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. La Raza

    What I've been saying all along.

    March 21, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. cj-delhi,ny

    This is true...she has also talked about getting our troops out right away and ending the war. She also talked about how we need to stay in it to win it on an MTV special. Watch out she is slick.

    March 21, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Rob

    It is funny how this sharp attack comes right after Obama gets attack by the media and the american people on how his childhood priest is a racist. I guess he couldnt shake it off with his speech so now he has to go after hilary. Isn' this the type of campaign he said he wouldnt be runnig. So who is the liar and untrustworthy one now?

    March 21, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Jan Reynolds

    Senator Clinton cares about nothing but getting into the White House. She has shown herself to be dishonest and mean spirited and makes Karl Rove look like Santa Claus. Bill Clinton is just as bad. He wants a third term and a chance to redeem himself for his own blemished White House years.

    March 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Max Kil

    once a liar always a liar. The truth is known now about NAFTA I believe voteres in Ohio are fuming now about . No one wants to be lied to.

    March 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. C. Vandenburg

    . . . Clinton, Bush, Clinton, Bush . . . Bad American morale. . . . .change . . . . . .refreshing. . . . change.

    Obama 08.

    March 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Lin

    Obama camp are you kidding me? Just because you say it's "deeply flawed" it's deeply flawed?

    I have a concern for Obama's IQ now, and I have for George Bush. That picture of Bill with Wright?

    Give me a break!!!

    March 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. David

    I would never vote for you Clinton.………..You allowed Bill to have affairs in your own backyard, not once but 10 times. If you cant take care of your own house, how can you take care of America.

    Untrustworthy Lady of the Year
    Divorce Bill and go home

    March 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Veterans for Obama

    Hillary, you have the blood of 4,000 dead soldiers and tens of thousands of crippled, burned, disfigured, and mentally fatigued veterans on your hands.
    Have you no conscience?
    What have you done for the men and women you sent to war?
    Nothing....that is why the vast majority of Veterans support Obama over Hillary. He is the only candidate that has tackled the issues facing returning war vets.

    Obama is a Godsend.

    March 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Ruslyn Schultz

    It's so cute that American's think they can trust politicians. I could just pinch you all!

    March 21, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. chad

    well, isn't this the pot calling the kettle black? Either one of them are honest, Obama shows behind in the polls against McCain. Congrats to the dems! The one year there is no excuses for them to lose the white house they have screwed it up only like the dems can do.

    March 21, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Anna, Florida

    This is why I could NEVER vote for Obama. McCain is going to win Florida by large margins come November. Politics of the future? Yeah right! I think McCain will be a stronger leader then Obama. He is the reason that millions of people in florida voices will be unheard.

    Anna
    Florida Democrats for McCain!!!

    March 21, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Seam

    What is going on? Obama is becoming desperate and the kind of politics he was speaking about deteriorated in a span of one week. I voted for him and donated but I see him now as very conniving and destructung politician. Obama has no experience, but i voted for him based on character and now that has gone! he has no experience, no judgment, and no character, ane very devisive for this country now. I hope it is not too late

    March 21, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Mad Texan

    HUH? Some nerve OBAMA. To claim Hillary is not trustworthy after what you have shown the voters. GET REAL. If she not electible then why is she leading you in popular votes by 250,000 votes. You are a liar, a deciever (Rezko), and a do nothing person who claims to not have supported the Iraq war. We will never know about that one will we? Since you were not even in the position to know what the dickens was going on. Had no vote, saw no report and was only a State Senator at the time. (They don't have a say in national legislation). You keep bringing up the NAFTA thing. Most everyone in congress at the time, Repulicans and Democrats alike thought it was a pretty good plan. But, as foresight would have it, IT LIKE REGANOMICS failed). Now you want to use it against her who had no vote on that matter either. GET REAL OBAMA. You are a dishonest person who can not tell the truth Besides what can you lay your name too that was so good for this country beside your wicked mouth? HILLARY 08

    March 21, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Rick

    Mrs Clinton is a politician through and through. Her stance on the issues changes with each primary. Her people tell her what the voters are concerned about and she gives the answer they want to hear.
    She is not a good choice for President, very flawed character and always wanting to rewrite history. Mrs Clinton, you need to make a decision and stay with it. We can't change things in life after we have new information.

    March 21, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Brian

    The Obama people are only voiving what the majority of Americans already recognized. The Clintons, both of them, lie when it suits them. Politics are their way of life and they know how to play the game with the best of them. This is what we have had in this country for the last 20 years. To elect Hillary would be saying it's o.k and your happy with the state of the United States. Hillary's trained chickens can say whatever they want...you will notice they did not address the real issue that dealt with NAFTA...they threw more dirt that had no basis in fact.

    March 21, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Bob Stephens

    It's about time that Obama took the gloves off. Hillary has been getting away with murder.

    March 21, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Jeff

    WOW, there's a surprise...A Clinton considered untrustworthy...what really amazes me is that ONLY 53 percent of Americans think she's untrustworthy...I guess the other 47 percent are either undecided or simply clueless....

    March 21, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. Andrew, Chicago

    It's disappointing to see Senator Obama going so negative, especially in light of other recent contradictions. Seems an awful like politics as usual.

    March 21, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Christian, Tampa FL

    I am an Obama supporter and I believe that what they are saying is true, but I wish they wouldn't get so negative and almost personal. That's Clinton's job and they should let her do that dance alone.

    March 21, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Stavy

    She is too flawed now for democrates to stomach. For her to say the legitimacy for the nominee will be in question without FL and MI, after she had agreed with the dem party that they will not count and publicly said that, is flawed judgement. I think she completely lost the superdelegates with that statement.

    March 21, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Anonymous

    My issue is with Obama now that he is blocking the votes of the people of MI and FL. I have now seen a completely different side of him then he portrays on the campaign trail. He is only concerned that his results will be threatened if he allows those votes to be counted. Who is he to determine that we should only consider 48 states to elect a nominee or distort by giving him more delagates then is represented by the peoples votes. He is a politician with not real concern for the people of this country just whether he wins this nomination.

    March 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Exodus

    To the OBAMA campaign your time has come where the good people of America finally realized what you stand for. I hope its not to late.
    Hillary/Edwards 08

    March 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. NewMexicanDem

    So much for the audacity of hope and new politics. Barack is a typical politician although he convinced several million morons otherwise.

    March 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. TJ

    Time for me to consider voting for John McCain. I do not approve at all with what Clinton and Obama are doing to each other.

    March 21, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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