February 15th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama backers suggest Clintons lack candor, resist disclosure

Obama supporter Bill Bradley identified full disclosure as an issue relating to the Clintons.
Obama supporter Bill Bradley identified full disclosure as an issue relating to the Clintons.

(CNN) – Three supporters of Sen. Barack Obama took the opportunity, in a conference call with reporters Thursday, to suggest Sen. Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton have not been candid with the American public.

Texans “are gonna want people to shoot straight. They’re gonna want straight answers,” said Texas State Senator Kirk Watson.

Citing Sen. Clinton’s latest campaign theme focused on ‘solutions,’ Watson also said residents of his state are going to asking whether Clinton’s health care plan is actually offering solutions or, instead, raising more questions – including how Clinton would enforce the individual coverage mandate in her plan.

Asked by a reporter about an ongoing issue regarding candidates releasing their tax returns, former U.S. senator Bill Bradley linked Sen. Clinton’s refusal to release her tax returns with her failure to disclose what the individual coverage mandate in health care plan would cost.

Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee followed Bradley saying memos relating to Sen. Clinton’s earlier effort to reform health care during her husband’s administration also have not been disclosed.

“And, as long as we’re on the issue of full disclosure, President Clinton also hasn’t revealed who were the contributors to his presidential library while he was still in office,” added Bradley.

Texas is set to hold its presidential primary on March 4 and Clinton must do well there to keep alive her bid for the Democratic nomination. In 2006, Texas had the highest rate of uninsured residents of any state in the nation, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Sen. Clinton has recently sought to contrast her health care plan with Sen. Obama’s during campaign stops and debates. Former President Bill Clinton also attacked Obama’s health care plan as inadequate while in Texas Friday.

The conference call was held on the same day that Clinton released a new radio ad in Wisconsin touting her health care plan. Wisconsin holds its presidential primaries on March 19.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Bob

    "...including how Clinton would enforce the individual coverage mandate in her plan."

    How interesting. I asked exactly the same question earlier today, so that makes exactly two things that I have in common with a resident of Texas (the other being support for Ron Paul).

    February 15, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Joseph, LA, CA

    The media's attack on the Super Delegate system, on the face of it, seems based on sound democratic principles. "Let the people speak!" "The people's voices must be heard." These are tantalizing slogans, but probably as meaningless as the claim that caucuses represent the will of the people of an entire state.

    Few in the media report what actually happens in a caucus where usually a small percentage of the voting public, often less than 3% go out and decide how the state's delegates will be allocated. This, so the state's political parties don't have to spend money to run primaries. The caucuses are over-represented by political zealots who have nothing else to do that day (or can afford to take time off, a tough proposition for some of the Clinton supporters who have to work during the day).

    Most of the Super Delegates are elected officials (or have been). They represent the will of the people as much as the caucus delegates. To claim that somehow one group of delegates are 'chosen by the people' while the others are not is simple hogwash.

    "But it's different!" some would say. When the value of a vote is over-represented in a delegate race (the votes of each caucus goer is obviously more valuable than those votes cast by California or New York primary voters), democratic principles have already been violated. Super Delegates are simply an extension of that broken process. However, to claim that the Super Delegates voting their judgment will create a voter revolt and to remain silent on the flawed caucus system seems to be quite a disingenuous attempt by CNN and MSNBC to divide the electorate in favor of Mr. Obama.

    Of course, we would not be having this discussion if Mr Obama had the lead in Super Delegates. Lost in the discussion are the rights and the dreams of the millions of voters who have worked, campaigned, and voted for Ms. Clinton. The delegate count is still close, and so is the popular vote count.

    Prior to the 2000 election, the media pundits talked about the possibility that Bush may win the popular vote, and lose the election because of the Electoral College. Most opinion polls were driving to that conclusion, since he had slight but significant lead going into the election. It turned out that their concern was right, but not in the way they had worried.

    In the end, if Ms. Clinton loses the delegate race, but wins the popular vote, I openly wonder what the media would say. That rules are rules, and the popular vote won't count? That those who voted for Obama won't vote for Clinton, so he's more electable based on opinion polls and general wisdom? And that the Super Delegates should vote based on what's best for the Democratic Party?

    Let's hope that the media will at least pretend to be angry about the disenfranchised Michigan and Florida voters. Their delegates should be counted before any criticism of the Super Delegate system.

    February 15, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Cindy in Boston

    Clintons release 2006/ 2007 income tax-Americans 're waiting anciously. Thank you...

    February 15, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. NickNasc

    Facts are Facts. I may have given her another thought if she was as open and free with Disclosure as He is. She just counters with really Silly attacks.

    February 15, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. OhioNate

    The Clintons lack candor? Since when!!!!

    They've sure become masters of mis-lead!!!

    February 15, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Carol B

    I have recently given to Hillary because I am concerned that Obama is flooding the country with promises that he can't possibly deliver and attacks on Hillary that he doesn't explain. This is not hope, this is blind adoration for a man who could just take us down the garden path. Too many countries make this mistake and end up with leaders like Bush. Americans need to get back to the spirit of supporting leaders who need to make hard decisions and remembering our pride in being a country willing to sacrifice for freedom, not just believe it to be an intitlement, and therefore willing to follow blindly anyone willing to tell us we are still entitled.

    February 15, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. Democrat

    Barack has a vision, inspiration and better policies coupled with the best minds behind him… he is a leader. Hillary has solutions… she is a consultant not a leader. As Huck said, "Voters, ultimately, when they think about a leader, are not thinking about somebody who can fix the carburetor as much as it is they want someone who can drive the car and … describe the destination they want to go". If Hillary want to make solutions with out a vision, she need to keep her day job

    Hillary is covering up scandals by not releasing her tax returns. I want to know about the contribution to the library.

    February 15, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. DC

    uh, I think that's February 19th. Fact-checkers are under-rated.

    February 15, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. Dee

    Clinton wants to debate Obama on HEALTH CARE !!! She lived in the White House (as co-president) for EIGHT YEARS and nothing was accomplished. Now she can solve the problem on Day One? Come on Wisconsin and Texas – EIGHT years is almost 3000 days – what was she doing? Probably planning to be president ! Don't fall for it !

    February 15, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. Mike

    This is change I can believe in? Obama is hype not hope. It will be a sad story if he makes president. He hasn't a clue what to do. I just hope there is a good supply of Nicorette gum available.

    February 15, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. John in CA

    Oh great... CNN decides to call this "suggest."

    Why not call it "attack", because that's what they were doing.

    I'm getting really tired of this bias reporting from CNN...

    February 15, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Innocent from Zürich

    We are not voting for experience, we are voting for change and judgement and wisdom
    The only person I see as a president is Barack Obama
    He's not only a president he's also a gift to Amerika.

    February 15, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Scallywag

    What the American people can witness with Hillary Clinton is failure to comply with "full disclosure" on her family taxes, negative ad campaigning, one of the highest pork-barrel users and very close ties to lobbyists-–all leading to a real big question of who she really represents?

    February 15, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. Texas4Obama

    The Clintons should release their tax returns NOW before any more primaries are held so that the public will be able to see just what they don't want us to know.

    February 15, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  15. tickered

    Who is hiding now Hillary?
    Show us or stop the hypocrite attacks.

    February 15, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. Randy - Denver

    Someone tell me why it is so hard to figure out that Mr. Obama's healthcare coverage plan does cover all the people who choose to be covered. for those who refuse to read his plan let me give you a BRIEF synopsis:

    1-ALL children are covered.
    2-ALL people who cannot afford heathcare coverage are covered.
    3-ALL people who CAN afford heathcare coverage will be covered either through their employer or thru privately purchased coverage. these will be partially subsidised by the government.
    4-Those who CAN afford coverage but choose NOT to pay for the coverage WILL NOT be covered. If/when they get sick THEY are responsible for covering all their own cost, not the hospital not the government BUT THEM.

    What this means is that if I CHOOSE not to pay for coverage and I get sick I AM RESPONSIBLE to pay my cost and have no recourse to the government or hospitals for the money. My stupidity my consequences.

    So tell me all you supporters of the Clintons what is wrong with this plan?

    It appears to me that again the Clintons are twisting and distorting facts so that they can claim they have a solution when in reality the solution they propose (ie via my taxes I pay for EVERYONE (including the ultrarich) to have health coverage) would NEVER make it through the Congress because the poor would wonder why they have to pay for the rich and the rich would whine about this becoming socialist medicine.

    February 15, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. tomdavie

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Why dont you guys in the media just TELL US who to vote for. This is what you are good at right?

    February 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. Hey

    Feb 19th not March 19th

    February 15, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Joseph

    Bill Bradley, talk about an irrelevant politician trying to be relevant, still bitter after all these years Bill?

    February 15, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Alecki

    American people:

    Obama has ties with a Chicago "slum lord".
    He said he was "Bone headed" to do that.

    What kind of explanation was that?

    February 15, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. Andy, New York, New York

    Candor is alien to Hillary. Hillary says anything and does anything to get along. She will sway and swing conveniently to be popular and accepted.

    How does going nasty with Obama help a former First Lady who is running for President? Her credential, if she had any, were supposed to be her main reason for coronation.

    Too bad, we have to settle for her coming back to New York in 2009.

    February 15, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. Alecki

    Hillary really has to say that she made a boneheaded mistake and that shoul clear her. That's what cleared Obama from his connections with the "slumb lord" Tony Resko.
    Check the Chicago Times.

    February 15, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. Gobama

    Mike February 15th, 2008 5:35 pm ET

    Mike, we take it that you are a recent graduate of Harvard, right?

    It's always amazing when those who are barely literate delude themselves that they are in a position to judge the competence of those who are far and away more intelligent and highly educated.

    If our top University cannot turn out students who can, in their minds, model the American nation and then turn around and run America successfully, then heaven help us all.

    Americans should resist comparing the likes of Senator with the present clueless occupant of the White House.

    The bar of leadership have been set so low in America that Americans are now doubtful that things can 'change' for the better.

    Well, Mike, the American dream is alive and well in those with VISION, intelligence and integrity.

    So do not despair, my friend. President Obama, the Harvard grad and US Constitution LECTURER will do just fine!

    Don't allow the simplicity of Senator Obama deceive you! He's definitely no simpleton and unlike the present White House occupant, who has turned the American Dream into a horrendous nightmare for working Americans!

    February 15, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    The Clintons are very dishonest pair. Why do they find it difficult to release their tax return.

    What are they hiding. ???

    February 15, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. Sherry

    Cooper, I think you need to remember that our state, TENNESSEE, supports Hillary.

    February 15, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
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