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. Katejonw

    These types of comments from the Obama camp are another reason why I have a very Uncomfortable feeling about him. How ridiculous is it to come out and say that Hillary supported NAFTA when she was first lady just because she sat in a couple of meetings. They are guilty of manipulating and misleading the public because they must be psychic to know what she was thinking and doing in those meetings based on an appointment book entry. LOL...Politics of hope and change.....Really...Looks like more of the same old nonsense to me.

    March 21, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Derrick, WI

    I think the DNC should address Hillary and her shenanigans. She has managed to make this election a circus. But she's a Clinton, what else can we expect?

    I'm so happy Barack has been able to rise above her antics and the American people have not let me down.

    March 21, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Charles Hardeman

    You think you can be married to a president for 8 years and not get a real good idea of how things work? Of course she has the experience. It's this kind of nitpicking that has put me off obama in a BIG way recently.

    March 21, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Saad

    CNN, why are all my comments appearing with "Your comment is awaiting moderation" even yesterday's ones do appear in the article but have the same heading? what is going on? can you email me at my address telling me what is it?

    March 21, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Maria Loi

    I dare you to publish my first comment!
    If not, shame on CNN

    March 21, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. WT

    Before we all start calling Obama by different names, perfom a search on the web and look for info on Hillary and the Clintons. See videos about them and there is plenty of info that backs the fact that Hillary will be a "deeply flawed nominee," and the Republicans will have a field day with her on the Nov election.

    We need to overcome the race/gender card and look a who will be the best choice to win the White House in Nov 08 and remove the republicans. The clear choice is Obama.

    March 21, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Joe Concern

    Dear CNN,

    Hi. You should turn that blog post on the context of Wright's sermon into a headlining article. Please? Think about it: you could be the first! You could save some face for having not been thorough to begin with.

    Also, shame on you guys for having not been thorough to begin with.

    March 21, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. bkvegas

    What about Obama's serious charactor flaw as a member of the Trinity church in Chicago. How much more of this do we have to take!

    March 21, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. erica

    If she is so dishonest, why did Obama come to see Hillary when he first got into the Senate to ask her advice because he admired her so much? If she is so dishonest, why, in a 2004 interview, did Michelle Obama say that the politcal wife she most admired was Hillary Clinton?

    Obama is just a divisive politician who will do anything to win.

    March 21, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Angus McDugan

    Here it comes... NAFTA and pardons are going to come to roost.

    March 21, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. VMCal

    Obama is going to make a great leader!
    Go Obama '08!

    March 21, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Jed in Texas

    I want to thank the Republicans,Democrats and the Media for another election of having to choose the lessor of two evils or write in Elmer Fudd.

    March 21, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. JOE SHMOE

    who cares it doesnt matter who u vote for any more. this country is baught and paid for many years ago. ALL HAIL CHINA

    March 21, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. hello

    Remember you can not critisize him if you do, he plays race card.

    March 21, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. AMK

    I guess political misleading is better than hiding behind your race.

    March 21, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. Chris, Orlando

    Obama, isn't your own campaign flawed if you're down by 12 percentage points over 1 week due to your alignment with the racist Reverend Wright? Your platform of words and unity and hope and the future and of transcendence has completely crumbled in a little more than a week. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    March 21, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. BAKERSFIELD

    look at all the lies hes made in just the last couple months. i wounder if that was a us paid meal that rev wright got in white house when he meet bill. god -- the us. i can see it now obama in the white house with rev wright and luis farrakan hating on the typical white americans and the us.

    March 21, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Laughable

    Clinton IS NOT a victim! Obama is echoing what the polls (i.e., voters) already know, Clinton is NOT to be trusted! Obama will have this nomination business wrapped up shortly. Please stop the bickering and help him win the general against McSame!!

    Obama 08!!

    March 21, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Nuwan Samaranayake

    This is just another cheap attempt by worried Obama camp to turn the topic.

    March 21, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. Carolyn

    Terry if you chang your vote that means you wasn't planning to vote for me in the first place.

    March 21, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Hillary is as honest as any politician. That is not the issue.
    I am not defending her as ALL are the same.
    I find it funny that Obama keeps saying he is a different kind of politician. He is no better than her.

    March 21, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Cindy

    Does this mean that Obama will vote for McCain if Hillary is the democratic candidate.. being so flawed and all

    March 21, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Tired

    There is a big difference between a clean campaign, and not pointing out flaws in your opponent.

    W. Bush pushpollers had people ask voters if they'd support McCain if he had an illegitimate black baby. Thats dirty campaigning.

    Clinton lied about Obama/Canada, with regards to NAFTA. Thats dirty campaigning.

    When McCain says he disagrees with the Dems on Iraq, and points out the "negatives" to their plans, its not dirty campaigning.

    When a politician points out a real flaw, without using "you're all gonna die" fear tactics (like Clinton's 3am phone call ad, /eyeroll) its not negative/dirty campaigning, its debating.

    Bunch of freakin children on here.

    March 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

    You guys are so simple minded!

    It would be a negative attack if he stated something that was unture... but it is now proven that she LIED to the voters in Ohio.
    She championed NAFTA, but disowned it when it became unpopular.
    THAT'S A TRUE STATEMENT!

    There is nothing wrong with pointing out what your appontent lacks. But he's not running around yelling at Hilary in front of reporters the way she did.

    Get a grip people!

    March 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. The Wonder

    Clinton Spokesperson: "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."

    Let's think about this– By making this statement, what, exactly, is the Clinton campaign trying to imply? Perhaps they could be more specific as to "what" there is for Sen. Obama to be ashamed of.

    March 21, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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