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. Walt, Belton, TX

    Wonder how much Hillary got from her husband's pardons? Maybe half of the total?

    November 26, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Alicia NYC

    Hey Senator Clinton meet kettle. There are $400,000 why Vilsack supports Senator Clinton. In my opinion it sounds like a Quid pro quo for a endorsement.

    November 26, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Steve, Hampton, VA

    Hillary accusing someone else of campaign finance about the kettle calling the pot black.

    Obama, take a page from the Clinton playbook. Repeat after me, "I don't recall", "I had nothing to do with that", "I have work to do for the American people".

    November 26, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Ron, TX

    I don't think campaign donations is a subject Clinton wants to get into. Obama is completely transparent. She is not. Should we start re-asking about Norman Hsu and his $850,000, or what about the Chinese dishwashers that gave her $2,000 when they only make minimum wage? How about the Peter Paul $2mil fundraising scandal she's part of? Or the promise she made to Vilsack, who later endorsed her, to pay him $400,000? I could go on for ages...

    Her allegations are completely unfounded. Not a single person has said they backed Obama because of the money. Nor have any of them been tied to backing Obama because of the money. It's not a crime to help fellow democrats get elected to office. She should back up her claims before she dives into such wild allegations. She really is grasping for straws here... those latest poll numbers must really have her campaign scared. She's no longer inevitable and her mudslinging proves it.

    What was it she once said? They aren't attacking me because I'm a woman, they're attacking me because I'm ahead? Well now, she's attacking Obama isn't she?

    November 26, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. Fred, Reston VA

    I knew all of this "hope" and "change" stuff from Obama was just noise. I hope people wakeup and see Obama for the phony he is. Clinton is not perfect, but at least she is not deliberately misleading. She's just deliberatley vague. Which one is worse?

    November 26, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    What is going on? Clinton's internal polling must have her slipping badly. She went from decrying "mudslinging" one week - to resorting to one mudball after another the very next week.

    It is laughable that Clinton would attack anyone over campaign ethics given her decades of scandal. She must be sliding steeply to bring up a topic so close to her own vulnerability.

    November 26, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Keith, IA

    So now Obama is bribing supporters?
    Jeez this guy can't be trusted!

    November 26, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. edgery, Arlington VA

    I don't condone "buying" influence, whether it's with lobbyists or through the use of leadership PACS to officials in early primary/caucus states.

    That said, what laws or regulations is Obama accused of violating? So far, none of the press reports on this have identified anything other than a vague notion of wrong-doing.

    November 26, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Bev, Sacramento, CA

    I'm not surprised. Obama is weak, shallow, inexperienced, and unable to articulate any logical, reasonable plan for America. He needs all the help he can get; whether it is from Oprah or from using campaign funds illegally. Way to go, Obama!

    November 26, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. Percy Goode, Atlanta Georgia

    Go Hillary Go. It's about time you let the Senator from Illinois have it. Everytime I hear Obama speak, I get more annoyed.

    November 26, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. Martha McCahill, Oakton, Virginia

    Can you please tell me how an adult running for the Office of President of the United States can talk about being the best person to "beat" the GOP?

    It isn't that Hillary Clinton's statement is politically suicidal and horribly stupid (I guess she just doesn't want or need any of those GOP votes), but that the statement is so divisive, war-like and hate-filled in a time when this country so desperately needs peace and cooperation.

    What is this? High school? Obviously Hillary sees the Presidency as nothing more than an intramural football game. And where does a Presidential candidate get such terms as "BEAT" the GOP? It's disgraceful, and I really can't believe that no one else has caught her on this.

    Has anyone told Hillary about 9/11 and the fact that the terrorists–not the GOP–are the enemy? That this country has been beaten to a pulp very well enough without her mindless pandering adding to our depression over 9/11 and the Iraq war?

    It's mind boggling what these politicians get away with.

    November 26, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. laurinda ny

    im disgusted with both parties actually.isn't is just like our overly materialisic culture that whoever raises the most money wins !

    November 26, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. K Feild, NY, NY

    I love this picture... Miss... Mar-y... Mac, Mac, Mac...

    November 26, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. TiredofPolitics - New Orleans, La

    blah blah blah.... It's sad how few talking points are actually being debated these days.

    A detailed plan with actual numbers. Amazing...

    Check out his social security plan too.
    You won't get a whif of SS from the others.

    November 26, 2007 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. tired of corruption

    Hillary is really scrambling. The Clinton slime machine is coming out in full force now that the voters see Clinton for what she is – or I should say isn't.

    And how about those polls showing ALL republicans beating Clinton in a mock election. When Clinton won by 1 or 2 percentage points it was front page news for weeks and hit all the talk shows.

    No, CNN will only assist the Clintons in mud slinging and false accusations to take the focus off the fact that she has no substance. If she wasn't Bill's "wife", she would be home baking cookies.

    November 26, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. Alicia NYC

    Obama's contributions are perfectly legal please see page 152 and 169 of the pdf

    November 26, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Mattia, San Francisco, CA

    Pretty lame on the Obama camp's part. After all the showboating regarding a change in campaign financing? Hypocrisy is looking to be a defining trait of Obama's.

    November 26, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Hillary just said less then 2 weeks ago at the JJ dinner in Iowa. That she wanted the Democrate to not attack each other and she wanted to "Turn up the het" on Republicans.
    Hillary must have read the polls and oncve again "Flip Flopped". This is baseless and petty.

    November 26, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Bert Rand NYC

    Bring it on HillBill... The only one that wreaks of @%$! is you.

    November 26, 2007 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. Nando, Palm Coast,FL

    Hillary wheels are coming off and this is the best the Clinton Camp can Do, I would really advise Sen Clinton not to debate Barak on this issue because she will just open up the Floodgates on her past. !!!!!!!! be carefull what you wish for Hillary.

    Obama 08,12

    November 26, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Vik N

    Clinton accusing a Democrat of giving money to other Democrats to help get them elected? Wow...that's a new one.

    November 26, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. ROB, Baltimore MD can't be serious...has she lost it...I know of all people HRC and her people are not even going to try and open a can of worms, about money of all things(GUPTA)...does this women forget she's being sued in California for taking Illegal campiagn money I Saw Stan Lee on that video and heard her voice.....Hey Just ABC's Brian Ross about this. She's desperate and now we all know what the Novack story was about..this is a nasty women.....poor bad she's gonna be 10 points down by the end of the week in Iowa....Obama 08

    November 26, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. Ken, San Diego, CA

    Of course Obama's PAC put money into the early states.

    The problem is, by being whollier-than-thou you sort-of put yourself into a pigeon-hole.

    I doubt Obama did anything against the law, but I suspect that 68% of his PAC funds DID go to candidates from the early states (for obvious reasons).

    November 26, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |

    If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands...!

    November 26, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. James,Nashua,nh

    It is good Cnn to consider there is a candidate by the name Barack Obama!

    November 26, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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