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. soberone

    NAFTA will be your waterfall hope you can swim

    March 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Corey's Corner

    Now the truth be told!

    March 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Noel Bynum, Winston Salem, NC

    If their is one thing worse than a dishonest politician, it is a dishonest politician who wears a halo on their head while they sling mud at someone else. I was impartial, i used to like them both. But I though Obama was about the politics of hope. He is now poll-pushing, mud-slinging, and attacking her for her character rather than on the issues or for her resume. Hillary has earned my vote for her professionalism, keeping her head high in the mids of this onslaught.

    March 21, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. brainsplus

    attacks, attacks, attacks are part of the political process

    March 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. mercy of los angeles

    Is this the kind of campaign that the Obama is endorsing? Is this what they called "CHANGE" in their campaign? Are they afraid of the new Gallup poll that Hillary is leading nationwide now?
    Well, I firmly believe that the Obama candidacy is in deep trouble. Just remember, the Republican has not started digging his dirt or did they? I'm wondering what else is in his closet.
    Now, let's talk about flawed!!!

    March 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Talk about Negative compaigning

    Obama compaigning trying desperately to throw mud at Clinton's compaiging, so old politics & negative compaiging. This is same old washing politics, this is what people tired of, Obama compaign is trying to frighten the voter just like they do all the time. Obama is playing old washington politics, talk about change haha!!!

    March 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. K in NH

    This is running a positive campaign?

    I'm sorry, but there are too many questions about Obama for me to have any confidence in him as a nominee, let alone as president. The Wright business, and Obama's varying explanations of it didn't help. Now this flip flop on campaign tactics tells me this isn't a person I want in charge.

    We'll know what we're getting with Hillary.

    March 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. A. Harrison

    Desperate to change the subject indeed. OBAMA please answer the questions straight about your Pastor.

    Hillary 2008!

    March 21, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Clinton is a fraud


    March 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Mac in FL

    Amazing at the depths to which the Obama campaign will sink.

    Charachter issues??? Flawed nominee?? Is this guy for real?? What planet is he from?

    In fact, the people are seeing the truth Mr. Plouffe, and they are deeply disturbed by the character flaws of Mr. Obama.

    I suspect everyone except the Obama followers will be unimpressed by these lame attacks on Senator Clinton. It is obvious that the Obama campaign is putting forth as many manipulative lies as they can conjur – much in the vein of those put forth by George Bush and his croonies.

    Furthering the notion of Obama as nothing but a liar and a fraud – thanks Mr. Plouffe – you have proved the point.


    March 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Ryan

    Clinton cannot mathemetically catch up.

    It's over, the DNC needs to step in and stop Clinton's kitchen sinking before she kitchen sinks the Democratic party. Lying, selfish woman.

    March 21, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Lawlesseyes

    Hey Barack what happened to your promise of no negative champaigning? Just another lie.
    Politics as usual. I was undecided, after this and all the other lies that are cropping, I am voting for Hillary.

    March 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. LYoung

    I find this laughable when Senator Obama just recently and blatantly lied to all of us about his knowledge concerning Reverend Wright's comments. I don't think you should be pointing the finger at another candidate when it's clear that your own house is not in order. Senator Obama's candidacy is about as flawed as it gets! But that's okay - because CNN will keep helping him with their biased pro-Obama stories. If you don't believe me just click on Obama's name and look at the long laundry list of adoring articles written about him. Click on Clinton's name and you won't find any such list. Nice to have fair, unbiased reporting - NOT!

    March 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. PT

    So much for a different kind of politics from Obama. Shame on him.

    March 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Florida Voter

    Just a thought. Wouldn't Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice make a great VP choice for McCain?

    March 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. JACObama

    There are some people you can just look at and know you can't trust them. They say don't judge a book by its cover. But in this case that cover is full of moth holes. I hope people wake up and see that this is just about power for the clintons.

    Why does she cherry pick states, why does she flip-flop????

    March 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Laura

    For a campaign that keeps saying they are different and want to take the "high road" Obama's campaign has repeatedly attacked Sen. Clinton's character while playing innocent. That doesn't seem much like the "high road" to me. Also, I don't see why Obama is claiming to be such a perfect candidate; from what I can tell he is equally "flawed", just look at his record or "bone-headed" mistakes. First Rezko, now Wright. Who's next?

    March 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. KMAN

    Throughout this long campaign Clinton has been constant in one area ... she has "consistently changed" positions, tack, tone and campaign themes ... and she has demonstrating a vile willingness to do anything to win. Ultimately, she would make for a horrible and very vulnerable presidential candidate when it comes to straight-talk and the perception of honesty!

    March 21, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Joyce

    WOW! Now we are clear who is runing the negative campaign here!

    If Obama gets the nomination, Democrats' chance is zero in GE.

    March 21, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Dave

    yes, she is obviously flawed. so are the rest of the candidates. they're all bought and paid for and will continue business as usual.

    March 21, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Haley Rodman Clemson

    Right... And Obama is above reproach? Not only does Obama have flaws, he has gaping holes when it comes to experience. Clinton certainly has weak areas but that is what VP's and cabinets are for. Seriously, Barack is the last person who should be pointing out inadequecies when he hasn't even shown us areas where he, himelf is adequate.

    March 21, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. SR

    Look in the mirror, Sen. Obama. You sure can't stand the heat, can you, whiner?

    March 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. NICK

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    March 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Diana, Anacortes, WA

    I'm glad someone has finally brought this issue out in the open

    March 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Connie

    Well, what the Obama camp says is true. If Hillary and Bill have any ethics at all, they're not apparent. They'll do anything to win...ANYTHING...not the least of which is to try to change the rules and the goalpost in midstream. How about all the Clinton scandals while they were in the White House? Do we want to even think of more years of that? I think not.

    OBAMA '08

    March 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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