December 3rd, 2007
08:58 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama denies new Clinton attack, calls her 'stressed' by polls

Obama responds to accusations about his political action committee Hopefund.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama denied allegations from rival Hillary Clinton's campaign Sunday that his political action committee Hopefund was used to bribe public officials in early voting states.

"Everything that we've done is in exact accordance with the law," said the Illinois senator at a press conference. "Unless they can show that it hasn't been, I suggest they focus on trying to get their supporters to caucus in Iowa."

Earlier in the day, Clinton's communications director Howard Wolfson called Obama's PAC a 'slush fund.' Obama fired back, adding that some of Hopefund's contributions even went to supporters of Clinton's campaign.

"I think that folks from some of the other campaigns are reading the polls and starting to get stressed and issuing a whole range of outlandish accusations," he said.

A Des Moines Register poll released this weekend indicates that Obama holds a slight lead in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. Obama leads the pack with 28 percent, while Clinton is close behind at 25 percent - within the poll's margin of error.

Obama also attributed some of Hopefund's actions to the fact that he had not been planning to run for president as long as "some of the other candidates have been planning for it."

"By the time we announced that I was running, there was still money left over, which we used to contribute to candidates all across the country to help build a Democratic majority," he said.

The Clinton campaign took issue with that as well.

In a press release, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said Obama is "re-writing history," adding that his comments are "fundamentally at odds with what his teachers, family, classmates and staff have said about his plans to run for President."

"Sen. Obama's campaign rhetoric is getting in the way of his reality."

Shortly after that, another response came from team Obama.

"I'm sure tomorrow they'll attack him for being a flip-flopper because he told his second grade teacher he wanted to be an astronaut," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Both candidates were in Des Moines Sunday morning following Saturday night's Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum.

The Des Moines Register poll also indicated that fellow Democratic opponent John Edwards had the support of 23 percent of the 500 likely Democratic caucus-goers surveyed. The poll was conducted November 25-28 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Joe

    I'm just looking forward to watching the nation be torn apart by government enforced REPARATIONS and RAP MUSIC under an Obama administration.

    But what's worse, that or Huckabee's Bible-babbling insanity?

    December 2, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  2. Leo, Va

    Although I don't have time to waste on this, I'll post again the definition of a left-wing politics form that it applies very well to Obama. Its called Populism:

    Populism is the use of discourses, ideas or policies which try to appeal to "the people" by setting up a dichotomy between "the people" and "the elite". This populist appeal to "the people" has often been associated with an emotional appeal to identities, including national, class, ethnic and regional ones. Populism may involve either a political philosophy urging social and political system changes – as used by various populist parties – and/or a rhetorical style, deployed by members of the political class competing for advantage within the existing regime. Today the term "populism" is often used, especially outside academia, as a vague, frequently pejorative description, whether to describe vote-grabbing measures and rhetoric used by mainstream parties or in connection with new right-wing nationalist movements as well as many left-wing socialist movements in Latin America.

    This is a perfect description of Obama's approach to politics. Good luck American voters.

    I hope CNN will not delete my post, its nothing but a Wikipedia definition. Read and reflect.

    December 2, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  3. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    It does my ol heart good to see Hillary slipping in the polls. The clintons are enormously wealthy when compared to the hired help. They didn't get that way with politician's paychecks. Money comes at these folks in ways we regular folk could never even imagine. And not very much of it ethically. So,,,sling all the mud you want Mrs Clinton,,,either your nomination is preordained or we voters will get a better choice.

    December 2, 2007 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. banko

    Desparation time for The Clintons.
    They have been exposed. You can not foul the people all the time.

    OBAMA 08

    December 2, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. Mitch, Virginia Beach, VA

    Hillary's getting nervous because she knows Obama is going to win Iowa. Bring on the lies, Hillary, people are starting to see you for what you really are.

    December 2, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  6. Honestly

    I have noticed a strong trend. Clinton supporters are mean, angry, insult throwers. Obama supporters give facts, show web references, and right now, are thrilled with Hillary's self-destruction and childish behavior. She is an awful candidate.

    December 2, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  7. Tex Mex, NYC, NY

    “I want a long term relationship. I don’t want to just have a one night stand with all of you.”
    Clinton while campagning today in Bettendorf, Iowa

    I guess this is her new strategy supposed to rally the men's vote.

    http://www.globegazette.com/articles/2007/12/02/latest_news/doc4753576d4bcc6102365643.txt

    December 2, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  8. Tex Mex, NYC, NY

    I want a long term relationship. I don’t want to just have a one night stand with all of you.”
    Clinton while campagning today in Bettendorf, Iowa

    I guess "pornographic politics" is Hilary's new strategy to attract the men's vote.

    http://www.globegazette.com/articles/2007/12/02/latest_news/doc4753576d4bcc6102365643.txt

    December 2, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  9. Mark, TX

    "I have noticed a strong trend. Clinton supporters are mean, angry, insult throwers. Obama supporters give facts, show web references, and right now, are thrilled with Hillary's self-destruction and childish behavior. She is an awful candidate.
    Posted By Honestly : December 2, 2007 10:15 pm "

    You are wrong. Just look at the Tex Mex person, how insulting is his post. Obama's supporters have no manners. I guess that why they learn at Oprah's shows.

    Hillary will win regardless what is happening in Iowa. Americans cannot be so stupid to believe Obama's inept talk.

    December 2, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  10. Jonathan, Holiday, Florida

    Here is a question for eveyone.

    If you give a person money and then they say they support you is that not buying a vote?

    I don't get why people like Obama so much. They aare blinded by his sermons.

    December 2, 2007 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  11. nevadamuley Las Vegas

    Obama is an opportunist.

    He will do more to destabilize this country than if we were to have another Bush in the White House.

    He does not have the experience, or balls to be the leader of the free world.

    Go back to Chicago and cuddle with Oprah and Stedman.

    December 2, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  12. Joeley Reno, Nevada

    Oh come on 'Honestly', I'm a Hillary supporter and I'm not mean or angry.

    I am however very focused on a winning campaign here in Nevada.

    I will campaign hard for my candidate to win because I truly believe in her ability, strength, knowledge and committment to this country.

    I think we need someone who knows how to get things done in DC, there's no time for OJT.

    Barak has a lot, and I mean a lot of potential but I think Clinton is the strongest choice at this time in our history.

    She will work very hard to bring this country back to a place of greatness.

    So, you see 'Honestly' I'm not mad, angry, nasty or rude, just committed to my candidate as you are.

    The one thing I hope we have in common is the desire to send a good Democrat to the White House (and Congress and Governors offices).

    There are some very good candidates running. If Hillary is the nominee I will party big time. If it is another Democrat, I will still party but perhaps not quite as hardily.

    Do good and good luck to all you campaign volunteers.

    December 2, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  13. Daniel, NY

    Given that one of the most reliable Iowa polls has Obama leading Clinton today, it is no surprise Obama is saying this!

    December 2, 2007 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  14. Ray, New Brunswick, NJ

    this is just what I expected. It is typical and as this campaign progresses you will see more attacks coming from Hillary.

    December 2, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  15. sametownpal

    In response to "Hillarylover:"

    Actually, a lot of very real Democrats and Independents support Obama, and a lot of Republicans have indicated that they could support him.

    If you have anything of SUBSTANCE to say against the good Senator, so be it, but until then, let's keep in mind that Hillary is losing in head to head match ups against every Republican candidate and that we Democrats need to keep that in mind.

    Posted By Christian, Tampa FL : December 2, 2007 8:32 pm

    I don't know why you feel that way, Tampa Pal. If I were you, I would re-read Tin' MTP, re-track his records, (sorry, he doesn't have records), re-do your homework, all because you have bought his MISREPRESENT HILLARY STRATEGY and you can't see through him. Please don't be easily sell yourself to a "charming" empty guy. By the end of the day, you are not going to live by speech only. This is a kind suggestion from a your same town. Don't keep blogging for him, take my words. You don't know true Obama, and you know only that much, period.

    December 2, 2007 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  16. stan pitts pa

    HAHAHA. Clinton can't be serious. Obama's fund donates to democrats all over the country. THIS FUND DONATED TO CLINTON when she ran for the Senate!

    Clinton paid off $400,000 to Vilsack for his endorsement. This isn't about Obama accepting lobbyist money for his presidential campaign. Clinton is actually complaining that Obama is helping democrats all over the country to get elected!

    This is really poor judgment on her part. Everyone is laughing at her.

    Posted By Dan, TX : December 2, 2007 6:14 pm

    dude you hit the nail on the head thanks!

    December 2, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  17. Ken, San Diego, CA

    My goodness, you Obama supporters are such SHEEP. The fact of the matter is, Obama's Hopefund IS a slush fund - it has even taken money from lobbiest (ouch!) and distributed the majority (65%) of the funds to Iowa and New Hampshire politicians, most of them now supporting Obama. All of this has been documented AND proven. Obama needs to get off of his holier-than-though high horse (and you supporters of his need to get a grip). Politics is politics. He broke the rules. And he got caught.

    And another thing, OF COURSE he's been planning and pining for the presidency. They ALL have. I would not expect anything else from any of these candidates. That he's lying about it is frankly odd.

    December 3, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  18. Undecided in Iowa.

    I think it's a little hypocritical that Clinton supporters are attacking Obama for not maintaing a record while in office. Subsequently assuming he ran a dirty office of something to that effect (or affect?). Yet, the documents of the Clinton Administration have yet to be released. I've gone over and reviewed how the release of these records come to be, and it is at full discretion of the first lady and prez. Somehow that gets lost in the discussion, I am sure some of you just "forgot" about it.

    December 3, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  19. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Jonathan, Florida, Obama's supporters are blind. Mark, TX, Obama's supporters like his inept talk.
    Tom, NY, Obama's supporters are very childish like Obama. No matter what Iowan will vote Hillary over Obama because voters are smarter than Obama, she will win Iowa and then win NH, SC and all of States. We need Hillary more than any other candidate for our Country.

    December 3, 2007 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  20. Les WA

    What I've noticed in a lot of postings here and other blogs, Obama supporters have the filthiest language I've come across, that turns me off against Obama. Obama was my first choice until I read blogs all over the internet and noticed the kind of postings his supporters are doing online. I was totally disgusted by it, quite appalling, despicable. One thing I've notice with Clinton & Biden supporters, they're very calm in stating their POV no name calling, I find that very attractive and says a LOT about the candidate they're supporting. That is showing confidence with the person they're rooting to win.

    I'm glad Hillary is now fighting back with all kinds of attacks Obama thrown at her nonstop.

    Frankly, Obama has no track record in his belt to show to the American people why they must vote for him, for almost 3 years he's a US senator he missed almost 80% of the vote. He did not cast his vote for Kyle-Lieberman but has the temerity to criticize Hillary. Obama criticize Hillary to support his own agenda without accepting responsibility for anything; he didn't cast his vote for the said bill, he has NO RIGHT to criticize her. If you don't vote, you have NO RIGHT to complain. Obama should learn that.

    I find Obama more dangerous than our current President. As a rational thinking voter, I'm weighing in between Hillary and Joe Biden.

    December 3, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  21. Nick L. from Kentucky

    The Zogby Poll that seems to be loved and quoted by Obama supporters almost as mush as FoxNews has one major flaw? It’s wrong! I took that Poll and Zogby has no way of making sure that the control subjects are who they say they are. Anything taken online should be subject to doubt and highly scrutinized. They can't be right just look at the numbers and every other Poll in existence and you see Hillary winning. The Gallup Poll came out the next day with Hillary winning against everyone of those 5 Hillary stumping Repubs by a minimum of 5% points and as much as 13%. That Zogby Poll had Tancredo beating Hillary…PLEASE??? I hope that you guys aren’t taking that Poll as seriously as you say? I know it showed Obama winning and so you have to hang your hats on something, and that I understand. But pull your heads out of you butts and get real.

    December 3, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  22. Liberal Chic

    It's disgusting how people characterize the Clintons as corrupt and unethical. Politics calls for dubious behaviors that are nonetheless necessary. Some do it excessively. Others do not. Clintons fall in the latter category.

    If Obama becomes a full time player, as unqualified as he is, we will all see that he is as duplicitous and self-serving as any other politician.

    Remember also that Bush ran as a new-kind of politician who can bring people together back in 2000. Obama will be about as popular but unlike Bush, will get eaten alive by Republican congress when they take over in 2010. Oh, yes, the American public likes to have opposing parties in Congress and the White House. They are inevitably disgusted with the new guy in town and picks the opposing party. Just look at history.

    With that said, let's go, Hillary! Get your stuff together and nail down Iowa.

    December 3, 2007 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  23. A Voter in N.Y.

    I could care no less if it is a democrat or republican that gets elected, black or white, woman or man.
    I want someone who is going to make some serious changes who isn't already bought and paid for or who has so many skeletons in their closet that they can't do what is right for us.

    Hillary brings too much baggage. She will be fighting with everyone as she always has and is proud of it that she "has been taking on the republicans for 15 years and winning"
    She didn't win anything with her health plan while her husband was president. She hasn't done anything noteworthy as a senator in New York either.

    All she has done is talked a lot about her experience, but it all appears to be very negative. From hiding documents and her past to fighting over what she wants as opposed to what the house and senate want.

    She can't be good for us like that. But she hasn't changed since her husband was in office. It's always confrontation with her. People can not work together like that.

    Anyone who will work for us in the white house 08. Which rules out Hillary.

    December 3, 2007 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  24. Marcus, Dallas via Halls,TN

    "I'm just looking forward to watching the nation be torn apart by government enforced REPARATIONS and RAP MUSIC under an Obama administration.

    But what's worse, that or Huckabee's Bible-babbling insanity?

    Posted By Joe : December 2, 2007 9:22 pm"
    ??????????????

    To Joe,
    What rock did you crawl from under! Not all black people listen to Rap and I do assure you that most of us don't think twice about "reparations"!!!! It's people like you who have never been further from home than their job, that have this parinoid veiw of black people. Stop riding that horse and buy yourself a car! You really need to see the country and not just the back road you live on!!!
    To be honest with you, most of us are "boot strap" type of people. We've come a long way in spite of weirdos like you who think we're out to "get" you or destroy OUR conutry! So continue shaving your head and living in fear of "the big bad black man who's out to rape and plunder your sacred white America". It's sad to know that with that frame of mind, you'll never get out of that dirt floor house down there in Mississippi. good luck to you JoJo!

    December 3, 2007 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  25. RMRN.Y.

    Hey Hillary lover!

    I have to say it, what are you some kind of throw-back white bigot!!

    What do you mean exactly by saying Barak is never going to get elected in this country. You should hang your head in shame see a priest or a pyschologist
    by god do something to deal with your race hatred!!!

    GO OBAMA!

    December 3, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
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