February 26th, 2008
08:43 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton campaign takes aim at press over coverage

Clinton Campaign Communications Director Howard Wolfson.

Clinton Campaign Communications Director Howard Wolfson.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A spokesman for Hillary Clinton lashed out at the media Monday for what he described as a double standard in the way the press covers the two Democratic White House hopefuls.

On a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson maintained Barack Obama is running a negative campaign, and said the press largely praises him for doing so.

“I think it is true that every time the Obama campaign in this campaign has attacked Sen. Clinton in the worst kind of personal ways, attacked her veracity, attacked her credibility, said that she would say or do anything to get elected, the press has largely applauded him," Wolfson said.

Wolfson's comments were prompted by a reporter's question over what seemed to be a change of tone for Clinton over the weekend, when she sharply criticized Obama in a press conference for distributing literature that she said misrepresented her position on NAFTA.

"Shame on you, Barack Obama," a visibly angry Clinton said Saturday. "Enough with the speeches and the big rallies and then using tactics right out of Karl Rove's playbook. This is wrong, and every Democrat should be outraged."

Wolfson denied the campaign was going negative, and faulted the press for not distinguishing between the contrasts Clinton is drawing and the personal attacks the the Illinois senator is launching.

"When we have attempted to make contrasts with Sen. Obama, we have been criticized for it," he said. "That is a fact of life that we labor under. I reject the notion that Sen. Clinton has been engaged in this sort of seriatim attacks on Sen. Obama. I think Sen. Obama's entire campaign against Sen. Clinton is negative.

"I think he has run against her as the status quo, he has essentially called her divisive, he has called her untruthful, he has questioned her credibility, he has said she will do and say anything to get elected," Wolfson also said. " If that's not negative, I don't know what negative is."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. Alec

    ... Right, because its not the message that's failed, its the messenger. The HRC Campaign sounds increasingly desperate by the day now – almost schizophrenic in its messages.

    February 25, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  2. Franky

    You know, I think the Hillary campaign is reading my e-mails!!!!! I'm starting to get superstitious. Hillary a bit of advice for you..............don't make me go over there and charge you! I don't mind people taking some of my ideas but if I see that it can help you, I'm afraid I'm going to charge. And plus, you think it's easy? It's not easy sweetheart, it's not easy...........Good luck!

    February 25, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. bill in houston

    one difference between Obamas attacks and Billary';s

    Obamas are TRUE

    February 25, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. LL

    The reason Obama is getting such good press coverage is because he is running an incredible campaign!!! He was twenty-plus points down in the national polls when this started and now look where he is. And don't say it is because of CNN and others in the press. The analysts are giving their opinions and their opinions seem to be in line with the voters and the momentum...Obama's campaign has taken a vastly different approach of how to organize and raise money and it has worked. And yes, the media is reporting that and analysts who have two eyes and rational thought have acknowledged his success in the media. He has not gone negative and has attacked Clinton only when attacked. Look, just because Clinton (who is qualified to be President) has run a historically bad campaign and people are reporting on it as they should be does not mean their is a bias...I did not hear complaints from Clinton supporters when she was up in the polls and was seen as the "inevitable" Democratic nominee. Give credit where credit is due. Obama has outplayed Clinton in every which way and that is why he is winning and that is what is being reported by the media. Stop crying just because Hillary is about to be upset like the Russians were upset by a young-upstart group of Americans in hockey in the 1980 Olympics. Hillary Camp...where is your pride?....where's your dignity?

    February 25, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. vic nashville,Tn

    Obama is getting free ride from CNN,NBC, FOX, and CBS ( because these medias need news but not the facts)
    Now she is back
    Hillary 08

    February 25, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. Dave in Richmond, VA

    I don't get it. Is he sunshine and angelic choirs, false hope and empty promises? Or is he personal attacks and gutter politics. Seems to me you can't have it both ways.
    Supported NAFTA – check
    Won't release records – check
    accepted most lobbying money of any candidate – check
    being sued for making promises she never intended to fulfill in return for campaign funds and support(Paul v. Clinton) – check
    Slams Obama for a 529 in his favor while pretending she has no control over one her FRIENDS formed in her favor – check

    She has lost perspective. Perhaps she'll be ready after a bit more seasoning as a Senator.

    February 25, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Sum Guy

    Negative... WOW!!! What I see is Billary being negative and Obama defending themselves and only then pointing out what the Clintonites are doing. Obama is clearly trying to unite the party, in fact he's trying to unite people far beyond the party. Hill just tries to polarize everyone more and more. Tell you what, Obama as the nominee will win this election, regardless of what third parties arise. Hill as nominee will keep the Republicans in office. I'll vote third party over Billary Clint, and I bet there are many others as well.

    February 25, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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