February 29th, 2008
12:13 PM ET
6 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. paforhillary

    wow, what a choice.....well, with all obama's uh...well uh......is it stuttering, plus the fact that he will have to have someone there to tell him what to do, my guess would be hillary will be best. sure obama can talk, but lets look for something else america. open your eyes!!!!wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!vote clinton 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 29, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Jack Robertson

    Shame on you, Hillary Clinton! It seems that you have learned well from your political mentor, Karl Rove.

    February 29, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Andy Krammer, RI

    Dream on Hillary, if you think this feeble attempt to attack Barack is going to shift the tide thats turning toward a better America, think again.

    Americans want our country back, and no scare tactics taken from the Bush/Rove administration is going to work.

    Obama 08

    February 29, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Haighter

    Wow! I never thought Clinton would make a "Daisy" ad. Cold War fear mongering does not become you, Hillary!

    February 29, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Ami

    Woman power!

    Go Hillary, with you in the white house, things will be different.
    We will rethink who gets to do stuff and our country can be run with sense.

    February 29, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Dave

    Hillary is so desperate after having lost 12 in a row she's slinging the mud in every direction she can find. It's pretty sad. I can only imagine if she were president she'd be slinging mud every day. God help us. Fortunately Barack is above this kind of childish behavior, as we all know.

    February 29, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. AISHA

    hillary,,you are right,,

    obama sounds very good like jimmy carter ,,,,,,,and everyone knows,,,,

    February 29, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. AJ, IL

    Good counter-punch to Hillary's Ad! Beat her over the head with her Iraq War vote. Most important Commander-in-Chief decision she has come across since being in the Senate and she "fell down on the job". Has anyone ever honestly notice how Hillary Clinton blames everyone else accept herself?

    She blamed Bush for her vote for the Iraq

    February 29, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Vern

    Hillary need to concentrate on being positive & stop being negative. I think by now she would have learned the best thing to do is promote herself.

    February 29, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Jim

    Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island, you can change history next Tuesday and help send Hillary to the White House.

    Unite behind Hillary to give her the victory and we will have a great President who will really change the US.

    Time is running out on Barak and his bubble is soon going to burst.

    Go Hillary, all the way!!!

    February 29, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. Lloyd Hansen

    She absolutely nailed it this time. He is a blank screen. Unfortunately he does have an agenda and it is clear that it is the far-left liberal agenda. People can't see past his skin color and flowery speeches long enough to see what he plans to do: Berkleyize the US.

    February 29, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. Sharon

    "And then he went on to say, 'I am bound to disappoint some, if not all of them.'" His own words, didn't he say words were important?

    February 29, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. HC

    What an admission !!!

    Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania – You are hiring someone to be the President of the U.S. It is the hard job and it is a dangerous, troubled world we live in.

    Look at their credentials. It matters.

    February 29, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Frank

    She has a pretty big mouth when she is not sitting next to Barack Obama, hasn't she ?

    So fear mongering is the 'new' strategy. You know, however this plays out – it's a Karl-Rowe-Strategy that was used successfully in 2004 – Clinton is killing support she would need in November ... if she can smear and fear her way into the nomination.

    It's OBAMA'08 or McCain here in Missouri, I can tell you that.

    February 29, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Antoinette

    I dont think Hillary realizes that the more she does things like this, the more she turns off the voters

    She needs to really stop

    February 29, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Jen-0-palooza

    If Hillary thinks Obama is a 'blank screen', then I'd hate to imagine what kind of screen SHE qualifies as.
    EWWWW! She sickens me and the majority of the rest of the country!

    February 29, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Matthew

    The phone the phone... come on CNN, step up the editing

    February 29, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Anna, IL

    Is Hillary still in the race? I had thought the '08 campaign has moved on to Obama vs. McCain/Bush.

    By the way, where is Huckabee?

    February 29, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Henry

    After sixteen years of watching the Clintons, haven't we all learned that they will do anything to get back to the White House, no matter how much damage they inflict on the people, party and country. It's time to get a new broom and sweep them off the stage.

    February 29, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Holly B

    Her last 3 am call was probably to learn her campaign was running out of money...if she doesn't have sufficient experience, judgement and independent thinkers around her to run a campaign, a different kind of 3 am call to her scares me to death!

    February 29, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Roy

    C'mon Hillary. You're so 1990s. Get out of the way.

    February 29, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. marge

    umm after the iraq vote...i don't want Hillary to answer tha phone!!!!

    February 29, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. joanne

    I am behind Hillary 100%!!!! If she loses I hope Obama can take the heat from the Republicans like a man the way Hillary has from the media and the Obama campaign. My geuss is he'll whine like a baby.

    February 29, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Micahel Guinn, Ventura, CA

    I will be so glad when Tuesday is over and Hillary HAS to stop her slams. This is another pathetic negative slam and keeps her Clan more hostile. She should know after "35 years of experience" that as she continues this, the chance for party unity diminish. The Clinton folks call us Obamabots, cultists, delusional dreamers, Obummers, etc. They need to see that their candidate is the one who is splitting the Democrats and her rhetoric is one of panic and innuendo. Hillary, just stop.

    February 29, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. I.D.

    Oh, Hillary's still a candidate? Wow.

    If she weren't so blind with ambition, she'd see the only option left for her is the same one so many of her influential supporters, in growing numbers, continue to take: abandon her campaign and endorse Obama.

    February 29, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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