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. Edna Embry

    If Obama wins the nomation for the demacratic party come time for the general election i will write Sen.Clinton name on the ballot. No vote for looney tunes McCain, or woman hate Obama.

    April 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Thomas in Florida

    LOL...great job Obama!

    Hillary's "bitter' attacks are blowing up in her face.

    We are bitter! That's why we NEED and WANT change.

    April 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Cory

    Arrogant? Just because he doesn't faulter under Clinton's low-blow irrelevant attacks doesn't make him "arrogant."

    If that is the worse thing that most of you can say about Obama you should rethink your political stance. And if you don't characterize Clinton's recent efforts to tear apart the democratic party just to win a nomination as "arrogant," or worse, then you're self-deluding beyond help (and probably know it).

    April 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Bernice

    Hillary thanks! NOT!

    Now you can add Teacher to that never ending I'm every woman resume. Thanks for the help, but Obama can take it from here. Your tough love approach is bad for the party.

    Now like a mean, and demeaning teacher, the kind that has slipped through the system, that spends more energy hurting their students, take your behind somewhere and watch with bitterness from a distance as Obama walks across that stage on Inauguration Day inspite of your efforts.

    If she's a teacher she gives even the word teacher a bad, bitter name.

    April 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. North Carolina

    You'll never be tough, wimp. Stay out of North Carolina.

    April 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Rocky

    I couldn't be happier about that. Cuz as i can recall every criticism Clinton throws Obama's way comes back to bite her.

    So yeah she is really doing him a favor.

    OBAMA "08"

    April 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Joe

    I truly can't wait until Obama is elected. That way, four years down the road when our nation is in the same or worse condition, people might actually wonder if voting solely on "the audacity of hope'" was such a good idea.

    April 14, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Michael O'Neal

    When Hillary beats Barack by 10 or more points in yet another state critical for the all important Electral College, what will he and his media allies say then?

    His nomination would be an act of suicide, and the fools backing him ignore the big list of ammuniation the republicans have in store.

    Wake up Democrats, we really need to win this fall...ya know?

    April 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. Noah

    Clinton was not jeered by the crowd as CNN reported. There were a couple of Obama supporters there, but the boo's came because of the remarks Obama made. I am so tired of CNN misleading the public.

    April 14, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Edna Embry

    Thats womanhater Obama,

    April 14, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. NickNas


    Isn't SHE the one who claims to already FULLY VETTED and READY ON DAY 1??

    Hillary we are trying to give the hint that it is time for you to go back to NY. GOD you have a thick Skull.

    April 14, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Jean, OK

    It's high noon, and suddenly all the town's doors close, and the windows slam shut. The townpeople peer out to see a shadowy figure walking, from one side to the next, at a slow pace down Main street. Is it Jesse James? Wyatt? No, it's Sherrif Rodham...

    Fade to music–"Im an old cowhand...from the Rio Grande..."

    April 14, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. Rny

    This is the Obama we don't know. arrogant, he came from nowhere to be president. he cannot hide his arrogance. With reporters and cameras around Pensylvannia and now criticizing Hillary.

    April 14, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. JN

    In honor of all you BLINDED Hillary supporters, I will now donate $50.00 to Barack Obama....At least his money comes from hard working people who believe in him...not from "behind closed door deals" like China and Columbia....

    April 14, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. look byond

    Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over the soaring costs of basic foods have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world's attention. "There are riots all over the world in the poor countries ... and, of course, our own poor are feeling it in the United States," said the director of Columbia University's Earth Institute. full story.

    Tell me you haven't feel the pinch yet or you are not BITTER yet.
    Wait until we start lining outside grocery stores for basic food stuff here in THE BIG USA, then we will know wahat BITTER is.

    April 14, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Fed Up - Pa

    New Poll: Hillary down by 5 points in PA!

    April 14, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Leila

    His arrogance is disgusting!
    Michelle, you may not be proud of America, but most of us are. McCain was a war hero. He has proven his loyalty to our country. Obama has proven he thinks he is above most of the rest of the country. Those who care about America won't say "GD America" like Reverend Wright, they will just vote for McCain!


    April 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Swissdiver

    Obama is an arrogant and condescending oaf. He thinks his infallible. His pretext for change is a huge lie. This man has a dark agenda and it's getting obvious everyday–Jeremiah Wright ties, Louis farrakan endorsement, the terrorist Ayers ties, Black Panther endorsement, Al Jazeera endorsement, Hamas endorsement, Michelle Obama's comments of first time being proud in her adult life, Tony Rezco ties, insults on middle America calling them bitter. These are just too many to count. This man is dubious. The speeches that come out of this man's purple mouth are all lies. He is a political opportunist. No way you'll be the president Obama boy, n o way.
    HILLARY ' 08!!!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. sean

    Boy we got to put him in his place. he is a new comer and quite a nuisance. besides we all secretly know the problem he represents but cant talk about it. wink wink

    hillary supporter

    April 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. TX Dem

    YES....Obama is SO arrogant! How dare this black man have the nerve to be so confident! I cant believe he has the nerve to run for President of this great country. He needs to stay in his place!

    NOT!!!!!!! He has as much right as anyone else in his position to be confident! He's leading in states won, popular vote, pledged delegates, and is quickly gaining in superdelegates. Why shouldnt he be confident? Nobody complained about Hillary's level of confidence in the month leading up to Iowa....and then super Tueday! Why is there so much hate for this man. If you hate is politics, I could understand it....but your attacks are SO personal. And all based on what Republicans will unleash in the fall.
    So he should just drop out for fear of what might happen? Where would we be as a country if the great men and women before us followed that logic????

    April 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. Beverly

    If Hilary runs the country like her campaign, Lord help us all?

    April 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. b

    the republicans will hammer the s-- out of hillary if she wins, obama has lots less baggage than she does

    April 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. JCB

    Obama needs to toughen up. With all his missed steps - he won't win against McCain. Obama is dishing out dirt - he needs to be able to take a few home truths. He is rich, he went to the best schools, he never starved a day in his life. He is not some poor little boy who had to fight to climb to the top - he did that through dirty politics. If America needs a black president, the good old boy politicans like Kennedy and Richardson could have chosen better. If anybody needs to get out of politics, it's the alcoholic, womanizing Kenndey.

    April 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. John

    This is amazing! Hillary just go super delegates in Montana supporting her.That is no chance,it is the truth coming out in droves.Go!!!!!! Hillary!! Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    April 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. No Hillary

    Obama you are a good man... Can't wait until this drunk woman steps down so we can move on to the next stage and defeat the person whom she admires most: McCain.

    April 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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