August 7th, 2007
09:01 AM ET
9 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.

Full story

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Eustace, New York, NY

    STOP CALLING CLINTON THE FRONT people are trying to create your own reality... national polls are useless....and in important states she is being challenged... polls represent nothing... STOP CALLING HER THE FRONT RUNNER... dang.

    August 7, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. IV, Dallas

    The Ticker's authors might want to add that after Clinton's claim that "nobody seriously believes that [she] would be influenced by a lobbyist," the audience erupted with very vocal laughter.

    August 7, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. VanReuter NY NY

    The same story for three days with three different headlines. The ticker is ticking pretty s-l-o-w-l-y.

    August 7, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. Ryan, Provo,UT

    Wow. The "full story" on this is so biased towards Hillary its ridiculous. Both Hillary, and the CNN staff member who wrote that article are missing the point. Lobbyists influence politicians to make decisions that they wouldn't otherwise make, to provide advantages for the special interest group they represents. No matter how noble the group is that's represented by that lobbyist, it means that the politician is acting in the best interest of someone other than the American public and when that happens America loses.

    To Hillary and to CNN's treatment of this subject, I say, "Boo."

    August 7, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    There's a reason why lobbyists 'donate' large sums of money to powerful people in governemnt–to push their agenda, and to have the government officials completely IGNORE the will of the people. Anyone that doesn't see this is, quite frankly, a delusional twit.

    Hillary is corrupt, dishonest scum.

    August 7, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Josue Romano, Buena Park, CA

    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.

    August 7, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. John Thomas, Edina, MN


    Yikes. You should educate yourself on the issues before making such ignorant statements.

    Oh yeah, Hillary could give a damn about you and what you care about. Her interest is in pleasing the lobbyists from which she receives her money.

    August 7, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. Chip Brogan Celina, Ohio

    She says .. “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,”

    If that's the truth, then give the money back. Put up or shut-up! So much greed, so little believability. She's not alone though, they're all a bunch of windbags and you can't believe any of the platitudes they utter.

    August 7, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. John, Erie PA

    Poor Hillary Clinton....Despite taking money from special interests, she STILL was outraised by Barack Obama by $10 million last wonder she's been making insulting remarks about him in the last few weeks...she must be very frustrated and nervous about her once-inevitable nomination!

    August 7, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. pat, huntington, ny

    Why is this being focussed soley on Hillary? After all, Republicans also receive $$$ from Washington Lobbyists. It's all about the way elections are run in this Country. Hence the need for campaign finance reform. But that's not a "sexy" issue most americans seem to think about when they are actually inside the voting booth.

    August 7, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Ellis, Hampton, VA

    Is she serious? Does she think we are clueless? She's trying to hide in plain site. And we all know that all of that contribution money does buy influence. I agree Eustace, the polls are useless and skewed to her favor. remember how Gore and Kerrey were the frontrunners but a funny thing happend on the way to the election polls and Bush won. The media is bought and paid for, too.

    August 7, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. John Thomas, Edina, MN


    Ron Paul does not accept money from any special-interest groups or lobbyists. He is one of the most trustworthy and honest men in congress–just take a look at his extremely consistent voting record.

    August 7, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Eustace, New York, NY

    Well said Ellis....

    I've always been suspicious of punditry and the media... none of them are credible. I'd prefer get my political information from the homeless guy on the corner of the street. The media is biased towards Hillary Clinton and more and more I sincerely believe that CNN has taken that stance.

    If I were to ask Clinton a question, I would ask her how many lobbyist she knows that lobby to end poverty, end the darfur crisis, lobby for family farmers, lobby for inner city kids. If those are the lobbyist she affiliates with by then all means defend them. But in reality it is not. Obama and Edwards definitely should capitalise on this and force people to open their eyes... its about the washington establishment versus a new page that is being turned by the American people and not Exxon Mobil.

    August 7, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. Chip Celina OH

    Let's get the money out of the system. I propose a 'lottery' system for electing our representatives. Draw driver's licenses of legal citizens with at least a high school diploma. Once five 'candidates' that agree to participate in the election are found, hold 3 debates so the voters can see where the candidates stand. From there, elect the best person for the job. This gets the big money and the rich out of the process. (read John Corzine spends 60 million to be a Senator for a job that will only guarantee about $600,000 in salary for the term, that's the guy I want making budgetary decisions!)

    After a max of two terms, the representative returns to normal life. This means the decisions they make will be in the best interest of all since they will be returning to the system and we can get rid of the clowns that are there now. This gov't would work together much better because there wouldn't be an entrenched us vs them vs them mentality. Citizen representatives...what a concept. I have a much more detailed set up of how to run this but don't want to use up too much space here.

    August 7, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Rada, Houston, Texas


    Start calling her the next President

    Madam President that is....

    August 7, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. RightyTighty

    Whats with the 35 yr yipe? She's only been a jr Senator for 10 Before that, she was standing by her man, and before that, a lawyer..
    Sitting on Bill's lap for 8 yrs gives her no more experience than it does for say.., Monica. Are we to believe that Mrs. Bush is now qualified for the Presidency? A librarian for President. Beats a lawyer anyday.

    August 7, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Anon.

    “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.

    Please tell me what 35 years of which she speaks? She is a junior senator! This is just a play on words she thinks will fool the people into thinking she has experience! What does she do with the money she accepts? What did she do with all the money the lobbyists pushed her way when she wasnt running for President? I'll bet it went to the "HRC retirement fund".

    On a side note, did anyone notice how she dropped Rodham from her last name? Is this to further influence voters into thinking she and Bill are going to be working as a team? 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.

    August 7, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I _do_ seriously believe that HRC will gladly be influenced by anyone who funds her overarching zeal to become the unelectable candidate in '08.

    August 7, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. R Pyle , Roxboro, NC

    I'm sure that the lobbyists sponsors whose 400K was accepted by Clinton would wretch and gag if they believed her claim. Sadly, the only argument made by Clinton lovers is to state loudly that everyone cashes in on PAC money. Wake up and smell the money,,, THAT'S THE PROBLEM! Everyone in high politics does take the money.
    Abandon the practice and call for an overhaul of our system of electing our leadership / representatives. One which is at least further above reproach than campaign cash.

    August 7, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. P. Philip, Huntington Station, NY

    The lobbyist problem can be solved by completely doing away with the electoral system, and replacing it with a system akin to jury duty or the military draft – everyone at any time can be called to serve in an elected office at random, and do their "representative service" much like we are obligated to do our "jury duty" service and, as in the past, our time in the military. Only in this instance, the service is measured in years according to the elected position's term.

    August 7, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Tom, Independance, Missouri

    Polls are very accurate. It's a science +/- 3%. George Bush says he doesn't look at polls. But those polls are americans. A Poll tell you what this DEMOCRACY wants from a leader. Clinton is the front runner over Dems and Gop.

    August 7, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Hillary Clinton said, “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." And what does Hillary believe in, other than herself and the "fact" that she knows what's best for all of us?

    August 7, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. Chip Celina OH

    P. Philip,

    We're on the same page but I think if you had a field of randomly picked "candidates" and left the final decision up to the people, it would be a little more 'of the people'. This current crop of idiots we have is just a joke. Is this really the best we can come up with, or is it what we are willing to be spoon-fed by a handful of those in control of the media and large corporations.

    Is Hillary a problem-solver? For that fact, who of these candidates is? If you look at the standing in the polls there is a direct correlation to how much money they have raised for their campaigns. It is a sad commentary that we're simply picking among those with large pockets and not looking for a truly intelligent candidate. This completely takes the little guy out of the picture and for my money, I'd rather have a carpenter, engineer or mathematician running the show than a lawyer.

    If a debate of regular citizens were held, you'd get REAL responses to questions, not a dumbed-down non-commital onslaught of verbage crafted by a spokesperson for the campaign.

    August 7, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Louis Roundtree Phoenix, Az.

    Apoll that accurately represents a make-up of the full body will provide an accurate picture. Asking 1000 people from New York will not give an accurate statement regarding the opinions of the country. Regarding the article: She knows, KNOWS that the people donating large sums of money to her campaign do so because they believe she will do what they want. It will only be a matter of how much pressure they will put on her to do it. Her comment that they represent real Americans was condecending and insulting. these groups represent agendas, regardless of thier membership. they are in it for the betterment and empowerment of thier organization, the members only provide the cash.

    August 7, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Steve, Portland,OR

    I have never understood how is it possible that politicians, we the American people have gotten out of office cause we DON'T want them there, then get to become lobbyists in the same congress we voted them out of. Forget the 2 year cooling off period. They shouldn't be allowed back into the congress to rub elbows with their political friends at all. As far as Hillary, I'm afraid she has an aweful lot of baggage from those 35 years of "fighting for what I believe". Some of it is going to be opened for inspection before she gets to enter the Presidency.

    August 7, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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