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. Vince - Phoenix

    Obama,
    the truth is on your side..... don't be afraid to use it!!!

    America's closed-mindedness is about to cost it a chance to have a once-in-a-lifetime leader.

    March 21, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. Karen, TN

    I don't see anything here that the Obama camp said about Hillary that isn't 100% true. In fact, I think there is a lot more they could have said but didn't. So, although it may be true that Obama has hit a serious bump in the road, bringing it up in response to this is just more desperate politicking. Clinton has been in hot water a lot longer than Obama has.

    March 21, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Hillblazer

    This is coming from the Obama camp who claims to run a positive campaign.

    If anything goes wrong in the Obama camp, he and their supporters are always jumping all over Clinton to blame her.

    This is politics and each person can judge for themselves.Remember, you're vote is private.

    March 21, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Fed up in Texas

    Oh, and CNN, will you please update your National Poll of Polls listing. Clinton is in the lead, not your boy Obama. Either play fair or don't play at all.

    March 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Mark (TWP)

    Call me crazy (or a typical white person) but isn't worshiping at a church where the pastor spews venom a little flawed?

    March 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. hms

    Is this the new style of politics.. the change???

    Sad..

    March 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Mr. M

    That was a really good laugh!

    March 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Joanna

    If she did eight things rightly and two things wrongly in her whole life, her mistaken rate is 20%. If he did one thing rightly and one thing wronglyin his whole life, his mistaken rate is 50%. Who is more accountable.

    March 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Veterans for Obama

    True...You can't be proud of how she has run this campaign. Even McCain is showing great restraint and integrity. Hillary is desperate for power. Why do you think she did not leave Bill after his many indescretions. That is not a strong woman.

    Obama is a Godsend! He alond with his millions of followers will change this country and put it on the right course.

    We need a uniter not a divider!

    March 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. Mr. C.

    Ofcourse... She is very messed up... I wonder why people are still voting for her? Its very sad. Wait till her tax return papers come out. America would be so disaapointed in her. And thats if she releases it before April 15 like she said which i beleive she wouldn't.

    March 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Texas for Hillary

    I think it is great idea to do-over in ohio!

    of course it doesn't count, but it will show the opinion of people that who is evil.

    clearly obama is dangerous evil, supported by CNN and MSNBC,

    March 21, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. John, OH

    Whoow!!!! Talk about campaing of hope and Future. Sen. Obama, you have lost little respect that I have with this.

    March 21, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Steve, NJ

    Let me quickly point out, before this blog gets nuked to hell by Clinton supporters, that this attack is based on factual evidence and is by no means considered to be "dirty".

    Now that that's cleared up....

    March 21, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Greg

    Senator Clinton is untrustworthy?

    This is where we say "Duh!"

    March 21, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Kimberly Beasley

    What happened to the story from Chrystia Freeland that it was Clinton's camp that contacted the Canadian government about NAFTA ,not Obama's?

    March 21, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Adam

    Sounds like mere desperation from the Obama camp once again. Give them a little pressure and they crack. At least, Hillary can hold her own when attacked or the tables turn.

    March 21, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. sacto joe

    Well, I guess the gloves are off. Let's see if Senator Clinton can do more than give punches....

    March 21, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Obama Spins out of Control

    Is Obama a complete idiot? Doesn't he have a court case that is in progress to be concerned with? And, what about Rev. Wright.

    Obama just does not get it and is reaching...

    March 21, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Rob

    Obama campaign is flawed, they havent even answered a question directly. Wow Cnn can you not be more biased honestly, these reports are ridiculous.

    March 21, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA

    I don't know about flawed, but she gives the impression of secrecy, which in itself is not wrong, but after Bush and Cheney for the past few years it just looks more terrible that it might actually be.

    March 21, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Straight Talk

    Hillary needs to address this straight on and not just try to turn it back on Obama. Obama had to address race straight on which is a much more difficult to address than a trade deal. I remember her saying in the debate that she privately had reservations about NAFTA. So why did she sit in meetings to help support it?

    March 21, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. efrem butler

    It just shows you that Hillary will do and say anything to get elected, and she and her husband will take the whole Democratic Party down if she isn't.

    March 21, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. Saad

    Given all the circumstances, from experience to a poised personality, Obama will be more of a 'deeply flawed' nominee than Hillary. Obama needs to wait a few more years, perhaps the next elections... he may be better prepared to deal with the challenges that this job brings.

    Hillary is not perfect, no one is. But she is lesser of the evils when between the two.

    March 21, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Jo

    WOW!! What a statement from an Obama camp that has him traveling about South Carolina with a gay hating Rev and then a relationship with his spiritual advisor Rev Wright that makes anti-American statements. Who is this guy??? At least we know all of Hillary's dirty laundry but everytime someone brings an Obama flaw to the surface the Democratic Party SWOONS and points their fingure elsewhere. I think it takes a lot of nerve to call someone dishonest when your own candidate is questionable.

    March 21, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Michael

    Hillary has the know how to get the world friendly with America again. She will fight for the american people black, white and every other color in this country. Let's keep america together.

    Obama who is a follower of Rev. Wright ........... need I say any more. Scary....

    March 21, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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