November 26th, 2007
05:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton, Obama spar over campaign donations

The Obama and Clinton campaigns are locked in a war of words.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The campaigns of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, began a new war of words Monday over reports that the Illinois senator’s PAC may have directed a majority of its campaign contributions to politicians in the key early nominating states.

"On the campaign trail, Senator Obama is outspoken about his desire to reform the campaign finance system so it was surprising to learn that he has been using his PAC in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws," Clinton's campaign said in a statement.

Clinton's campaign said 68 percent of the donations from Obama’s PAC, Hopefund, were given to officials in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the majority of the funds were given to candidates outside the early primary states, and to Democrats nationwide facing tough re-election fights.

"The latest personal attack from Hillary Clinton is a completely false attempt to misrepresent Barack Obama’s full disclosure of his campaign finances," Burton said in a statement.

Burton also took aim at Clinton’s reluctance to release financial, fundraising and White House records in full. "Senator Obama's commitment to disclosure is one that Hillary Clinton does not share, and until Senator Clinton is willing to make this commitment… she’s not really in a position to point fingers at others," Burton added.

Clinton spokesman Phil Singer immediately fired back, calling on Obama to respond to questions raised by an analysis of Hopefund donations published in today’s Washington Post. “The Obama campaign's failure to deny that it committed campaign finance violations speaks volumes," said Singer in a statement. "Instead of launching irrelevant attacks, Senator Obama should answer a simple question: Did Obama campaign officials direct the Hopefund to make contributions to officials and entities in states holding nominating contests? If the answer is no, they should just be direct and say so."

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. joan niantic, ct.

    Its a laugh to hear Shillary discussing other candidates funding practices. She is the one with funding from questionable sources. I am not an Obama fan as of now, and I sure as hell do not want another 8 years of the Clintons and their dealings. Enough of the political dynasties!!

    November 26, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  2. Arnez, Culver City, CA

    In general terms, Republicans are fiscally responsible. Democrats are supposed to spend spend spend. Here is evidence pointing to this generalization... many textbooks can the democratic campaign money buy for our kids if it wasn't wasted on advertising?

    November 26, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  3. Juanito, Washington, DC

    Well....Obama's campaign DID respond and said that the money did not go to politicians in the early states, so what is the Clinton spokesman talking about?

    Nice try, but no dice.

    November 26, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  4. Anderson, des moines, ia

    The latest Gallup poll shows that Hillary is the only dems candidate electable in the next general election.

    The new Gallup Poll finds Sen. Hillary Clinton is the ONLY dems presidential candidate with an advantage over both former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain in head-to-head matchups for the 2008 general election for president. The poll of 897 registered voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 11-14, 2007.

    Note however, a new Zogby Interactive survey shows Sen. Hillary Clinton shows a different result. But, Zogby uses a controversial "interactive" methodology and is not based on traditional telephone polling. The interactive poll surveys individuals who take part in online polls. These online polls are useless as one candidate’s supporters can take part in the interactive poll to manipulate the poll results.

    November 26, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  5. Nick G, Scottsdale, AZ

    how about you post the full obama comments?

    November 26, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  6. Truth Seeker DC

    can anybody say Hsu or Peter Paul?

    November 27, 2007 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  7. JE, Watertown, NY

    Obama looks sneaky & cunning in this pciture towards Hillary.

    November 27, 2007 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  8. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Although, I'm intrigue and desire more information as to "when" Mr. Obama finally woke up to the fact that to fund a national election is expensive, and his values may have to shift some to accept perfectly legal PAC, and other types of funding. Mabye he can be entirely funded by Opra...she sure has the $$ to do it, oops, no that is a violation of election fund raising too. I am becoming a little tired of the playground attacks. I'll be glad when this tit for tat is done–and we finally have a Democratic candidate!!

    November 27, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  9. Sarah

    The Hopefund provided donations to democratic candidates in more than half of the States in this country.

    The most interesting of the donations was one given to Senator Hillary Clinton. A total of $4,200 dollars was given to Hillary Clinton during her last senate race. Given that Hillary transferred $10 million from her senate fund to her presidential fund, it is fair to say that Hillary stood to benefit from the Hopefund.

    Many other recipients of funds endorsed Hillary. The fund was created to promote all democratic candidates. The recipients of the funds are a matter of public record. There is nothing to hide here- no scandal, just promotion of the democratic party.

    There is the distinct aroma of desperation coming from the ailing Clinton camp.

    November 27, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. Jose Card

    Senator Clinton is the last person to attack anybody about campaign donations. How can she point her bloody finger at others on campaign finance?

    Why doesn't Bill release the documents to show us what a perfect record the Clintons had over campaign donations?
    She must be joking.

    November 27, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. AJ, IL

    CNN (aka the Clinton News Network) at it again. Instead of this ticker addressing the need for more openness and honesty in politics, CNN presents us with a picture with Obama and Hillary in which Obama looks as one blogger said "sneaky" and Clinton look presidential. Also, ticker digs into Obama's openess and leaves Hillary secretiveness and bogus accusations alone.

    November 27, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. mary, des moines, iowa

    Obama is buying votes in Iowa, NH....That could be considered as bribery.

    He learnt this trick during his "foreign relation experience" at age 6-10 in Indonesia.

    November 27, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Ginny, Byron, CA

    Hey, J E from Watertown, NY, Add smug and self-satisfied to your description of Obama's expression in the photo. If only he had some experience and depth, he MIGHT be a viable contender.

    November 27, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Rodney Dallas TX

    JE, Watertown, NY

    I used to live in Watertown NY. I miss the snow up there.

    November 27, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. jack, ny, ny

    I have notied that Obama is NOT a gentleman. He always refers to Her as "hillary clinton". Where as Hillary always refers to him as Senator Obama. May be all those drugs fried his braim enough that he has no manners.

    November 27, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. jack, ny, ny

    Martha and David.
    Don't blame hillary to answer Obama back. He has been attacking her like a pitbull for months and people are buying B.S. So she is just answering him back which she should have done months ago.

    November 27, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Danielle Clarke Delco Pa

    with the theme that the increasingly desperate-sounding Clinton campaign is
    pushing that Obama has essentially traded money from the Hope Fund for
    endorsements in the early primary and caucus states, I find it supremely
    ironic that one of the recipients of a contribution from the Hope Fund (in
    the amount of $4,200) was none other than the Senate campaign of one Hillary
    Clinton. Given the fact that she dumped $10 million in unused money from
    her Senate campaign into the Presidential campaign, it's pretty clear that
    the Hope Fund has indirectly supported Hillary's campaign.

    Since these were supposedly all about getting endorsements, I wonder when
    Hillary will be endorsing Barack Obama. (And FWIW, some of the other
    recipients have endorsed Hillary.)

    By the way, here's a listing of all the House candidates who got money from
    the Hope Fund for House races:

    Altmire, Jason (D-PA) $7,500
    Arcuri, Michael (D-NY) $5,000
    Barrow, John (D-GA) $2,500
    Bean, Melissa (D-IL) $15,000
    Boswell, Leonard L (D-IA) $15,000
    Boyda, Nancy E (D-KS) $2,500
    Braley, Bruce (D-IA) $10,000
    Burner, Darcy (D-WA) $2,500
    Busby, Francine P (D-CA) $10,000
    Carney, Chris (D-PA) $10,000
    Castor, Kathy (D-FL) $1,000
    Courtney, Joe (D-CT) $5,000
    Cranley, John (D-OH) $5,000
    Davis, Jack (D-NY) $5,000
    Derby, Jill T (D-NV) $5,000
    Donnelly, Joe (D-IN) $5,000
    Duckworth, Tammy (D-IL) $10,000
    Edwards, Chet (D-TX) $5,000
    Ellison, Keith Maurice (D-MN) $2,500
    Ellsworth, Brad (D-IN) $7,500
    Evans, Lane (D-IL) $10,000
    Farrell, Diane Goss (D-CT) $6,500
    Filson, Steve N (D-CA) $2,500
    Gillibrand, Kirsten E (D-NY) $2,500
    Goldmark, Peter James (D-WA) $1,000
    Hafen, Tessa (D-NV) $5,000
    Hall, John (D-NY) $1,000
    Hare, Philip G (D-IL) $5,000
    Hill, Baron (D-IN) $10,000
    Hodes, Paul W (D-NH) $10,000
    Jackson, Jesse Jr (D-IL) $2,100
    Jennings, Christine (D-FL) $2,500
    Johnson, Hank (D-GA) $5,000
    Kagen, Steven Leslie (D-WI) $2,500
    Kellam, Phil (D-VA) $3,500
    Kilroy, Mary Jo (D-OH) $5,000
    Klein, Ron (D-FL) $7,000
    Lampson, Nick (D-TX) $2,500
    Loebsack, David (D-IA) $5,000
    Lucas, Ken (D-KY) $5,000
    Madrid, Patricia A (D-NM) $5,000
    Maffei, Dan (D-NY) $2,500
    Mahoney, Tim (D-FL) $5,000
    Marshall, Jim (D-GA) $7,000
    Matheson, Jim (D-UT) $2,500
    McNerney, Jerry (D-CA) $5,000
    Melancon, Charles J (D-LA) $5,000
    Miller, Les (D-FL) $2,100
    Mitchell, Harry E (D-AZ) $5,000
    Murphy, Chris (D-CT) $5,000
    Murphy, Lois (D-PA) $6,500
    Murphy, Patrick J (D-PA) $16,326
    Paccione, Angie (D-CO) $1,000
    Perlmutter, Edwin G (D-CO) $5,000
    Rodriguez, Ciro D (D-TX) $5,000
    Salazar, John (D-CO) $5,000
    Schakowsky, Jan (D-IL) $1,000
    Seals, Dan (D-IL) $5,000
    Sestak, Joe (D-PA) $5,000
    Shea-Porter, Carol (D-NH) $7,500
    Shuler, Heath (D-NC) $10,000
    Space, Zachary T (D-OH) $5,000
    Spratt, John M Jr (D-SC) $5,000
    Spencer, Selden (D-IA) $2,500
    Sulzer, Joe (D-OH) $5,000
    Sutton, Betty Sue (D-OH) $5,000
    Tinklenberg, Elwyn (D-MN) $2,000
    Walz, Timothy J (D-MN) $3,500
    Weaver, John Michael (D-KY) $1,000
    Welch, Peter (D-VT) $7,500
    Wetterling, Patty (D-MN) $3,500
    Wilson, Charlie (D-OH) $7,000
    Yarmuth, John A (D-KY) $3,500

    I don't see any particular pattern of money going to early states (or even
    to Obama supporters). The main pattern is that a lot of these people were
    in very tight races (or at least races that were supposed to have been very


    what a farce hillary is for even daring to bring this up!

    November 27, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. DJ, Los Angeles, Calif

    This coming from the same woman that calls the D.C. lobbies representative of everyday Americans.

    Yeah right Hillary.

    November 27, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Independent in IA

    Obama looks like if he had his nose any higher in the air he'd drown in the first rainfall...but then, most turkeys are pretty stupid.

    November 27, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Williamsburg, VA


    November 27, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. A Voter in N.Y.

    The queen of finance said so, it must be true. Hillary knows every way in the world to use those campaign funds. She is better with the money numbers making magic like David Blane.

    This is her true experience in fighting the GOP for the past35 years and winning, if you consider not being put in jail for her numerous frauds winning.

    By the way, she still has that little matter of a multi million dollar scandal coming up in the Western District federal court yet doesn't she?

    November 28, 2007 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
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