March 7th, 2008
11:40 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama adviser apologizes for 'monster' comment

 An advisor to Obama was quoted calling Clinton a monster.
An advisor to Obama was quoted calling Clinton a monster.

(CNN) - One of Barack Obama's top foreign policy advisers apologized late Thursday after a Scottish newspaper quoted her as calling Hillary Clinton a "monster."

"It is wrong for anyone to pursue this campaign in such negative and personal terms," Samantha Power, a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of government and an adviser to Obama said in a statement. "I apologize to Senator Clinton and to Senator Obama, who has made very clear that these kinds of expressions should have no place in American politics."

Power's apology came shortly after the The Scotsman newspaper published an article in which she makes the characterization (a comment she immediately tried to retract), and suggested the New York senator is trying to deceive voters.

"She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything," Power was quoted as saying.

"You just look at her and think, 'Ergh,' " Power also said. "But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive."

Power also said the Obama campaign "f***** up in Ohio." Clinton beat Obama by 10 percentage points in Ohio on Tuesday.

"In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win," Powers said.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton distanced the campaign from the remarks, saying in a statement that the Illinois senator "decries such characterizations which have no place in this campaign."

The interview came the same day a top Clinton adviser compared Obama's recent actions to independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who prosecuted the Clintons while Bill Clinton was in the White House in the 1990s.

"After a campaign in which many of the questions that voters had in the closing days centered on concerns that they had over his state of preparedness to be commander in chief and steward of the economy, he has chosen instead of addressing those issues to attack Senator Clinton," Clinton's communications director Howard Wolfson said on a conference call with reporters Thursday morning. "I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president."

Obama's campaign quickly denounced that comment.

UPDATE: On a Friday morning conference call with reporters, the Clinton campaign called on Obama to end Power's role with the campaign. "Personal attacks are not the way to convince voters that you're capable of being president of the United States,” said New York Rep. Nita Lowey, a Clinton supporter. “We're calling on Senator Obama to make it very clear that Samantha Power should not be part of this campaign.”

– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (326 Responses)
  1. Justin

    I swear the coverage of this campaign is getting rediculous.

    March 7, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. grant

    The woman sounds fairly objective

    March 7, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. John

    NONE WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hillary 2008-2012.That is the plan.

    March 7, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. carlo

    Well, she is a monster.

    March 7, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. christene

    She did not need to apologize. Hillary is a nothing but a a deceitful, power hungry monster. The whole world is not wrong on deceitful nature of the Clintons. They cost Algore the presidency keep off Algore. Obama 08.

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Alecki

    Senator Clinton has been punched so much by the media for so many years that I am sure to be called a monster by someone that no one knows is not going to affect her campaign.

    I want Universal Health Care.
    I want to feel protected from radical terrorists.
    I want a Democrat.

    I want a "Woman" like Hillary....That would be the biggest change!

    You Go Girl!

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. AngiePagilagan

    This Samantha Powers is a very well educated and did i say she is also a pilitzer prize nominee and a professor at Harvard Kennedy school of government. Well It just shows what kind of people worked under Obama She has all the credential of being a learned woman

    It reminds me one day I was watchng Dan Abrams at Msnbc it was a weekend and he has Susan Rice the Foreign Adviser of Obama So Dan said" okay tell me what are the senators qualification in foreign policy." Well he is knowns his foreign policy because he lives in different parts of the world and amomg other things he also have a lot of experience when he took Foreign govt. in College etcc. etc..
    Then Dan Abrams said wait a minute would you not get into trouble if you say his experience is he took Foriegn govt as one of his College studies his foreign experience is what he took in College??? I kid you not this happened some weeks before in Feb...... So many tyhings are coming out he even said in his own book that he is a blank screen and he is bound to diappoint many if not all people......

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. Latinos for HIllary

    Hillary is our dama forget obama!!

    Obama woke up a sleeping giant!

    Say goodbye Obama lovers!!

    He is done!! Hillary has national support!!

    FIGHT HILLARY FIGHT!!

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Al Andres

    Power's apology came shortly after the The Scotsman newspaper published an article in which she makes the characterization (a comment she immediately tried to retract), and suggested the New York senator is trying to deceive voters.

    "She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything," Power was quoted as saying

    Who is this Ms. Power? Too much hatred in your heart. Your candidate is not even a nominee and you say bad words to other people. What more if he becomes the president. You see how arrogant Ms. Power can be.

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. Jonathan, Providence, RI

    What a disgrace for Senator Obama! So much for running a different king of campaign; turns out his people are just as nasty, negative and underhanded as the most common slime in Washington. Senator Clinton won Ohio AND Texas AND Rhode Island fair and square, never mind her lifetime of distinguished public service. The Obama camp is quickly being revealed as the duplicitous hate-mongers they really are, with no practical experience and no shame or integrity.

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. enomisa

    The entire Obama camp and supporters is more interested in name-calling and Hillary bashing, than the issues. They should be out there DOING, for the electorate, like Hillary is: Working to protect voters constitutional rights by restoring voters civil rights and have the CAST ballots count in all states including Mi and Fl. And, being the bigger person by considering a JOINT ticket if the mandate for either is not there. This shows leadership and ability to unify.
    Besides, Hill isn't detered by hateful words hurled at her...they are JUST words, after all. She is all about solutions and actions.
    The Obama people are more about words- and dicing and nit picking on words and being thrown off and distracted by words- isn't that what started the whole race non-issue?

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Jeff, Minneapolis

    It is unfortunate that the comment was made, but it is even more unfortunate that the comment is TRUE! Hillary will do anything to keep the Clintons in power.

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. tom

    I wouldn't apologize. The Clinton's embody ALL that is wrong in
    politics........ they will stop at nothing to win, and I mean nothing.
    Of course, this is all to the detriment of this fine country and it's
    people. There is not a doubt in my mind that Obama will be one
    of the BEST presidents ever.......... if he's not wrongly derailed by
    that MONSTER. Print it!

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Hope

    The fact of the matter is, Obama is beginning to show us that he is a sore loser. Remind you of anybody? Bush. He throws a hissy-fit everytime he does not get his way, then pushes his agenda no matter what the American people say. I would have a whole lot more respect for the media if they continued to report now what Obama truly is hiding, after all, they have been treating him with feathers for months while bashing Hillary. The American public deserve to know the truth even if it send Obama Hussain into a rage. There is something just not right about what's hiding behind that big white smile.

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. Stephen

    Oh how I wish Obama would shrug and say, "Well, if the shoe fits..."

    Of course he won't. But because he's staying above the fray, he's seen as weak. Quite a quandary.

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. Mary

    Even when it's true, these kinds of comments are wrong to make, Obama is right to decry them.

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. TO

    That is gracious from Mr. Obama side. In this silly season, people tend to get emotional. Apologizing is the right thing to do.

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. No-OBAMA

    Go Hillary!

    obama people are desperate and mad now. who cares? It just demonstrate they are no education!

    2008 Hillary

    Obama? Who?

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. Michigander

    I think that Sen Obama can calm everyone down in his camp. There was problems in Dr. King's camp. Everyone didn't understand the scope of Non-Violence. Ghandi fasted each time that those who supported him forgot the reason for the cause. It is difficult when you are working to change the attitudes and policies that have been at play for 24 years (Bush, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush).

    There is plenty that will come to light and Senator Obama will not be the one to strike the blow, they have done it to themselves. When bad behavior is left unchecked, the child becomes comfortable and may even feel a bit entitled to behave poorly. They may not even undersand why others are wanting the behavior to change.

    It is certainly time for a change, and We are the Ones We have been Waiting for!!!!

    March 7, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  20. Julie Wilson

    Obama seems to have no control over the people that work for him now. What about after he becomes President (if he should win) and these sorts of inflammatory comments go international?

    March 7, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Nom Deplume, J.D., LL.M.

    There is an article about her in the Arrive magazine this month, available on Amtrak trains. As a Baystater and attorney, I had the impression that she was something of a fraud and closet nutjob after reading the article, and this just reinforces my opinion.

    I know someone who was close to Obama and on his campaign when he ran for Senate. Although she is closed-mouth these days (as a good soldier would be), I get the impression she is not impressed by the people that he surrounds himself with, or the fact that he ran for President so soon.

    And this is not Hillary loving on my part. I can't stand her and won't vote for her, but I must acknowledge that she is the more qualified Democrat.

    March 7, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. Jack

    Look who's calling the kettle black !

    March 7, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. Herman

    You know this crap of attacking Billary is such a double standard. They can through the kitchen sink at Barack but anything that is said about the Clintons should be all roses that is b -s I will not vote for Hillary or McCain or Bush they all can go straight to hell.

    March 7, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. MAB2

    I guess Obama's campaign is not really all about unity and positivity like he says it is. He just doesn;t seem to be all that he is trying to protray.

    March 7, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. a foreigner

    I think this goes to show how the "Change we can believe in" is just a carefully calculated public stunt of the Obama campaign in order to win the race. Senator Clinton has demonstrated her ability to keep fighting, and if the Obama campaign doesn't like that its because their message is clearly wearing off. Although Senator Obama already denounced the statement, he should remember that his campaign is not a cult of personality, but includes his advisers as well. He should be able to bear responsibility for the selection of people who don't say anything that's on their mind, especially when it comes to foreign policy.

    Hillary for President 2008!

    March 7, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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