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. Obama will be President

    This has gone on far too long.

    Hillary just give it a rest. You remind me of pathetic little Huckabee.

    April 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. wisdom

    Obama ....SHUT UP

    April 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Obama is a Joke

    Give me a break Obama...you are a joke to this nation...in addition, although you deny that you were not in the audience when Wright was stating anti-American sentiments, you admiited to hearing controverisal comments...I wonder if the media is ever going to ask you what contoversial comments that you heard in Wright's sermons...I wonder if those controversial comments were "strong" and why you after hearing these comments were still attending the church.

    Obama also stated that he wants to bring about change to Americans but what change did he bring to Ilinois?

    Obama also stated that Americans are bitter and that they lean to guns, religion, etc. including his hometown...what has he done to change the bitterness in Illinois. ..probably nothing...false promises!

    April 14, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Dr. D

    Thank you Senator Obama. Hillary's getting lots of practice beating on you which will leave her in fine form when she takes it to McCain in the fall.

    April 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. PA Voter

    Clinton is so slimy. She would blast Barack on anything for weeks if she could.

    April 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. James, CA

    Hillary stop destroying the democratic party. You can run again in nine years time. I do not think that America is ready for you now.

    April 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. La Bomb ba

    Obama ADMITTS EXPERIENCE important

    April 14, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Grif

    You didn't win 11 straight... You cheated in half of them, Mr Obama.
    Now the Public know more about you, you'll be lucky if you win another..And the Election it'self is out for sure...

    April 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Hillary 08

    Obama can you Spell L O S E R !

    April 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. Marie

    If Hillary is elected, this country may very well slide into a Depression, literally both ways...

    She wins hands-down on being the candidate from Hell..

    April 14, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. politicians all lie

    He hasn't seen the hard stuff yet ..........Change this Obama

    April 14, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. rick

    Hillary is a goddess. She needs to win. She is refreshingly candid , strong and capable. He is educated and charming good enough to fool a lot of people but not me. Small towners like us needs hillary.

    April 14, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. Matt

    Arrogance? Please ...you idiot you just cannot handle the fact that he cannot be shaken.

    April 14, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Christian, Tampa FL

    Which would make a joint ticket strategically... interesting. It would certainly confuse the heck out of a lot of Republicans, maybe enough for the Dems to gain an advantage. Or, it could be disastrous.

    I think that Hillary's insistence on staying in the race will turn out to be helpful to the Democrats, as long as she doesn't take it all the way to the convention.

    April 14, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. debra

    obama is so arrogant that he already thinks he has the nomination. Last time I looked a few million people had yet to vote.

    April 14, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Mike

    Tough, tough, PLEASE such a whimp!

    McCain will mop the floor up with you, you will struggle, fumble and stumble for words like a deer in headlights.

    In any and every debate, Nobama can barely collect his thoughts.

    Drop out already...

    ...Anyone but NObama...

    April 14, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. Beth

    Sen. Obama, Continue taking the high road. Continue to be the statesman who has inspired millions. Don't get sucked into being defensive. Stay in control of your own message of audacious hope. Don't let them make you ordinary. You are extraordinary. Yes we can!

    April 14, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Tim in Arkansas

    Hillary has never been a leader, and never will be! She's simply a person riding out Bill Clinton's Legacy, and that's not even a good legacy to be part of.

    Obama 08!!!

    April 14, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. John

    Obama will dismantle mcsame once people start comparing the two... clinton needs to get out now if she wants to have a political future

    April 14, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. Candi

    Yes yes Hillary is making him stronger with attacks. Obama never have attacked Hillary so bad. But she deserved that and more. Give her what you got Obama.

    Obama 08

    April 14, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. Hillbillary McClinton

    Love it when Hillary throws dirt because it just blows back in her face. She really needs to stop trying to manufacture political gaffes and try to run a mature campaign. The only way the media can make her look good is by not covering her, every time she opens her mouths she looses 500 votes.

    April 14, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. tay

    Why is it that people don't wanna hear the truth? Do we want a president that says how he feels of one that just says what the crowd wants to hear. Obama's comments about bitterness are.....yall ready...TRUE!! A lot of people are bitter! Hell, I know I agree with his comments. I've been bitter for the last 8 years! Now-a-days people are quick to get offended at the littlest thing just so they feel important. We will never solve this nations problems unless we face the TRUTH! The truth is often cold, harsh, and hard to swallow but the fact remains. The truth is the truth.

    April 14, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. Jacob

    Only effect Clinton's "bitter" spin remarks had on me was that I donated $25 more dollars to the Barack Obama campaign

    Anybody but Clinton...

    Obama '08!

    April 14, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  24. Thank You Democrats

    Thank You Democrats. I was ready to vote Democrat this election to try a change in politics, but you have changed my mind. There is no way that I would vote for Billary and support their dirty politics. Could you imagine the secret service cost in order to keep Bill's pants zipped up while in the White House. The Clintons have lied over and over throughout their political career. Seeing how bad the Democrat Elite (Clintons) are treating Obama has really hurt him.

    The Democrats have really messed things up for themselves this election.

    Think ABC
    Anyone But Hillary.

    April 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. In Chicago

    Obama has weathered Billary's attacks like a gentleman throughout this whole campaign. There comes a time when one has to say "enough is enough".

    April 14, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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