April 21st, 2008
01:42 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton campaign criticizes Obama for McCain comments

(CNN) - Top advisers to Hillary Clinton denied Monday that there was any contradiction between the New York senator’s criticism of Barack Obama for saying all three White House hopefuls would make better leaders than President Bush and her comment several weeks ago that she and John McCain, but not Barack Obama, were qualified to serve as commander-in-chief.

“There’s a difference in the context of how voters will look at a candidate in an election and how the person will govern,” said Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson on a conference call with reporters.

Shortly before the March 4 primaries, Clinton told reporters that on the question of who is best-equipped to deal with a crisis, “I think you'll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say” in a general election fight. “He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.”

On Monday, Clinton’s advisers would not answer questions about what she thought of the decision by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to commute the sentences of two members of the controversial group, Weather Underground. Both had been convicted of violent crimes.

Clinton criticized Obama at last Wednesday’s debate for his relationship with Weather Underground founder William Ayers.

They also dialed down expectations for results from tomorrow’s primary, arguing that Clinton does not have to win by a large margin to stay viable as a presidential candidate. They argued that the Obama campaign’s huge outlay in the state – it has spent more than double what Clinton has – did not come simply because his campaign has a significant cash advantage, but because he was hoping for a “knock-out blow.”

“If Sen. Obama can’t win a big swing state with that enormous spending advantage, just what will it take for him to win a large swing state?” said Wolfson.

soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. Fear Tactic Again When Will It End....

    Wow... Aren't you a Hillary supporter? Looks like you have enough time to blog so don't complain about Obama's supporters!

    April 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. jim in pennsylvania

    pennsylvania voters
    please as a christian a gun collector and bitter as hell
    this woman would be a total disaster in the white house
    just look what she has showed us in the last 15 months
    total disaster and failure

    April 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Zeka-jones - Ontario,Canada

    Hey wasn't Hillary Clintons father a Republican? no wonder she paises mccsame

    April 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. PA

    I GET TO VOTE FOR OBAMA TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. ***AMERICAN***

    Criticism...#1 tactic of the Clinton Smear Campaign.

    April 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Peter in Oregon

    Hillary Clinton is clever as a fox...

    She's not too clever with managing her campaign's budget... or
    by funding much of her campaign with big lobbyist money (that wasn't too bright we must admit)...
    She may not be that good on telling the truth... but...
    when it comes to political spin, slinging dirt at her fellow democrats, shooting a gun with her grandfather, downing Canadian beer, keeping Mark Penn in their campagin and using Karl Rove tactics...

    Hillary Clinton is clever as a fox...

    OBAMA '08

    April 21, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. tren

    CNN has been providing unbiased media coverage but today is very, very questionable. Why would you only report negatives about obama from Clintons and mccain on eve of pa primary. Is this a conspiracy? If you are going to do it right, give equal share of negatives and positives on each one of them so that the poeple can make a final choice on their own.

    April 21, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Make My Day

    Let PA vote themselves deeper into a hole. My sons are not going to this stupid war so let all the sons of PA go and die for some people that don't give a HOOT about them. 100yrs sounds good to me and if Hillary wins this thing and Obama is voted out I will vote for Mc Same and help give them the 100yrs of hell that they love so much. Obama may be too good of a man to be in charge of this government for them. Go ahead PA make my day. Talk about Cali. all you want but I have never been without a job. You better load up the truck Jethro. No, on the other hand stay there and wait for your jobs to come back, Hillary and McSame has a plan for you. Any of you want to buy the Golden Gate Bridge? Hillary will sell it to you very cheap.

    April 21, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Tired of W, OH

    Do the math, HillLIEry supporters. The only thing she's accomplishing by staying in this race is feeding her own ego and ripping apart the Democratic party. With all of the Republican-style campaigning she's done, maybe she could ask the McBush camp for a paycheck. Maybe then she could afford to pay back some of her debt.

    April 21, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Carolina

    Great response from President Hillary!

    If Obama applied for the job of President at any ANY blue chip company,
    they would turn him down..... NOT ENOUGH EXPERIENCE.
    Yet he thinks he can run for Pres. of the United States and handle it.
    No Way!
    GWB did that – and look what we have!

    April 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    And her meaningless criticism will help me pay the bills...how?

    Obama 08

    April 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. John Adams

    After this is all over, it would probably be a good idea for Hillary to leave the Democratic party. She has sold out, and laid in bed with the republican party. After she bows out, she won't be able to be elected as dog catcher.

    Can't wait to see OBAMA get sword in... Then the healing starts....

    April 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Monroe

    Clinton supporters appear BRAINWASHED.

    April 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Go Hillary

    Obama is just talk !!!

    April 21, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Richard

    “He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.”

    haha so true

    April 21, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Locutus of Borg

    To Hillary Clinton:


    April 21, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Bridget

    Hillary doesn't have lifetime experience as a governing person. She's as experienced as Laura Bush. Is Laura Bush qualified to be President?

    April 21, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Bayou Joe

    the end is near. obama will win today and lose to mccain

    April 21, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. YBLN7

    “If Sen. Obama can’t win a big swing state with that enormous spending advantage, just what will it take for him to win a large swing state?” said Wolfson.


    Well asked question–direct, simple, and easy to understand.

    April 21, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. William, Oklahoma

    The main line for the fall campaign is to tie mccain to the failed policies of the Bush administration. The Obama machine shot itself and the democratic party in the foot again. Would some one give him some political sense?

    April 21, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. DAN

    Obama would also have to explain why he decided undemocratically not to count MI and FL. Big mistake my friends, liike McCain would say. It's over for Obama he's too much like Bush, 2 hippocrites that pretend to be good when they are ready to do anything to win, even if that means abandoning 2 very important states. This time people will remember and will not forget the arrogance of Obama and Bush

    April 21, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Oh! The Irony

    Hillary's left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

    April 21, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Matt

    Wow. Hillary's experience equals being FIRST LADY!! That means she goes to luncheons and...and...and...absolutly nothing that would make her any more capable to direct a war. She is insane and will stop at nothing. Obama is a wolf in sheeps clothing? How? Give me one good reason other than he gives an amazing speach. Hillary supporters are the ones who are brainwashed!

    April 21, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Th3rdpwr

    Didn't Hillary declare that Obama could defeat McCain? Seems to me she's trying to slip in through the backdoor and retract her statement. So, Hill, which was the lie this time. Can Obama beat McCain or not?

    April 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Bridgette

    Maybe the Clinton's were never master politicians. Maybe we just gave them way to much credit. Because right about now they are looking like some lost idiots. I mean they went in PA, with cockiness because she had such a big lead and made this like this was it she was going to blow him away in this state and now that he has caught up with her they are trying to down play the state.

    In the infamous words of William Jefferson Clinton, " give me a break, this is the biggest fairy tale ever".

    April 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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