November 14th, 2007
07:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Candidates criticize Clinton's reaction to Spitzer

Clinton said Wednesday she is against a program that gives driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - After New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer ended his bid to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Sen. Hillary Clinton's rivals came out swinging against the Democratic presidential hopeful for her reaction.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, called her action "flip-flopping cubed."

Bill Burton, a spokesman for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, also sharply criticized Clinton for switching her views on the issue.

"When it takes two weeks and six different positions to answer one question on immigration, it's easier to understand why the Clinton campaign would rather plant their questions than answer them,” Burton said.

Clinton received flak for saying that his plan made "a lot of sense" during a debate in late September. But on Wednesday, she said she is supporting Spitzer's decision to withdraw the proposal and blamed Congress and the White house for failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

"As president, I will not support drivers' licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration including border security and fixing our broken system," Clinton said in a statement.

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    Rick from Chicago: You're probably right, it may be difficult to catch Hilary in 11 flip-flops. The reason being if she's not taking both side of an issue, she's not coming down on either side.
    So I guess technically flip-flopping is not what she's guilty of. How about wishy-washy, evasive, non-committal, two-faced, fork-tongued.. I could go on, but yup you got me; she's definitely not a flip-flopper.

    Hope it makes your day.

    November 15, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. PollM, Dallas Tx

    Should Candidates adjust their decisions and policies around consensus or maintain principal ahead?

    November 15, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Don, Orlando, FL

    Ok, go back to your hole lady. take Biden and Dodd with you. maybe even Edwards. check that, take all the others that are affiliated with the CFR with you.

    November 15, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Greg, NYC, NY

    hey Bill- I'll never vote for her and I am a dem. and I won't complain. I never want to see her as president. enough of the last 20 years of Bush/Clinton rule/regime. time to sweep this family dynasty out.

    November 15, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Rick from Chicago, these are a "few" of my favorite things:

    2008 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has complained that some Republicans want to impose a "police state" to deal with illegal immigration, arguing instead that illegals should be allowed to earn their U.S. citizenship.

    But just three short years ago, Mrs. Clinton took a different tact, boasting that she was "adamantly against" foreigners who enter the country illegally and saying that the U.S. should consider imposing a national ID card system.

    "I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants," Clinton said in a Feb. 2003 radio interview.

    Clinton said the U.S. "might have to move toward an ID system even for citizens" in order to combat illegal border crossings, or implement "at least a visa ID, some kind of an entry and exit ID."

    • On October 10, 2002, Clinton spoke to the Senate in favor of a use-of-force resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq, saying: "The facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt.”

    • On December 15, 2003, when it was clear there were no large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Clinton’s support was unwavering. "I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force,” she told the Council on Foreign Relations. "We have no option but to stay involved and committed.”

    • On April 20, 2004, Clinton told CNN’s Larry King that she did not "regret giving the president the authority,” noting that Saddam Hussein "had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade.”

    • In October 2005, amid growing anti-war sentiment, Clinton still told the Village Voice: "I don’t believe it’s smart to set a date for withdrawal . . . I don’t think it’s the right time to withdraw.”

    • By November 2005, Hillary was softening her stance, saying in a letter to constituents: "If Congress had been asked [to authorize the war], based on what we know now, we never would have agreed.”

    • On December 18, 2006, Clinton went even further, saying on the "Today” show: "I certainly wouldn’t have voted that way.”

    • On January 13 of this year, Clinton spoke from Baghdad about President Bush’s call for a troop surge: "I don’t know that the American people or the Congress at this point believe this mission can work.”

    • Finally, on January 27, Clinton hit the campaign trail in Iowa and demanded that the president "extricate our country from this before he leaves office.”

    But she recently said that you can't look that far ahead and 2013 was more accurate.

    On torture:
    "It cannot be American policy, period," Clinton (D-N.Y.) recently told debate moderator Tim Russert, who asked if there should be a presidential exemption to allow the torture of a terror chieftain if authorities knew a bomb was about to go off, but didn't know where it was.

    But last October, Clinton told the Daily News: "If we're going to be preparing for the kind of improbable but possible eventuality, then it has to be done within the rule of law."

    In the event we were ever confronted with having to interrogate a detainee with knowledge of an imminent threat to millions of Americans, then the decision to depart from standard international practices must be made by the President, and the President must be held accountable," she said.

    I could go on but I don’t think CNN has enough disk space on their drives to support the amount of data that could be posted (especially if scandals were included in your request). That’s ok though, you will see all that is “Clinton” next year, the ads are being worked on as we speak.

    Oh yeah Rick, the "heat" has been turned up alright and the "queen" is getting grilled.

    November 15, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. Kate, Aurora CO

    Hint: when Hillary says she will " for comprehensive reform.." its a pretty safe bet that nothing will happen. Out of all the candidates, Hillary has the most lobbyist backing and contributions. The corporations that are financing her campaign enjoy the benefits of illegal immigration ie, cheap labor, so don't get your hopes up. She'll do exactly what her husband did. Ignore the problem.

    November 15, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. William Hurst Seattle, Washington

    Geeeeeeeeeeeez. Finally, it took weeks but we finally got the answer, of course I thought she had given it a couple of times before, now I am more confused then ever! is this finally it? or is she going to "answer" again. Also that only took me 15 seconds to read, so why exactly couldn't she answer it in 30 secs.?

    November 15, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. t

    After New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer ended his bid to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Sen. Hillary Clinton's rivals came out swinging against the Democratic presidential hopeful for her reaction.

    Sen. Hillary Clinton; the Democratic presidential hopeful should have a reaction when some of truths shall eventually emerge into the light.

    What is amazing is; "How" could the American people be so ignorant to
    elect this guy President for a second term???
    P.S. Note who pardoned Bill Clinton for Draft Dodging.

    Subject: Bill Clinton

    Bill &Hillary, 1970


    (Bill & Hillary – Grit your teeth before you read this!)

    Bill Clinton registers for the draft on September 08, 1964,
    accepting all contractual conditions of registering for the draft.
    Selective Service Number is 326 46 228.

    Bill Clinton classified 2-S on November 17, 1964.

    Bill Clinton reclassified 1-A on March 20, 1968.

    Bill Clinton ordered to report for induction on July 28, 1969.

    Bill Clinton refuses to report and is not inducted into the military.

    Bill Clinton reclassified 1-D after enlisting in the United
    States Army Reserves on August 07, 1969, under authority of COL. E. Holmes.

    Clinton signs enlistment papers and takes oath of enlistment.

    Bill Clinton fails to report to his duty station at the University of Arkansas ROTC, September 1969.

    Bill Clinton reclassified 1-A on October 30, 1969, as
    enlistment with Army Reserves is revoked by Colonel E. Holmes and Clinton
    now AWOL and subject to arrest under Public Law 90-40 (2) (a) registrant
    who has failed to report...remain liable for induction.

    Bill Clinton's birth date lottery number is 311, drawn
    December 1, 1969, but anyone who has already been ordered to report for
    induction is INELIGIBLE!

    Bill Clinton runs for Congress (1974), while a fugitive from justice under Public Law 90-40.

    Bill Clinton runs for Arkansas Attorney General (1976), while a fugitive from justice.

    Bill Clinton receives pardon on January 21, 1977, from President Carter.

    Bill Clinton becomes the FIRST PARDONED FEDERAL FELON ever to
    serve as President of the United States.

    All these facts come from Freedom of Information requests,
    public laws, and various books that have been published, and have not been
    refuted by Clinton.

    After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, President Clinton
    promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

    After the 1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed five U.S.
    military personnel, Clinton promised that those responsible
    would be hunted down and punished.

    After the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which
    killed 19 and injured 200 U.S. military personnel, Clinton promised that
    those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

    After the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, which
    killed 224 and injured 5,000, Clinton promised that those responsible would
    be hunted down and punished.

    After the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 and
    injured 39 U.S. sailors, Clinton promised that those responsible be hunted
    down and punished.

    Maybe if Clinton had kept those promises, an estimated 3,000
    people in New York and Washington, DC. Who are now dead would be alive

    THINK ABOUT IT! It is a strange turn of events. Hillary gets $8
    Million for her forthcoming memoir. Bill gets about $12
    Million for his memoir yet to be written. This is from two people who spent 8
    years being unable to recall anything about past events while under oath.

    November 15, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. cory, douglas, ga

    Hilary, you are still the best! I would rather you say what you are saying than dealing with Obama who is so inesperience and cold. I can see growth for you in the future and God will bless you. You are a strong woman and great leader and will be my Prime MInister. Way to go......

    November 15, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. orrin, trenton NE

    she shouldn't have changed her mind on the issue after she already said the opposite. I think that illegal immigrants should not be granted licenses because they shouldnt be here in the first place.Many people will probably criticize hillary for changing her opinion.Also i think it could hurt her race for president because of her uncertainty on important issues.

    November 15, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  11. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Tom – Dedham, Mass,

    I wasn’t posting to defend Hillary, I was posting to show Shawnie’s hypocrisy.

    See, I could care less if the “queen is getting burned” since I don’t support her for my own reasons. Now, that being said, I’m going to assume here that you aren’t accusing me of supporting her with your post – cuz you’d be an idiot if you were.

    I wanted to see if SHAWNIE could list anything remotely close to 10 flip flops about Hillary, since she supports Romney – someone who’s flip-flopped on WAY more issues than Hillary.

    By the way, you listed 4 issues that Hillary flip-flopped on – immigration/citizenship, invasion approval, troop withdrawal, and torture.

    Now go back and count, from my last post, how many issues Romney flip-flopped on.

    Oh, and of course – STILL no response from Shawnie! LOL

    November 18, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
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