February 17th, 2008
12:58 PM ET
7 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. Arizona Latino Voter

    Didn't Kennedy learn his lesson? He did not deliver his state for Obama. When Kennedy was in political peril, he called on the Clintons for support and campaigning. They helped him. This is how he repays those who help him the most.

    February 17, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. Carlos New Jersey

    I am the one not to get it, because I understand the Obamas plan is almost directly for peple that must of the time does not have a job and when he said it's for every one, is the price the same for anybody ?,does it matter how much you make a year ? is it still be the same amount for you and the same coverage ?

    February 17, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Tony

    Yes, Hillary stinks, and so are her "superdelegates" by getting behind her low tactics.

    February 17, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Lola

    Wondering, who is running for Presidency? Kennedy or Obama? I understand that Sen. Kennedy endorsed Obama, but why he is constantly speaks for Obama?
    Does Obama is capable and old enough to defend himself or he is an underage kid who needs constant protection from his daddy?

    Lola

    February 17, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Doc Jerome

    At this point, nothing the Clinton campaign puts can be trusted. It is all designed to deliberately distort, and misinform.

    Same old, same old.

    February 17, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. bill pike

    the real clinton has come forward. yes bill, we remember you. the disgrace you brought to our country. WHEN DO WE STOP THE BUSH/CLINTON MONARCHY?

    February 17, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Papa Roach

    The Clintons are as underhanded as they come. Another reason why NOT to vote for Hillary.

    February 17, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Doc Jerome

    At this point, nothing the Clinton campaign puts out can be trusted. It is all designed to deliberately distort, and misinform.

    Same old, same old.

    February 17, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. Jay

    Ted Please STFU and have another drink...

    February 17, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Sal

    Both plans will leave 15 Million out.
    Hillary's plan is a mandate, and Garnish wages. CBS done a study showing as many as 80 million Americans rely on alternative forms of healthcare.

    Hillary has not released her tax information, or the figures on how her plan will be paid for.

    Not your year Hillary

    2004 wa

    Ohio will go to Obama

    He is gaining Strength

    Hillary underestimated WI, and OH desire for change

    Your NAFTA is the problem, that cost more jobs in OH than any other state.

    What if we followed hillary healthcare plan. it would be like another VA Hospital. or have one choice of car insurance.

    I am old enough to Vote, Obama's healthcare plan offers choice at a 2500 reduced rate.

    February 17, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. jrw34

    Bill and Hillary will do anything to get elected...is Karl Rove their new strategist?

    February 17, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Sue

    I read last week (Feb 15) a piece by Fernando Suarez (" Clinton: Voter's Decision Need to be 'Very Reasoned, Careful'") reporting from the road that Obama did something similar in Nevada and Utah....

    And so Suarez writes......

    ........ "Clinton was referring to mailings Barack Obama sent out in Nevada and Utah that were very similar to the infamous “Harry and Louise” ads from the early '90s. The ad depicted a middle-aged couple at a dinner table with the words: "Hillary's health care plan forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can't afford it. Is that the best we can do for families struggling with high health care costs?""

    How come he (Kennedy) was not shocked then?

    February 17, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. fvp

    At the beginning of her campaign Hillary was saying that she would have universal health insurance by the end of her second term. I have heard this my own ears. This was when the candidates thought health care was not a real priority. So how can we trust that her position has really changed and she would get the job done in the first 2 years of her presidency? The uninsured nation needs it and needs it now!

    February 17, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Independent in IA

    If Kennedy is so interested in health care, he should start with his own....he's carrying around enough weight that it would sink the QE2, and his nose rivals that of the late W.C. Fields.

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

    FIrst

    Clinton plays too dirty. Americans will see that she is like a dying animal, clawing at whatever she can.

    The Clintons had their 8 years in the white house, do u want another 4-8 years of Hilary Clinton? She would bring nothing new to the table, just some revised ideas that Bill had.

    We all know that the Clintons are also Power-Mongers. Lets get them out of here

    Obama 08!

    February 17, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Texasboo

    THe Clintons are used to "negative,divisive politics" , yet will not release their records, tax and white house. why is that?

    Way to go Sen. Kennedy and you made the right choice in endorsing Sen. Obama.

    Obama '08

    February 17, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. JohnS

    Easy for any HISTORIAN or strong student of basic civics to reason as follows:

    The Republicans will chew and spit out Hillary within the FIRST month, if she is ever the nominee.

    At that time, Independents like me, will run back to the arms of the Republicans. When will the Dems ever learn??? Or, as the media says, most are just not learned to know the difference!!!

    February 17, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Lynne

    The Clintons will stop at nothing to win. Because of that and the way
    they have run this campaign , I do not and will not support her.

    February 17, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. MJA

    When Obama does it, its okay. When Clinton does it, its fear-mongering. Come on Ted, get real.

    February 17, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. George from Minneapolis

    Hillary will do and say anything to win the nomination. Do you want that kind of person as your president ??

    I DONT

    February 17, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Oregon Voter

    I guess Kennedy is okay with Barack's negative mailer attacking Hillary's healthcare inaccurately, but somehow has a problem with a mailer from Hillary that is backed by independent experts? Ted Kennedy is just as much a hypocrite as Obama. They're a good match.

    February 17, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. Boston Brahmin

    Kennedy is getting worried, his baby Obama might loose Wisconsin. Well, it is a fact that Obama is not planning for universal health care. BTW, Kennedy, Kerry and Gov. Patrick better get ready to vote for Clinton since my state has voted overwhelmingly for her. Or get ready to loose your senate seats next time....

    February 17, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Richard

    Ted Kennedy you are very bitter towards Hillary.Do not hide behind Obaama to throw jabs.Hillary has prevailed against you in your back yard.Leave her alone.

    February 17, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. Democratsin09

    She smells defeat so she will resort to anything she can to win.

    How pathetic Hillary!

    February 17, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Shane

    This is why i wont vote for Hillary clinton. Even if she wins the democratic nomination, i wont vote for her. I probably wont vote at all if she wins. Shes a politician, whos more interested in getting elected than anything else. Repblicans hate her as wll as many independents and democrats. Shes not electable. Obama correctly says that having plans and policies is not enough. You have to have the personality/charisma to bring people who disagree on issues together. hillary could never get republicans to agree on universal/mandated healthcare. Weve already seen that movie once.

    February 17, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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