July 26th, 2007
01:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama calls Clinton 'Bush-Cheney Light'

Obama campaigned in New Hampshire Thursday.

CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama left little question as to his position on diplomacy with enemy states Thursday, days after his response to a question during Monday’s CNN/YouTube debate drew sharp criticism from opponent Hillary Clinton.

“I’m not afraid to lose the P.R. war to dictators,” Obama said in a speech in Concord, New Hampshire Thursday, where he picked up an early Granite State endorsement from first-term Democratic Congressman Paul Hodes. “I’m happy to look them in the eyes and say what needs to be said... I don't want Bush-Cheney Light.”

In a later conference call with the press, Obama continued on the topic: “Part of the Bush doctrine has been to say ‘no.’ You'll have to ask Senator Clinton what differentiates her position from theirs.”

The day following the CNN/YouTube debate, Senator Clinton called Obama’s willingness to meet, without precondition, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba “irresponsible” and “naïve.” Clinton, responding to the same question Monday, said “a vigorous diplomatic effort” with such nations is necessary, but said “you don’t promise a meeting until you know the intentions. I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes and don’t want to make a situation worse.”

- CNN’s Lauren Kornreich and Mark Norman

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Michael - Stamford, CT

    At least Hillary Clinton is flexible enough to realize that a change needs to be made in Iraq which is why she voted against giving President Bush another blank check to continue his failed Iraq policy of stay the course with no exit date. As far as Senator Obama goes and his comments to meet with people like Chavez and Castro in his first year shows what little experience he has in office and why he isn't fit to be President. My vote will be going to Hillary Clinton as once again she shows strong leadership. If Hillary wins like I think she will I hope she will ask Senator Chris Dodd to be her vice president.

    July 26, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Jeremy West, Jacksonville Fl

    There is not much difference between Bush and Hillary in terms of attitude. "It's my way or the highway" resonates from them both. Obama will have success.

    July 26, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. DJ, Los Angeles

    That's right. Look what happened to the Soviet Union when the U.S. had strong diplomatic ties and relations with Mikhail Gorbachev...it helped bring about the collapse of a so called enemy.

    It is about a P.R. war and it is a million times cheaper and more productive than pre-emptive wars.

    Clinton again tries to have it both ways...Obama is not afraid to take a position and stick with it.

    July 26, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Brian, Lawrenceville GA

    Maybe someone should tell Obama that the Bush/Cheney approach to N. Korea has worked. They are shutting down their reactors and proceeding w/ de-nuclearization.

    The stance with Iran is not only the US's policy but France and Germany are both pulling for a 3rd round of sanctions on them. Also it seems to me we are meeting with Iran when it comes to Iraq's security. We're talking with them while they continue to supply weapons that kill our troops.

    I'm so sick of these pathetic Democrats.

    July 26, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Bruce, Franklin, TN

    Spin, spin, spin...

    July 26, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Jarik, Birdtown MN

    He's saying what many Americans are thinking. Many of us are sick of being scared of these so called evil men. My analogy of these leaders/dictators is like this: They are like wild bears. Ferocious at times, but when confronted, they are more afraid of us and our polcies, then we are of them and the way they run their country.

    I trust Obama far more then I do Hillary. This coming from someone who thinks that Bill Clinton was the greatest President in modern history. Hillary blew it when she voted with Bush on the invasion of Iraq. Obama has fresh ideas, and isn't afraid of the double-speak of Hillary.

    July 26, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Karl Rove

    i don't see anything wrong with what Obama said, Hillary said the same thing basically but in other words...who cares??? why u makin this thing such a big deal, u guys want them to fight

    July 26, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Christina, Chicago, IL

    Thank you, finally a potential president who will not "shoo shoo" around...

    July 26, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Sharon Hale-Jenkins, Philadelphia, PA

    I am a 100% Obama supporter, I donate monthly to the campaign. However, if Senator Clinton should win the nomination, I would not want to place my vote with the person who says no to speaking with countries that are politically difficult. Whether it is their first year or not or any time after that. How calculating!
    This is not what America wants.
    Senator Clinton is sounding like President Bush. America does not just want a change in the person in Washington, America wants a change in the politics in Washington.
    Senator Barack Obama represents that change.

    July 26, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Jess, Madisonville, KY

    OBAMA is definately the best candidate and we are so lucky to have such an amazing man running for President. He was right on with his response to that question. Hillary is just as evil as BushCo.


    July 26, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    They're both right. I see where Hillary's assertions come from, and they may be the hard politik reality necessary in this cruel world. On the other hand, Obama's position offers a beacon of hope towards a better future built on forging relationships and promoting peace. I'll take a chance on Obama.

    July 26, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. Bill, San Diego, Ca

    Bush-Cheney Light? I love it. Hilly attacking Barack while ignoring the other democratic candidates shows she is afraid of him. I am not married to either party so will vote for the best and against the worst. If Barack is the nominee for the Democratic party, he will have my vote. If he doesn't pick it up, my vote will be for whoever is against the senator from New York.
    And for anyone thinking a "lack of experience" is a hinderance in gaining the White House, the last 7 years prove you need neither experience or intelligence.

    July 26, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. RDA Houston, Texas

    Obama sounds more dangerous than Bush...the one that was going to re-shape the middle east and give them democracy...

    July 26, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Chris, Muskegon, MI

    Barack Obama is a smart man~! We need change in America today. We need someone like Obama who is willing to roll up his sleeves, take charge and clean this mess up. Bush/Cheney have made a mess of our current situation. We need to call for IMPEACHMENT now!! Impeach Bush!(the puppet)
    Impeach Cheney!!!!! (the puppetmaster)

    July 26, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. atlanta georgia

    um, guys, I think he meant "Bush-Cheney *Lite*"

    July 26, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. bob williams

    obama is completely unqualified to be senator, much less president...he was just got lucky with the timing of his IL opponent's personal problems...

    July 26, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Jimmy, Houston Texas

    Obama certainly lost last Monday's debate. He will be a bad head over the United States but thankfully, he would loose the Dems ticket

    July 26, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. BlueDiamond

    Yeah Baby,

    That's right. It's time for someone to finally call this Clin"toon" out on her scams. She is not experienced. Her husband is and she cannot keep trying to run on her husbands name anymore . The American people are just not falling for the game. The days of walking on eggshgells as not to offend the almighting ClinTOONs, are over. Obama is right to point out the fact she is the one who was nieve and immature when she voted to authorize this war. For someone so intellegent and experienced, she sure has had her "Blond Moments".

    July 26, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. bret, atl, ga

    Obama, if you'd just adopt some sensible economics you'd be an OK guy. I love it though, keep attacking Clinton! She's as bad as Giuliani!

    July 26, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Chuck Lauria, Suwanee, Georgia

    While Clinton & Obama struggle to differentiate themselves both from one another & the field, Joe Biden stands out from all candidates in both parties as the only truly candid candidate.
    I believe this war of semantics will give the Senator from Delaware a much-needed & well-deserved opening.

    July 26, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Sue P. Smith

    Of course Barack Hussein Obama doesn't care how the United States looks to the rest of the world. He doesn't understand what a wonderful country we have as we enjoy our strength and our freedom and respect our military. His name sorta tells it all!! Yuck! Waste of newsprint.

    July 26, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. MyAsia, Neptune, NJ

    Obama is truly the best candidate for this presidential election. Hillary is just running scared like Bush and his puppydogs, I'm sorry, his administration. It's time that we get someone in office who is willing to tak eon the challenges of America head on.

    July 26, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Leandro, Washington DC

    And what brilliant campaign staffer came up with that little gem?

    Hillary is stronger on national defense across the board, so Obama's tactic is to portray her has the antithesis of Democrats' internationalist approach. Might work. Frankly, he's yet to outgrow the "inexperienced" stigma, and catchy turns of phrase are not the ultimate remedy.

    July 26, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Pamela

    This from a man who (before he decided to run for president) said that while he thought going into Iraq was wrong he could not say that he would have voted not to go into Iraq if he had been in the Senate at the time. Who is really flipping here. Also, you are willing to meet with anyone with no preconditions??
    Obama is Carter-lite and that's saying something considering lite Carter was. Also shows that he is REALLY no different from any other politician when it comes to slinging it. Calling a fellow Democrat "Bush-Cheney"??? Will he be questioing her patrotism next??? It's not just the gloves that are off, it's also Obama's MASK.

    July 26, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Robert, Edwards AFB, CA

    No, thanks. I'll take a Diet Dr. Paul.

    July 26, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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