February 23rd, 2008
03:06 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton: 'Shame on you, Barack Obama'


Clinton is upset with two mailers the Obama campaign is sending out in Ohio. (Photo credit: AP)

CINCINNATI (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton, needing wins in delegate-rich Texas and Ohio to overtake Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, ramped up her criticism of Obama Saturday, accusing his team of negative campaign tactics "straight out of Karl Rove's playbook."

Clinton addressed two mailings the Obama campaign distributed in Ohio - one that lambasts her position on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which her husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed into law, and another that criticizes her proposed health-care plan.

"I have to express my deep disappointment - he is continuing to send false and discredited mailings with information that is not true to the voters of Ohio," she said, shaking the mailings to punctuate her remarks.

The NAFTA mailer accuses Clinton of switching her position on the trade agreement, saying the senator from New York was a "champion" for NAFTA while first lady, but now opposes it.

The mailer on health care was "reminiscent of the health insurance industry's attack on what we tried to do the last time we went after universal health care," Clinton said. It says her proposal would force everyone to buy health insurance, whether they could afford it or not, a charge Clinton vehemently denied.

"Sen. Obama knows it is not true that my plan forces people to buy insurance even if they can't afford it," she said.

The mailers are "blatantly false and yet he continues to spend millions of dollars perpetuating falsehoods. That is not the new politics that the speeches are about," she said. "It is not hopeful; it is destructive."

She added, "Shame on you, Barack Obama - it is time that you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public. That is what I expect from you. Meet me in Ohio and let's have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign."

Obama spokesman Bill Burton denied Clinton's assertions that the mailers were false.

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soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Lee

    Obama is a real candidate of change – yeah whatever.

    Hillary is going to open up a can of whoop as on him. As the front runner this was a bad move by Obama

    he is a politican who is selling snake oil. For the people who vote for Obama I hope you get what you deserve.

    And for the Latinos – you should listen to the state of the black union and see if you think Obama will still have your interests if he is elected – no my friends – he will be the president for the black people – white people should watch this state of the black union address – your WHITE eyes would sure be opened!
    Vote for Hillary.

    February 23, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Captain

    I'd say it fair game. If she i going to attack Obama for "presumably" leaving out 15 million (up from 13 million GASP!) people, then the flyer i fair game.

    February 23, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Matthew

    I don’t understand what is so “shameful” about these mailings. The fact of the matter is Sen. Clinton’s proposed plan for health care DOES require ALL Americans to obtain health insurance of some form. She also WAS a proponent of NAFTA during the presidency of her husband and HAS changed her position on that subject now. Her campaign felt entitled to “expose discrepancies” in Sen. Obama’s campaign when he used political rhetoric from some of his campaign supporters. Why should the Obama camp not outline these (in my opinion much more pertinent) caveats of Sen. Clinton’s policies?

    Sen. Clinton’s continued belittlement of Sen. Obama via her claims that his campaign is all empty promises fails to impress me. Sen. Obama’s blueprint for America (available on his website) does outline substantive policies that he has developed.

    Furthermore, I personally believe it to be both arrogant and ignorant of Sen. Clinton to claim that she has it all figured out, and that her plan is the paramount solution. NOBODY has all the answers to the problems that America faces today. The most important characteristic of the next president is going to be their ability to work together with the best minds America has to offer to reach solutions.

    I don’t want someone who is “ready to be commander-in-chief on day one.” Someone like that is far too eager to become a “leader.” Once someone gets it in their head that they’re a “leader” the opinions of everyone else fade away and they indignantly thumb their nose at 30% approval ratings as they continue risking the lives of Americans all over the world for the benefit of no one, whilst they run the economic and intellectual future of this country into the ground back home.

    Give me a president who is cognizant of the fact that they are in office not to be a “leader,” but to be a REPRESENTATIVE in a government that is of, for, and by the people.

    Give me Barack Obama.

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. JD

    Second time in three days she has touted her complete hypocrisy! Within thirty mintues of accusing Obama of plagarism, she plagarizes Edwards; after the infamous "Barack's plan leaves 15 million Americans uninsured" mailer in Wisconsin, she has the hypocritical audacity to go on national tv and balk at a mailer of Obama's that simply turns the tables on her.

    That being said, I am disappointed that Barack went negative like this. He had the lead, he has the momentum; he really didn't need to do this.

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. R from WA

    Having watched the debates and followed the campaigns pretty closely, I'm not convinced that there's any information in the mailings (as represented here) contradictory to Hillary's record as it stands. If she's going to make this kind of emotional charge against Obama (and a comparison to Karl Rove is a serious charge) she really needs to go to her record and bring out her health care plan and show us how Obama's campaign is misrepresnting her. All she does (in this article) is deny policies (esp. her stance on health care) that she has espoused on the campaign trail and in debates. If she can't correct this apparent contradiction and show us how she won't force people to buy health care if they can't afford it, than this is just an opportunity for her to project the image of a strong confident leader and get some free advertising for her campaign.

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Dante Young

    Mrs. Clinton is charging Mr Obama out of desperation.
    She've realized that her opponent (that's the way she call Mr Obama)
    did very well last Tuesday and she is losing ground.
    I am following the candidates each and every day on "CNN" and Mrs Clinton has been the one who has tried to diminish Mr Obama's
    This complain is of the tactical nature.
    Come on Mrs Clinton, people are not stupid is very clear to me that
    Mr Obama is the best representative between the two parties.

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. ben of Nc


    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Goodheart

    FINALLY, Obama is getting called out for his... say one thing, do another campaign. He's just like all politicians, no different. There is no question these direct mail pieces are completely false, yet his campaign sent them out opening to close the gap in Ohio. By the way, Hillary has always fought for healtcare. Obama is doing it because it's politically convenient. If that's your issue, don't count on him changing anything. It takes more than just words to get real change.

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. John

    Chris. You're as wrong as they get – an evident sign of someone brain-washed by the obamatron. Her plan states that health-care will be available for everyone. Not only be available but everyone WILL HAVE health care. If you can't afford it then it will be provided for you. Obama however, will leave a lot of americans who can't afford health care without it.

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Kimberly in Texas

    What about Hillary's mailers...always the victim!
    Poor Hillary....

    Obama 08!

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Mike

    Look at the picture she is holding up. At best, this is VERY MISLEADING by the Obama campaign, when other countries like Germany and Canada that have universal health coverage do not really have this problem.

    Look at the facts – there are a lot of people out there making $50 – $75 k who would be perfectly able to afford the types of insurance that these campaigns are offering. Under Obama's plan, if you don't feel like it, you don't have to get it. Then later when you get sick, you do. How does he plan to force THEM to pay for it, if this is such a big problem?

    What makes King Obama so great that he does not have to defend his plans down to the last detail? He can just say "No war in Iraq, and health care for all" and we are supposed to dance in the streets? His plans are actually much weaker and more naive than Hillary's (on health care and foreign policy).

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. Alex H

    Umm... it IS true. Hillary's plan removes the American people's right to CHOOSE, an American principle for a free society. Hillary does say there will be grants that people can apply for if they cannot afford it but who is to say who can and cannot afford it! Everyone having healthcare is an incredible thing to accomplish but if it removes the right to choose between, say, food or healthcare I sure hope they're not FORCED into paying for healthcare.

    And how is pointing out an IMPORTANT flaw in someone's policies or ideas going against his change platform. If I recall correctly, you STOLE his "Yes We Can" platform in Wisconsin when you released a mailer that attacked HIS healthcare plan.

    I smell a hypocrite...

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Ginger - Canada

    After watching all the debates and continuing news about the candidates, it appears that everyone wants to treat Mr.Obama with kid gloves and he gets away with saying what he wants but everything Ms. Clinton says gets scrutinized and repeated over and over again.

    February 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. DJW

    Ask Jaunita Brodderick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, etc. ...............................................................................
    how it feels to be be lied about. Chickens are finally coming home to roost .

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Fed Up

    I'm just glad someone – I don't care who – is urging/publishing a discussion of the facts.

    Most of Hillary's voting record (Bill's too, for that matter) and the issues they support are abyssmal at best, terrifying at worst. In numerous speeches she has said that she would "garnish wages, if need be" in order to put her "universal health care" program in place. Garnish wages? That's not "universal," that's communism. Then there is NAFTA, which anyone with good memory function recalls both Clintons supported vehemently. NAFTA, which has increased Latin American trade corruption ten-fold. Plus their is the fact that while a senator she voted FOR the Patriot Act; she voted to read your emails, tap your phones, etc. And of course there her archive, which she and Bill refuse to release to the public – and now her tax reports too. All of this is public information, readily available via a good Google search. For all these reasons and many more, I have never understood the hype about her. It seems so Orwellian. I don't even really understand how she can run as a Democrat, but that says much about how much our party has sold itself – spinelessly – hook line and sinker.

    I don't think Obama's ad is such a shameful action, considering all of the immature allegations Hillary as shot his way. I'm still waiting on someone to call her on all the so-called "plagiarism," in her campaign. "It takes a village," Maya Angelou. And the direct Edwards rip-offs. Also, it would be nice if someone would ask her to spell out her 35 years of service. Does sleeping next to an American president for 8 years while he is in office constitutue "experience'? In that case, all the wives of politicians should take over.

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. Jay

    I don't really see why Clinton's in an uproar; especially since what Obama says about her flip-flopping views on NAFTA and such are true. The more she makes a big deal of it, the more people realize that she was for NAFTA but is now against it solely for the sake of her campaign.

    But if she wants to keep high-lighting her weaknesses and boo-hoo'ing because Obama is pointing out her errors in judgement, then let her do what makes her happy.

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. joe

    Obama is also going to force parents to buy for their children. Even if they can't afford it. So far all those parents who are having a hard time paying the bills expect it to get harder when you can't afford health insurance for your kids. Don't complain about one forcing people to pay without complaining about the other.

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. sarra

    that is so sad and see the amture side of Obama if he is confidence he will be elected why is the negative attack ? wait and see on the fall when the rep tear him up he don't have any chance shame on dems when they got a chance to claim white house they threw it to rep.

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. Palmer Cox III

    Hillary is desperate. She talks about OB and his naivety but that is what we need, something fresh and new. Her past and her integrity came into question with her husband Bill but has OB delve into her misdeeds? No. If she happens to win the presidency our country will be in worst trouble. The bible also states that woman shall not have authority over the man. God will defintely no longer bless us.

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Frank

    My parents always warned be to cautious of "smooth talkers"; that's all Obama is. He delivers a very glowing, inspiring rhetorical speech. But he's all talk, there's no substance. It looks like the people are being duped by a "smooth talker".

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Jeremiah Gould

    The 2 Democratic candidates appear to want increased moneys
    tossed at public health. But, neither has given any anticipated costs
    involved. Just how heavily do they plan to go after the wealth of U.S.

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. sabrina

    i believe that northamericans should have a black president as obama, who is able to look beyond the facts..because, he is black....as black as many other americans....
    i also think that he can only govern for northamerican people, not for latinamerican community...because he cannot understand us.
    but there is a problem with him, i do not know whether he will be let govern.
    about hillary...she is gorgeous....and a real american women....
    from argentina....i love you all...god bless you!!!!

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. bernice


    We need.....strenght! Hillary showed weakness when she went with the status quo....and voted for the War! she signed a death warrent for our children....Obama voted ...no! against the War!...

    He should Strenght! and did not go with the status quo!

    I wish Hillary would stop! the acting...ie: "tears"..."emotional" breakdowns...we need a strong! leader....she's...too!..."emotional"!

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    A friend just told me "NOW WE KNOW WHY BILL WORKED LATE AT NIGHT"!

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Adam

    Go HIllary! Tell em how it is. Hillary 08

    February 23, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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