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. Joe Bloggs, Haiku, HI

    aaah! hillary! what a shame! you have successfully tarnished both your and bill's reputations (though he did help much himself) in just a few months of your selfish campaigning – not to mention what you have done to the dems' chances in November! and for those of you who accuse Obama of lies, hypocrisy etc, my guess is you are mainly dittoheads trying to prolong this nomination process. Certainly, Obama and his supporters have started to respond to Hillary's kitchen sink strategy with some zingers of their own. But let's be honest. If not for Hillary's shameless selfish tactics – aimed to further her career at the expense of everyone else – we would have had a clean and honorable Dem campaign all the way through.
    And to think, I used to be a Clinton supporter. But don't worry – I would NEVER vote for JOhn McGoo!

    April 21, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Shawna

    Once again a failure to be upfront and honest with the American people. This is why she is seen as negative, never willing to admit the common decency in people unless it is politically benefiting her campaign. Obama has no problem giving someone respect this is why is picks up votes from across the isle. I suspect that current republicans that are going to be up for reelection are going to start endorsing Obama also once we get to the general campaign and they realize that they are on the losing side of this debate.

    April 21, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Mary from Blauvelt

    I am so tired of Hillary and can't wait until Obama is the official nominee. She and Bill have turned into pathetic shells of their former selves (and I was a big time supporter of both of them). Maybe she and Joe Lieberman can form a ticket.

    April 21, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Linda of Atlanta

    These people have no integrity and they think Americans are stupid. I cannot believe that I used to admire and respect Hillary Clinton. There is nothing they will not do or say. That is scary to me and will be scary to other nations as well. A win for Clinton will be a huge loss for our nation.

    April 21, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. hawkeyy

    hilary is a politically skilled individual and i am sick of her political correctness....this country needs fresh direction which obama personifies

    April 21, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Mark, Vancouver, WA

    Hillary is truly the epitome of the problems with politics – she seems to have no conscience whatsoever. It is these tactics that have caused so many people to abandon the political process. I fear for what may happen should she ever be elected president.

    April 21, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Susan MO

    NO CLINTONS! NO WAY

    FOR OBAMA

    April 21, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. obama supporter

    Hillary Clinton
    All votes should count,
    only big states matter
    in the end, superdelegates make final decision

    Yea, that's hillary for you.

    Perhaps McCain will place hillary as VP? after all, we got McCain and the republicans against Obama, plus the 2 Clintons and the pimped out daughter goin against Obama, and day by day Obama is getting better and better.

    You can't stop him.

    April 21, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. mitch from ark.

    another dud for hillary.pffffft!

    April 21, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. Stevo in PA

    Obama must be a threat because Billiary-BushMcCain is throwing everything including the combo sinks at him. Surprisingly, he's raising more money from a great amount of donor than them all.

    PA. Vote Obama.

    April 21, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. A CANUCK

    Clinton knows she can't win so she's trying to destroy Obama's
    character with her nasty kitchen sink strategy.......but it won't work!!!!Obama will win and take Americansdown a DECENT path. He will be an HONEST president and bring DIGNITY to the White House.
    God bless Obama.

    April 21, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Stevo in PA

    Keep spending Obama. That what the $million plus donors want. Win at all cost except for mud throwing. The Billiary-BushMcCain camps are envying over what is possible in your camp.

    After PA voting is over I hope Rendell/Nutter can reunite the state!

    April 21, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Tom,des moines

    Obama said McCain is better than Bush. Bush said that he's better than Obama. Hillary said she is better then all of them three. I'm happen to agree with Hillary. Go Hillary 08!

    April 21, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. middle-aged american

    Reading the responses by the readers over the past few days, I see an OVERWHELMING support for Obama. I, too, support Obama and have dug into my wallet 3 times to prove it. It seems what America is saying is "we're not gonna take it anymore!" We deserve a new option, and that option has made itself available through Obama.

    We don't expect perfection or miracles, we expect to have a say in how our government works. We expect accountability. We expect our Senators, Representatives, and even our President to be looking out for AMERICA FIRST, everyone else second.

    Americans are notorious for their generosity the world over, but with the country in its current state of disgrace, we can barely feed & house ourselves. We will lose our reputation as a generous donor because of the corruption of government over the past 20 years.

    So now we shout CHANGE. Now we demand change.

    Vote for Change 2008

    April 21, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. SBvoter

    I will not vote for a socialist-marxist-president Obama.
    Vote HIllary!!!!!!

    April 21, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. ABC '08/12

    How about getting the Boys from TapOut to sponser an HRC/Bill vs. Obama/Michelle MMA cage fight??

    All ticket proceeds can go to the DNC!

    April 21, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. middle-aged american

    Reading the responses by the readers over the past few days, I see an OVERWHELMING support for Obama. I, too, support Obama and have dug into my wallet 3 times to prove it. It seems what America is saying is "we're not gonna take it anymore!" We deserve a new option, and that option has made itself available through Obama.

    We don't expect perfection or miracles, we expect to have a say in how our government works. We expect accountability. We expect our Senators, Representatives, and even our President to be looking out for AMERICA FIRST, everyone else second.

    Americans are notorious for their generosity the world over, but with the country in its current state of disgrace, we can barely feed & house ourselves. We will lose our reputation as a generous donor because of the corruption of government over the past 20 years.

    So now we shout CHANGE. Now we demand change.

    April 21, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. JAX, Florida

    I BELIEVE HILLARY CLINTON KNOWS SHE CAN'T WIN, IF SHE CAN'T CONVINCE THE SUPERDELAGATES TO GIVE HER THE NOMINATION. IF SHE CAN'T, THEN SHE IS DOING HER BEST TO BURN THE PARTY BECAUSE SHE WILL BE JUSTIFIED IF OBAMA LOOSES. SHE CAN SAY, I TOLD YOU SO.

    THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS BLOWING IT BIG TIME. THE DNC, THE SUPERDELIGATES, THE REPRISENTATIVES IN HIGH OFFICES, AND THE VOTERS IN THE PRIMARIES.

    April 21, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. MM

    In response to Jay who keeps asking if Obama fans have a life because he keep seeing them on these different sites - at 2:30 in the afternoon! Any Jay, what is your job that allows you such freedom?

    April 21, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. MM

    PA please vote for Obama! End this primary now please please please - I can't stand hearing her anymore!

    April 21, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. let's get real folks

    I used to love the idea of Hilary Clinton becoming the first woman President. But after the attacks she launched, she inadvertently made me look closer at Obama. After all, you don’t attack someone you don’t fear.

    I liked what I saw and now support him fully. For those of you who use the experience issue, I’ll name three other presidents with less experience than Hillary Clinton before taking office:

    George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and JFK.

    Now, Who would you call at 3:00 in the morning?

    April 21, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Debby

    Well we will see if Obama's spending will get him the win tomm. If he can't win the big electoral states which will be crucial in November then his goose is cooked. McCain will sweep them if Obama is the nominee.

    April 21, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. California Voter

    Don't forget that both Florida and Michigan will be voting in the general election. If you were a Florida or Michigan voter wouldn't you think twice about someone who did not try to get a revote in your state. Since neither candidate has the ability to win the requisite number of delegates I say let the superdelegates decide using their judgment as to who would be most electable in November. Since Obama feels as three candidates running would be better than Bush, I will definitely vote for McCain if Clinton is not the democratic candidate for President. In the end it's character that counts and he has failed to show that he is not a follower of Rev. Wright and all that he believes in. I do not want to have a "non-negotiable commitment with Africa" as his church members and pastor all support and I do not want an angry President and First Lady!

    April 21, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Obama supporter

    I have heard Hillary criticize everything but this statement:
    "I didn't have sex with that woman"

    Oh, I forgot that was just a "vast, right-wing conspiracy".

    Sorry!!!1

    April 21, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. ratgurl

    ***Reading the responses by the readers over the past few days, I see an OVERWHELMING support for Obama. I, too, support Obama and have dug into my wallet 3 times to prove it. It seems what America is saying is "we're not gonna take it anymore!" We deserve a new option, and that option has made itself available through Obama.

    We don't expect perfection or miracles, we expect to have a say in how our government works. We expect accountability. We expect our Senators, Representatives, and even our President to be looking out for AMERICA FIRST, everyone else second.

    Americans are notorious for their generosity the world over, but with the country in its current state of disgrace, we can barely feed & house ourselves. We will lose our reputation as a generous donor because of the corruption of government over the past 20 years.

    So now we shout CHANGE. Now we demand change.

    April 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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