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. Leah

    More flawed than Rev Wright?

    March 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Adam

    NEWS FLASH OBAMA....WE DONT TRUST YOU NOW!!!

    March 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Will Johnston

    Let's face it folks, Hillary is a seriously flawed person. One moment she's saying that the Michigan and Florida votes should not count, and the next when she's down in delegates they suddenly should count. The fact of the matter is that a Hillary Clinton administration would be full of scandals and investigations by The Republicans because they hate her and Bill Clinton sooooooooo very much. They are just dishonest people who have consistently lied and bent truths when it's politically advantageous.

    March 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Lamarr

    Reprehensible.....simply reprehensible. To speak about the Hillary Clinton being "flawed and having character issues", I strongly believe both Obama and his camp need to look in the mirror. Obama has yet to really address the underlying reasonings of how a U.S. senator and aspiring Presidential candidate could be "so unaware" of the racially biased and anti-american preachings of his mentor to the tune of 20 whole years.

    Further, Obama categorizing All White americans as "Typical" shows serious flaws in his character and really needs to be investigated and tested by the media. Are you up for the virtuous task CNN?

    March 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. HAM

    Looks like Obama is coming apart at the seams...

    It's over... the photo of Clinton with Wright, the typical white people comment... not this... their losing it and know it.

    Put a fork in him... He's done!

    March 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. Seattle Sue Seattle, Wa.

    I thought Obama said he was above personal attacks.

    March 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. txpoodoo

    We are now knowing why Mrs. Clinton did not want those records out. I now wonder too if she doesn't want her tax records released for the same reasons......

    All I see when I look at her is a lying, manipulative person that will do anything for power. I wonder if there is a help group she can join to help her out?

    March 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Gerald

    Here we go again. Now that Senator Clinton is ahead. The other camp has to tear her down. Seems too practicable. As long as she was even or a little behind in numbers, the Obama people only talked about their candidate. Tacky.

    March 21, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Matt - Florida

    This is starting to get a little old.

    March 21, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Irene

    BOTH candidates are deeply flawed, each in their own way.

    Where is Edwards when we need him most?

    March 21, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. marianna

    Obama camp is desperate now – they can see that they no longer can secure the nomination and will likely lose it. It's time for Obama to drop out!

    Go Hillary !!!

    March 21, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. Jessica, MI

    "flawed" is actually a nice way to put it

    March 21, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Matt

    Same old Obama camp tactics. Whatever the rhetoric, Obama's campaign has always been "business as usual", Washington-style. He's been saying that Hillary is for-sale to lobbyists for months. I'm not aware of one instance where she changed her vote because of a contribution. Perhaps if he finished one term in the Senate, Obama could end up being the best President in our history, but right now he's an under-experienced intellectual using the same old hackneyed outsider claims.

    March 21, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. anne oconnor

    you are so stupid, get a grip, Clinton would be a better president than Obama in a day of the future.............GROW UP.............

    March 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Real Democrat

    Nice... Hillary can't win...

    March 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Pete F., Denver, CO

    So much for hope and change! Now it's time for some mudslinging!

    March 21, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Niyi Charles

    I can't help but wonder at how desperate Senator Clinton is to get to be the nominee.

    Her motivation seems to me to be a desire to be the first female nominee than a desire to beat McCain in the general election.

    She misled us about NAFTA and other very sensitive issues. This character flaw will sure come back to hurt her candidacy.

    March 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Bill Richardson

    I'm ashamed for Bill Richardson given all that the Clinton's have done for him. This would be the same for all other Super Delegates that have changed sides.

    It amazes me how some will turn on you. And, you want me to have trust in my Government...

    March 21, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Cheryl

    It is a mystery to me how any rational person could not come to the conclusion that Hillary will say or do just about anything to get elected. I mean shouldn't we hold people accountable for saying false things?

    March 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Sebastian Kent

    The idea that Hiliary Clinton has more experience .... the vaunted 35 years of experience is laughable ... taking credit for ceremonial meetings and accompanying the president on overseas travel is not relevant ...

    If it were, Millie would have succeed George ....(Bush)

    March 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. carolfowery

    not as flawed as your oponent to say the least, for someone who made an entire speech on getting beyond racial barriers in this country, he sure has stirred up a mess

    March 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Exodus

    Obama what a hypocrit. You even threw your 86 yr old grandmother under the bus. You will stop at nothing to get this nomination but in the end you will be defeated in November.

    March 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Alston

    ..No matter what you say, Hillary misled voters over her stance towards NAFTA and her win in Ohio is ONLY because of that..

    ..shes flip-flopped over the Iraq issue and now this.. voters without blinkers should take due note

    March 21, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Slick

    This isn't news. We already knew she was flawed..Let us count the ways....

    March 21, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Bonnie

    I mistyped my last statement. It should read that it is NOT working.

    March 21, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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