December 3rd, 2007
10:15 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama camp launches Web site to document Clinton attacks

Obama's campaign has launched a new Web site designed to track and respond to attacks by Clinton’s campaign

WASHINGTON (CNN) - After a tense weekend that saw a marked escalation in an already brutal war of words between the two Democratic frontrunners, Barack Obama’s campaign launched a new salvo Monday with a Web site designed to track and respond to attacks by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“We're asking all of you to be vigilant and notify us immediately of any attacks from Sen. Clinton or her supporters as soon as you see them so that we can respond with the truth swiftly and forcefully,” campaign spokesman Bill Burton wrote supporters. “[These] attacks could be phone calls, literature drops, blog posts, mail pieces as well as radio and TV ads. Some could even be anonymous or designed to be.”

The New York senator’s campaign has been ramping up its assault on Obama’s record over the past few weeks, but stepped up attacks this weekend after new polls seemed to show the Illinois senator had dramatically narrowed his deficit in New Hampshire, and even grabbed the lead in Iowa in a survey released Saturday. Just a few months ago, Obama trailed Clinton by double-digit margins in both states.

“Less than twelve hours after that poll came out, the Clinton campaign launched a series of baseless attacks against Senator Obama,” wrote Burton, referring to a Clinton campaign release that accused the Illinois senator of hiding early presidential ambitions. “Panicked by the poll numbers, they even attacked Barack for telling his kindergarten teacher what he wanted to be when he grew up. I wish I were joking.”

Responding to the new Web site, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said, "It's rather disingenuous of Sen. Obama to complain about questions being raised about his record - which remains unknown to voters - considering that he has spent the last three months impugning Sen. Clinton’s character. When it comes to changing our politics, Sen. Obama talks a good game but clearly lacks the courage of his convictions."

On Sunday, Clinton aide Howard Wolfson also renewed criticism of Obama for allegedly mishandling political action committee donations, telling viewers of CBS’s Face the Nation that "there's a lot that voters don't know about Barack Obama." Later that day, Clinton directly assailed Obama’s veracity for the first time, telling reporters at a New Hampshire campaign stop that "you can't get a straight answer" from Obama on health care.

"I have said for months that I would much rather be attacking Republicans, and attacking the problems of our country, because ultimately that's what I want to do as president," said Clinton. "But I have been, for months, on the receiving end of rather consistent attacks. Well, now the fun part starts. We're into the last month, and we're going to start drawing the contrasts."

Wolfson also signaled that Clinton would be drawing sharper contrasts with her opponents after months of criticism from her primary rivals. "Sen. Obama is a fabulous orator, but we need more than words,” he told the Washington Post in a story published Monday. “We don't need someone who says one thing and does another, somebody who talks a good game but doesn't have the courage of their convictions.”

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Dan Seattle, WA

    I love it. Hillary needs to be called out again and again and again for her disastrous votes on Iraq and Iran.

    It's her judgment that is in question. Why is that so hard to understand for Hillary supporters?

    December 3, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Independent in IA

    I'm quite sure the 'Some could even be anonymous or designed to be' refers to plants by you own campaign, Osama, to try to make those ignorant enough to support you to feel badly for you...it won't work, Crybaby, the rest of us are to freaking smart for you.

    December 3, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Ryan

    Good to see him defending himself, because the Clintonites will just keep spewing utter crap until something sticks in the minds of Americans, factual or not. They certainly can't win voters over on her merits or her electability. Look at how badly the Republicans want to get her the nomination!

    December 3, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Corey, Bloomington IN

    "I'd much rather be attacking Republicans."

    And there's actually an argument about who can bring this country back together?

    Obama 08

    December 3, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. anon New York, NY

    Hillary Clinton can't win. She is too polarizing. If any of you Clinton supporters don't know what "polarizing" means, just look it up in the dictionary.

    As any political scientist professor in America, and they will confirm that she is polarizing.

    She has weak poll numbers among crucial independent voters.

    Her husband has proven to be reckless-having a long affair with an intern in the Oval Office while being sued for sexual harrassment. He's been caught lying several times, most recently last week regarding the Iraq war. He could drag her down in the general election.

    She has long been referred to as "scripted" and "calculating." This was confirmed by her campaign planting a question. The campaign even took a poll about whether they should accept Barbara Streisand's endorsement.

    She motivates Republicans like no one else can. She's often featured in GOP commercials, a strategy that has proven to be beneficial to the GOP.

    She could very well cause Democrats running for Congress in the South to lose, creating a Republican Congress.

    Our country needs to move on past the Clintons.

    December 3, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. dmw.roeland park, ks

    Obama is a baby! He is reaping what he sowed. He started the attacks. He has been attacking Hillary for months now and when she starts to attack back, he wants to whine...he's a cry baby.

    And his followers are insane because they are not reasonable. They are a bunch of mean-spirited people and attack Hillary as well through all of the blogs and when their candidate is attacked back, then they complain about Hillary. What a joke!

    December 3, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. jack,charlestown,S.c

    Good for him. Let her be poll driven. Keep focused will keep an eye on these attacks. Tell the Iowans what they need to hear not what they want to hear. She doesn't have a single thing she is telling the truth on. Me and my family have your Back. Keep the faith!

    December 3, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. thevoter

    Let me get this straight.

    Hillary has a website designed specifically for rapid respond to attacks against her campaign while all the other candidates have web sites specifically designed for rapid response to attacks from Hillary.

    Whose the most corrupt??

    December 3, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. John Karsten, Virginia Beach, VA

    I do not understand. Why does everyone think HRC has experience, maybe first lady experience, but not political experience. Really, how does one claim experience when she has never really did anything in public office until her election in NY. Just because you are screwing the president, does not mean you have experience. For you HRC types who keep telling me to vote for her because he Obama)can not beat the GOP, keep holding your breath, he has my vote and no one else. PEACE OUT!

    December 3, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. Holly, Chicago, Il

    HRC should give it now...Obama is our next president!

    December 3, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Susan, Los Angeles, CA

    Another unpleasant, purely catty response from the Clinton camp. Although politics as usual seems to be what she's really about, I keep hoping she'll show some real character. Come on, Hillary.

    December 3, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Nando, Palm Coast,FL

    Wow! Hillary is being shoeed like the fly she is.

    psssssss thats the sound of Hillary!!

    And OBAMA is the can of RAID!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. JT, Denver

    This is tactless and a mistake. They are going to pull each other down. Hey maybe that is not a bad thing. Then candidates like Biden, who deserve to be noticed, will get a chance to be heard! Go at it you two!

    December 3, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. Mark, Burlington Vt

    If you want to see how desperate Clinton has gotten read this story. It's hillarious (and if you have time read some of the 1200+ comments too).

    http://www.dailykos.com/hotlist/add/2007/12/2/212947/375/displaystory//

    December 3, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. DARRIN, COLUMBUS OH

    INSTEAD OF PARTICIPATING IN A JUVENILE "PLAYGROUND" WAR BETWEEN THE OBAMA AND CLINTON CAMPAIGNS, WHY DON'T YOU FEEBLE-MINDED ADOLESCENTS LEARN THAT YOU ARE DOING EXACTLY WHAT FAT-BOY ROVE AND THE REST OF THE REPUBLICANS WANT YOU TO DO? THE IMPORTANT THING HERE IS TO GET THE GOP AND THEIR NARROW-MINDED, OUTDATED POLITICS OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE FOR GOOD. THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OBAMA AND CLINTON ARE MINISCULE COMPARED TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT IS RIGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY AND THE GOP AGENDA.

    December 3, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Obama and Edwards started slinging the mud and now they are crying about dirty politics. If you can not stand the heat don't go in the kitchen boys, this is just the primaries. If it bothering you now, you would not survive the general election and you might as well drop out now.

    December 3, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Rose Hillrose, Chicago, IL

    Obsama's supporters in Iowa will be hit by a Clinton victory asteroid none of them will be conscious to know what struck them.

    December 3, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Bruce, harpers Ferry, WV

    It just goes to show you that the Republicans will win this election because neither Obama or Clinton are good enough to be in the White House.

    December 3, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Jimenez - Texas

    Megha, San Antonio – I love reading your comments! We SUPPORT CLINTON! It is a given that most positive comments from Obama's staff. That's all he's got.

    December 3, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Liberal Chic

    Go Hillary! She just needs to beat Obama in Iowa by the slightest of margins or even be defeated by the same. Then she can go on and kick hiney in New Hampshire and elsewhere and be done.

    These amateur attempts at snarling against the front runner is pretty pathetic. What happened to positive campainging? It didn't work, did it? Obama, like all the other politicians, has to be a little bit hateful and a little bit backstabbing. I hope we don't find out how lame he is (the hard way) after the pollyannas vote him into office.

    Clinton's almost there. I am not a praying kind of girl, but all you Hillary campers, let's do!

    December 3, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Sherm Kader, Ruston, La

    OBAMA NEVER FLIP-FLOPS!!! Once he tells all those lies, he sticks with them. He is not shy about them. He tells them again and again.

    December 3, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. AJ, IL

    Brilliant move by the Obama campaign! Utilizing new age technology in politics. Most of the political consultants know that the American public for the most part is too short-sided and lacks long-term memory when it comes to politics. Hillary and Bush are from the same old school of politics. They both need an adversary to be against to make them look good, and they both like to "fight". Obama and his campaign have to respond to accusations from anyone candidate or newsreporter swiftly and accurately. The lack of a quick response to accusations is part of the reason John Kerry got "swift boated" out of the Presidential race.

    Hillary could have set up a website that tracks and responds to Hillary attackers (republican and/or democrat) but she was too slow and too re-assured that she would easily win the Democratic presidential nomination.

    Hillary has to be careful with her stepped up attacks on Obama. It is a very sharp double-edged sword for her. She has too many negative past situations as well as too many "political" skeletons that remain in her closet. For instance, Hillary's campaign accuses Obama of wanting to be president while in kindergarden, while Hillary has planned to be President since 1994. Why else would a former first lady who has never ran for public office seek to run for NY senator at the last minute when she didn't even reside in New York prior to 1999? Also Hillary is on the Senate Armed Services Committee because she knew she needed some military experience and knowledge for her to make a legitimate run at the US Presidency.

    December 3, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Wow, Clinton has her supporters hitting the blogs in full force today. HEY CLINTON SUPPORTERS, LISTEN UP! As a fellow Democrat, even I can see that Hillary is too polarizing. The partisan hatred and bitterness will continue with her in power. I, for one, am sick of it.

    Not only would a Clinton nomination give Democrats a small chance to win the presidency, Republicans will come to the voting booths in droves to vote against her, and will vote against other local and national Democrats as well.

    Democrats, before you decide to vote or caucus for Hillary in the primaries/caucuses, think about what a Clinton nomination would mean for the Democratic Party, which has made so many gains recently. IT WILL RUIN US!

    Although Republicans may not agree with Obama on many things (why would they afterall, they're Republicans), at least most of them don't hate him.

    Obama '08

    December 3, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I love to read the Democrats responses – (paraphrasing) – "I want more of the entitlement programs – this free universal healthcare sounds great to me" – expensive healthcare is a symptom...lawyer suing insurance companies, drug companies, hospitals and doctors are the root cause – this socialist born healthcare solves none of that....what happened to the JFK Democrats – "ask not what your country can do for you" – are we now a nation of entitlement seeking morons? We are capitalists – not socialists....this rob from the rich garbage works in story books...well..and apparently in Hillarys campaign literature

    December 3, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Bev, Sacramento, CA

    Yet another very desperate manuever by the very panicked Obama. Hillary is right, no one can get a straight answer our of this man because he is running on nothing. He attempts to copy Hillary and when he's caught (as in: "explain your position on drivers' licenses for illegal aliens", he stammers, gulps, and sweats. Such a simple, direct question and all Obama could do is bob and weave to try and justify his position. If, by some fluke, he should become the Dem. candidate, he will not be able to withstand the Rep. attack machine and will be torn to shreds.

    December 3, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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