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. Independent for Obama

    Shame... Shame... Shame on the Lying Billary Campaign!!!

    If she stays positive... she loses.

    Positive Hillary vs. Positive Obama... Hillary LOSES!!!

    February 17, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. LaLainKCMO

    I respect Hillary for many, many reasons ... she is a phenomenal lady. But in light of some of what has gone on in her campaign, her team, her comments and the tactics (with all due respect to the true meaning of that word), I just feel that she is better suited for a Cabinet position. It is hard-core people like this that we need pushing the initiatives through Congress, Committees and the special interest groups.

    Since Obama and Clinton agree on almost all of the issues, I truly believe that Clinton would make an outstanding Cabinet member and Obama would make a better leader, unifier, statesman and President.

    February 17, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Charlie

    The Clinton's hitting below the belt – how suprising. Hopefully the people of Wisconsin wil not fall for it.

    February 17, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Jim, American in Paris

    A lot of Americans think that you Ted would be much better off if you just got out of the picture and went to bed.

    Hillary won your state handily and that should have taught you a lesson!!!

    Sweet dreams.

    February 17, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. MIWatch

    Obama, when you get the support from the old Washington folks: Sen. Kennedy & John Kerry, are you saying you are fresh and for change???? Obama those old folks in Washington will not bring change, but he has teamed up with the Oldest Folks in Washington: Kennedy Families!!! Will Obama bring change with these people behind him???

    February 17, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Rob

    Disgraceful. I hope it comes back and bites her.

    February 17, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Tom

    fat teddy to the rescue

    February 17, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Mark in WI

    The three voting members of my household here in Wisconsin are all registered Republicans. Yet the Hillary campaign wasted their apparently much needed funds on sending 3 of these pamphlets to my home on the same day. Hillary supporters who fell for her money scam in recent weeks deserve to know how their hard earned dollars are being squandered. This type of irresponsible mismanagement is a clear indication that Hillary is not fit to handle our nation's economy.

    February 17, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Jonathan Rodriguez

    I love how Kennedy turns a Blind eye to Obama's Attacks towards Hillary and whenever Hillary attacks back she is the bad person, I think like Obama is saying it is time for the same old to move out of the way, the first people to get rid off is the Kennedy's

    February 17, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Aillyn

    Kennedy's shocked and surprised? Coming from a Clinton, especially Hillary this is nothing to be surprised about.

    February 17, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Steph, Philadelphia

    I wonder what is wrong with Senator Clinton, she always go negative when she is frustrated. That's not the way to go. You can't belittle others for your own benefit.

    February 17, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Roc, Bridgeport, CT

    I hope the Democratic Party can keep this whole thing from destroying this years general election. This definately has seemed to have gotten out of hand. I am a Obama supporter, However I got a lot of love for Hillary Clinton. At the end of this primary season they're gonna have to work real hard to reunite this party together, and it might take them both to be on the ticket to make everybody happy. May God Bless us all!!!

    OBAMA/CLINTON 08!!!!!

    February 17, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Jenny

    I think senator Kennedy should keep neutral. what he is doing is not good for a united democratic party.

    February 17, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Democrat

    Clinton's tactics are straight from the republican play book.

    February 17, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. kathleen, illinois

    I do not kike her ads. They are desperate attempts to twist
    the truth as with most politicians. It is not true that Obama
    will leave 15 ,illion uninsured. Just not true. I hope that the
    american people will no discover which is true and which
    very false and not fair. Hillary's plan to have health insurance
    for everyone, means that it will be deemed mandatory for everyone
    to pay for their own insurance. I believe Obama's insurance
    plan is to get with the drug company and special interest to
    make reductions in cost so that the uninsured we be able
    to obtain health care and not have to choose that they spend
    their grocery money, utilities, cost of necessities on health care
    that they cannot afford. Kennedy cares. GO OBAMA 2008

    February 17, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. An Agnostic Democrat

    Those are the same 7 people who won't be able to afford the mandated coverage she "offers" and will have their wages garnished, be fined or punished under Hillary's new (but really recylced) bureaucratic nightmare of a health care system.

    A former member of Bill Clinton's adminstration, Robert Reich, has already stated that Hillary's plan is flawed (Still can't get it right the second time around!) and that Mr. Obama's is much more pratical, comprehensive and actionable.

    February 17, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Laura

    Can't Obama fight his own battles? Or does he need Ted Kennedy to always jump to his defense? Who will really be running the country if Obama becomes president?

    February 17, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Donna F

    Well, if Teddy has been for health care for so long....why didn't he get anything done......???? Why is he all up in arms about it now...what does he do anyway??

    February 17, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Barack Oprah

    We do not need KENNEDYS!!!
    Be aware, your time is over.
    Go away!!!!

    February 17, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. nelson

    Ask Senator Kennedy if Obama's plan would have saved the woman he drowned in Chapaquitic.

    February 17, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. ontherocks99

    That is funny coming from good old Ted. He has the nerve to talk.
    As far as the pamphlet goes Obama sent one last week attacking Hillary's plan. I don't see the media jumping to post that.

    At least Hillary's plan won't leave me out.

    Can ANYONE tell me where Obama plans on getting the 250 billion dollars to make his ":change" happen?????

    February 17, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Daniela from Berlin

    Well said!
    Gosh, Mrs Clinton is getting on my nerves 😦

    Hey, dear American friends, if you are wondering what "the world" will say when you vote for Obama and he will become your president?
    The answer is quite simple:
    We will all love you and respect you again!!
    No other candidate can accomplish that – believe me!!!

    Please get it right this time – make this man your president!

    And don't fall for the rhetorics of the cynics!! This man has more substance than the rest of them – he has the best to offer not only for your country, but indeed for the entire world.

    Greetings from Germany,

    February 17, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Eric

    The Clintons back on the attack. The same old Washington ways. I will never vote for her, or should I say them. . Never.....

    February 17, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Don Fitzgerald, Chicago

    I agree with Senator Kennedy, let's knock off the negativity. Let Senator Clinton inform her staff that it makes no sense to tear down her fellow Democrat. Champion your own positions, don't rely on distortion or misrepresentations. After all, we need coattails to gain a stronger majority in Congress and we can accomplish that by Not tearing down our fellow Democrats.

    February 17, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. bekai amar

    i am 4 barak obama if americans realy need change then is barak barak obama the right mannnnnnnnnnn
    this is not about black or white is only about change

    February 17, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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