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. Dave, Atlanta, GA

    It is clear that some of you Hillary supporters have never donated money to a presidential candidate before. So let me educate. Presidential candidates have to account for every dollar that is donated to their campaign they have to indicate the person who donated, and what company the person works for. This information is available to the public in FEC databases. That is also how the press knows how much money each candidate has raised. Most of Obama's contributions come from people who are donating amounds of $100, $200, $250 and the like. This is publicly available information.

    Some of you Hillary supporters should quit talking and start donating to her campaign. Her campaign is running out of money and you guys clearly know nothing about donations to candidates. Meanwhile people like me are keeping Obama's campaign in the black.

    February 15, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. veena

    I am a supporter of Hillary Clinton.I do like senator Obama and his dreams too.I am pretty sure he is capable of making them come true.What concerns me is once he becomes President is he going to be spending our tax dollars on global poverty specially Africa as a pay back to Oprah?

    February 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. DemInVA

    Obama said "Washington was a place “where good ideas go to die."

    Is he going to move the nations capital to the Land of Rainbows and Butterflies where he lives?

    Obama needs to learn to play the game. He will be eaten alive by the Republicans. I almost want him to win so I can see how disappointed all of his Obama-bots will be when that happens...

    February 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Maksym

    Dear "Viktoriya"

    Barack Obama, does not, I emphasize, does not, take money from lobbyist, as oppose to Hilary Clinton whose campaign would go broke if it wasn't for lobbyist money.

    Don't think its true? Why would anyone pour 5,000,000 $ out of their own pocket if it wasn't a life-death situation? Ask yourself this question.

    Want a fact? Her donors are doubting her – she wasted over 120,000,000 $ on nobody knows what.

    Anyways, I believe it's a fair comeback from Barack. He hasn't used any lies, he just stated facts.

    Obama, 08.

    February 15, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Are we really sure????

    observant1, Robert , DJ, Emily, Amy Marshall,,,100% sure., colorblind, Jude, Susan, St. Michaels, MD...100% sure.

    Just so you all know and I know that these people who are saying they're sure Obama hasn't taken any money from lobbyist.... work for Obama. Because how else can they be sure?

    I am the only Moron on this planet that thinks Obama is a wolf with sheep clothing.

    February 15, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Thimbletack

    I would take their money,listen to their plea,and still have the backbone to do the right thing for the American people.If they didnt like it ,oh well.My first obligation is to my bosses and they are the American people whom elected me to do the job of the people.

    February 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Jerry

    Susan, did you know Rezko bought a house next to Obama's house and later sold it to Obama for cheap! God knows if he has already been bought by Slum Lord.

    February 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. ChrisB

    Clinton is hypocritical. How can you claim that lobbyist are good one month and then pretend to fight them another.

    Obama has not taken any lobbyist money during his campaign. Those are the facts.

    Go Home Clinton, we are tired of you.

    Obama 08.

    February 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. heartlight 3, Maui, HI

    Chris- There is a website called Opensecrets.org which details very clearly where the candidates' money has come from. Go there and check it out and you will find that Hillary has taken just under a million dollars from PACs and Obama has taken none.

    Martin- If you want to know the details of Obama's plans, go to his website and read his policy statements on the issues. He does not go into great detail about his plans in his speeches because early in the campaign he was accused of being too intellectual and too detailed and people didn't like it.

    February 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Jamie

    Personally, I think this whole issue is blown out of proportion. I think that there are many lobbyist firms who do good, and NECESSARY work, and to demonize all of them is just ridiculous. (and no, i have ZERO connection with the lobbyist industry – I'm a musician)

    Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, with everyone else, about whether Hilary takes more money or Barack takes more money, perhaps the better thing to do would be to actually take some time to examine their respective work on lobbyist and ethics reform. And I'm not talking about going and reading Common Dreams or Alternet, or some thing like that. Im talking about ACTUALLY reading the bill itself and formulating your OWN opinion.

    Sheesh. To think you're all allowed to vote??!?!??!

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Darrin - Canada

    You people (Americans) are hilarious. I've been following the presidential election fairly closely, especially the Obama campaign since his Keynote Speach in 2004. Obama represents the very few things that are good about politics....the opportunity to right the wrongs and to get back on the straight and narrow. He's an average guy, who came from humble beginings, worked hard and understands the struggles faced with Middle America. He knows what it is like for those of us who live paycheck to paycheck....who knows what it is like to stress out about how the rent is going to be paid at the end of the month....he knows what it is like to live like the majority of people living in America. He also knows that he is one man, and that he alone cannot change the dire situation in the USA.....but he has the support of a great number of people....and when you have the support of a nation, then there are very few things that can stand in your way.

    If I was an American, I'd vote for Obama in a heartbeat......he has no ties to corporate America and maybe, just maybe he can give middle America a fighting chance in a future that is gloomy at best.

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Suzie Wilhelm

    I just can't trust Hillary! She seems sneaky!!

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Jbecks

    Chris, Mani, Viktoria,
    Where do you get your facts. Psycholying may be what politics is all about but come on! You guys aren't just being deceptive, you all are telling blatant lies. I have donated to Obama for the very reason that he does not take their money. And for the record, just because Obama is an amazing inspirational speaker doesn't mean he has no solutions. The logic of the American people amazes me.

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Elena from Bloomington IN

    The same man who said, "The Republican Party has been the party of ideas for the last 10-15 years", and the same man who said "Ronald Reagan was transformational"-in a nutshell, the man who found a way to say something perceived as complimentary about "the other party" and nothing wrong, the man who, in his book, wrote nicely about President George W. Bush during a social visit to the WH-that man demonizes his Democratic rival as "bought" by the big interests, without, of course, saying a single specific as to how she has been bough. Does he demonize her because she is the only one saying, against the media, "The Emperor has no clothes!" Oh yeah, this is the man who does not accept lobbyists' money-only bundled money, please, just as he does not accept meals bought by lobbyists, only give him the lobbyists' cocktails and lobster while he is standing, and he will eat that (*his* ethics bill technicality, not mine). Give me a break! The governor of Wisconsin said it all last night: when asked what Obama has done, he paused and said (he is a supporter), "Well, look, he has built a formidable ground organization". Yes, yes: personality cults always inspire millions...

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Kevin NY

    Both Senators Clinton and Obama should make visible exactly, in simple and easy to understand documentation, EXACTLY which Lobbiests they have received contributions. Back and forth non-specific banter lends to cause for suspicion aimed at them both. They should both drop the subject if they are not willing to be transparent. This behavior is like Bush and his cabal, the country is tired of that!

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Nando, Florida

    Hillary show us the 2007 Tax Returns For You and SLICK WILLY????

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Eric

    When Obama wins the nomination just support him as you would have supported Hillary. You question his experience, he's been a law maker longer. Yet the one thing you can't question is his integrity against the ol' boy establishment of the Clintons and their ilk.

    Change is coming either be a part of it (Obama) or continue to wallow in the problems. We've had Bushs and we've Clintons, and look where we are now!

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. moderate dem

    So now its Obama who will say anything to get elected. Its all smokescreen, and we all know how strong Hillary is on her key issues. If you think she would cave in you are dreaming. The entrenched retoric from Bama supporters is beyond belief, that she has sold herself and been bought by big business is just ridiculous. And to compare her to Bush, are you really a democrat?

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. John Morgan, New York

    I hate to say it but this guy is going to get the nomination and we are going to lose the election in November. Nothing was guaranteed with her but no one has hit this guy yet and the Republicans are going to run him over with a truck, laughing all the way. The love affair does not cross lines the way people imagine it will and even I can't buy this, admittedly good, man's rhetoric. If only hopeful words and good looks were what mattered in the world, but they don't and this idea that he is another Kennedy is just more myth-spinning. Kennedy barely won the election (with the help of Daley) and he was hated by many in this country and loved by far fewer. We don't need another Kennedy, we need another Roosevelt or Truman.

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Sal

    George in OH

    Are you saying Hillary has done better

    She voted for the war in Iraq
    She voted for the War with Iran
    She got no bid contracts for Iraq (The Roubled security Firm)

    who's kidding who

    Where is the tax return.

    Ohio is not going to spoil it this time by handing the Election over to the republicans, because will not have the Vote.

    Hillary the Big state politian.

    Were you saying something when she said hope is nothing. That what brought people here to America, Hopes and Dreams.

    Hillary is Smart, but miscalculated the heart and soul of a United America.

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. John Smith

    Could Roland Martins hatred of the “White Folk” be any more apparent? Who are you? What have you ever done to advance the causes of Americans, it is easy to sit on a TV and espouse meaningless opinions. There is no reason for any American to listen to pundits especially those who have never lifted one finger to advance the cause or status of “Average Americans”. Mrs. Clinton has suffered attack, after attack, after attack it was understandable from the Rightwing they hate her, but she must also fight the misogynistic males of the so-called “Progressive” movement. If you were going to spout your useless opinions why do you not talk about the gender discrimination and the racial discrimination Mrs. Clinton has to suffer from right now? Perhaps because it would dispel two myths one is that women have achieved fairness and equality and number two that “whites” are the perpetuators of racism in America. With 85%+ of the “African American” vote going to Obama the primary is all about race despite your willingness to ignore it. Perhaps you are not willing to expose this or to perform your due diligence and investigate Mr. Obama’s problematic past and connection and allegiance to a racist anti anyone but “African American” church, the Trinity United Church of Christ in Illinois and that church’s adherence to a racist policy known as “The Black Value System”.

    February 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. AJ, IL

    All you bloggers need to take a chill pill. All the presidential candidates have taken some PAC or lobbyist money during the course of their political careers, even the resounding John Edwards. Obama has done the best job of not taking PAC or lobbyist or special interest money of the presidential candidates during this presidential nomination process season. Hillary has take the most special interest/lobbyist money of all the presidential candidates to fund her campaign.

    Obama is right on the "money" is pointing out Hillary's double-talk about talking on special interest but yet takes plenty of money from them. John Edwards pointed this out over and over again about Hillary. Now Hillary is trying to pull a "fast one" by trying to pick up John Edwards' populist theme! Sorry Hillary, Obama is not going to let you get away with it.

    Obama in 08!

    February 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. Abby

    Obama is attacking Hillary because he has nothing else to offer. Change change change change change... [yawn!]



    I hope all voters come to their senses. This is not a popularity contest. IT'S ABOUT OUR FUTURE!


    HILLARY ALL THE WAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. DeeDee

    Come on observant1, Susan and Robert – what about Rezko – did he make him swear where his money came from? the truth is this patron of his who started his political career is under fed indictment for influence peddling and there's more to come.
    While he got elected with Rezko on his campaign finance committee for the US Senate the fact is that 11 housing units that Rezko used taxpayer's money for went w/o heat in the winter of 97 while Rezko contributed to Obama's election. Obama later said he didn't know about the plight of his constituents but the local papers said obama would have had not read any papers and been cut off completely from the media to not know. he was know as "Barry" at one point in his life and interview after interview of those who knew him paint a different picture then he. So my question remains who is barrack obama? His campaign says he turned the money over to charities but don't mention the fact that he used the dirty money to get into office and didn't return it until he got money from individuals/lobbiest! It will all come out and i doubt CNN will post this since they clearly favor obama.

    February 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Vincent

    Exactly, HRC is part of the same old corrupt system. What do you expect from a former Wal-mart employee?

    February 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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