March 21st, 2008
03:40 PM ET
7 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. chadnnocal

    I guess Obama has given up on his message of "change". The longer this goes on the clearer we are able to see Obama is no different than any other politician.

    I voted for him in the Primary but would not vote for him again today.

    March 21, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Rich

    Things must be desperate in Obamaland. His campaign is in a nosedive so he steps up the negative attacks. Doesn't sound like an agent of change to me. Sounds like just another politician – only without a resume. Superdelagates take note – vote for the candidate who actually has a chance in November. Vote for Hillary.

    March 21, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. MJaber

    Clinton is a deeply flawed nominee.
    Obama for 2008!

    March 21, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Dan, Illinois

    Wow...these Democrats are tearing each other apart day after day. How is this party ever going to unite by November???

    March 21, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. AXH

    Tell us something we don't already know! Come on people wake-up Hillary Clinton needs to go, get out of the race and stop wasting America's time!

    March 21, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. orlando

    Obama is deeply flaw and he plays a race card. A self claimed uniter is actually a divider.

    March 21, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Tosha-Atlanta, GA

    This is not about changing the subject-this has always been about the Clintons will stop at nothing to win the nomination. Americans are fully aware that she cannot be trusted. Hillary, please concede so we can begin to unite the Democratic Party

    March 21, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. Ken, Austin TX

    Way to go Plouffe! I've been waiting for the Barack Obama campaign to come out fighting. It's time for you guys to start exposing the truths about Hillary. I'm tired of her and her supporters acting like she is a saint, when we all know that is far from true. I must say that I'm happy to see Barack on the attack side. Lay the clean politics to the side for a moment, and tear into Hillary with ALL of your might!

    March 21, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Dan

    I guess "Not this time" was just an excuse Obama was using

    March 21, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Eddie Fisher

    Talk about political expediency! Wow; the Obama camp really stops at nothing. What happened to all of the hope, change, raising one another up and not knocking each other down? What happened to ensuring that nothing is said about the other candidate that could hurt him or her in a General Election? Guess that only goes when Obama is up in the polls, huh? As soon as that changes, so does his rhetoric.

    I was on the fence between Clinton and Obama, but will definitely support Clinton now. And if Obama is the nominee, I will be voting for McCain - first time ever in 35 years I'll vote Republican, but all faith in Obama's credibility and judgment at this point is completely gone.

    March 21, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Lisa Gross

    It is obvious that we have every right to question Mrs. Clintons ability to tell us the truth, because she lied to us before. She lied in Ohio, stating that she was always against NAFTA, now we find out that she attended at least 11 meetings where she met with groups and she promoted NAFTA. I don't believe she is capable of being truthful!

    March 21, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. jessica

    I can't believe the Obama campaign is going desperate. This is totally unnecessary. Launching personal attacks is not the way to win the election. Words like these disgrace yourself.

    March 21, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. debbie

    Whether you back clinton or obama. I think we should really research each candidate because these issues are important and we have the right to investigate. Let's stop trusting these news sources and take our time and really READ for ourselves. I am finding out that some of the candidates DO NOT WANT YOU TO READ! Exercise your right to ???? everything. Instead of judging what HILLary says or what Obama says find out for yourself..... Wouldn't it be a shame if McCain wins because you the American did not educate yourself......

    Democrat for President 08'!!!!

    Let's go DEMOs, Let's go!!!!!!!!!

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Russell, NC

    The Clintons are very dishonest.

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. From MD

    Who's using a kitchen sink strategy? Obama sickens me.

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Ramin

    Obama is not a trusted person to fight against terrorism, even he could be friend of them.

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Jamaal Kansas City Kansas

    Thank you for finally telling the American people the Truth about the shady Clinton's. They will stop at nothing to destroy to win and are setting out to destroy the party if they don't.

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Jim Kansas

    Coming from the camp of a Chicago Democrate, really.

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Michael David

    For Hillary it's about winning at almost...............any cost! Her campaign's continual misleading attempts to demean and put down Obama is her sign of complete and utter desparation. Prior to all this, I held a certain amount of respect for Hillary but her "Kitchen Sink" tactics against Obama have really turned me off!

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. broadcast

    The Clinton's nonstop attacks on Sen. Obama is making him look more and more presidential by the minute! If she wants to put distance between a negative then she needs to cuts ties with her husband, whom she has been keeping in the background. We will NOT have two VPs! Your White House papers just surfaced and it clearly shows your exaggeration of your work and experience!

    Sen. Clinton you can't keep treating the public like imbeciles!

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Anne

    Clinton and Obama both appear to be deeply flawed.

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. s.b.

    The polls tell a different story of electablility. One that isn't good for Obama.

    March 21, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Lea Fountain Hills, AZ

    The Obama campaign is clearly desperate – anything to get ahead. Sorry Obama – you are on a sinking ship, with your Rev Wright as a captain.

    March 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. VIVIAN

    All I've gotta say is OUCH! Everything he said is true though. I've kinda been waiting for them to say this. To the Clinton camaign. SHUTUP!

    March 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Franky, New York, NY

    Sore losers...the Obama camp is shifting into negativity to 'wag the dog' of their own issues with inflaming the race issue. They're stooping to name-calling and all other tactics appropriate for grammar school playground politics. I though St. Barack was above all this fray??

    GO HILLARY 2008!

    March 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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