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. andy

    How could anyone vote for such a negative and racially devisive candidate as Barack Obama, he is so negative.

    March 21, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Liz

    I am confused is but being a "liar" and having bad "Judgement" is ok???

    March 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Hoang, UC Berkeley

    Come on!
    The Obama Camp is pathetic.
    Instead of arguing about the issue, now they are attacking personality.
    How pathetic that is!

    March 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Hillary supporter

    And Obama is non-divisive candidate?

    March 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. mike

    I noticed the Clinton Camp didnt deny they mislead voters in Ohio.How anyone can vote for Hillary is beyond all comprehension.

    March 21, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Hawkeye

    Hillary has just not duped Ohio, but the rest of the country. Fortunately here in Iowa we saw her for what she is, a very dirty Washington Politician. Save the Democratic party now, DROP OUT, you are not smarter than a fifth grader.

    March 21, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. yviram

    For me, Obama is now trying hard to do anything to save his campaign.

    He has gone from talking about "I have a dream..." to "I have an excuse". Unfortunately, no one should be able to excuse hatred in any form against any human being.

    What is more disconcerting is that Senator Obama has essentally refused to distance himself from Rev. Wright.

    So the question for anyone contemplating an Obama vote should be, are we prepared to have Rev. Wright be the pastor to the White House?

    March 21, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Matt

    Hillary is "deeply flawed"...did we all suddenly get amnesia and forget about Wright?

    March 21, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Paul

    Obama you are the flawed one. Flawed in judgment, Wright and Rezko for example. Proven liar, i.e. Rezko and Nafta. You can't even transcend the racial issues in your own church.

    March 21, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. David, Texas

    I am simply amazed that the Obama campaign has reduced itself to the "Politics as Normal" with such rediculas, and slanderous accusations by simply looking at HRC's W.H. schedule. If anyone is dishonest here, it is the Obama camp for ridiculing other nominees as running a "Politics as normal" negative campaign, when they are doing the very same thing.

    I am sorry Senator Obama, you had me going there for a while about real change, but you are no different from the rest, just a bigger hypocrit

    March 21, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    What happened to the new kind of politics without the mud-slinging?

    March 21, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Michael

    If that ain't the pot calling the kettle black! Trustworthy? Calculating? What about top level officials in the Obama camp giving the "wink wink" to Canadian Officials over NAFTA? What about " I did not attend any inflammatory sermons with that man, Rev. Wright" only to be told later when it might come out that he did attend the sermons did he come clean? What about claims to being a different kind of candidate who will keep this campaign positive? Why the muddslinging? By the way, who makes up the Obama camp? These comments are comming from Mr. Showbiz himself, the cameleon, the slick one, the opportunist, the entitled one himself, Barak Obama. Will the real Barak Obama please stand up.

    March 21, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Essie

    Oh, Please you are grabbing at staws! Since when is it a crime to "SIT" in a meeting to get all the facts! Just because you were at a meeting does not mean You supported any issues! If that is the case, then What about "Obama" speech backing President Bush when we went to War 2002. Play that tape on CNN!!

    March 21, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Common Sense

    Karl Rove attacked Hillary Clinton using this flawed phrase in August 2007. It is critical for all the democrats to think clearly for themselves, for the party, and for the country.

    March 21, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Taruna

    we know that !

    March 21, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Walt, Belton,TX

    "Flawed" is much too nice a word.

    March 21, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Mary in AL

    This is an appropriate response to all of Clinton's public efforts to brag about electability.

    March 21, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. al

    If the Obama camps has this informantion. Then produce the facts of her role. Some type of document explaining her role at these meetings. Sen Obama preaches accountability. His camp should back up what they by releasing the information to the public. By reading the article, all I get from it is a personal opinion on what they think her role was at these meetings.

    March 21, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. JFK

    Another anti-Clinton article on CNN! What a shock! This is another rehash of whats getting to be a very repetitive slant on jounarlism

    March 21, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Steve

    iT'S amazeing Obama has another advisor say all this.I guess if it backfire's he will fire this one too. He can't speak for himslf .

    March 21, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Zia

    Obama is a once is a life time deal. This is our first chance to put the country back on track since 1988. Cant aford the same rut for another 4 years.

    March 21, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. TLG

    Is anyone surprised? This is just the tip of the iceberg. She is a flip flopper and will say anything to be elected. America needs a president with character and morals. A president that is HONEST.

    I have been a life long democrat and if somehow Hillary cheats, lies, or uses superdelegates to win the nomination I will NOT vote!

    If Obama does not win the nomination I hope he forms his own party or runs next election as an independant. We all know he doesn't need the DNC money, and he has the support of the popular vote to do so.

    OBAMA '08

    March 21, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. EW Iowa City

    This recent attack from the Obama campaign is very disheartening. The effort to oversimplify the challenges of real world politics that face all public officials runs counter to the spirit and sensibility of Obama's wonderful speech highlighting the complexity of race relations. Isn't it possible, indeed likely, that Hillary, in her capacity as First Lady, often felt compelled to take public positions that contradicted her personal preferences? Obama himself has had to face the same contradiction on numerous occasions.

    Unfortunately, the timing of these comments do make the Obama campaign look desperate. In the very least, these remarks remind us that no politician is completely above "politics as usual."

    March 21, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Mark, Chicago, IL

    This is just all to self- righteous for me...

    Who isn't flawed?

    Be aware of those slinging the righteous banner... it promotes egotism and narrow mindedness....

    March 21, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. Ed

    Sounds like the obama camp is very negative no change here the same old thing gee I want a president that sat under a pastor that hated America. The republican machine is gering up to crush Obama on that I know as a democrat I will not vote for him. Hillary 08 or mccain

    March 21, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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