March 21st, 2008
03:40 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama camp: Clinton would be 'deeply flawed' nominee

 Obama's campaign said Clinton would be a deeply flawed nominee
Obama's campaign said Clinton would be a deeply flawed nominee

(CNN) - The Obama campaign launched some of its sharpest attacks to date on Hillary Clinton's candidacy Friday, telling reporters on a conference call that the New York senator is a dishonest politician who has consistently misled voters.

Referencing a new Gallup Poll suggesting 53 percent of Americans don't view Clinton as trustworthy, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said Clinton would be a "deeply flawed nominee," and suggested it would be "nearly impossible" for her to win a general election.

"She is not seen as trustworthy by the American people," Plouffe said. "She has consistently in this campaign engaged in political calculation to mislead voters....It will nearly be impossible to win a general election if more than half the electorate thinks you're untrustworthy.

"If Sen. Clinton wants to have a discussion about electability and vetting, we're happy to have it," Plouffe also said. "She would be a deeply flawed nominee. There are character issues here that will cause us real problems in the fall."

Plouffe specifically took issue with newly-released Clinton White House schedules that indicate the then-first lady may have been present in several meetings with congressional leaders to promote NAFTA - the trade legislation she now sharply criticizes on the campaign trail. She emphasized her consistency on that position in the days leading up to the March 4 primary contest in Ohio, a state whose Democratic electorate is dominated by union-workers generally opposed to the trade deal."

Sen. Clinton essentially misled the voters of Ohio, strongly suggesting she was always opposed to NAFTA privately," Plouffe said. "But now we see that she had meetings, where the sole purpose was to cheerlead for NAFTA and press for its support."

"Sen. Clinton likes to talk about do-over elections," he added. "The only do-over election we might want to consider is in Ohio, since Sen. Clinton misled the voters in Ohio about her support of NAFTA."

In a memo sent to reporters shortly after Plouffe's comments, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said, "At this point, it’s no secret that the Obama campaign is in political hot water given the news stories of the last few weeks and is desperate to change the subject."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. Mel

    Trustworthy? Did you look that word up in your Harvard dictionary, Obama? And judgement? How do you like your 1.8 million dollar home? I think it's great you are going negative. And keep pounding the women who compete with you, like your grandmother, Ferraro, Hillary, anyone who is white! Hillary is sounding better every day.

    March 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Clinton now Obama

    Why is it that Obama is attacking Clinton when he is simply asking her to validate her claim that she has all this experience. CLINTON ue d the "KITCHEN SINK" campaign littered with misleading facts prior to the Texas and Ohio primaries. He has taken the high road on more than one occasion, and when he had his "RED PHONE" moment, he stood up like a true leader and didn't hide behind surrogants. She misled the voters on NAFTA, her experience and now that Bill was pictured greeting Rev. Wright after being invited to the white house (remember only a selected few and they were given background checks), In October she stated the Florida and Michigan votes wouldn't count and SIGNED a pledge, now that she is behind and need them, all of a sudden they should count, FLIP/FLOP. And she want them to count but only the voters she prefers, a revote, means EVERY voter revotes. She is such a FAKE. She wants to ride on and take credit for the good things during the Clinton Presidency, well, Senator Clinton, you take the Good with the BAD. I am totally disgusted with the way that you have run this campaign and I switched MIDSTREAM. I can't take back the support that I gave Clinton in the past, but now it's all going to Obama. Thank you Gov. Richardson for your support and not buying into the Clinton Machine. We need something new and different than the status quo in the WH.

    March 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Aaron

    This is not a negative comment. I'll concede that some of the wording could be better. Saying that she was flat out dishonest might have been strong, but saying she mislead people would probably be fair. It, however, is not negative to point to her past political position, then to her current speeches and point out that she's shifted her position. That's sticking to facts and published accounts about current and relevant issues.

    -Aaron, OH

    March 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Charles Hardeman

    I really hope the Superdelegates DO THEIR JOB and save us from an unelectable candidate at the convention.

    I didnt hear anyone protesting about becoming a superdelegate (all knowing their role) before it posed a risk to barack obama... did you?

    March 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. jm

    Ok everyone say it with me. Obama is just another politician. He is no messiah. He is a lying corrupt politician.

    March 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Melissa M

    For all that Obama promises change, whenever things are tough for him, he resorts to name-calling and dishonesty himself. FOCUS ON THE ISSUES OBAMA! Voters don't want to hear you calling people names, we want to hear how you are going to keep this country from sliding into a recession. Grow up and tell us how you plan to run this country.

    March 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Paula

    "She is not seen as trustworthy by the American people," (especially me!!)
    "Sen. Clinton likes to talk about do-over elections." "The only do-over election we might want to consider is in Ohio, since Sen. Clinton misled the voters in Ohio about her support of NAFTA."
    "She would be a deeply flawed nominee."

    OBAMA 08, 12!!!!!

    People you better Open your EYE!!!!
    or else vote Clinton and welcome President McCain and welcome to a war with Iran and the begginning of demise of this great country. But make sure not to complain when it start happening!!

    March 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. Obama Spins out Of Control

    I have to laugh at these statements. Clinton does not pay Obama any attention.

    I think Obama is reaching and trying to deflect all the media around Rev. Wright.

    Obama, please stand on your own two feet.

    March 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. Dung Le

    I believe American need an agent of change, but believe me, it not the change of commitment, it's not the change of positions to reflex public interest.

    Also remember that there is an old saying "the more you work the more mistakes you have", thus, having no mistake while doing nothing doesnt promise anyone that one will not make mistake when doing somethings. In fact, those who had committed mistake in the past can learn how to avoid making mistake in the future.

    God bless America!

    March 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Jo

    Beans, your comments are pretty sexist. There are plenty of moody men in this world.
    No one's perfect, not even Obama.

    March 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. KC

    jgzeger-The polls that you are referring to are weekly polls, taken with a smaller sample and are unreliable.

    ~kc

    March 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. Sd

    Clinton mislead voters? You kidding ..right.
    Obama is the liar here. He talks about honestly and judgement?
    Ah, wait all his boneheaded judgement has an answer or an excuse for everything.
    If he does not agree to do -over elections in Michigan and Florida they are not voting for him in the general elections. Richardson to endorse obama today. Richardson is a coward and he does not speak for all latinos. I guessing obama promised him to become his V.P.

    March 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. Bonnie(WV)

    Obama must be in trouble. His change of tactics: Postive to Negative are another hint of his true character. Obviously he is attempting to deflect the recent discoveries of his racist character. Obama not only needs to deflect, he needs to withdraw. His divisive campaign is not about unity or hope, but, in fact, the same old, same old.

    The flawed candidate is Obama.

    March 21, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. The Perpetual Student

    I agree with most of you all. I am an Obama supporter but I am surprised and disappointed by these words. Come on Barack!!! I know you have been under the gun recently but don't stoop to the level of the other candidates!!!

    March 21, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Jim

    Dishonest? Just because Hillary never tells the truth, is that any reason to call her dishonest? Wait............

    March 21, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Francis

    I just read the comment above by Terry and agree completely. The Obama camp has said they would run a clean campaign, yet attack Sen Clinton, callingg her "dishonnest". That in itself is simply unacceptable and actually shameful. There should be limits to what Obam's campaign says about another democrat, just as they expect sen Clinton to do.
    I am so disappointed with Obama that if he were the nominee, I as a lifelong Democrat will join the millions of other Democrats who will vote for McCain.

    March 21, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. jack texas

    obama's getting desperate. polls are dropping for him, he has got to start a negative campaign. Goodbye mister nice guy

    March 21, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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