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. Terry

    That's what Obama calls a "clean" campaign? He keeps saying we should be lifting up the country instead of pushing everyone down. He looks more and more fraud everyday. I am changing my vote.

    March 21, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. Sean Chong

    Barack, just another politician.... negatively attacking another candidate.... it just showed us something: He's simply in the scene too short of a time to commit the errors that past politicians commit... I'll enjoy another politician in the white house, if Obama is elected.... he's just like any other politicians... I'd rather go for one who have the track records so that I know that person better, how they change their minds etc.

    Obama, you still have a long way to go...

    March 21, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Jose Card - Independent

    "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." – Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.

    This is the best line of response to Hillary's challenge, "Are you afraid of a re-vote, Obama?"

    March 21, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Laurencia

    Gosh, let's talk about dishonesty, shall we? Let's not even go too far back to the NAFTA controversy or the plagiarism charge.

    Obama lied about how much money Rezko raised for him. Now that Rezko is being tried, he's trying to cover his behind by changing the figure and releasing lists of who gave him what.

    Obama lied about not ever hearing about Wright's inflammatory and toxic idealogy. And then in his red herring speech, he admitted that he had heard it before. Who's fooling who?

    The New Black Panther party has endorsed Obama. Of course, now that our ears are open, he says he rejects that endorsement. He did the same with with Farrakhan – trying to downplay the Farrakhan connection but thanks to Hannity on Foxnews, the story is out. Who knows what we'll hear about the Black Panther connection tomorrow.

    So long as one thread has come undone, that's it. There will be more news. I am sure of that. Obama is dishonest. He's fooling this country. People have taken the bait. He's been indoctrinated for 20+ years and he's on a mission to carry out the mission of the radical African American leaders (no wonder he calls this a movement)! He's been projecting the anger of the radicals and guilt of White America on us very successfully. Wake up, America!

    March 21, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. Ruth

    It is truly about time that someone called on Sen. Clinton to account for many discrepancies in her "politics" that are glaringly evident to any American who wants to objectively review them and divorce their minds from race and gender issues. I am a middle-aged, white, female who initially supported her but after careful study with every attempt to remain objective am completely turned off by the frequent contradictions she has made and continues to make. Yes she voted for the war, be honest and just say it- there is more veracity in a politician who admits their mistake but vows to the people to work ardently at doing what she can to make things better now, bring our troops home as soon as possible and take care of our veterans. Stop trying to misle us on Nafta, if you supported it just say it. Politics like life is always in flux- conditions are going to change and people have to adjust their thought processes and policies to best address the issue at hand. I am now convinced that mentally she is much like George Bush- bull headed and deceitful. She will lie to the American people to save face versus just saying we have made a mistake based on false information but will rectify it now. Such an attempt by GWB 4 years ago might have saved us from having to commemorate our 5th anniversary in Iraq this past week.

    March 21, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. Jose'

    That's a nice way to put it.

    SNAFU would be more appropriate.

    Sad thing is, Obama would be worse.

    March 21, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Patty Fogle

    It's unfortunate the Obama campaign has to go on the attack and call Clinton a "deeply flawed" candidate.
    Obviously, the Obama campaign has had a few issues these past few weeks and is trying to shift the spotlight to Clinton as her results in polls continue to climb.

    P.S. If Clinton's minister had made such scornful statements as Senator Obama's did, Clinton would have been crucified by the media and hung out to dry.

    March 21, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Lulu

    Still STICKING with Obama!!!! Houston, Texas

    March 21, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Craig

    The Republicans want HRC for a reason, so much dirt they wouldnt even have to try. GWB could probably beat her.

    March 21, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    This attack on Hillary is the last straw for me, I will under no circumstance vote for Obama.
    The only place you will find any politician and that includes your Barack Obama that does not lie, or shade the truth is with all the other now honest people and that is in the cemetary six feet under.

    March 21, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. Jeffrey

    Obama campaign is misleading the voters not Hillary

    I, say if Hillary does not get the nomination that all the people who voted for Hillary vote for McCain or Nadar.I,am

    March 21, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Sophia

    CNN, why haven't you posted my comment?

    March 21, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Glory

    CNN comeon! Attack means lies. Are any of those things lies? They are the truth, people do not like Clinton it is a fact.

    March 21, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. Voter

    Obama keeps claiming he is taking the "high road" while his campaign people are doing everything they can to smear the competition. I like him and his cronies less and less every week. If my state could do-over the primary my vote this time would be for Clinton.

    March 21, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Margie-Overland Park, Ks.

    I like Obama but his supporters sound more like Repblicans than Democrats and this is very troublesome to me. The Republicans are banking on this kind of rhetoric as they are usually the one's who initiate it. There's something two faced about Obama as well but as a Democrat, I am keeping an open mind, –something the Obama supporteres are not doing, which lead to believe many are Republicans who are pretending to be Democrats so he can be raked over the coals by the McCain supporters this Fall.

    March 21, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Will

    Didn't need him to tell me. If you ever read a book or did any research, I already knew HRC was a fraud.

    March 21, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. Jackson

    NOBAMA is the "flawed" candidate ... that is my opinion ... but then, I am just a "typical white person" ... so my opinion is only based on racism rather than the facts!!!!!!!!!!

    March 21, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. Katherine Doan

    We want a revote in OHIO!

    March 21, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Texas4Obama

    It is the truth. There are too many skeletons and scandals and lies on the side of Cllinton to be effective in a general election. The republicans would be able to bring down the democrats in a snap.

    Senator Obama IS the better candidate and will make a wonderful President of the UNITED States of America!

    March 21, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Shame on you America

    Would be deeply flawed???lol Would be???

    March 21, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. More Disgusted by the Day

    Yep, this is the "change" we've all been waiting for!

    March 21, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. LMC

    Wow. I guess this is not considered going negative. I'm sure Obama followers will justify it as truth telling. The only truth you can tell is that she attended meetings on NAFTA–no one knows what was said there. The Obama camp has to make this stuff up because they asked for her records and the records show she was a very involved first lady. If there reasoning is that Clinton attended NAFTA meetings because she was pro-NAFTA, then it follows that Obama attended Rev Wright's church because...

    March 21, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Vee

    No...she is a dishonest politician...we KNEW that...

    Obama- good you too got it..though late...

    March 21, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Joy

    This is not about election.

    We should stop Obama's church from preaching anti-America stuff, especially to young people. We should be responsible for the next generation.

    March 21, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Denise Z

    I thought Senator Obama was going to stop his negative campaigning, but I guess this does not in include his staff, namely Plouffe. Inside of trying to attack Senator Clinton, tell me what Obama has done, and his plan for change in the future. He really has not given any specifics.

    March 21, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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