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. DM, Detroit, Mi.

    That's "Wright" Obama...keep blaming Clinton for your mistakes. Some "dilusional" people will continue to believe you but most voters will catch on...eventually.

    April 14, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. even better

    Al Gore and John Kerry were far better men than you are, Obama. And they lost the election. Trust me, you do not have a chance. Only your big ego fooled and tricked you into thinking that you did.

    Jeering, mocking, insulting... that only proves the remark that you are elitist.

    Go grow up. You no longer even look like the poised respectful politician you pretended to be at the 2004 convention.

    You are a street thug.

    April 14, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Stacy Clarks, TX


    I bet all the hillary peopel will say you are being nasty...(not to keep in mind how their candidate is being)
    what makes it okay for HIllary to be the fighter, but not Barack?!?!


    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Ex-Hillary supporter

    I have come to the conclusion that a vote for Hillary is a vote for lies and corruption.
    I will choose integrity and vote for Obama, never another Clinton.

    April 14, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. OlvrWhit

    I still don't get the Obama supporters that claim what he said was true.

    Does that mean that you consider all rural americans to be bigots? because that is what he said. Not his new version of what he said he was trying to say...and yes I read what he said in private..

    No one, even Hillary supporters, are claiming that people are not bitter or frustrated, we take issue with the fact that he followed by saying people cling to guns and religion( thats not turn to in a time of need as he now says). He called millions of americans bigots..I do not deny that bigots exist, but you can not call all voters in small towns that..Obama knows himslef he was wrong.

    His attacks on Clinton are disgusting. He was wrong and should be less arrogant and apologize.

    April 14, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Bud Curtis

    I become more amazed every day at Obama's newest height of arrogance.
    This man is so out of touch that he really acts like he believes what he is saying. When you live by words alone, you have nothing of value to offer when your words expose your hidden beliefs.

    April 14, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Roger

    Hillary must have struck a nerve because Obama is losing his cool. I think that Hillary hit the nail right on the head about Obama being an elitist. That's why he is getting so desperate now.

    April 14, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. bh

    Obama can not add! He does not have the 2024 delegate counts; but he already thinks he is the nominee. And there a are still millions of votes yet to be counted. Unfortunately if he is appointed the nominee by the super-delegates; he will be defeated by McCain in November. Obama is even more arrogant than W. At least Obama is intelligent; just too radical. Congratulations Obama supporters, you are ensuring at least four more years of W's failed policies and devastating economy. Hopefully the super-delegates will responsibly fulfill there duty to Americans and not allow Obama to be the nominee.

    April 14, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Obama the Great Deceiver

    if you do I'm voting for McCain!

    April 14, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. Dennis in Orlando, FL

    Hillary turn out the lights the party's over!!!!!!!!!! WE DON'T WANT YOU and your dirty tactics!!!!!!!!! You TRY to take all of the attention off of your own shortcomings by CONSTANTLY having constipation on the brain and diarrhea at the mouth and attacking Obama and ending up with egg on your face.

    You ain't got to go home but you need to get outta here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. mary

    C'mon Hillary don't you remember april 25 what you will face? Please shot up..

    April 14, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Lisa

    Why should he become the President when he looks up to Hillary to toughen him up?

    April 14, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. DF

    OBAMA supporters don't have their heads buried in the sand, they have their heads buried somewhere else where the sun doesn't shine!!!! NOBAMA for all the "Wright" reasons

    April 14, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. Kentucky




    April 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Guns & No Roses

    I love it. Barack is making Hillary work like a dog. He is dragging her all up and down and around America. She wanted to stay in, well there you go.

    Flashback: Super Tuesday night. Hillary was elated because she thought she had won. But the next day, Barack was back on the trail, plugging away–and he hasn’t looked back since.

    LOL, she thought she'd be home right now drinking her nightcaps, and going to bed. Wrong. Suddenly she really had to campaign. So now she's swigging back shots in a bar, and talking about guns to prove she's the real deal. Whatever it takes, huh Hill? Don't worry, you'll be home to count your millions soon enough.

    America is not for Hillary. She is the phoniest woman on the planet and now the whole world knows it.

    April 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. James

    Seriously...35 Million while sustaining 11 straight loses. No wonder Americas are terrible with their money...They can't even do simple math. Hillary lost. BIG TIME...If anyone writing on this blog knew how HARD it is to get a 130 pledged delegate lead with proportional awarding of the delagates you wouldnt donate a dollar. You're all backing a losing horse.

    April 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Dave

    I'm with you, Senator Obama. You have my support no matter what.

    But if Hillary is nominated, I will vote for her To vote for McCain would be to vote for an even worse economy and a continued war in Iraq. But no matter, what I hope our next president does well, whoever he or she is.

    It is a shame that blogging has become such a hateful act.

    Obama '08

    April 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. John

    Iam writing this for the second time ! Hillary Clinton is leading in polls in Pennsylvania at 57% to 37%for Obama.Hillary will win all the way.

    April 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. No Way Obama08

    New polls

    Hillary up 20 in PA
    Hillary up 16 in IN

    Obama supporters, you are partly to blame, and so is the media. You have helped create a legend in his own mind and now he thinks he is omnipotent.

    I believe that he is unelectable at this point. He belittled the core of America. This is so sad. I am a democrat, and even though I support Hillary, it makes me very sad to see this type of comment come out of a prominent democrat.

    April 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Sue

    Looking "up" to Hillary, I don't think so.

    Obama 08

    April 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Alhajie Fofanah

    Obama! Hope you are ready for the GOP because they will hammer you. You should have been strong before even thinking about running for president of this great nation. Man-up and stop the the complaining.
    hillary 08

    April 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Mel

    It's time to stand up with Obama, Nothing will change the positive attitude our society developed to ward Obama. At this time he is the only candidate to make the job done on Washington. Not the other face of Clinton or Bush. We are tired of Bushed-Mac and Billary. Clintor its your time to leave the path. Even you don't belong to Senate, let alone to re-White-house.

    Obama '08

    April 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. obama is a joke


    typical obama voter. quotes bob marley in an argument. LOL!

    April 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. bh

    I just read post about someone saying they just donated $10. That is one of my issues with Obama. He is preying on poor and uneducated people to finance his campaign. That same person probably does not now have enough money to buy food for the children or pay the rent.

    April 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. JN

    leading popular votes by over 700,000.00....that's all I have to say...Go Obama!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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