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. jman

    Like Obama is any more trustworthy... I would rather have Clinton as President, than somebody who sat for 20 years listening to how bad the white man is!!

    Obama is as vague as ever, and the only change he has is mystery!

    March 21, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. suzy

    You have got to be kidding me!

    What is flawed is Obama insinuating that this country has made NO strides in our racial divide. We have made HUGE strides.
    I am a white woman, and have many African American friends, and we talk about race all the time. This country is NOT what it used to be in regards to race. Do we still have work to do – yes. But, I worry that his tone and the tone of his church will erase what has been done.

    But, it offends me to suggest that we haven't made any progress.
    Look around you.
    I think maybe if Obama got away from his church, he would see more objectively what racial progress is in this country.

    Hillary is flawed???? And you're not?

    March 21, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. tom - Democrat

    Obama go get a life! Stop attacking just because you want to win.

    March 21, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. rudy

    Hillary deeply flawed!?!? Take a good look in the mirror Barack – you're a liar and a hypocrite and yet you claimed to be bringing a new style of politics to Washington! give me a break

    HILLARY 08

    March 21, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. dmw

    Look whose calling the kettle black. Obama is flawed as well. I'd rather have Clinton's flaws rather than having a racist, like Obama as the Democratic Presidential nominee.

    March 21, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. sally

    They are all flawed but Obama is the worst!

    March 21, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Will

    Geez, that picture is reason enough not to vote for her...

    March 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Nathan Springfield, MA

    Deeply flawed is putting it lightly! It is about time Obama tells this truth about Hillary. People may see it as going negative but sometimes the truth just hurts. The truth will be exemely painful for the Clintons because they have a consistantly displayed a general lack of respect for it! Timberlake to Hillary– It's too late to apologize. It's too late. Please save the tears!

    March 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. DrFill

    Both sides are right.
    Good post!

    March 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Carl

    What do you expect the opposition camp to say about who they are running up against???? That they would be GREAT if they were president?

    OF COURSE NOT... not a news story worth printing

    March 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Mel

    Imagine that, someone from the Obama camp saying something bad about Hillary. And of course, CNN is on the job reporting it. What is Obama afraid of as far as a re-vote in Florida? The people of Florida are not the ones that broke the rules, but you are taking away their constitutional right to vote. What Obama is saying is that the people of Florida should not have a say in who their president should be. That is because if they re-voted in Michigan and Florida he would not win and he knows it.

    March 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. navy wife

    Finally, we get down to the nitty gritty. I'm so glad the Obama campaign is spelling this out for those who fail to do their own research and only rely on soundbites and the talking heads in the mainstream media. Bravo!

    Obama '08

    March 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. JM

    Of course it goes without saying that in the political dog fight there is an ever constant need to skew the topics and shine the spot light towards the negatives of the other candidate. I do not see Obama as being in such hot water, he's ahead of Clinton and if anyone is in hot water it's Clinton. She will more than likely win PA but really she's a long way from knocking Obama out of her way. The Clinton campaign has pulled back on their attacks considerably but they can hardly pretend innocence. I also believe that what the Obama camp is saying is correct, Clinton is a master at shape shifting and smoke screens. She's aware that Michigan does not count, then she's all over everyone to change the rules and make it count. In this attempt, she puts herself out there as one who is "fighting for justice," when in fact she's just fighting as usual. This is a very typical pattern of behavior for the Clinton's and many will fall for it as we see from the polls, there are also many many who will not.

    March 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. Nisha

    Wow! It's funny how every time the Obama campaign questions Hillary's actions they are accused of attacking her. What does Obama being in "political hot water" have to do with her lying and trying to deceive voters? He wasn't in political hot water before Ohio, but she was on the verge of losing another state and she did whatever was necessary to ensure she won. Hillary is pathetic as well as everyone on her campaign.

    By the way, I'm still waiting on the 30+ years of experience to be proven. I have reviewed her schedule for the time she was in the White House and I am not impressed. I have also traveled to numerous countries as a military soldier, hmmm.... maybe I should run for president... I would have more experience than Hillary

    March 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Maria - Texas

    OMG – Look who is talking!

    March 21, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. bessie

    Whatever! I guess Obama is no different than any other politicians cause he's relying on sneaky attacks and tactics just like all other politicians. At least Hillary does not pretend to be someone she's not. HILLARY 08

    March 21, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Rohit Singh

    Well said Plouffe. Ohio voters must be feeling pretty stupid now. Wake up PA or you will feel the same too.

    March 21, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. errrr

    Is Obama supposed to be a "new" politician, who would distance himself from the "old" Washington political dirty tricks?

    March 21, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Robert

    Hers is indeed a flawed candidacy, not only because of obvious character issues, but because the two largest enterprises she has ever run have demonstrated her inability to be an effective leader. Her health reform effort collapsed because of her secretive, my-way-or-the-highway approach. And her campaign continues to careen from from financial problem to another - hardly the leadership we need for the U. S. economy. As for "foreign policy experience," flying around the world on your husband's coattails to have tea and cookies with other first ladies hardly qualifies you to be commander and chief.

    March 21, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Jorge lopez

    After what happend this last week with Obama , I will never vote for him insted I will vote for Hillary Clinton...and if this guy that new his Uncle was saying God Dam America wins the Nomination I will be glad for the 1st tiem to vote McCain...

    March 21, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Judy

    I guess Obama isn't wanting to run a clean campaign after all, not using negative attacks is off the table. what happened to the rhetoric about your "new politics"?

    March 21, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Jack Cavanaugh, Portland, OR

    I am an Obama supported, but this kind of attack on a fellow democrat saddens me.

    We are on the same side, lets remember that


    March 21, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. jgzeger

    David Plouffe says that it would be "nearly impossible" for Hillary to win a general election. It seems to me that statement would be better applied to Barak Obama as both the latest Fox and Gallop polls show Clinton ahead of McCain (46% to 43% and 46% to 44%, respectively) while Obama either trails or is tied with the Republican (43% to 44% and 45% to 45%, respectively).

    March 21, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Beans

    Her trustworthiness is not even a question–it's a fact that she cannot be trusted. Going way back to her earlier years with Whitewater and covering up for her husband's escapades, and most recently with lying about her support of NAFTA and how much experience she had in the White House shows that she continues to lie if it makes her or her husband look better.

    My question is, how long has she been like this? Did she just become corrupt under the influence of her husband, or are there things prior to her being a Clinton that should be examined. Her manipulation and deviciveness stand in the way of our country making any progress.
    In addition to her lack of integrity and character, I am also concerned about her ability to work with others. Check out her flexibility on "her" health there even room for anyone else to change a thing? NO–and you know that no one gets EXACTLY what they want or plan.
    Lastly, we need to look at her mental stability. Up/down, yell and scream/cry, glare and complain/smile and joke. She has done a real dis-service to women by showing off her many sides.
    On the other hand, look at Barack Obama–Mr. Flexibility, opening up to others and their opinions, a model of integrity, and stable...always so stable. He's the man we need to get behind!

    March 21, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. D.C. Mataya

    We are Obama supporters- but, disappointed in some words used by
    the Obama camp.
    Dishonest Politician.... is too strong to describe Clinton's actions- prefer mislead on some issues- not such a blank statement. Now, the Obama camp is being unfair. Please tone down the rhetoric! If Obama is not the nominee- we will
    choose to not vote in the upcoming election.

    March 21, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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