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. Joe St Louis, MO

    A vote for Hillary or Mccain is a vote for failed policy and political standards. If one of them win you will get your wish. NO JOBS and GOVERNMENT DEBT. Good Luck!!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Shelly, OH

    Hillary realizes she lost, but she wants to run for 2012, so she had nothing to lose. If she can knock Barack down, and have him lose to the McCain, then she will be in good standing in 2012. Of course she will have a heck of a time getting voters to supporter her as she has trashed the DNC and made it more difficult for the Dems to win in November.

    Speaking of the GOP, McCain is pretty arrogant and acts like he has a birthright to the presidency. He will find out soon enough.

    Obama 08

    April 14, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Lisa

    Okay. I am just flat out sickened. I agree with those who say Obama is "snowing" the general public! And, brace yourself, I am a Black female. One thing that being Black has challenged me to be is determined and focused...but also HUMBLE. So many times lately I cringe at the body language (and words) of Barack Obama. It's just like being a mother watching a guy court her daughter for a potential relationship. I could go on and on about the reasons for my distrust of Obama, but I won't. To me it's even more basic than that. Obama does NOT relate to blue collar workers (myself included). That spells major DOOM for the general election. Why? Because, like him or not, McCain bleeds Red, White and Blue Collar. Any of you who have yet to vote in the Primary, please think about the next 4 years. There's just no way that Obama can beat McCain. That's a point that has to be seriously taken...candidential preferences aside. THINK ABOUT THE GENERAL ELECTION.

    April 14, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. I used to be a Democrat

    Obama will lose. I was a Democrat, but there is no way I'm voting for you and I know alot of Democrats who feel the same way.

    I think even Hillary wants you to lose.

    April 14, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Sandy

    This is the first time in my life I donated to a campaign...go Obama!

    No More Clintons in the White House

    April 14, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. jo

    I love how his spokes man talks about personal attacks right after obama has made some. No that is not hypocritical at all!

    April 14, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. lois

    I can't believe how arrogant he is. Amazing!

    April 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Oh Please

    He is an elitist.

    April 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Philip

    Obama needs to go on the attack on this so called woman. A knock out punch is all he needs to finish her. She is so negative. Always on the attack. Clinton's supporter don't seems to get it. Shame on you Clinton!!!

    April 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Kenneth M

    HILLARY IS TO OBAMA AS HUCK WAS TO MCCAIN. AND WE KNOW HOW THAT TURNED OUT.

    April 14, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. tell the truth

    I'm glad Obama speaks the truth.
    The truth hurt (per my grandmother)
    Peope do not want to face the truth (per my granfather)
    People will do the wrong thing just to prove a point( per my mother)
    You do the right thing no matter what (per my father)

    With all that advice I'm voting for the truth.

    April 14, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Hayden

    Obama is so disgusting and arrogant....he's been acting like a kid lately.

    I hope this snob never becomes president!

    April 14, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Loretta, VI

    Hillary is so desperate that she is clutching on to straws. She is only trying to smoke screen the BIG LIE she told the American people regarding BOSNIA on several occasions.

    Barrack shows that he is human and stepped up to the plate regarding his choice of words, but that BOSNIA issue was a BIG LIE.
    Shame on you Hillary, get off the elitist issue. We can see through you as clear as we can see through SARAN WRAP.

    Loretta, V. I.

    April 14, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. even better

    Heckling and mocking a candidate for the presidency of the united states.

    Is that the kind of democracy you want to live in?

    Sort of like wanting to worship in Rev. Wright's hateful church.

    Obama your true nature is showing.

    I will never ever vote for you.

    April 14, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. ***AMERICAN***

    Bring it on Republicans, our guy is ready.

    April 14, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Cynthia

    When Obama is the Democratic nominee is will eat McCain for lunch. He has just took it easy on Senator Clinton because she is in the same paty.

    April 14, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Jacqueline, NY

    I agree with him... If this is all they have, then they have problems. I think he has shown remarkable restraints in dealing with this woman. When she told the Bosnia story, I did not read anything which stated that Obama used it to make her look bad. Hillary is making herself look bad all by herself. I cannot wait for this nightmare to be over...This woman is PATHETIC!

    April 14, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. L. Lalaine, Iowa

    . . .McCain will be no match for Barrack. Just remember three words along with the word BITTER: WAR, MONGER, and BUSH.

    April 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. ostriches burying our heads in sand

    It is funny how some Hillary supporters can come up with nothing better than "Obama you are a joke"......and "No Obama".....Guess what folks, if you vote for McSame in Nov, Joke's on You!

    Has anyone seen Bush's recent approval ratings: 28%! If you want another President like that, GO AHEAD and Vote for more of the same (i.e. McSame)!!

    April 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Demo Craxy

    Go Obama!!! the people supports you no matter what the candidate with three or four heads sends your way, we know their tactics, they are dirty, after all , all they know is lie lie lie

    that is why they are the establisment and status quo

    Have no fear!!! and stand up agains the clinton Machine,

    April 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Billary is Fake

    What part of the 90's did you not like, the peace or the prosperity?

    I didn't like the scandals, the affairs (hearing about the blue dress was scary), the lies, Travelgate (Hillary's trip around the world, on us), Whitewatergate (didn't Hillary's friend mysteriously die), oh, and I didn't like the impeachment. Oh, and I didn't like thousands of lives that were lost (murdered) in Rowanda. Other than that....LOL

    April 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Ardnuas

    No more McClinton or McSame ... We need CHANGE in Washington NOW!!!!!!!!!
    Obama/Edwards08 Si Se Puede

    April 14, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Hillary is a goddess. She needs to win. She is refreshingly candid , strong and capable.

    You can't possibly be serious.

    April 14, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. SBvoter

    1. I don't know why people are so upset that Bill and Hillary made so much money. This is America and people are supposed to work hard to reach the American dream.

    2. Everyone talks about Obama's mother – that she collected food stamps. was a single mom etc. etc.
    Now here's a perfect example of a white woman who had every opportunity in the world and what did she do-she blew it!
    She was an athiest and a hippie-she made bad choices in her life-do i think she was a hard working minority trying to get ahead – NO!

    Sorry-HIllary is more of a woman-a leader-a mother than Obama's mother.

    HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT!

    April 14, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Mark Anthony

    Yes Fred and that's why your are running for President, ha ha.

    April 14, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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