May 5th, 2008
01:51 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama lays out key differences from Clinton


Watch Obama's comments Monday.

(CNN) – On the eve of critical primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, Sen. Barack Obama sought to draw a contrast between him and rival Sen. Hillary Clinton by laying out three major differences between himself and the New York senator.

Speaking at a North Carolina light bulb manufacturer, Obama told workers that his differences with Clinton are “not that much about policy, for the most part.” Instead, Obama identified differences in style, approach and outlook.

“Right now, on May 6, here in North Carolina, the question you have to ask yourself is: Who is best able to lead that Democratic Party to deliver on change?” said Obama. “This is where there are big differences between Sen. Clinton and me.”

“Number one: I think there is a difference in our attitudes about special interests in Washington and how much they dominate the debate,” Obama said. Obama characterized Clinton as accepting PAC’s and lobbyists as “a given.” “I think they are part of the problem,” he said.

“Point number two is the need to be honest about how we’re actually going to solve problems, how are we going to get results,” Obama said. The current three-way debate between himself, Clinton, and Sen. John McCain about a federal gas tax holiday is “the perfect example, the perfect metaphor for what’s been going on in Washington.”

“It’s a shell game,” Obama said of proposals by McCain and Clinton to suspend the federal gas tax over the summer. Instead, Obama advocates for permanent middle-class tax relief and longer-term planning for energy independence and alternative energy sources.

Third, Obama took a pot shot at Clinton’s reputation for being a polarizing figure. “I think that we’ve got to unify the country and that means we can’t be obsessed with the bickering and the name-calling and the back-and-forth,” he said. “I’m a proud Democrat but I’m a prouder American and I think it’s important for us to be able to speak to one another and disagree without being disagreeable.”

Clinton and Obama will face off again Tuesday in primaries in North Carolina and Indiana where a total of 187 delegates are at stake between the two states.

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Angelika

    Hillary's pushing an ALREADY FAILED Health Care plan. She's also pushing a gas tax holiday that will increase demand, and thus prices will rise anyway. Anyone find that bit funny...? Or are all you in support of it just blind idiots who don't realize that OBama's taking it slowly, and that you can't have everything RIGHT THIS SECOND?

    ...Of course, this likely won't get posted because it's blatantly anti-Hillary. :3

    May 5, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. Nathan

    You are all tip and no iceburg Barry.

    May 5, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. The new flavor

    YES WE CAN Mr. President! Come into the fold HRC supportes and we'll beat McSame in Nov.

    May 5, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. Susie

    I absolutely cannot believe all the nasty comments. Obama inspires hatred and animosity. I also find the lack of grammar atrocious. Thses comments are an indictment of our education system. If these Obmaniacs are the young educated elite, this country is in trouble.

    May 5, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Don

    I just finished listening to CNN, and MSN about the two state primary tomorrow and just cannot help but wonder of the good folks in these two states, "How gullible are you?" Every news pundit and economics expert in the country is laughing at you for buying the Hillary gas tax issue. There is first off nothing she can do about it but blow alot of hot air. Second George Bush is still the president and he certainly is not buying it. Third if she got the nomination and this plan fails (which it will), how is that going to play to the rest of the country in Nov.?
    Come on Dems! Lets all get on the elect McCain wagon! Thats what Hillary has been preaching anyway. You truely do deserve the government you get. Obliterate Iran, Dodge bullets in Bosnia, 3am call, child insurance. What a joke. If you buy all this you deserve to spend another 100 years in Iraq.

    May 5, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. do good silence

    Obama will bring change. He doesn't really ever tell you what that is so I will help out:

    NO CLUE!

    Nice change – can't wait.

    Or just get it done – Go Hillary – you are stronger than the cult.

    May 5, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Elijah

    Pilotlight, I think you blew a fuse. Obama's points are right on the mark. We do not need any more political panderers pretending to care for our interest, when it's really their self-interst they have in mind. In Billary's case, making history. They will do anything to get elected. Billary's time has gone and left.

    May 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. hmmmmm.....sounds fishy

    Hillary has had more debates than states won.....I think thats enough debates.......
    Obama 08

    May 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. Tonya

    Obama has it right . on the tax on gas. Clinton is up to the olds trick in the books. I trust Obama. she is not to be trusted. I,m not vote in someone I can,t trust. So i say Obama i s the real deal. PS:Go Obama

    May 5, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. Venus

    Hey Obama – you should also tell them how many people have left Hillary's camp to join yours! 9-people!

    Also – tell them how many superdelegates you have picked up since Feb/08!!!!!!!!!!!11

    That should say a lot!

    Get ready Hillary supporters! This show is almost over with!

    We have room on Obama's Train – ALL ABOARD THE LOVE TRAIN!

    May 5, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. brian bernard


    May 5, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. California Independent

    – Voted for Iraq War
    – Ignores economic experts on their recommendation against the gas holiday tax cut
    – Takes millions of dollars from Washington lobbyists.
    – Lied about her Bosnia sniper attack landing
    – Customizes the nomination process in her interest by trying to change the rules on Florida & Michigan.
    – Makes tens of millions of dollars but calls Obama the elitist.
    – Wants to penalize people for not signing up for healthcare.

    Need I continue on more differences?

    May 5, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. v.ananthan

    The main difference is Obama is an easy going candidate and Hilalry is a strong candidate with vision...
    If you take the foreign leaders who are not friendly with USA , they will definitely give more respect to a strong candidate than to an easy going leader...
    -Hillary 08.

    May 5, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. miles

    Let's see if HER supporters understand that as the percentage of Hillary supporters who would not vote or vote for Mcain, if she does not get the nomination is much higher than the percentage of Obama supporters who say the same.

    May 5, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. Ric

    Democrats for Mc Cain '08

    May 5, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. Ernest

    The old lady is begining to sing. Senator Clinton, church services and prayer with the superdelegates would not work this miracles this time. American are now smarter........see yah!

    May 5, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. Vig

    I do believe Obama is breaking into a sweat – it's about time Mr. Rock Star has to work for what he wants.

    May 5, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. sing a song

    Barrack has had an unfair advantage since the beginning. He has 90 percent of the African American vote, thanks to people like Oprah campaigning for him day and night. Which also helped him move women voters away from Hillary and to him.

    The media has given so much positive press to Obama, to ensure this political race continued as long as possible for money, money money.

    Hillary is the better candidate, but America has been blinded by this man who is the Best infomercial hosts I have ever seen. This man should consider selling pennies for a 100 dollars as weight loss pills.

    May 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. Animal Farm

    Can Independent and undecided voters really be more afraid of a Reverend than an actual candidate who has said she would "obliterate" Iran, agreed with McCain's position on staying in Iraq (read the Huffington post article), pushed NAFTA, pushes a pandering gas tax holiday to play on people's emotions and ignores common sense and experts?

    We have that candidate in office right now.

    Can you all really be that afraid of a Reverend who isn't running for office that much that you'd run to the arms of someone who represents everything that you would like to see changed?

    May 5, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Len in Washington

    Obama's correct. It's just that simple.

    May 5, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  21. Ric

    Another difference he forgot to mention. The 'Clinton Democrats' will NEVER vote for him. Gore=Kerry=Obama.

    May 5, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  22. Primary is ending soon

    New eight super delegates today supporting Obama
    And CNN will not mention that
    Shame on you CNN

    Yes we can.
    Primary is ending soon... Join the winning ticket Indiana

    May 5, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. NCnurse

    The difference is you are inexperienced, immature and arrogant. Clinton is presidential.

    May 5, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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