February 15th, 2008
01:32 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama hits Clinton on lobbyist money

Obama returned to the trail Friday on the attack.

Obama returned to the trail Friday on the attack.

(CNN) - Barack Obama accused opponent Hillary Clinton Friday of “defending Washington lobbyists” and special interests.

“Yesterday, Sen. Clinton unveiled her latest in a long line of slogans, which argues that she’s proposed solutions while others have not,” said Obama, who returned to the campaign trail in Wisconsin after a one-day break.

He said both candidates had good ideas but that Washington was a place “where good ideas go to die. They’re the victim of petty, partisan politics, point-scoring, and special interest influence that’s out of control. …

“You know, after defending Washington lobbyists as people who ‘represent real Americans’ at a debate in August, Sen. Clinton said yesterday that she would take them on as president,” said Obama, who alleged the New York senator had taken almost twice as much money from lobbyists as any other presidential candidate this cycle.

“That’s not being a part of the solutions business. That’s being a part of business-as-usual in Washington,” said Obama.

The two candidates have been locked in an increasingly bitter war of words as they battle for pledged delegates awarded in primary and caucus votes, and superdelegates, who can shift their allegiance at any time.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. No to McCain "08"

    Chris, all the lobbyist money in the world won't help Clinton win the election. She has gotten so much money from them and yet she still has to loan herself 5 million dollars. That's no chump change. Also Obama doesn't need to take money from special intrest groups, he is outraising her in campaign money by millions of dollars. I think you should get your facts straight before call someone a Hypocrite.

    February 15, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    I want to know why Hillary supporters are happy to have two families ruling this country. Why they are happy to live with politics as usual. Do they think that it's really Bill Clinton that they are voting for? Do they want this country to remain divided?

    Please tell me.

    February 15, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. blkjazz

    Chris Austin TX, the Obama campaign does not accept money from lobbyist groups and there is therefore no reason for Barack to give an excuse. He has said that some funds have no doubt come from folks employed by various organizations. That is common and, of course, the right of any individual to do. I fail to see any hypocrisy in Obama's position.

    February 15, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. kristen in PA

    i hope this does not get too bitter betwee nthe two of them..

    they are both good candidates – personally – i am voting for barack – but more importantly – we need to defeat the advocate for 100 years in iraq..

    relieve the white house of its courtship with wacky nut case evangelicals.. actually have the democrats control the deficit (raise the revenue on taxing filthy rich hedge fund managers at working people rates, tax oil, try to reduce pork, etc) – find a health care plan that will help businesses and if at all possible please please help with the cost of college through this republican admin student loan rates have increased dramatically ...

    February 15, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Joyce memphis, tn

    But its ok to take money from Tony Resko, Obama? Give me a break.

    February 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Dennis

    >His whole campaign is based on 'us' the people of the United States >funding him so that when he is in office, he owes no one but 'us' the >people of the United States!

    Amy.......................................wise up.

    February 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Eric

    If Hillary does not get the nomination, I don't even think i will vote!

    February 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Karen from Minnesota

    I have heard it said by the pundits that it's hard to say anything bad about Obama because he hasn't done anything. (Meaning that he avoids controversial stand and votes.) As he gets more experience he will be a target but I'm sure he will still be the pet of the media, at least for a while.

    Many of the charges he has made against Clinton apply to him as well. He chided her for her stand on NAFTA but he voted to extend the funding. He has a way of avoiding votes that may reflect on him negatively, though.

    His supporters will be in for a surprise if and when he is elected and has to be accountable for his actions which will be on the evening news every night. he can't vote "present" forever.

    February 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. Robert

    "I will not be running a negative campaign."

    Hilary Clinton said this about three months ago when her campaign was well ahead of Obama and the other democratic candidates.

    As her lead started to slip, she pulled in Bill to do her dirty work. Once the public became wise to this she pulled him away and started to attack herself.

    Is this the sort of leadership the US wants? For Hilary Clinton, when the going get's tough, it's time to back down on your word.

    This is what Obama is referring to with the "politics of old".

    February 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Kristal

    30 years or so of the Bush and Clinton family in office. We need change. If we continue doing the same things we will continue to get the same results. We, as americans, need to stand up and vote for change. Now is the time! Go Obama!!

    February 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. NW soldier

    I've heard some Dems complaining on here that the Reps. stole their name by calling them the Democrat party.

    Well, grammatically they are correct. A person belonging to the liberal party is know as a Democrat and a person belonging to the conservative party is known as a Republican. Therefore, a party belonging to the Democrats would be known as the Democrat Party and the party belonging to the Republicans would be known as the Republican party. If it were to be called the Democratic party then it's members should be known as Democratics not Democrats. Democratic party is an adjective which describes the parties organization and because the party uses delegates and doesn't use a direct vote, it is more of a process known as a Republican process. (The difference between a true democracy and a representative process known as a republic)

    So please get the English straight.

    February 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    Joe... have you seen the photo of Rezco sitting between Bill and Hillary. There were lots of smiles. Does that ring a bell? Ask Matt Lauer for a copy.

    February 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Bill, NY, NY

    I can't believe the Clinton hacks on this website. There's so much angry DENIAL out there. Wow.

    Ok hacks, what is your response to the fact that ONE WEEK after Mark Penn slammed Obama for working on an energy deal with Exelon, it comes out that MARK PENN's lobbying firm just received $250,000 in December from, who? That's right Exelon. Hypocrite.

    February 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. stan pitts pa

    when is HRC gonna release her tax receipts? whats she got to hide? why is she only planning to release her tax records aftere the election? dont the voters in ohio, texas and p.a deserve to know where she got the 5 million to loan her campaign? why didnt she pay for some rental and cleaning services in iowa? how come nothing was done until it was made public? she cant be trusted!

    February 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. Lainie

    Hey Chris from Austin,
    Neither Obama nor Edwards have taken money from lobbyists for their campaigns, which is what made their campaigns so remarkable that they could compete with Hillary's and all her lobbyist funding. It's all from the public. And that's been a large part of the campaign message from Obama and Edwards...that they were against using money from lobbyists and special interests.

    February 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. U.S. Army Vet.

    The issue at hand is change. Change is now. Please all of you pondering voting for Hillary or McCain, change your minds and vote for Obama. Help to make America and the world a better place. Yes! We can!

    February 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Kemic - Houston, Texas

    The origins of campaign contributions must be published. There is no way to get away with lying about it.

    February 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. BOSTON

    Obama needs to stop promising change if he cannot back it up with how he intends to resolve issues. He is always saying "we can do this we can do that". We all know what we can do it takes somebody to do it......give me resolutions.

    February 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Will from DC

    Hillary is soaked in the dirty partisan politics of Washington. We can always debate who is right and wrong. But too bad time is running out for everyone who thinks Washington cannot change.

    Hillary will be the last person in USA who will fight against the lobbyists. Not all lobbyists are bad..I agree but all have their own vested interest. So all are NOT good for us people. Simple.

    February 15, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Karen from Minnesota

    Some of the Obama supporters think of Obama as being this poor person. Their income tax reported $900,000 of taxable income. Where did that some from. He lives in a home that cost over a Million dollars. His hands are not very clean!

    February 15, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. Ellen, TX

    Clinton, and her supporters, never answer this fact: that she has taken more money from Lobbyists than any other candidate Republican or Democrat. They always respond through deflection: Well, Obama has also taken money from Lobbyists. But this does not answer why Hillary has taken so much more money from Lobbyists than even Republican candidates. Will someone please defend the amount of money Clinton has taken from Lobbyists? Clinton's "lobbyists represent real people" is the closest she, or her supporters, get to answering this fact, which is either a non-answer or the lamest answer a politician can give.

    February 15, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. John, Austin TX

    The problem Obama identifies is not the acceptance of Lobbyist money but the flip flopping (i.e., pandering) that Clinton does to reach her rapidly diminishing supporters. Stay on track with Obama in 08 and quit the hating!

    February 15, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Henry

    "Empty can make loud sound" which mean that a person talk a lot and promise a lot when in fact he has nothing to offer or has no clue how to fullfill his promise. Obama is this type of person. If anyone believe in his promise and hope he will bring change without the experience is just like hoping to win a lottery. I did not hear in his speed any detail on how he will bring change at all, I only heard change will come, but how?

    February 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Pam TX

    Suzy: nice use of the word "nearly." This just sounds like another Clinton supporter's spin!

    February 15, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. emj2740

    Hillary is the solution candidate, but there all bad solutions.

    Hillary vs. McCain = McCain
    Obama vs. McCain = Obama

    It really is that simple.

    Obama 08

    February 15, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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