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. foday

    I support that 100%. I have never seen a woman who is a the most secretive, on trustworthy person I have ever heard of or seen.

    March 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. JJ

    I told you so.

    March 21, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. JJ

    Please!

    March 21, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Mike

    WELCOME PRESIDENT JOHN McCAIN!!!!

    March 21, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Andrea

    Obama, do you really think that you are going to carry Clinton supporters if you get the nomination? NO WAY! There is no way in hell I would support you after you claim to be a new type of politician and yet you continue to use negative and misleading information at every chance you get. You will lose the general election against McCain if you get the nomination. People are beginning to see through your empty rhetoric, and the affects from your poor judgment by having long-term relationships with Wright and Rezko will surely make the republicans case that much easier in the fall.

    March 21, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Former Obama supporter

    Are you kidding me? Obama IS a flawed nominee. He has become unelectable and he will not win the general election. Only Clinton can beat McCain.

    March 21, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Eric

    Obama threw his grandmother under the bus the other day stating that she made racial comments like his pastor and then he states that his grandmother is a "typical white person". Now that is a flawed candidate.

    March 21, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Lora B.

    Oh please.......now it appears as though the Obama camp will do or say anything to get the spotlight off of him.

    This doesn't change the fact the Obama refuses to distance himself from Rev. Wright and his hate-filled speeches.

    March 21, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. shame on hillary

    she will do anything to win.

    March 21, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. aj

    I thought Barack was above this kind of attack? Yeah, right, just showing his true colors now, same old politician as everybody else. And that would be more acceptable if he wasn't pretending to be morally superior to other politicians. Fact is Hillary offers the same things as Barack (same policies) but she knows the Whitehouse and how to get things done. Barack peaked to soon and is on the downturn now. The naieve college students that make up his base will lose interest pretty soon.

    March 21, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Couldn't last forever...

    Or even a full year. So much for the positive change candidate. I wonder if they truly think voters are stupid?

    March 21, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Jon

    SPIN, SPIN..... more Obama spin! We're all getting dizzy from the ridiculous behavior of his campaign. We thought Obama was a "different" type of politician but we've found out differently! It's downhill from here on out.

    March 21, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Dan in Chicago

    But I thought the ever-so-wonderful Obama Camp didnt lower itself to personal attacks and didn't follow the "typical playbook". Oh wait, but now they're desperate...

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

    Well, Obama has lost any right to claim his campaign is about hope and change. That is by far the most personal and NEGATIVE attack by any candidate in either party for years. As soon as it gets tough, he becomes all those things he claimed he wasn't. Well, the only thing he still lacks to be a true example of politics as usual is experience. I thought I might vote for him if he got the nomination...but not now.

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

    Sad that its come to this, but its all true. She could never win a general election, and she is dishonest.

    March 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. shechild

    Obama your true colors are coming out!!!

    March 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. GBB

    Barack knows it's over so they're throwing out everything they've got, the fat lady has been notified. bye bye Obama!!

    March 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Tom,des moines

    I think Obama is liar,fraud and a hypocrite.

    March 21, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. bernice

    Will she cry again ? Or will she come with her many faces and tell America how it her right to be President??

    March 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. hsl

    The Obama campaign is talking about honesty? NOT

    March 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. shelly

    It's about time the Obama campaign talks about Hillary's fatal flaw. No one who doesn't have an interest in her becoming president believes a word she says.

    March 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Nakae

    I think everyone BUT Hillary knows she is unelectable.

    The fake 'controversy' of the past few days doesn't compare AT ALL to Whitewater, Lewinsky, pardons-for-sale, campaign finance scandals, etc .

    March 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. V in CA

    SHE'S not trustworthy? Are you kidding me? Obama must really be desperate to come out with this statement right now after lying just less than a week ago about his pastor. And Rezko contributions.

    And is this the kind of "new politics" he based his campaign around, a campaign of "hope" and "unity" and "no negative campaigning?"

    Come on, Obama. Don't be so childish.

    March 21, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Citizen

    Nice to hear somebody say the truth about Clinton. She and Willy are deeply flawed morally.

    March 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. pbj

    Memo from McCain to Obama: Hey, Barack, let's you and her fight!

    Keep it up Dems because it's more important to bash each other than to focus on what the real objective is: winning the White House back. No wonder the Republicans keep winning.

    March 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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