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. Ben

    There is fear in the Clinton campaign that is why they feel they must bring these negative ads........don't they realize that these negative ads turns people off. I am not looking forward in the upcoming debate because we are going to see these negative attacks from Hilliary at least Obama will be there to defend these negative attacks.

    Obama 08

    February 17, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Sam

    Kennedy is correct. Bill Clinton tries to hard to destroy Obama, as he compared him to Jesse Jackson, while he is doing that he is damaging his reputation as a best president we had in the last two decades. He needs to stop it. Is Hillary would be the same dislikning the black?

    February 17, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    Well, Mr. Kennedy, don't be shocked. You are witnessing how slimy they Clinton's are.

    They have no regard for the truth. They will stretch it is far as they can. They will transform it into something it is not. Ask a Clinton what truth is and they will tell you, "It all depends are your definition of truth is."

    Why would anybody want such a person occupying the highest office of the land. What does that say about our priority as Americans. Is HRC going to lie, cheat, and steal her way into the hearts and minds of world community. When the going get's tough is she going to blame other world leaders for being part of the vast right wing conspiracy? Is she going to call in Bill to rescue her? Is she going to start crying. An HRC presidency would be a crying shame and a disgrace to America.

    We need Obama. He is the only Answer to a Clinton Presidency. A vote for HRC is not a vote for change, but a vote for more of the same 8 years we had with Bush.

    Excuse me while I go to vomit now.

    February 17, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. Linda

    I have to laugh people say Hillary has been in politics too long and we need change. Then they listen to Teddy Kennedy who is nothing like his brothers John or Bobby. If Obama has done so much in such little time why does he need Teddy to be his mentor. All I remember about Teddy was about a bridge and a young girl who lost her life. Get a life Teddy and retire.

    February 17, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Sarah

    Such a negative, divisive woman.

    February 17, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Sharon

    Is anyone surprised that the Clintons are using scare tactics, misrepresentations, and distortions?

    February 17, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. stuffy

    coward kennedy, you are long standing politician, please grow in politics......

    February 17, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Efe Igbide

    Clintons like to win at any cost. They are behaving like republicans now.

    February 17, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. Patrick

    It's no different than Obama's misleading mailers. Excellent double standard Mr. Kennedy. It's a good thing this isn't politics as usual.

    February 17, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Bala Rebbe

    As the Senator points out, it is terriby unfortunate that Hillary feels compelled to make false accusations about Obama's health plan. The main issue is; she calls for mandates, but does not tell us how she will force people to pay, e.g. garnishing wages. Obama does not. Which approach is more likely to win approval in congress? The answer is obvious.

    February 17, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. david

    blah blah blah (that stands for CNN now). They're all the same.

    Vote for Hillary.

    February 17, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Max Grubb

    The negative ads show once again how polarizing Hillary Clinton is. That is why when her husband was in the whitehouse, she didn't get anywhere with her health plan. That is why during those 8 years and her years in the Senate she has not been able to get the job done. Now she tells us she can. Oh yes, she can continue to complain and in her negative way push most of us further away. I am a life-long Democrate who might have voted for Hillary, but after watching her campaign I will cast my first vote for a Republican if she is nominated. I am 75 years old and have voted a few times in my life, but never considered voting Republican until now. I can only pray that she is not nominated. Rev. Max Grubb

    February 17, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Tina ny, ny

    go home kennedy.

    February 17, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Ann, Los Angeles

    This would be great of Ted Kennedy but Senator Obama's plan is not for universal health care.........so who is the distorter?

    February 17, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. Avis C, Richton Park,IL

    Hillary has been trying to get Universal Health Care for years now. It's time to move on and let someone else get the job done.

    Sorry Hillary, been there, done that!

    YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES WE WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 17, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Florida for Hillary

    Go away Kennedy. Are we going to hear from daddy every time little boy NOBAMA gets slapped by his opponents? This is initiation by fire and if pretty boy can't take the heat, then he needs to move on.

    Go Hillary or McCain! Only mature adults can participate.

    February 17, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Jim in CT

    Can somebody tell me when Senator Obama has ever brought all these diverse views and parties together to solve any problem, anywhere? Does Ted Kennedy think we're dumb enough to believe him just because he says it's so?
    Where's the beef!!!

    February 17, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Dawn McNeal

    Kennedy is a bitter old man

    February 17, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. mgoody

    Well Sen Kennedy I guess that is your opinion, not mine. Watch the debate on Thursday night and maybe you will learn the difference between the 2 of them.

    Hillary 08

    February 17, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. aware

    Give it up Sen. Kennedy.

    Do your own research people. The last fact check I read said Obama's plan would leave from 15 to 26 million people without health care. It is good to share the facts!

    Have you fact checked Obama's ads? :)

    Hillary the HOPE of 08

    February 17, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. caroline berney

    Mr. Kennedy has been unsuccessful obtaining universial health care for forty years. Give some one else a chance. Most of the US candidates including Mr Kennedy have just nibbled aroung the edges of universal health care. America is the only country in the G-7 that does not have public health care. Americans may find that their productivity level will go up and they will attract more jobs if they had health care. Now jobs are not just going to China, but the countries with health care.

    February 17, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. seektruth

    we don't want anypne force us to buy healthy care! if your price is lower enough we will buy. we don't need a big mama, we need a leader that offer us choices, most all Obama is a uniter who will bring all of us and get job done, he will push away special interests and work for the people of America! Obama we can trust !

    February 17, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. elena

    Go back to the Senate, Ted!

    February 17, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. lisa

    Ted Kennedy isn't candidate,why is he so excited,and so sensitive.he should stand up and become a Candidate if he is so interested other's busnesses.

    February 17, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. kwame

    LIBERAL OLD TED, YOUR LIKES DON'T WIN ELECTIONS.
    HILLARY WILL WIN

    February 17, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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