April 17th, 2008
02:29 PM ET
3 years ago

Clinton campaign gets Weather Underground questions

Hillary Clinton speaks during Wednesday's ABC debate.
Hillary Clinton speaks during Wednesday's ABC debate.

(CNN) - The morning after Hillary Clinton attacked Barack Obama over his relationship with William Ayers, founder of Weather Underground, her campaign advisers struggled with questions over her view of pardons for members of that group issued by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

On a conference call with reporters, spokesman Howard Wolfson said he did not know where the New York senator stood on the pardons, but that he would check.

The Obama campaign has responded to Clinton’s questions to the Illinois senator at Wednesday night’s ABC debate with press releases pointing to the former president’s pardons of Weather Underground members Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans.

The group, which formed in the 1960s, sought the overthrow of the U.S. government, and carried out violent attacks including bombings.

soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. California girl

    Bill Clinton is not running for President!

    UCLA students for Hillary

    April 17, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Len

    ABC News should publicly apologize for that excuse for a "Debate" last night. They had no interest in issues, despite the very academic cover of the Constitution. Charlie looked like a hanging judge and George was in "Gotcha" mode. His old boss, Hillary will never admit she lied. "I made a mistake" (for which I want forgiveness.) The big loser overall: ABC News.

    April 17, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Jackson

    Sean: I don't think she literally is. I'd be surprised if they even slept in the same room together. This is a marriage of convenience – though it seems it's growing ever more inconvenient for her.

    April 17, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. kelly WI

    As a law intern Hillary also supported the black panthers. Went to the trials to find reasons for an appeal.
    You don't know why they did the pardons??? come on you know it was for votes and payoffs. You guys must be to young to remember all that.
    That's another reason Hillary needs to get in. More friends to pardon and money collected.

    April 17, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Susan - DEM for Obama

    She states that she and Bill share everything and that he will be a part of her Presidency. The Clinton years will not end with her being put in office they will start again. Obama was blind-sided last night but handled himself well considering he could have done what Hillary has done in the past which is whined about the unfairness of it all, but he took his shots and answered the questions truthfully and tried to move on to issues. ABC should be ashamed of themselves for an unfair debate. Gibson I though was a fair journalist, but my opinion has changed. ABC has lost a viewer due to the debate, but Obama has gained a loyal supporter.

    April 17, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Gretchen LA

    THE WHITE PEOPLE BRING US WHERE WE ARE NOW,
    WE ARE IN THE TOP OF THE WORLD. WHY DO WE WANNA CHANGE THAT, WE JUST NEED IMPROVEMENT TO A BETTER ECONOMY

    April 17, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Robert Bauer, Sonoma County, CA

    Once again, Hillary's attempts to smear Obama have come back to bite her in the butt. You'd think that she would have learned her lesson by now. But, I guess the real lesson is that she should have mustered up the courage to divorce the creep when she had the chance. His reckless behavior not only destroyed his presidency, it has also destroyed hers. The fact that she keeps making this mistake over and over, leads me to believe that she is not qualified to lead this nation.

    April 17, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Mark, Berwyn, PA

    Another Homer Simpson moment for good 'ol Hill

    Doooohhhh!!!!

    April 17, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. tit for tat

    More irrelevant childish tit for tat from Obama.

    We do not hold people to their sins of yesteryear after they have repented and grown and moved on.

    Just like we do not consider you a cocaine and drug user TODAY.

    Your white granny moved on from the bias and hatred of Jim Crow... along with countless rural white women of 40 years ago. Rev Wright did not. He continued to hate and to preach it from the pulpit.

    Those pardoned men had moved away from their politics of hate and violence. William Ayers, after 9/11 apparently still had not.

    BIG DIFFERENCE.

    April 17, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. For the love of this independent

    For the Larry Sinclair folks. The man failed two lie detector tests. But you could care less. Let's stick to the facts ma'am

    April 17, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. pablof

    "When Clinton made the Bosnia gaffe, she apologized for it."

    No, first she blamed it on "sleep deprivity", then when called out which of the multiple times she said it was she sleep deprived, she said she "mis-spoke." She lied, got caught, it's not the end of the world though, so lets move on.

    April 17, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    So wasn't Hillary asked about Bill's connection, and only Obama was questioned about "terrorist connections? Or any of Hillary's other known credibility incidents? This debate was a hatchet job on Obama, and as far as I'm concerned ABC has joined FOX in insignificance.

    April 17, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Kevin

    "William Ayers made hateful comments in recent years, after 9/11."

    FYI. And maybe it doesn't matter much to those who have made up their mind, or don't agree with Ayers at all, or think this is at all relevant... but in the interest of playing with the proper facts...

    NYTs reports that Ayers comments about more bombs came out (coincidentally) on Sept. 11, 2001. He had made the comments five days earlier.

    And it's possible that this guy has made more comments after that.

    But... how does this help me reduce my health care premiums (I pay $10,200 per year for a family of four, with a $1000 deductable, $30 doctor co-pay, no maternity coverage, and and 80/20 split on most procedures.) How does this help us figure out how to get out of Iraq. Do we really want to continue a $12 Billion/month war? How does this help us stop the bleeding that is now our economy?

    Oh wait, I think we need a deeper discussion on who wears and flag on their lapel and who doesn't. That will really help.

    April 17, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. melikeyhill

    President clinton pardoned convicted terrorists, yuck!!! please stay away from the white house!!! willam ayers is an english professor in chicago if he is as bad or criminal he shd be in jail!!!!

    April 17, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Paul from Boston

    Her whole campaign is hinging on Superdelegates. She looked just as vulnerable up their as Barack did. She handed him the nomination with the "Yes, Yes, Yes" response to whether or not he can beat McCain. That was the one doubt she has played effectively and probably could have used to make a strong case to the remaining Superdelegates. She then says she'd make a better candidate, like that is going to put her over the top with the Superdelegates.
    Well clearly the American people don't think so. She is behind in states won, delegates and popular vote and she is losing support. I hear more endoresments of Barack daily. When is the last one you heard for Hillary...of besides Mr. Johnson from BET, he's a winner...

    April 17, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Bill

    I guess that it is easier to accept no blame for your husbands screw-ups, than it is to be blamed for your Pastor's (supposed) screw-ups!!!
    Boy this is a double standard of the highest degree.

    What is going to happen now is this, Hillary's kitchen sink is coming back like a boomerang, and she can't even duck it, like she did in Bosnia from Sniper Fire.

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Peg

    The superdelegates should weigh in sooner rather than later, this is getting ridiculous. If they are waiting becasue they don't want to lose Hillary supporters, they should re-evaluate this decision. The longer this goes on, and IF it goes on much longer, supporters from whichever side that loses will not show up in November. But is you wait, not only will the Dems lose these voters, but we will lose the election in general. Hillary is doing McCain's job for him and we need to let him do his own work. Obama can handle it....but he becomes a weaker candidate when he has both Hillary and McCain hitting him. This is not good for the Supers to allow to happen. We will lost in November, if something isn't done NOW!

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. twister49 - oklahoma

    KUDOS TO ABC–FINALLY A MEDIA THAT ISN'T GIVING OBMAMA A FREE RIDE...TOO BAD CNN- HASN'T SHOWN THE GUTS DO TO THE SAME.................

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. J. Richter

    The only reason Hillary did not seem defensive if because Obama refused to use the old political tactics. He even gave her an out on Bosnia. Look at all the attacks he could have lobbed:

    (1) Can one accurately say you are implicitly spending Columbia's money while you claim to be against their trade deal since you fie a joint tax with Bill and he took 800K from them?

    (2) If you are very serious about this opposition to the deal, why would you not fire your top staff member that collects money for promoting the deal you oppose?

    (3) As a follow up to the Bosnia story (the way they kept hounding Barack): Can you call it a mispeak if you repeated the same falsehood three times?
    Is Bill's explanation accurate that this happens when one 60 and getting a little forgetful?

    (4) Do you believe that Barack is indeed elitist compared to you considering that you also went to Yale and made 110 million last year?

    (5) Peter Paul v the Clintons. Is this a mark of patriotism promising benefits in the interest of the wealth in exchange for payback and contribution?

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Brendan D, Niles, IL

    STOP PORTRAYING HILLARY CLINTON AS A DEVOUT CHRISTIAN!!!!

    Hillary Clinton is not a devout Christian. Neither is John McCain. Barack Obama is. Those three things are facts. Neither McCain nor Clinton should be disqualified for that reason alone, but the implication that McCain and Clinton are devout churchgoers is absolutely absurd.

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. FB

    I'm glad to see that when given the chance Obama stayed true to himself and stayed away from bashing on Hillary and tried to focus on the issues that the debates should have been about in the first place. At times I felt like I was watching a political version of TMZ, where facts don't matter but gossip goes a long way. In the other hand, Hillary could not wait to try and stick it to Obama when given a chance. She reminds me of a cars salesmand who will do anything to close the sale, even sell out and trash talk his own boss if that's what it will take to convince the buyer he is on "his side".

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Larry from LA

    THIS IS A MAJOR POINT IN THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED. HOW CAN BILL CLINTON PARDON MEMBERS OF THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND AND THEN ATTACK OBAMA ON THE AYERS SITUATION. AT LEAST HE DID NOT PARDON ANYONE. HILLARY'S PEOPLE HAVE A LOT OF EXPLAINING TO DO.

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Republican

    Shameful performance by George S. Barack did a good job of parrying the Willaim Ayres question. "I was 8 years old" exposes just how inane the question really is.

    On the other hand we have Hillary sounding like somewhere deep down she is coming to a slow realization that just isn't going to go her way. Hope she doesn't firebomb the place on the way out the door. ;)

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Ludovic

    Hillary : Can we remove this question from the yesterday debate?

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Paul from Boston

    Oh and by the way, I love the bags under Hillary's eyes in the picture on this page and I though McCain looked old and tired...

    April 17, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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