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. mike

    geez, who's now doing the "dirty" politics? talking about being above the fray. give me a break obama!

    March 21, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. Kalle

    Hillary Clinton is very much a flowery facade with an insidious untrustworthy substance. I agree she is not worthy of any office of governing power. Her day in the sun is over.

    March 21, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. frank

    OBAMA CAMP IS RIGHT!

    March 21, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. Marge Hibbing Mn

    OH dear and with all the hate and vile obama and his supporters spew we should take THEIR word for gospel...sorta like obama's preacher and his hate and vile.

    March 21, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Goodheart

    This is hard to believe... after all this media coverage about Obama's 20 plus relationship with his anti-American spirtual advisor, and his camp is saying Hillary's the flawed nominee. I don't think so.... I can see those commercials running over and over again connecting Obama to his past relationship with his former "spirtual advisor."
    That means he will lose lots of votes and the election.

    It's interested this is coming from them right after the polls have been indicating Hillary is favored now nationally as the nominee and fares better against McCain.

    March 21, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Dina

    Oh now Hillary supporters will say " how can you attack Hillary- Obama is a fraud"

    For GOD"S SAKE...he just told the TRUTH....

    Dishonest politician...PLS go away

    March 21, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. George

    Would that be based on her record? How about we see Obama's schedule of events when he was a senator in IL for 8 years then we can verify then reach a reasonable conclusion. Coming from the people who talk about uniting the country and attends a church that literally divides the country is rather silly to believe. Hillary is a much better candidate than Barack. Honestly, if people knew what they know about Obama, he would probably not even be in this race at this point.

    March 21, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Go, Hillary 08!

    The Obama campaign will say anything to make Hillary look bad. So much for claiming they follow different politics.

    Obama you might win the primary election, but won't win the general election. I know many people who will vote for McCain if Hillary loses the primary to Obama.

    March 21, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Chitty Mwewa

    The people around Obama always seem to say the wrong things. Get with the program people, we are trying to win the nomination. Stop all this negative stuff and just do your Job.

    Gobama 08!!!

    March 21, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. GDK

    Clinton=liar

    March 21, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. Mark

    Obama is looking more and more desparate as the American people learn who he really is. He is a flawed and toxic candidate.

    March 21, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. H.Cummings

    It is not a negative campaign to point out the other candidate is greying out the truth. Reminds me of the current president. In every circumstace paint the picture rosy, even when most people know that it is not.
    Clinton is counting on the ignorant vote, just like Bush did. C'mon people pull your heads out!

    Obama/Edwards 08

    March 21, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Gayle Sledge

    We knew this in Texas where NAFTA benefits some and not others (e.g. Freidrich workers), so why were Ohio voters so "unknowing"? If Senator Clinton's base is blue collar older men & women, then what happened to their memories? I'm wondering if Ohio voters are having "buyer's remorse" (as Senator Clinton has coined) now?

    March 21, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. joe

    Barack Obama is disgusting. His words against Clinton: "desperate" and "will do anything to get elected" and "status quo" ring truer to his campaign than any other. He is a lier and a fraud and I wouldn't vote for him if he were the last candidate on earth. I hope he gets what he deserves for his lies and divisive tactics: nothing.

    March 21, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. Charles Hardeman

    So much for 'the new politics' then.

    i cant see myself voting for such a hypocritical mantra.

    March 21, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Mike, Houston, TX

    Barack, tell us something we don't know. Anyone who thinks Hillary is an honest woman is simply dillusional.

    March 21, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Rich D

    Obama's true colors are coming out. From the beginning, Hillary has constantly been attacked, and time and time again she's risen above it. Obama is attacked, and he sinks. Hillary has proven she can survive attack after attack and come back on top. This is what it takes to be president. Hillary is ready. Obama is not.

    March 21, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. SDT

    Does anyone see how nasty the Obama whiners are...this type of approach has been consistently taken by these people – this is not change – this is like the Swift Boaters of the Democrats against the Democrats. It has not stopped since the very beginning of his campaign – seems he get other to do his name calling – shoud we star calling him Teflon Obama. I am sick of it.

    If this type of garbage does not stop and if Obama becomes the candidate, then I say vote for Nader and I am a pretty die hard Democrat – but I have had it.

    March 21, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Brian

    What we are seeing here folks is the Obama team attempting to put the nail on the coffin.

    March 21, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Phil in Texas

    How can we trust Senator Clinton?????? She lied to the people of Ohio for votes!!! What's going on here?? If I was living in Ohio, I would be OUTRAGED!!!! I would expect here to come to my state and ask for a re-vote!!!

    March 21, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. May from MN

    Lets be frank about the real issues here. Obama's campaign is in real touble here. His side talks a lot of talk about her throwing the kitchen sink strategy and Obama is the one who is desperate here to discredit her and take some of the glare off of himself in connection with his `

    March 21, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Maria

    I'm surprised he didn't call her a "typical white person" like he called his grandmother yesterday.....And isn't it convenient that Obama HAS NO RECORD to examine! On any controversial votes in the Illinois Senate, he typically voted "present". That is NOT AN HONEST LEADER.

    March 21, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Robin

    The problem is that, everyone says negative attacks are bad, then we see over and over that it works, even if it is completely irrelevant or false. Voters buy negative campaign very well, so it is sold to them over and over. Isn't it the case?

    March 21, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. JP SW

    CNN, you are consistent. With every article and with your bias support of Barack Obama, you convert another to Hillary Clinton.

    I never expect Anderson Cooper's fall from grace.

    March 21, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Tamara, Chespeake, VA

    These are not the words of Obama, but a surrogate. I feel that both candidates have lost their voice in the midst of this chaotic primary. We all need to step back and allow the candidates to once again speak for themselves.

    March 21, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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