December 3rd, 2007
08:58 AM ET
15 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. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Adversity reveals character. Now that the Clinton campaign is seeing someone in their rear-view mirror, need I say more ?

    December 3, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. NoMoClintons

    Hillay Clinton : “I want a long term relationship, I don’t want to just have a one night stand with all of you.”

    Bill Clinton : “I don't want a long term relationship, I want to just have a one night stand with all of you.”

    December 3, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  3. Salita

    LOL Hillary has had the republicans breathing down her neck for 15 yrs and you think she is "stressed" by Obama. ROTFL.

    December 3, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. Marlene Gorin Dallas Texas

    God Bless the American people for finally saying they have had enough of Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton thinks the American people owe her the presidency because her husbands cheating on her during their entire marriage. Wrong Hillary! The Clintons are slinging mud at Obama now and this will only increase as the people of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina
    realize Barack Obama brings hope and progress, and an end to polarization – the opposite of what Hillary Clinton offers.

    December 3, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    CAROLE ALLENDALE NEW JERSEY; I think you said exactly about Obama, he lied his campaign is older and dirtier style, his fresh is false, adopted Health care cover from Hillary's mandates recently, it is a cheating, he has more serieous scandal which he didn't respect our flag and Pledge to the flag, he already devided country by the race, is he honest and unitter? I certainly don't think so, I am sure American voters are smarter than Obama.

    December 3, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Dj Basu, Philly, PA

    Barack Hussein Obama is the man for the top job! Embrace change. It's healthy.

    BTW, Hillary is leading in the polls coz of her last name. Thats y she decided not to devorce her husband, Bill 'Mr-Loverman' Clinton.

    December 3, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Richard, St. Louis

    Hillary is the Democrat's version of Nixon–a parnoid, vindictive meglomaniac. And folks want to vote her in? May the Lord helop us all.

    December 3, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Bruce,Berkeley,CA

    Pretty soon Hillary's makeup will be running not her.

    December 3, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    First off, I admit I am a conservative who is enjoying this volley back and forth between these two.

    But from someone who is not voting for either of these two (but if I had to, it would be for Obama hands down), it is funny how she is now FORCED to change her campaigns direction from running against Bush (who isn't running) to having to FINALLY answer to FELLOW DEMOCRATS.

    For her to mahe an issue with someones campaign finances is funny as hell as she can't even keep her campaign clean from the USUAL funny YEN.

    I have made the point for weeks that she and Billyboy still think that it is the 90's and they can LIE (I was always against the Iraq war etc, etc) and nobody will notice, but with the explosion of the blogosphere and the information available, they are "having difficulties" talking out of both sides of their mouths.

    It would be better for me if she WON the nomination as she has much dirt on her, it would be a breeze, but Obama is a much different story, he actually has character and FRESH IDEAS.

    December 3, 2007 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. Portland

    This guy is dirtier than dirt, typical of Chicago politics. Now the real fun begins.

    December 3, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Anonymous - San Antonio - Texas

    CAROLE ALLENDALE NEW JERSEY; I think you said exactly about Obama, he lied his campaign is older and dirtier style, his fresh is false, adopted Health care cover from Hillary's mandates recently, it is a cheating, he has more serieous scandal which he didn't respect our flag and Pledge to the flag, he already devided country by the race, is he honest and unitter? I certainly don't think so, I am sure American voters are smarter than Obama.

    Posted By Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky : December 3, 2007 9:33 am

    I agree most america's are too smart not to see thru Obama. He is a flake and a fake. Let's see him try and come up w/his own ideas. Ya right. Loser.

    December 3, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Megha, San Antonio, TX

    Yes, Senator Clinton is attacking Obama for the wrong stuff, we all should too. What is wrong is wrong-even Obama supporters should agree.

    Also, wasn't it Obama who claimed that he would run a non-attack, non-dirty campaign. Seems like he's the one who started this, and no one can see that, but now that Senator Clinton's campaign has started unvieling some of the Obama bs, everyone's claiming Clinton to not keep the promise. Can I ask everyone to treat all candidates fairly. If not then, Obama takes the blame for starting the attack politics amongst the Democrats this season. Before you all know, Obama will be the most manipulative politician of the 21st century. All his talk is just talk, he does not follow what he preaches.

    Hillary 08

    December 3, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. J - San Antonio

    Captain-Sky: "I Hate To Say It,Racism Has Been Around For Over 200 Years What Makes You And Your croonies Are Going To Change That,Because You Have A Black Man That Knows How To Lie Intelligently.The Black & Brown Summit When He Were Asked About How He Were Going To Bring The Hip-Hop Generation Into The Fold,His Remark Were As Follows,We Have To Bring The Hip-Hop Generation Into Fold So We Cant Make Some Changes,Wow I Though That Were The Question That Werte Ask of him…..Mr Obama You Are A Ship That's Sinking Fast,You And Your Croonies."

    I hate to agree w/Captian Sky but he is right to some extent. Obama and his losers will not change this. We still have alot of hate in this country. I wish it weren't true.

    December 3, 2007 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Dan, TX

    Obama has won me over. He does have the talent and judgment we need.

    I'm not against Clinton. Obama is just so much better it isn't even close. On health care, his plan is much more likely to win support and it will cover the people who currently can't afford health insurance.

    On national security, he understands we need to talk with the rest of the world and lead by example rather than threaten people to do what we want or else.

    On issue after issue he has laid out detailed plans for everyone to study (see his campaign web site). Everyone knows what his policies will be and what he would do as president. That is why people are turning to him and away from those who claim experience, but don't show any benefit from having had it.

    On ethics reform, he is a leader. Clinton is shooting herself in the foot here. Amazing.

    December 3, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. VN, Sugar Land, Texas

    Two things today: Senator Hillary Clinton began her campaign stating she would not personally criticize fellow Democratic party candidates. Her leading opponents did just the opposite, lambasting her personally. When she answers her foes by standing up to them, she gets critized for being so mean-spirited and overcome by "stress." This last, not surprisingly, is championed by Obama and his camp.

    What this says is that Obama is in favor of continuing in the same vein as the "swiftboaters" and partisan politics in general. This is so unlike the person who began his campaign, and it's hard to believe this personal-destruction trait of his will get him elected. His talk about representing "change" in Washington leadership has done a 360 turn from his original message. He should know that his tactics are seen only as continuing the status quo in partisan politics, and his message is probably by now, hopelessly lost.

    Hillary, by far, is the most qualified, dignified and experienced in the qualities needed to bring about real change in leadership as president. Somehow Obama, no matter how well he "speaks," has now lost his way, and the good folks in Iowa and New Hampshire will respond to this in the weeks to come.

    December 3, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. anon, new york, NY

    Why Obama just denies? Why he does not EXPLAIN?

    The fact is Obama is young and inexperienced! Jusr fluff, no substance. A big flip-floppers.

    Obama thinks that he has lots of support from blogs and media. The truth is that those are from the republicans. These republicans want him to win the nomination and help him to trash Hillary, and then beat him down during the election! Obama has no chance to win the next election!

    The attacks from the republicans will tear Obama into pieces. Guaranteed.

    Hillary beats him in getting women votes, black votes, minority votes....

    Hillary has endured and persevered for past 16 years against the right wing republicans. Time and time again, Hillary has proven herself as a survivor and winner.

    Most democrats know Hillary IS THE ONLY ONE to get elected, and she will get the nomination.

    Hillary 08!

    December 3, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Scott, Royal Oak, MI

    uh, Salita, are you really "rolling on the floor laughing"?

    call me crazy, but i think the difference might be that Hillary is running for president now, and watching her chances slip to a better candidate

    December 3, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Michael

    Hillary is really getting pretty desperate. Why doesn't her campaign focus on running a positive campaign and highlight her take on the issues?

    Hillary is really ending her chances by acting like this.

    December 3, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Joseph, Des Moines, Iowa

    The Clinton campaign sounds like it is desperate and grasping at straws for suggesting that Obama's statement in grade school that he wanted to be president is somehow contradictory to his statements that he didn't come to the senate to seek the presidency.

    First off how many of us stated in grade school that we wanted to president or a stunt man or super hero for that matter. I don't think any thinking american places too much emphasis on the career goals of a grade school student.

    Secondly, we all know that Hillary moved to NY and ran for the senate simply so she could run for president. She has no interest in helping NY beyond how it could help her in a run for president.

    Hillary is descending into the part of American politics that the people are sick of and if she wants to retain the shrinking support she has she would be wise to stop the mud slinging and baseless, paranoid personal attacks aimed at Obama

    December 3, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. zak, ny,ny

    why is it that its OK for Obama to attack Hillary but not OK for her to attack. There is a serious double standard here from the bloggers and the media. Obama has absolutely zero accomplishments, he acts like he doesnt know what hes talking about in debates and is a shrill of a person. The only thing he's good at is apparently being a smart-a!@. By the way, Im black too, not that it matters, but I wouldnt trust this guy to sell me a used car.

    December 3, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Dallas, Texas

    Note to Hillary:

    The time is 2007 and can find the truth faster than you can spin it. We need someone that can fight the Republicans with fact and strength and wisdom, not street fight and name calling. Time to grow up and play straight, and Tell Bill he hurts more than he helps. You need to walk alone before you can even try to us him. and I have got news for you, he is not all the mainstream media plays him as.

    Tell us what you are going to do and not what the other guy did, we already know.

    December 3, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Brian, Phoenix, AZ

    Enough of this nonsense.

    Vote for Joe Biden. He is ahead of his time and a proven leader and uniter. If you don't believe me, just take 20 minutes out of your day to watch this interview.

    If you believe in making informed choices when voting, then you will not skip this video. I assure you that it may change your mind this year and support Joe.

    Let's get things done for a change and elect the best qualified among us.

    December 3, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. Gary, Cleveland, OH

    exactly! Hillary is exporting a pile of number 2 in her pants over the polls. she is so obvious. she is never worthy to stand in the presidency.

    December 3, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Kyle Kiser Fredericksburg,VA

    Barack Obama will win. With Oprah going on tour with him coming up soon...He is gonna win! GO OBAMA!!!

    December 3, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. brian, savannah ga

    why is hillary still running, really?

    December 3, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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