August 7th, 2007
09:01 AM ET
12 years ago

Sen. Clinton slammed for taking $400K from lobbyists

Watch CNN's Kathleen Koch report Clinton is taking heat for her defense of lobbyists.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton is being taken to task by her two closest rivals for accepting $400,000 in campaign contributions from Washington lobbyists.

Over the weekend, Clinton was booed by an audience of liberal bloggers in Chicago when she defended taking money from Washington lobbyists, something both Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards have vowed not to do.

"I don't think, based on my 35 years fighting for what I believe in, anybody seriously believes I'm going to be influenced by a lobbyist or a particular interest group," Clinton said.

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soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Henry W, Milwaukee

    1) Voted for the Iraq War
    2) Voted for funding the war
    3) Refuses to meet with Hugo Chavez, and other "unfriendly" leaders
    4) Accepts money from special interest lobbyists

    What qualifies her for being a democrat?

    August 7, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Scott, Chelmsford MA

    What makes Hillary different from most other politicians, republican or democrat? No wonder many people outside the U.S. view this democracy as a joke. You have to wonder when we are thankful for having the freedom to vote, yet we continue to do so in extremely low turnouts. People have lost faith in the government as it seems to be serving special interest groups and not "the people" as it was originally designed to do.

    August 7, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Hillary the "Frontrunner"? Give us a break!! Obama has more true supporters!

    Every democratic debate has featured Hillary and Edwards in the front center givien more opportunities to answer questions.

    The Republican debates feature Rudy and Mitt front and center.

    What about Ron Paul? What about ANYONE else but the inner-party, more-of-the-same candidates.

    Its bad enough we only have two parties to choose from, how about at least giving all candidates EQUAL air time??!!

    August 7, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Chip Celina OH

    There is no difference republican or democrat. If you look at all of Washington, it's pretty much just a den of thieves. Revolving doors with the only new faces on the scene being those that replace the ones that retire. Not to say there aren't any "GOOD" folks in Washington, but one good apple won't cure the whole bunch.

    Don't you get tired of the he said/ she said saga always going on. What have any of these folks really accomplished? They speak about rights, justice, fiscal responsibility etc. etc. but in the end...where are the goods? I was watching C-SPAN the other day and saw a very emotional group demanding that the government of Japan issue and official apology to the "Comfort Girls" of WWII. All the while, kids in a school bus plummet toward a river bottom on a bridge that had structural problems that were documented 17 years ago. Now, the investigation is going to take 18 months? I can save the NTSB and other agencies a lot of money, the bridge collapsed, 'nuff said, investigation over. Instead, they're going to spend tons of money to find a scape-goat and then 2 years from now on Capitol Hill you'll hear passionate voices decrying the corruption of the other political party's minions for ignoring this or that...all in a lead up to the 2012 election, which will probably start Jan 2009.

    August 7, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. carl, dallas, texas

    Lobbyists should be banned from politics as soon as possible.

    Money corrupts everyone... get as much of it out as possible and we might save this government...

    August 7, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Boo her or not Hillary is actually smart to accept donations from lobbyists. I hate the woman (she's a man man) but I will say I applaud her for being honest about the donations.

    For the people who say lobbyists are ruining politics I'd ask you to go the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, and the American Life League and ask them to disband and see how far you get. Those groups are political action committees and they have lobbyists in Washington who give large sums of money to political candidates. When McCain tried to pass campaign finance reform it was those groups that cried the loudest saying their freedom of speech was being infringed upon.

    So go ahead and blame big business and corporate lobbyists for your political woes while those other PAC's influence your politicians in exactly the same manner.

    Any republican that is on here criticizing Hillary for taking lobbyist funds needs to pretty much shut it. Your republican candidate is doing exactly the same thing.

    August 7, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Chip Celina OH

    This comment:

    "Any republican that is on here criticizing Hillary for taking lobbyist funds needs to pretty much shut it. Your republican candidate is doing exactly the same thing."

    is symptomatic of the greater problem. More fingerpointing, less problem solving.

    If a point can't be made or accepted on its merits, we'll just say that everyone else is doing it and that becomes justification. Gee, then we can pass 'legislation' to allow certain of our buddies to do it, but no one else. Look at the 'campaign manager' for each of these, which is a new face in Washington?

    August 7, 2007 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    Sorry Davey boy, from Arizona, but Ron Paul does not accept lobbyist or special interest money. You just keep on your merry way, accepting the "lesser of the evil" candidate when you could be supporting an honest and trustworthy candidate that is Ron Paul.

    Sorry to say, but I won't "shut it." Maybe you should shut it until you become a bit more informed.

    August 7, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Lance, Monrovia, CA.

    The effect of special interests in Washington is the main reason Barrack Obama has made it a cornerstone of his campaign not to take money from lobbyists. You can not effectively govern a nation when every move is controlled by who has the most money. This is the reason the corporations have put us in a strangle hold over the last decade. Clinton and Bush are both in it up to their necks with lobbying money. It's blatantly obvious to me that real change on any front is only going to occur once big money and big industry is taken out of the process of writing our laws.

    Barrack Obama realizes this because he's seen the effects big money has on communities like Chicago. Clinton has been sequestered in the White House and then in the media spot light thereafter, for a long number of years. To me, she seems out of touch. Barrack Obama feels like he is of the moment, that this is his time, and as he says again and again, he knows that nothing good is going to happen until the interests of lobbyists are controlled and the system is fixed.

    Lobbyists have been a problem for a long, long time. I remember learning about how they control Congress back when I was in grade school in the 70s. (Yes, back then public education wasn't quite as bad and underfunded as it is currently.)

    It will take someone with vision and guts to fix the problem and make us all equal under the laws of this country again. Corporate interests need to have a voice, but not to the exclusion of all others in Washington. There are literally thousands of lobbyists for every Senator. In fact, Good Ol Boy Fred Thompson used to be a lobbyist for years himself. (says something about him if you ask me.)

    Barry Obama feels current, relevent, while Hilary Clinton and frankly every other candidate to me, with the exception of John Edwards, really feels dated and of a system that is broken beyond compare.

    August 7, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Joseph Laughlin, San Leandro, CA

    Unfortunately she is the front runner based on national polls. I am personally voting for Obama but how well he does in the early states is going to be obsolete if Hillary wins California, New York and a couple of the other larger states like Florida that have moved up their primaries to February 5th or earlier. If she wins these states, which are the ones giving her this big national lead, this nomination is over. With the big boys moving up their dates, this year has become much more of a national election than in year's past and it fits right in to Hillary's favor. This was the good thing about spreading out the primary calendar and I hope it is fixed before the next election but it is too late for Obama this year. If he wants to win he better start hitting these big states with advertising and fast...

    August 7, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI>

    Who are those other two Candidates sitting on the right and left of Hillary? She left so much dust behind her I couldn't discern who they were!!

    GO HILLARY....

    NO matter who the candidate they won't outsmart Hillary Rodham CLinton no matter what they throw at her as she way too intelligent, dignified, and politically savy for them to ever come out in front.

    August 7, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Granted Ron Paul does not accept funds from lobbyists. True to Dr. Paul's word he has put forth a grassroots campaign using dollars for individual contributions. On the other hand Dr. Paul has a lot of other issues already working against him. Lobbyist money is the least of his concerns at this point. Take for instance his idea that the current administration would stage an attack to use as an excuse to attack Iran. The administration couldn't even pull off a media campaign to prove weapons of mass destruction let alone stage an actual attack and yet Dr. Paul believes this is exactly what our administration is capable of. Take it one step further and it becomes evident that many of Dr. Paul's supporters are "9/11 Truthers". One simple question I have for these supporters, if a plane did not fly into the Pentagon where are the people there were not on the plane that did not crash? Not one single person on that plane has come forward and said here I am alive and well.

    Paul also bemoans government spending but at the same time asked for earmarks for his home district in Texas. The clincher of it all is that the esteemed Doctor turns right back around and voted AGAINST a budget he himself had help load with pork.

    The only possible answer as to why someone would use tactics like this is so they can say they are anti-government spending. What better way than to load up a budget with pork and then make a public vote against said budget.

    Taking donations from lobbyists is the least of Dr. Paul's worries. Picking the lesser of two evils is MUCH better than electing a bonafide wingnut to the office of President of the United States.

    August 7, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Sid, Ny Ny

    "NO matter who the candidate they won’t outsmart Hillary Rodham CLinton no matter what they throw at her as she way too intelligent, dignified, and politically savy for them to ever come out in front."

    This over-indulgent message was brought to you from the HRC Canadian Fan Club. Tricia – if you get any more exuberant over your worship of Hillary – HRC is going to order a restraining order to keep your lips off the back of her widely stretched black polyester pants!

    August 7, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. James, Newport KY

    Just another case of a Clinton spinning the truth to make it sound like they aren't doing anything wrong.
    Haven't Americans had enough of these charlatans?

    August 7, 2007 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Give me a break!

    August 7, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  16. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Clinton is old school and steeped in it. Open your eyes.

    August 8, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  17. John Doe,Salisbury MD

    "Polls represent nothing". Is this your first election or something? That has got to the the dumbest statement I have ever heard in my life.

    August 16, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Blair Ivey Georgia

    The effect of special interests in Washington is the main reason Barrack Obama has made it a cornerstone of his campaign not to take money from lobbyists.

    Look at Obamas list of DC consultants and corporate reps. It is well known that Barrack's fundraisers have met with some of K Streets biggest players and asked them for their own personal fundraising contact list and solicited these lobbyists to get checks from their spouses and other family members because they were going to make "an issue" about "refusing" lobbyist contributions. Those actions led to a couple of stories in the Wash Post and Chicago Tribune early in this campaign. Then check the big money of Obama's list of his Chicago and Illinois supporters.
    Washington insiders, consultants and corporate reps. These people are paid by clients to influence politicians, this does not mean that they lobby on legislative issues. Explain to me please, the big difference between the two.

    This attack by Obama is nothing but the oldest type of politics. Attacking another's morality and character for doing something that the attacker knows, perfectly well, that they are doing themselves.

    August 16, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Jeremiah S, Denver CO

    this is a responce to the following post "Does it really matter? All I want is another 4×2 years of Clinton Era please! I can't wait for Bush to come out of Office.

    Posted By Josue Romano, Buena Park, CA : August 7, 2007 11:07 am "

    this person is totally missing logic.. they are attaching the name clinton to the 90's an era of economic prosperity.. something the president has little direct control over.. more to the point.. they are assuming that the name means good things are attached to it.. i liked bill clinton, but hilary is not the canidate he was nor could she hope to be the president he was.. in much the same way G W Bush is not like his father.. though conservatives largely voted on name re cognition.. stop voting on name recognition and start voting based on issues the canidate's record shows they support

    August 16, 2007 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. JW, Columbus OH

    Anyone who believes the garbage that comes out of this woman's mouth is truly nieve. She is not concerned with the will of the American people. She is, however, passionate about special interests and her own pursuit of power.

    August 17, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. Anon Fan


    First Lady is not an elected office, and has no role in government. By her claiming to have any experience beyond being a junior senator is nothing more than political spin and hype.

    very well said

    August 21, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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