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. stan pitts pa


    January 23, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Moderated

    Good job Hill. You didn't mention the radio Ad Obama took out in Nevada, shaming Hillary, etc., etc. Turn about is fair play.

    Boo hoo, poor little Obama.

    Go Hillary.

    January 23, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Ivory

    I don't understand why Hillary is fighting Obama dso much ? What about John Edwards, he is part of the race too. Ah, I think I know why, because he is black and he is going to be the next president and she can't stand it

    January 23, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Janie

    I for one am growing weary of the media attacks on both Clintons.

    ALL of the campaigns - including Mr. Obama's - are employing every political tactic to their advantage which is legally available to them. To think otherwise is naive. In fact, it was Mr. Obama who promised us, following his NH defeat, the "rough and tumble" politics of Chicago. Perhaps we saw this in the ugly radio ad his supporters ran in Nevada.

    I have news. The majority of Democrats do NOT support Hillary because of anything Bill says. What IS increasingly clear, however, is that Obama has failed to successfully make the case based on his own merits. At debates, he has the opportunity to persuade us, and he does not. He is great in front of a teleprompter, but without that aid, comes across as unprepared and petulant. Or, as Lou Dobbs said last night, "out of his element."

    While it may be appealing and convenient for Obama and his media fans to find a scapegoat (in Bill Clinton, and Hillary) for Obama's own weaknesses, the American people are smart enough to sort out truth from spin. He just has not shown us the "beef."

    January 23, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Dem in PA

    This country needs a strong Democratic candidate to drive this election on the real issues that are effecting America and if elected this person must be able to lead by a mandate. Hillary Clinton is incapabale of being such a candidate. She is too divisive and in this primary campaign I've not been impressed by her intellect, nor her character.

    The Clinton attack on Obama's Reagan comments is further evidence the Clintons will stoop to any level to get elected. This country needs to move past the Clintons. Bill's terms were marred by controversy and underachievment. If Bill had behaved properly he could have accomplished a great deal more. Instead the last term of his presidency was spent fighting to save his job. I am Democrat and was not a fan of the Republicans and their attack on Clinton was at times over the top, but his behavior helped them attack him.

    If Hillary is the Democratic candidate in 2008 I will vote Republican. Obama would be a fool to be her V.P. She is exactly who the Republicans want to run against and she will be trounced in the general election.

    January 23, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Jim


    Obama told the Reno Gazette-Journal editorial board Monday that "Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it," Obama said.

    "I think it's fair to say that the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10 to 15 years in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom," Obama told the newspaper.

    January 23, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. BIll

    Hillary is Satan in polyester. God help us all if those two get back into the White House.

    January 23, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Peace

    Those who are comforting themselves that the economy will look good if the Clintons will be chosen. Hah!! they may have to rethink it again. We are not back on Clinton era of 90s. The world changed since 09/11 and everything changed with it. I can bet now put them in power and you will come to agree with me when its too late!

    January 23, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    I'd love to see an Obama vs. McCain election, at least then two people who know how to reach out to the other side will be in contention. I fear a Hillary vs. Romney election is what we're going to get. I dearly hope if that is the case Bloomberg gets in.

    January 23, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. WAL

    So Tom Brokaw said on Meet the Press that Clinton praised Reagan in his new book. So she can praise Reagan but Obama can't mention his name? That shows you who Clinton really is.

    January 23, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Terreaz

    What she should be going after is how on the debates Mr. Obama stated his involvement with Rezko was limited to the law firm he worked for and he worked 5 billiable hrs. on the case.

    That was not true, he basically had personal business dealings with this man. Can't distort his words versus the truth. Obama you are getting sloppy...

    January 23, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. Ivory

    Hillary, If you couldn't see through your husband's cheating and still stayed with him how are you going to lead this country? With tears???

    January 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Lev Klinemann, CA

    Its good to see Democrats in a fighting mood, enough of that Kerry high road crap, we've lost enough elections by taking the high road, and whoever wins, they are going to be a handfull for the Republicans.

    January 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. sharon walker

    Dear Friends:
    The balance for responsibility, action, decisive decition, is to know not just the home front, but also world events and be prepared and ready for action. When the walls of Jerico were overrun and falling one does not play pattycake.

    Admirable a fight for freedom, independence and careful management, sound investment, tools military dicipline, family values, and not the attack of invaders from foreign illegals as Countrywide and Banks have been the product of.

    A bank red white and blue know in your heart and mind the attack was not what you thought. Respect, prudence, careful evaluation, not over pricing and gouging as that of which the invaders of foreign nations have done to me.

    They have taken the land of our forfathers and their sons and daughters, A man in a plane who knew charismatic Charlie and a smile to heaven, knew oh little ones protect for the invaders are the enemy at thine feet.

    A contract yet no action what was the contract for? Peace be and the Grace of God protect this nation as on our coins in God We Trust.
    Let not them that rape take your mind and action or manipulate it.

    From Sea to Shining Sea may our constitution and our President, our citizens, family, faith and nation be saved.

    January 23, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Chuck

    No comment Obama fans? Or are you OK with this? Obama said all three Dems have dirty hands.
    That says it all about Obama. DIRTY HANDS...

    January 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Karin

    HIllary sending out a negative ad? Wow, shocking. This is what we can look forward to until November if she wins. Graceless. GO OBAMA.

    January 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. sk

    If Clintons question Obama on issues, he simply blames them as liars. The fact remains that he did say that Republicans were the party of ideas, but now says he did not mean it. That seems to be the pattern. He opposed the war then he supported the war by funding it.So he could have it both ways. The fact is he did nothing to oppose the war but every thing to support the war.This is simply politics as usual.No one can trust these politicians.

    January 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Hawk,Texas

    Obama is just a black george bush. he will not live up to what he says, he talks the game but dosen't walk the walk. an empty suit. and all of you out there that claim to be democrats but will vote republican are really republicans, if another republican is elected you will have a solid republican supreme court. then you will see the death of democary. it will all be run by big buisness and the oil companys. wake up america before it is too late. it is allmost too late allready.

    January 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Bob

    TO Mani from New Jersey,

    Are you voting for Clinton's because of there integrity, great on protecting us (4 Terror attacks on his watch actually 5 if you count 9/11 since he had the chance to kill Bin Laden) High Morals, having sex on the job when your getting paid to run the country, Selling Missle Plans to China, NAFTA, Travel Gate, Lying under Oath to your face, being Disbarred. Wow I could go on forever, which one do you like most

    January 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. Karin

    Obama should "get ove rit" by putting out an ad quoting Hillary from the last debate: "I will put honest people in the White House." Really – like a husband impeached for lying?

    January 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. Jay

    Well she had a problem with people taking her MLK comment out of contexts. so there you go doing the same thing she was complaining about. The problem is people are sick of the divide and this will back fire on the Clinton's, because Obama is running an ad saying he do not what to fight the same old fights of the 90's and do not want to pit Red america agaist White amarica.

    January 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Barry Madani

    What is amazing is that the Republican party were the party of ideas, even if you think they were bad ones, there were in fact ideas! The fact that the Clintons are running a campaign ad that highlights one part of what he said in an interview and claiming as they do that he is a supporter of Republican ideas is just ridiculous. They really are playing the only kind of political game they know and the new generation of Americans can see right through it. Poor Show!

    January 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. Dave

    I'm a republican. I wanted to vote Democrat, however, I will never vote for HRC. She is a liar and power hungry woman. She will have republicans' coming out of the wood works to vote against her. We will have another republican president and your, "do nothing congress" will lose and we will be in control of everything again. Thanks...!

    January 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. G KLINE

    I simply can NOT understand why Clinton continues to state "quotes" from Obama, that have been fully exposed as serious intentional Clinton mis-characterizations and otherwise manipulating lies. I mean, there's no maybe about this. Obama and the press have set the record straight, in detail. So this is really quite ugly of Clinton. One can only imagine that Clinton believes she can damage Obama by repeating the lies over and over. She appears to have no regard or interest in truth and justice, just political mileage, whatever the cost. How very sad. The Clintons are liquidating their honor to reclaim power. It's seedy, and should be beneath them.

    January 23, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. Bill, Melbourne, FL

    Mani from new jersey,

    I do not doubt that both Bill and Hillary Clinton love this country, the people, the opportunity, and obviously the politics. I was signifcantly better off under the Clinton administration than I am now, as I suspect most people were, and I give him credit for that.

    But the language of your post is precisely the reason that I am supporting Obama, and precisely the reason that if Hillary is the nominee I will be staying home or voting for McCain.

    You said they're not playing dirty, but that thats just the way the game is. Thats my point. The "game" as we currently know it is wrong. This is not what the country was founded on and the vitriolic partisan nature of the Clintons (Bill said earlier that he likes it when Hillary and Barack attack each other) only serves to perpetuate the problem. She is, by all accounts, merely employing overtly republican (not all republicans, but certainly the new breed post-rove) tactics to attempt to get her own agenda across.

    I am a loyal democrat, but not blindly loyal. My opposition to her candidacy, and a similar ground swell of support that Obama and to a lesser extend Edwards is receiving, is an example of the democrats having the benefit of hindsight to guide our decision making. The clintons love to mention that its a gamble to vote for Obama b/c he's not "experienced" in the bureaucracy that is washington. I genuinely think the opposite is true. We have seen what happens when you abandon your personal conscience and morals to do anything and everything imaginable to force through your candidate and your r policies, regardless of the cost to do so (see: swift boat, push polling, and voter fraud from 2004 and 2000). That's what W did. And what Clinton is doing is merely a more liberal version of precisely the same thing. Obama is the only candidate with the legitimate ability and stated goal to change the very nature of the perverted political system as we know it.

    So that hopefully in the future, when someone like W or Clinton comes along again, nobody in New Jersey or otherwise will be able to say that taking an opponent's comment completely out of context and twisting its meaning in a misleading way to try and trick voters into drawing a conclusion that is diametrically opposed to the original comment is "just part of the game." So that push polling Nevada residents with recordings with racist undertones and false and baseless allegations will be looked upon as an exception rather than as the rule. So that frivolous lawsuits and blatantly false public statements by candidates and their spouses will generally be frowned upon, as they once were, instead of expected as "part of the game."

    January 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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