said that we should try to go ahead and get a single payer, blah, blah, blah.....
    I am a proponent of single payer, blah, blah, blah...

    I thought everyone was supposed to be paying attention to every word out of his mouth. Now that more people are paying attention, he complains.

    January 23, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Now we'll see even more:

    Obama and Clinton–each deceptive, devisive, destructive-

    Somebody tell me again–how these two are going to bring the Democratic Party together?

    I'm sticking with John Edwards–so far, he's shown he's above this–and is genuine in his motivations and actions–to remain consistent, inclusive, and rational.

    He's the most statesman-like, and represents the stature bring honor and credibility back into the White House–at home, and on the world stage.

    January 23, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Mani from New Jersey

    I hope everyone realizes allowing John McCain to win this elecion is like getting an older clone of George Bush back into office.

    January 23, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Jay

    Obama makes good speeches with his teleprompter, but when anyone dares to look at any of his actual statements, he cries about being treated unfairly!

    I want somebody tough in the White House, not a cry baby.

    January 23, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. Matt

    Here is the complete transcript, direct from Obama's camp....I think Hillary's point is quite valid.

    He DOES seem to be praising the Republicans. And if he "didn't mean it," then he needs to speak more clearly.....

    “I think Kennedy, 20 years earlier, moved the country in a fundamentally different direction," Obama said, according to his campaign. "So I think a lot of it just has to do with the times. I think we’re in one of those times right now. Where people feel like things as they are going aren’t working. We’re bogged down in the same arguments that we’ve been having, and they’re not useful. And, you know, the Republican approach, I think, has played itself out. I think it’s fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10, 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you’ve heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they’re being debated among the presidential candidates and it’s all tax cuts. Well, you know, we’ve done that, we tried it.”

    January 23, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. Obama support in Iowa

    response to Phan-

    I remember thinking exactly the same thing when Bill Clinton was first elected and Hillary took on the task of health care reform. I still remember how stunned I was when her plan failed and failed big time. The reason she failed was because she closeted herself in a room with her staff and came up with this on her own. If she had reached out to Republicans, health care professionals, pharmacy representative and voters to help with the task she might have suceeded. She isn't a team player. Do you have a list of the things she accomplished in her 8 years in the White House? They had their chance to change the world. Much of the time was spent investigating the scandals. I hope you'll do some research on Obama's campaign of Hope and hear his message for yourself.

    January 23, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Anonymous guy, Austin, TX

    I'm voting Democrat unless Clinton is on the ticket.
    While Edwards and Obama are trying to run good positive campaigns, she is just showing us she is a Republican in Democrats clothing. At least if she makes the ticket, and I choose to vote Republican, at least I'll be voting for someone who is not being as deceitful.

    Obama is aimply acting mature and acting like a Presidential candidate should.

    She started this divisivness, and it may end up costing the Democrats the White House which they should have otherwise won easily.

    January 23, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Lilia

    Maybe Mr. Obama's comment was taken out of context, maybe...but didn't the same thing happen with the LBJ/MLK comment on the Civil Rights Ammendment? I am sorry, but it is exactly the same thing and again the Media is at it but a lot less vehemently than they were when it was Mrs. Clinton. Actually, the media is b a r e l y bringing it up except to make the Clintons look bad.
    So the people from Obama should chill. If they are getting like this now...imagine what will happen if they win the nomination. There is going to be some heart attacks happening. And by the way...everybody, the last time I checked Mr. Obama was not the second coming, he is just a m a n and a politician.

    January 23, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. MB

    Seems like the ad is using the the actual sound bite where Obama said "The Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10, 15 years." There is no lie in the fact that this statement was made by Obama. If he meant something other than what he said, then he should have clarified it at the time and not left it to interpretation.

    As a person who lived through the miserable Reagan years, I welcomed the 90s and the prosperity this country and I had under Bill Clinton's Administration. And after the last years of the horrible Bush Administration, I can't imagine voting for anyone other than a Democrat this cycle. Those of you who hate a candidate so much that they would throw the election to the Republicans will get exactly what you all deserve if a Republican is elected in November.

    January 23, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Andrew, NY, NY

    Hillary, not only do you misrepresent (LIE ABOUT) Obama's remarks, but you also slander a good President that in a bad day had more bipartisan support than you or your husband can dream about. Lady, you are disgusting!!!!!

    January 23, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. CDH

    So how can using Senator Obama's own words be a "dishonest attack"? Did he say that? Then it's not dishonest.

    January 23, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  15. Tim

    If Obama didn't want Hillary to capitalize on his comments about Reagan and the Republicans, he should have kept his mouth shut. He said what he said so don't say that Hillary is taking what he said out of context. Again, lack of experience.

    January 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. marc

    This is why Hillary has lost my vote in the primaries. Politics as usual. Lies and distortions. I am shamed to say I have always supported the Clintons, but no longer. Not after this. I'm voting Obama now.

    January 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Joe

    Obama and his campaign do nothing but whine and moan.

    It is politics people.

    Does he think he is going to not get Swiftboated by the Republicans in the fall if he were to get the nomination?

    They would attack him on: Voting Present, Drug Use, Tony Rezko, Experience and sadly Race.

    It isn't going to be easy.

    If he cannot take it now, how would he react then? Is he destined to be another John Kerrey and the Republicans sweep into the White House?

    January 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. SIddharth

    Is it me or are there a bunch of us independent minded folks who will happily vote Republican if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination? I hope these early caucus and primary voters realize that voting for Hillary will energize the Republican base and likely lead to her defeat in the general election, especially if McCain is the Republican nominee. I am personally hoping Obama wins, providing an authentic and legitimate candidate who can actually improve how the world views this country.

    Hillary and Bill have already had their 8 years in the white house. They take credit for the economy during their reign, but it was really due to the internet boom unrelated to the Clinton policies. They need to step aside and give someone without all the baggage a chance to make this country a better place. It's time to give this country some hope.

    Obama '08!

    January 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Democrat for life

    Who cares really?

    We democrats need to unite and support WHOEVER the nominee is to make sure another Republican doesn't take the whitehouse. Instead of all this Obama/Hillary bashing we should be supportive of our party and not let this tear us apart.

    Obamam Edwards or Hillary 2008!

    January 23, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Jess

    Why do so many people give the Clintons credit for everything good in the 90's? Why are people not sick of dynasties? Why do some democrats applaud lying and negative campaigning? I am so sick of this kind of campaign. I saw Bush use it over and over again. Count me in on voting against Clinton if she wins the nomination. And I have never voted republican in my life.

    Thanks Billary for throwing the White House back to the Republicans. Thanks for running an ugly smear campaign against a fellow democrat because you are a disgusting, power hungry person.

    January 23, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Ray

    Those are the words coming out of him mouth right? Its his voice right? Enough said. Stop crying Obama. You cant say something then someone question you on it and the say "Well this is what I was trying to say..ummm. ummm" like you do in every debate. You took liberty to spin Bill Clintons comment about your vote on funding the War and turned it into FAR from the truth. GROW UP OBAMA!!!

    Obama took a statement from Bill Clinton about his vote on funding the war completely out of context, and used against him and Hillary. Obama and his camp then went on to spin it and DIVIDED our party. So, Who started this first? Obama cant spin things and get upset when someone does it back to him!

    Go get Him Hillary!!!

    January 23, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. democracy?

    How come when Obama criticized Hillary's LBJ and MLK comments and Bill's "fairy tale", nobody said he was taking those words out of context? nobody said he was deceptive? He allowed nasty ads against Hillary in spanish; now his campain is breaking the pledge he signed to air his ads in Florida; he contradicted a lot of things he said before, when asked about them, his own words "don't question".

    Is he really better? Sounds to me he is a politician as usual. Worse yet, he is not a even mature politician.

    Is he really a uniter? Even if he is, is the ability of "uniting" sufficient for a good country leader? In Obama's own words during the SC debate, Reagan was able to unit democrats but only to push along an agenda he disliked so much. Wasn't Bush elected because people thought he could unit? He also portrayed himself as a uniter not a divider. But look what he did. A leader with sound ideas and solid agenda is the formost important quality, far more important than being able to unit. Even on this one, Obama tried so hard to portray himself as being a uniter, it is still a bet.

    Don't watch everything on Obama's or Clinton's web site, you know what you will get or not get there. Watch MSNBC, NPR, CNN - each of them is somewhat biased, but adding together, your will get a better picture.

    January 23, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Tim - KANSAS

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is our best hope to resolve the current issues we have in America! On her Iraq vote: She voted to give the commander in Chief the right to go to war, but first she wanted the inspectors to have time to complete the inspections. Then President Bush wouldn't wait or give them that time. He wanted his own time table...that's the truth! If she hadn't voted for the right to go to war, then the republican machine would of had a field day with her in the future elections. The war is a bad thing, but she will end it...THE RIGHT WAY!
    On her other issues, she's been calling for new investigations into new forms of energy for over a year now, your just now starting to hear the same call from Senator Obama and Edwards. Hillary is a tough, smart, and can mulit task on the issues to get problems solved for the current and future of America. People we are in some scary times, we don't need someone with no experience. We need a person who can take on the tough issues and fix them.

    January 23, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. D.

    Now people are calling Obama deceptive. My God either these are people that they pay to post to this blog our the the American have some very serious perceptions problems. The media never covers the rational for either Obama or Clinton. Cover the rational and not the Claim.

    January 23, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Mom of 3 in GA

    It's clear from reading these posts that Hillary Clinton's campaign is extremely devisive - and I'm putting it mildly. This is so sad for the Democratic Party. So sad.

    January 23, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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