April 14th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
10 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. Ray in Jax

    Not only should she drop out of the race, maybe she should drop out of site and sound. That way, we will not have to see her or listen to her vile and lies.

    Obama 08

    April 14, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Fed Up - Pa

    Tough he is! Its on now McBush!!!
    See this is how he spins a negative into something positive!
    She should use this as her Stump speech for bowing out gracefully and uniting the party – Especially after being booed in Pa!

    April 14, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. McCain is the Man

    You go Hillary. My man McCain doesn't have a lot of money nor supports from his own party, so the more you jump on Obama the easier it will be for my man.

    Go Bush 2008!!! I mean McCain

    April 14, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Nakae

    I love this guy.

    In Hillary's warped logic, she probably thinks she IS doing Democrats a favor by cheapening political dialogue down to imaginary snipers and Obama's bowling score.

    April 14, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. FEDUP

    He is a loser, and will not win in November. His days are numbered. If he is the nominee, I will write in Hillary.

    April 14, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Lisa

    Obama already thinks he's the President and he's not!

    April 14, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Sol

    Thank God for Obama for changing and opening up peoples' eyes to the game of politics. What would the press do without him?

    April 14, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. christian

    hahaha... wow. there are some really stupid and ignorant people on here. to all of you who read Obama's ENTIRE STATEMENT from San Francisco, not just the Clinton/Republican talking points, and STILL think he meant to be derogatory in ANY WAY please... PLEASE leave the country now. our gene pool will be better off

    April 14, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. dan

    "His arrogance is just getting worse by the day. Hillary still can win and with your loose mouth and the mouth of that wife of yours, who knows what will happen."

    Hiliary CAN still win but be freaking serious. Guess what, Hiliary can win ALL the remaining states by double digits 55-45 percent, and take 55 percent of the remaining superdelegates and guess who still wins the nomination......OBAMA

    Hilliary has to take EVERY state by at least a 58-42 margin including the majority of superdelegates to win. Its over.........

    April 14, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. v.ananthan

    Obama may become a good leader for the future..
    NOT NOW !!!!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Tim

    Obama = win.

    April 14, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Nick in Las Vegas

    Obama is a joke! This made me laugh... He is so arrogant, there is no way I will vote for him in the general election... and I am so anti-republican!

    April 14, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Al, Sacramento Ca

    This guy needs to close the primary first, before talking about November. He's got alot of work to do specially after Hillary wins Penn and Indiana.

    He's admitted that Hillarry is toughening him up. Shouldnt we have someone tough to figh the Republicans from day one??

    GOP spin machine are loading their guns!!!

    April 14, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. roger dowdle, lockhart, Tx

    Clinton has no chance to win the nomination, so she would rather damage Obama by making him look bad for telling the truth. For the last 35-40 years, I have heard "I am going to vote for him because he is the lesser of 2 evils". This is the first time, except for Perot, thaat there has actually been a real interest in the campaigns. Just look at the numbers of new voters Obama has attracted! It is obvious that if she is not going to win the nomination, she will try to drag the party down to defeat with her.

    April 14, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Shane

    This guy is so arrogant and over confident. Hopefully Pennsylvanians and people of remaining primary holding states will show him the way

    April 14, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Ryan from Indiana

    Obama's arrogance has no limits. None. At all.

    April 14, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Jim, Illinois

    With Hillary's help I'm amost sure I'll vote Republican again. I really like Obama, but I can't take much more of this nonsense.

    April 14, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. wiscon

    Operation Chaos at work!

    April 14, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Chuck

    Boy Obama is trying to take the attention away from the polls showing a 20 point spread.

    April 14, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. disgusted

    For all of you hillary supporters: why did hillary not answer as to when she last shot a gun or went to church? Is it because she trying not to misspeak like she did on Bosnia and countless other items?

    April 14, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Leslie, Summerville, SC

    Who said he's going to be in the general election? This is FAR from over, and if he keeps shooting his mouth off like that, it could be over for HIM. Remember Howard Dean? Please people...haha...

    April 14, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. noobama


    You wll not win the general election. You cannot be trusted. We will not vote for you even if you are the nominee

    April 14, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Mike

    hill is a pathological liar and delusial to boot. She really, really, really believes this country is behind her. Not since Hannibal Lecture have we seen an individual like this.

    April 14, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Independent

    At the end of the day, all of the three viable candidates are still going to be working in Washington and should consider how they will be able to work together to get something done beyond the election...

    April 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Val

    Obama = Change America Cannot Believe In!

    Go McCain!

    April 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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