Clinton predicts Obama re-election; urges Tunisians to ignore campaign rhetoric
February 25th, 2012
01:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Clinton predicts Obama re-election; urges Tunisians to ignore campaign rhetoric

(CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sounded a confident note on her boss' reelection prospects in Tunisia Saturday, telling a group of Arab students President Barack Obama would be president for another four years.

"He will be re-elected president," Clinton said in Tunis. "I think that will be a very clear signal to the entire world as to what our values are and what our president believes."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Clinton was responding to a question from a Tunisian student named Ivan, who asked about the staunch pro-Israel stance nearly every American politician, both Republican and Democrat, espouse when they're running for office.

Clinton, a former presidential candidate herself, said campaign trail stumping often gains outsize significance that doesn't actualize when governing.

"You will learn as your democracy develops that a lot of things are said in political campaigns that should not bear a lot of attention," Clinton said. "There are comments made that certainly don't reflect the United States, don't reflect our foreign policy, Don't reflect who we are as a people. If you go to the United States you see mosques everywhere, you see Muslim Americans everywhere. That's the fact. So I would no pay attention to the rhetoric."

Republican candidates running for their party's presidential nomination often accuse Obama of appearing weak in his support for Israel.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said at CNN's Florida Republican Presidential Debate in January that Obama "threw Israel under the bus with regards to defining the '67 borders as a starting point of negotiations."

Romney added, "I think he has time and time again shown distance from Israel, and that has created, in my view, a greater sense of aggression on the part of the Palestinians. I will stand with our friend, Israel."

Fellow candidate Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, said at the same debate "we're in a continuous state of war where Obama undermines the Israelis."

Clinton said political observers from abroad should take cues about American policy from Obama, not from the presidential candidates.

"I would say watch what president Obama says and does. He's our president. He represents all of the United States," she said, adding she found it surprising people in Tunisia and other countries "pay more attention to what is said in our political campaigns than most Americans."

Clinton was in Tunisia meeting with other world leaders who oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott contributed to this report.

Also see:

Newly released Palin e-mails show frustration and discussion of her marital status

Obama and Republican trade blame on gas prices in weekly addresses

No laugh track needed: Romney in Kalamazoo

Gingrich ridicules Obama over bailouts, energy plan, Afghanistan


Filed under: 2012 • Hillary Clinton • President Obama
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Jon

    The sec of state should not be saying anything politically charged internationally. Very irresponsible.

    February 25, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. PROUD FEMALE DEM IN NC

    You go Hillary. Hillary2016!!!!!!!

    February 25, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. Gaeboi

    President Obama 2012-2016! I will happen!

    February 25, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. JPX

    Obama will absolutely be re-elected. The current republicans are a hateful, intolerant, loathsome bunch.

    February 25, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. Get Real

    Well I guess if a Clinton says it, then it must be true. I will make a bold prediction, if she would run against him, she would be the next president.

    February 25, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem the Arabs have is that they don't understand that Israel and the US share a number of different values such as rule of law and freedom of speech. If these people would understand that, they have a lot to learn about democracy. Far too long have these people been ruled by dictators and religious zelots who don't accept anything but themselves.

    February 25, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  7. BK

    Sorta hoping Hilary Clinton runs in 2016.

    February 25, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. Dennis

    "You will learn as your democracy develops that a lot of things are said in political campaigns that should not bear a lot of attention," Clinton said. In other words, Democrats and Republicans are all full of ... yup.

    February 25, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  9. Al

    Hopefully she'll once again be wrong or misguided, just like Bill misguided her about Monica, or if he told her the truth, then she lied for him. Which is it.

    February 25, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  10. Meki60

    just be glad you don't get in bed at night with that one

    February 25, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  11. Guy Kimble

    adding she found it surprising people in Tunisia and other countries "pay more attention to what is said in our political campaigns than most Americans."

    That's because we already know it's rigged so why even bother.

    February 25, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  12. Meki60

    got to feel sorry for Bill

    February 25, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  13. skarphace

    If Romney is nominated, it will be a pretty close race, especially if he picks Rubio as his running mate.

    If Ron Paul is nominated, it would be a very close race, but that probably won't happen. As a Paul supporter, I have always recognized that Paul probably won't win the nomination.

    If Gingrich or Santorum are nominated, Obama will win fairly easily, especially so in the case of Santorum.

    February 25, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  14. Steve

    Tunisia is a Muslim country. Muslims, for the most part, do not like Israel. Is Clinton suggesting to Ivan, a student in a Muslim country, that the Republicans AND the President (he is running for re-election) may appear to be too pro-Israel in the campaign?

    Clinton said, "There are comments made [in a campaign] that certainly don't reflect the United States, don't reflect our foreign policy, Don't reflect who we are as a people. If you go to the United States you see mosques everywhere, you see Muslim Americans everywhere. That's the fact. So I would no[t] pay attention to the rhetoric."

    The article indicates Ivan was addressing the rhetoric of BOTH parties. So is Clinton laying down cover in advance of the President's speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference in March? I know he needs the Jewish vote but is Clinton reassuring Ivan not to worry about the things the President says at the conference because after the election, the President will completely turn his back on Israel?

    February 25, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    The israeli palestinian situation will never resolve itself as long as Israel and the US insist that the US must be a lead player in the negotiation of an agreement.
    The Israelis and Palestinians must do the fundamental face to face negotiating with say the UN as a mediator and the Arab league sitting with Palestine as an advisor and the EU advising Israel.
    To Mitt Romney he forgets the US Israel and Palestine signed up to 1967 borders the issue being the Golan heights still disputed with Syria.
    Since then Israel has usurped that by multiple settlements and continues to build a Berlin style wall condemned as illegal by the international court, and frankly nothing but tacit if not overt approval of all Israel does including the last outrageous bombing of Gaza and the blockade of Gaza, an independent part of any likely Palestinian state.
    It is sickening to listen to this rhetoric rise in volume whenever a Presidential election looms as both parties in the US look for Jewish campaign money and votes.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 25, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  16. Tom in San Diego

    Mr. Obama does not represent me and I was born, raised, educated and live in the USA. Watch what the people say and do. Our government is of the people, for the people, and by the people and that Government shall not perish.

    February 25, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  17. Deej59

    Unless Joe Namath says it I don't want it said. With that one famous exception, it seems, most predictions of this sort just tick the other team off enough to win.

    February 25, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  18. Angy

    Yes I know he will be re-elected and I pray and hope you will run in 2016.

    February 25, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  19. d

    And what does reflect the United States Ms. Clinton? A leadership that capitulates to the will of an ungrateful people from places 5000 miles away? A president who bows before every foreign leader regardless? A Justice Department that puts its own Border Patrol agents in prison for enforcing federal immigration law? A State Department that instead of promoting American values abroad seems to be putting it down while promoting radical islam throughout the Middle East and North Africa?

    I predict that Obama will not win reelection because his entire apparatus has proven time and time again to be a traitorous cancer on the body politic. Americans will never accept radical islam as an American value. And if Ms. Clinton doesn't like it then she can go live in one of her many beloved Shariastans that she created in the ME and North Africa.

    February 25, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  20. dreucalypt

    I don't think Secretary Clinton's prediction is much of a stretch. Anyone who has looked closely at America over the last few months would agree with her.

    February 25, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  21. Billie

    Hillary I hope you are wrong and I would vote for you if you were running for President. Too bad you have decided not to run.

    February 25, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. neil

    In other words republicans are crazy and will say anything to get elected,

    February 25, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  23. Nomorekoolaide

    She is sick of working for Barry and will not come back says what she really means to say. He is a lame duck president. Vote for him and you will get four more years of a do nothing congress and trillions down the drain.

    February 25, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  24. Vignesh Krishnaswamy

    The GOP's obsession with israel has always been disturbing and annoying-to say the least... Regardless, it's pathetic that santorum and romney are the best that the republican party could do. Even popular conservatives (jeb bush, daniels) have expressed extreme dissatisfaction with this field. They have stooped to levels of negativity that are pathetic.

    February 26, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  25. Jim

    I will breath such a huge sigh of relief when he gets re-elected, the day can't come soon enough. I don't trust republicans at all and who knows what tricks and dirty disgusting tactics they'll throw at us along with Fox news, November can't come soon enough!

    Obama 2012!

    February 26, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8