February 17th, 2008
12:58 PM ET
10 years ago

Kennedy calls Clinton attacks 'fear-mongering'

A new Clinton campaign mailer takes aim at Obama’s health care plan.

A new Clinton campaign mailer takes aim at Obama’s health care plan.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Responding to a mailer sent out by Hillary Clinton's campaign attacking Barack Obama's healthcare plan, Obama backer and longtime Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy said the tactics are ones of "distortion, misrepresentation," and "fear-mongering."

"I respect Sen. Clinton and her healthcare plan," Kennedy said, "but I think it does a great disservice to all of us who are interested in universal comprehensive healthcare."

On a conference call with reporters, Kennedy said that as someone who considers healthcare to be the "passion of his life in the Senate," the nation is "much better off being positive."

The ad, being circulated via mailboxes in Wisconsin, relays a theme the Clinton campaign has been pushing since the days of Iowa–that Obama's healthcare plan will leave "15 million people without coverage." The ad also includes a photo of seven people standing in a row underneath text that reads "Barack Obama, which one of these people don't deserve healthcare?"

"I was really shocked and very surprised that Sen. Clinton put that pamphlet out," he continued, adding that both Democratic candidates want universal healthcare but that Obama is the one to get it done since he has the ability to bring the kind of coalition needed to accomplish it.

-CNN Political Producer Chris Welch

soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. alice marie amos

    ted,i forgive you because you are a kennedy

    February 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Inde1

    Kennedy needs to get a life. What is he talking about dirty politics? Remember, it was his brother John the one that abandoned the cubans in the bay of pigs! No wonder Ted changed sides to Obama, it runs in the family!

    February 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. David Jones

    how negative of the clintons?

    If Billary wins the democratic nomination by hook or crook, I will VOTE 4 MORE YEARS OF "BUSH" McCAIN!


    February 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. The Truth

    I remember all too well the Hillarycare of 1992 - the plan that was so despised that it helped the Repubs sweep Congress in 1994. It doesn't matter what

    February 17, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. James D.

    The proof continues to pile up. The Clintons' are willing to say and do anything to win... it's ALL about them. Megalomania.

    February 17, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    This whole media establishment is nothing but fear-mongering. But you all get your reporting from one source the AP wire. Where's the investigative journalism. Operation Mockingbird is alive and well. And no
    cute pictures of baby polar bears is not journalism.

    February 17, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Barbara-California

    Pulling out....all the stops.....eeehhh Hillary? I guess there are still people who believe the printed word, over "real facts"....this isn't new....is it? Guess it all depends on your interpretation of.....".Which"........

    Congress has their own Healthcare Plan and believe me.....it doesn't even resemble the "average joe's"......they are pulling the wool over the eyes of the public....

    February 17, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Chris from Nebraska

    If only Ted Kennedy hadn't let that woman die, she might have the opportunity to see his fear-mongering as well as Clinton's.

    February 17, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |

    Senator Kennedy and Obama is selling a bunch of cow-pie. How does Kennedy figure Obama will be albe to build a coalition. Why haven't Obama done so already. In his time in the senate Obama hasn't done crap. This malarky won't sell, Obama and his supporters are pushing this coalition malarky...Don't you people even know the definition of democracy?

    February 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. andrew

    Tell Ted We do not care what he thinks!!!

    February 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |

    That's right Teddy... you tell her! I agree with everything he said, except for one thing. What Hillary did does not surprise me in the least. She has demonstrated time and time again that she will say and/ordo ANYTHING to win! Not gonna happen Hill! The American public has pulled your card...and ripped it up! Hillary Clinton - Wrong for America, and... well, JUST WRONG! I'm Sally Starbuck and I approve this message!

    February 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Deb IL

    If Obama actually gets the nomination and if I was the Clintons, I would sure remember Sen. Kennedy's remarks when they are begging Bill and Hillary to campaign for them to try and recapture the Democratic voters who are so turned off of Obama. Sen. Kennedy needs to retire, no one cares what he says after all of his shameless antics over the years.

    February 17, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Fearmonglers is what Americans no longer will tolerate after 7 plus years and this exactly what the Clintons are doing but it will no longer work. Hillary give your fearmonglers advice back to Karl Rove if that's where you got it, we don't want it. Vote Obama.

    February 17, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. d

    Kennedy go back to bed !

    February 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. jacq

    I would like for Hillary to explain to the American people during media time and mailings why her past healthcare program failed to accomplish what she says wll happen now. She was in the white house then, what make her think she can pull it off this time by being in the white house 09.

    February 17, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. J

    This coming from a man who covered up a lady's murder... I have faith in this Kennedy... Get over it man... retire

    February 17, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Doug IL

    There was no misrepresentation in the Clinton flyer. If Kennedy wants to see misrepresentation, he should take a look at flyers the Obama campaign has been sending out in every state since Connecticut. His whole campaign is based on smearing Hillary, stealing her issues and positions, and then saying she copied him. I am delighted, though, that more and more people are seeing through Obama, for the empty candidate he is. And, Kennedy is no one to talk about misrepresentation; he salvaged whatever of his political career he could by misrepresentating facts concerning a certain little incident at Chappaquiddick. If he hadn't hidden out for 12 hours after the accident, until he could sober up, he'd have spent a good portion of time in the slammer for manslaughter, if not murder.

    February 17, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Jeff

    Obama's plan doesn't cover all people. I want everyone covered. It's not fear mongering. It is the truth.

    February 17, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Yeah, all this about Clinton putting out negative ads. Obama is just as bad. NAFTA pamphlets, negative TV ads. Kennedy is a hack.

    February 17, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Charlotte

    Kennedy is the new politics? Is this the change Obama is talking about? How is a health-care plan that cost almost as much as Hillarys' a better plan? As a super delegate Obama thinks should support the voters of their state, shouldn't you be supporting Hillary? Why is it he wants to change some of the rules if they favor him, but not the other way around. What are his plans for NAFTA? How can he just say we will pull all troops out of Iraq by such and such a date? What are his plans to fix this ecomony? What are his plans to deal with the problems in his homeland? Maybe you plan on leading him around by the nose. He will need some of the old politicions like you and Kerry.

    February 17, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Cindy

    Does the good Senator have an similar opinion of the Harry and Louise like pamphlets sent out by camp Obama which grossly distorted Sen. Clinton's healthcare plan? I didn't think so.

    February 17, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Jacob

    Obama says that HILLARY IS too much a part of "business-as-usual in Washington" to bring about reform.

    February 17, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Sue

    Kennedy is 1000% wrong on this issue. Clinton is the only one willing to fight for fair prescription pricing through Medicare and to offer a truly universal plan. She is the only one talking about expanding mental health coverage. Read Paul Krugman and other economists and healthcare experts who fault Obama's health plan for lacking teeth. On this issue Kennedy is wrong. Maybe that is why he could not deliver his own state.

    February 17, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. J.Gabriel

    It amazes me that Democrats actually believe Obama is for extending Health Care for this country. If he truly believed in protecting everyone he would have adopted a plan that mandated coverage for everyone, like the Hillary and Edward’s plans. What’s his deal, doesn’t he know that every day at-risk-women on Medicare refuse mammograms because of $10 co-pays? That is just one example that proves, for some, any choice to opt out will mean taking their chances to save a buck and that just ends up costing everyone else in increased premiums when hospitals & doctors get stiffed by the uninsured. It’s Obama’s naiveté that allows him to believe that cost is the only thing preventing everyone from having health insurance, either that or he is really a Republican on this issue and his Health Care platform is just another political platitude he doesn’t believe in but can’t get the nomination without…

    February 17, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Jus

    If Kennedy and Kerry are so ready for change... I'm surely ready to see them retire.... OUT WITH THE OLD.... At least those two.. they are worthless extreme liberals.... Like Obama.... We need leadership down the middle.. we need a true leader.. we need hillary clinton

    February 17, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7