April 14th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton 'toughening me up' for the general

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama said rival Hillary Clinton must feel like she's "doing him a favor" by attacking him the way she has been in recent weeks because, according to Obama, it will only make him stronger in a general election against Republican John McCain.

"I have tried to figure out how to show restraint and make sure that during this primary contest we're not damaging each other so badly that its hard for us to run in November," Obama said at The Associated Press annual conference.

"Sen. Clinton may not feel that she can afford to be as constrained," he said, "but I’m sure that Sen. Clinton feels like she's doing me a favor because she's been deploying most of the arguments the Republican Party will be using against me in November and so it's toughening me up. I'm getting run through the paces here."

Obama's comments came in response to a question on whether he felt Clinton should drop out. He deflected by saying he suspects Clinton will have her own answer for that when she addresses the same group on Tuesday.

The Illinois senator also included in his response a backhanded compliment, calling Clinton "unique" for having raised $35 million and remaining in the race all while "sustaining 11 straight losses."

soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. vince - phoenix

    that is the ONLY benefit to her still being in the contest...

    but I suspect the her tearing the party apart will not have been worth it.

    April 14, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Patricia

    Clinton just said a moment ago (in regard to Obama's remarks) that he SEEMS to be an elitist. She couldn't say his IS an elitist. because she knows she is more of an elitist than he is. His father left when he was two. His mother raised him along with the help of his grandmother.

    If he gets past this media/Clinton blitz, her will be stronger and tougher to take on McCain. McCain fits in more readily with the "fat cats," and trying to peg Obama as an elititst will be much harder for him, even though he is trying to get that dialogue started right now. It doesn't seem to be working for him. It sounds too fake.

    April 14, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. say no to the 3 headed candidate

    Good about time people and Barack stand up to the clinton machine

    McCain

    April 14, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. california voter

    right, a back-handed compliment like she's "likeable enough."

    April 14, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Appreciative Voter

    Way to go Senator Obama! I am glad that you have represented yourself, your family and your constituents in the most respectful and honorable way – so presidential. At least your integrity will remain intact.

    April 14, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. D Williams

    Clinton believes in one thing: SCORCHED EARTH.
    If she doesn't make it – no one else will either.

    April 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. HP Boston

    female grad student NYC April 14th, 2008 4:26 pm ET

    Charlotte Whitton once said: "A woman has to work twice as hard as a man to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not too difficult."

    That said, I hope Hillary does not cave into this kind of mounting pressure to quit…we women in male-dominated industries understand that this is just the process of advancement.
    -------------------------–
    Give em hell Hillary, you are the best peson for the job,

    Obama is not electable he is a man with little judgement and has no value to America, he did not say no to drugs and his wife and pastor are anti America.

    April 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Mike

    The reason for this is because you have not won the Democratic Base... Obama has shown very little substance... he is all talk and just like he did with the question above... he continues to not answer direct questions instead he deflects and blames other people...

    50% of democrats want to know what this man stands for!!!

    April 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Kathy Corey

    Senator Obama is unelectable. John McCain is already raising money on his latest gaffe. The Republicans will have no trouble defining him as a liberal elitist. His Red State Electoral College strategy is a joke.

    April 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Stop Stirring The Cauldron Hillary

    That's right Sen. Obama....you are being vetted by the ENTIRE Clinton family of eltists so you can beat that other elitist in November. Nice of you to give them a shout out! LOL

    April 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Susan MO

    Obama is not fooling America. It's not Hillary who is helping him, it is HIM who has hurt himself.

    How terrible what he said to the people of Pennsylvania. We do not need a president who slams the people.

    We thought about Obama at first, but not now. He is critical & rude, and laughs off when he makes a rude remark to the people.

    SHAME ON OBAMA!!!!!

    NOW FOR CLINTON

    April 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Brendan D, Niles, IL

    NOW the teeth come out! Hillary IS employing Republicanesque attacks against Obama. Which is fine - if that's how she wants to be remembered. But she's angering a lot of people, and if she doesn't win the nomination, they're not likely to forget. The public will; the beltway insiders she'll have win over in an Obama (or, worse for her, a McCain) presidency won't.

    April 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    He speaks as if he already won! Quite the confidence you have there Obama... Some might call it elitist!!

    April 14, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. mary

    Obama is such a snob!!! He thinks he talk down to us and when he gets caught he trys to laugh it off.

    April 14, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Mike

    No Obama Hillary hasnt even scratched the surface compared to what the GOP will do to you.

    You see Obama, Hillary wants to win the nomination but doesnt want to hurt your career. The GOP want to end your career permanently.

    You have lots of career ending issues that havent even come out yet that I know of. Cant imagine what the GOP knows privately. I know from what their gop website shows, you will not win.

    Hillary is the only one that has a chance against McCain.

    April 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. gerard morei

    Arrogant as usual.

    April 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. SayNoToHillaryBillaryCheslaryClintrous

    This woman does not care about any body all she cares is to see her own ambiton fulfilled that is to be a president, but I dout is God wants her to be a president, that is what it counts God has to want you to be a president of this great nation. I do not see God approving clinton for president she lies to much.

    April 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. Dennis

    Obama, get a life. NOBAMA for all the "Wright" reasons

    April 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. gary

    O.B. THINK HE ALREADY IS OUR LEADER. HE IS A BIG JOKE.THE REPUBLICANS WILL EAT HIM ALIVE. HRC IS OUR ONLY PRAYER TO HAVE A DEM. IN OFFICE. O.B. SUPPORTERS ARE NOTHING BUT HATERS. WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND. HRC WOULD NOT HAVE LOST 11 STRAIGHT IF SHE STAYED IN THE STATES TO CAMPAIGN THAT O.B. DID, INSTEAD OF GOING TO TX.O.B. IS NOTHING BUT AN ARROGANT ,HYPOCRYTICAL SMOOTH CON MAN.AMERICA WILL BE ONE SORRY COUNTRY IF O.B. EVER GOT ELECTED. THATS LIKE PUTTING A BOMB READY TO GO OFF IN OFFICE. NOBODY KNOWS O.B.ONLY WHAT HE TELLS YOU ABOUT HIMSELF. I KNOW THE 90S WERE GREAT WHEN THERE WAS A CLINTON IN OFFICE. I KNOW IT WOULD BE EVEN BETTER WITH HRC. THIS COUNTRY WILL JUST KEEP PUTTING ITSELF DEEPER IN DEBT IF O.B. GOT ELECTED AND WORST. GO HRC

    April 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. no to obama

    obama...you are such a joke.

    April 14, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. JohnS

    OBAMA '08 & '12

    Just presidential.

    How can someone not love him.

    April 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Dana, Pittsburgh PA

    Exactly, you should be thanking her. Now people will have been exposed to all the bad about you and it wont be that big a deal come November. Also, if you can peel off her supporters they are more likely to support you in November then if it is viewed that she was asked by the leadership to quit before everyone voted. Hillary supporters, like me, will be more inclined to support you if Hillary loses after all the votes are counted versus her being forced out. Even if she only has a slight or no chance she should be allowed to continue campaigning until all the votes are in. You are going to have to survive the Republican Attack machine so if you take a few punches it might help you fight harder in November.

    April 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. PA voter

    b.o. won't make it to the general!

    he is so arrogant it is disgusting!

    April 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Venus

    Boy Obama! You are getting so good with your remarks that I just gotta post more than one time! Yes!!!!!!!! Let her know that you hung with her after she lose 11 straight losses and ONLY with $35 million!
    Yes! Hillary brought this on her-self! You are right Obama! You really did try and be decent but – I love that back-hand slap! Hillary thought you would continue to take her crap! I knew Friday that she would do what she did and I am glad! Now she knows who she is playing with!

    April 14, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Christina

    When is someone going to be honest to the American people about the Larry Sinclair story?

    April 14, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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