February 29th, 2008
12:13 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton: Obama a 'blank screen'

ALT TEXT

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton Thursday jabbed at Sen. Barack Obama for being a first term senator and called her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination a "blank screen."

In an interview on ABC's Nightline Thursday night, Clinton dismissed notion's Barack Obama voters are uninformed, but said the Democratic presidential front-runner aptly described himself in his 2006 book, "The Audacity of Hope."

"I think the best description, actually, is in Barack's own book, the last book he wrote, 'Audacity of Hope,' where he said that he's a blank screen," she said in the interview. "And people of widely differing views project what they want to believe onto him. And then he went on to say, 'I am bound to disappoint some, if not all of them.'"

"He was in the state Senate, what, three years ago, four years ago?" Clinton said in continued jabs. "It's hard to know exactly what his positions are because they have changed rather rapidly in that four-year period. But there is something very appealing, and people have a right to vote for whomever they want."

The comments came a day before the Clinton campaign launched a tough new ad in Texas that aims to portray Clinton as considerably more prepared to handle a foreign policy crises than Obama. Over scenes of sleeping children, the ads narrator asks, "Who do you want answering the phone the phone?" at 3 in the morning.

Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe forcefully responded to that ad in a conference call with reporters Friday morning."We don't think the ads are going to be effective at all, because Senator Clinton has already had her red phone moment. It was a decision whether to allow George Bush to invade Iraq, and she answered affirmatively," Plouffe said.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. I Love This Country!

    REJECT FEAR!!!!

    February 29, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Mimi

    We don't know what Sen. Obama believes in either.
    He's pandering all the time.

    February 29, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. BUTTACAVOLI

    when my children were asleep i didn't want to answer the phone,i let my wife get it,why should i wake up let hillary get it obama is a man just like me he don't want to get up. unless it's his girlfreind calling then he better get up and run.

    February 29, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. David C. In Indianapolis

    Experience you can Xerox

    Go Obama '08

    February 29, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. VA

    OBAMAS PLAN ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS IS NOTHING SHORT OF BRILLIANT….TO REALIZE THAT WE AS AMERICANS KNOW THAT WE ARE TAUGHT, FROM DAY ONE, TO LEARN COMMUNICATION SKILLS..THAT IS WHAT OBAMA HAS THAT HILLARY DOES NOT….
    THINK ABOUT IT, PEOPLE…. SHE DOES NOT HAVE THE ABILTY TO INSPIRE AND SHE NEVER WILL HAVE.
    OBAMA WILL HAVE
    GREAT PREPARATION AND MEET WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES…COMMUNICATE…DO NOT ACT LIKE WE ARE ANY BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE..THAT IS WHY THEY ALL HATE US…
    THAT COMMUNICATION WILL BE LIKE A DOMINO EFFECT…
    COMMUNICATE..RESOLVE….LESS CONFLICT…..PRAYERS OF NO MORE WAR AND GUESS WHAT….
    MORE $$$$$$$ FOR AMERICA…THUS MORE BOOST FOR ALL IN THE ECONOMY.

    I BELIEVE IT IS TIME TO TRY NEW THINGS…CHANGE AND OBAMA IS STRONGER THAN I EVER IMAGINED AND I WOULD BE PROUD TO CALL HIM..THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!!!

    February 29, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Eli

    I love the BLANK SCREEN and that people just project what they want onto him. THIS IS SO TRUE. He cant complain he said pretty much the same thing in his book. Lets just hoep the people of TX , OH, VT, RI sees this and does what is right. HILLARY08

    February 29, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Jim, Carbondale, IL

    Clinton didn't even read the bill that she voted on to send us to war! That is supposed to be leadership we can count on at 3:00 am?

    February 29, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. Patrick, Indianapolis

    Hillary is a pathetic liar. What a disgusting excuse for a human being. Actually she is human slime. She can't win fair and square so she resorts to lying about Obama. How typical of a worthless excuse for a human – Hillary Clinton

    February 29, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. marge

    LOL! Yeah Hillary, you voted for Iraq...I don't want you to answer the phone!!!!! LOL!LOL!

    February 29, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. therealist

    Better a blank screen than a corrupt and broken one...

    February 29, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. jamal

    Hillary is whining too much now remember being negative is what got her out of the race to begin with and it's definetly not gonna help her at this point, she needs to focus on her own issues not obama, she needs to worry about TX, OH not Obama, negativity, whining and crying will definetly not help her.

    February 29, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Bill Murray

    To repspond to Hillary's political ad:

    It is 3AM and where are your children? They are in Iraq fighting a useless and costly war.

    February 29, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Go Hillary, Fort Lauderdale

    Good Job Hillary !!!!

    February 29, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Deann

    Sen. Obama cannot answer and handling the question well for the Foreign policy at the debate, he definitely not knowing how to face if the real situation happens. But I feel very clearly in my mind that, I love Sen. Obama, because his ability should be suitable to the top sales person in our country and no questions for him to be the #1 talk show "DJ" for America to provide us for the entertainments and more funny easy life…. So I am thinking, when we are enjoying the entertainment, we also need to face our hungry, we need to pick up a leader who could produce the real problems resolution for our nation and the world, and the ability leader must bring us the real benefit for future.

    WE ALL SHOULD CONSIDER WHAT WE WANT…

    ENTERTAINMENTS? OR THE REAL RESULTS FOR OUR BENEFITS IN OUR LIFES?

    February 29, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. NickNasc

    Hillary has made 2 fatal mistakes... well atually many more but just 2 more today alone.

    Again waiting until the cameras are off to make VERY odd attacks against Barack so he cannot blow them out of the water or basically laugh them off to her face as he does in the debates. But acting so nice in the Debates then going dirty within days almost everytime shows us all her true character.

    The new ad. Fear Mongering 101

    I KNOW people in Ohio, went to School in Texas and met hundreds of great people there and you know what? Not ONE of them would be fooled by this ad. Hillary is plainly running on Bill Clintons record and international relationships but guess what Hillary...ANYONE who has the title of President of the United States of America can call ANY leader in the World and they WILL answer the call. This is NOT a Country Club position you are going for where "clicks" run everything.

    SCARE people with images of Children?? BUSH IN A DRESS I SAY!

    February 29, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. zulu

    This lady is desperate to get to the white house. What ever she says againist Obama is going to back fire. He is the best candidate to be the next presedent. She represents the old.

    February 29, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    I don't know about you, but i think we get enough fearmongering from Bush & Co. I can't believe that a democrat would sink that low. Perhaps Hilary has been around too long and now there is no difference between her and Bush.

    February 29, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. SID FROM NEW YORK

    “We Have Nothing To Fear But Fear It's Self "

    And Those Who Would Exploit Our Fear For Power And For Their Own Personal Selfish Cynical Gain.”

    OBAMA 08

    February 29, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Vee

    Hillary...I am waiting for March 4th...then we will see who is blank screen
    the more you go negative, the more you irritate others.
    Negative reinforcement is not going to work- why do not you understand that?

    February 29, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. HILLARY CLINTON FOR POTUS!

    Well, the media certainly isn't pointing out his lack of accomplishments – why shouldn't Hillary? SHE'S RIGHT!!!

    I want Hillary answering that phone!

    CLINTON for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!

    February 29, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. v.ananthan

    IRAK WAR IS A FACT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WAKE UP OBAMA AND DEAL WITH IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "PRESIDENT" OBAMA WILL BRING THE TROOPS HOME AT ONCE...

    IF AMERICAN TROOPS WITHDRAWN BEFORE THE JOB IS DONE THEN THERE WILL BE A CIVIL WAR AND MANY MANY MANY INNOCENT MENN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WILL GET KILLED...

    ALL THE COURAGES ACTIONS DONE BY THE AMERICAN SOLDIERS SO FAR WILL GO WASTED AND IRAK MIGHT EVEN GET A WORSE DICTATOR THAN SADDAM HUSSEIN......

    DONE IS DONE AND USA NEEDS A PRESIDENT WHO CAN SOLVE THE PROBLEM WITH DIGNITY.............

    THE FUTURE IS THE CASE NOT THE PAST...

    February 29, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Anyone But Obama

    Plouffe misses the point – Obama NEVER had to vote on Iraq as he was NOT a senator at that point. Who knows which way he would have voted if he had had to vote. It's easy for someone who has not made a decision to criticise those who have. Many who voted (and supported) going to war in Iraq did so on the basis of the available information.

    Or iare Obama and Plouffe criticising the vast majority of voters who supported the Iraqi invasion on that basis too?

    February 29, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. LadyLeo

    If Hillary would spend more time running her own campaign instead of overseeing what Obama is doing she MIGHT be doing a better job with her campaign. I honestly think Hillary has the Obama fever, she is just in denial.

    "OBAMA Fever 08"

    February 29, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Sergio

    Now this really pisses me off. It's getting really old attacking Obama with nonsense. Hillary , you are Dismissed.

    Obama Fired Up !

    February 29, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Joan

    Hillary, you are finished. Stop tearing down and smearing the eventual nominee in this way. You ae only helping the GOP

    Please quit now for the good of the party!!!

    Hillary, do the RIGHT THING and end this gracefully!!!

    PLEASE!!!!

    February 29, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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