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. Dan, TX

    Clinton is simply distorting the truth rather than arguing about policy.

    Obama, Edwards, Biden, Richardson, Kucinich, Gravel, and Dodd stuck to the truth when they criticized Clinton's poor judgment in voting for the Iraq war and Kyl-Lieberman.

    She voted for Iraq even when her husband, Bill Clinton, was against the war from the beginning! She didn't even trust his good judgment over her own very bad judgment.

    What good is having Bill Clinton in the White House again when she didn't even follow Bill Clinton's advice when she was in the Senate.

    December 3, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. AJ, IL

    Posted By zak, ny,ny

    You comments are typical Hillary supporter B.S.! The American public is tired of but yet entralled with personal attacks. The Hillary campagin should stick to what it is best at, bashing Bush. For the Hillary campaign to start slinging accusations at Obama about misuse of PAC funding is a double-egde sword. If you really start digging into Hillary's political funding, just in her senatorial years, you will be astonished and see the hypocrisy of her rhetoric.

    It is amazing that the Hillary campaign has run against Obama claiming her strength and experience is superior to his, yet Obama has spent more years in public-elected office than Hillary.

    Obama is more accomplished than Hillary in the area of elected office. You only need to look at her public record as NY senator. Not to mention her only public accomplishment was to not get universal healthcare passed in the early 1990s when BILL appointed HER to lead this effort!

    Who cares what your color is? You probably believe that Hillary was being the noble and sincere wife to remain married to Bill Clinton (aka Slick Willie)after numerous affairs, not realizing her true purpose was to run for President using Bill Clinton's continued popularity.

    Obama in '08!

    December 3, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Jim Polar, Green Bay, Wisconsin

    I'm an independent and I've pretty much decided I'm voting Obama in 08. I yelped in delight when he finally expressed what I've been saying for months everytime Hillary Clinton has tried to tout her years in the White House as experience that qualifies her for the Oval Office. Barack said, "I think Warren Christopher and Madeline Albright would be interested to find that Hillary was the face of foreign policy during the Clinton years."

    Her only experience was the 1994 health care debacle, an experience I wouldn't be too proud of. And to those who blame the Republicans for bringing down her health care plan, the Republican majority wasn't inaugurated until January, 1995. So her plan suffered its rightful demise at the hands of their own Democratic majority.

    December 3, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL's not that ridiculous. Federal law requires an accounting of individual donations, PAC's, group donations, and also records of disbursement. If his supervision of his campaign team is half as crappy as most of us predict–he could have some real problems accounting for individual vs group donations and distribution of those resources. Fact is–if he can't supervise his campaign staff–how is he going to manage his Cabinet?

    December 3, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. LawSchoolDem, Texas

    There is a new AP Poll out today that has Clinton 31 to Obama's 26 in IA. I'm sure she was tipped of the poll and not "stressed" as Obama put it. Is anyone else offended at the assertion that a woman candidate running for president can become easily stressed over a poll? When Obambie was down, it was he was worried, when it's a woman, it's that she's stressed. Thanks for playing the gender card Obambie.

    December 3, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Mike R. - Seattle/Albuquerque WA/NM

    Im sure that anyone with new refreshing ideas would be critized by the old dated not to mention slimy oldschool GO BARACK!! Keep up the push to the WHITE HOUSE!

    December 3, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Ken, San Diego, CA

    I don't like Hillary's questioning of Obama's character (I'd rather see candidates question policy, experience, etc.), however, HELLO, Obama supporters, what has Obama been saying about Hillary for the past couple of months?? Take a look. These are ALL character attacks, so please, please don't tell me that Obama has been criticizing only issues.

    Sen. Obama called Hillary 'disingenuous.' Sen. Obama: [Newsweek, 11/12/07]
    Sen. Obama told reporters to ask Hillary 'the difference between disingenuous and dishonest.' Q: “What's the difference between disingenuous and dishonest?” Obama: “You'll have to ask her.” [Newsweek, 11/3/07]

    Sen. Obama said Hillary has not 'been truthful to voters about what she would do as president. NYT: “Has she been truthful to voters about what she would do as president?” Obama: “No.” [New York Times, 10/27/07

    Sen. Obama said Hillary is only about 'winning elections,' isn't concerned about 'solving problems,' lacks 'principles.' [Washington Times, 11/8/07]

    Sen. Obama said Hillary doesn't stand for anything. [AP, 11/7/07]

    December 3, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Honestly

    Clinton really believes that if you repeat lies enough and get reporters to repeat them enough, then they become the truth. This is exactly what Rove and Bush have been doing for the past 7 years.

    I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. Point by point, Obama refutes everything Clinton is saying.

    Right now the goal is to win Iowa. Iowans already know Clinton is lying.

    December 3, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Once upon a time I though Obama was a good canidate and I was looking forward to the election. While I do not believe that he will receive the nomination I thought he would be a very good choice for the VP.

    However my opinion has changed as I have listened to Senator Obama, as he dumbs down his speeches to the crowd, as he generates attacks upon his rivals, not their policies but their chartacter. He has made this a sleezy campaign, perhaps that is because he has nothing himself to stand upon. What I do know, is their is one canidate that I shall never cast a vote for.

    December 3, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Charles, woodbridge, VA

    It seems Obama is tatking nonsense and he thinks we don't know what is going on.Obama is now stress when Hillary started attacking him after he has attacked Hillary for some months.please we don't need inexperience guy at the white house and a guy who want to attack others but don't want anyone to attack him and using silly word strees for Hillary.If you cannot stay in a glass house then you better be quiet.

    December 3, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Ann, St. Louis, MO

    Hillary, you are running for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, not 4th grade class president. Show a little more class and maturity, please.

    December 3, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Helen, Ankeny, IA

    Obama must have really been stressed when he was attacking Hillary.

    December 3, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Liberal Chic

    LawSchoolDem, Texas :

    Tee, hee, hee. "Obambie," that's a good one. I'll have to remember it.

    December 3, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. Ginny, Byron, CA

    Hillary? Stressed? Yeah, right. In your dreams, Obama.

    December 3, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Sue H.

    I'm sorry, did I just see someone post the words "get down to the truth of any story via the Internet"? Is that really where all you folks are getting your information and deciding who gets your vote? Lazy. But it does explain most of the insanity spewing from you. Stay home on election day please.

    December 3, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Felicia, Old Tappan, NJ

    Obama is not such a nice guy after all, as so many of us suspected all along. Not only is he vapid and unsubstantive, he tends to exaggerate any positive traits he possesses. He is now playing with the big girls and boys and he has yet to master anything.

    The presidency is not Chicago local politics and he needs to spend some time training for the office he is seeking. Another 16 years in the Senate would be about right.

    Hillary is the only serious candidate and the only only who can wipe the floor with any Republican, including self professed bad boy Giuyliani.

    Go, Hillary!!

    December 3, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. RightyTighty

    You dems make is easy to elect Republicans..

    Ha Ha!!

    December 3, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Dana Miami, FL

    Hillary stressed by polls begins throwing wild accusations. Just what our country doesn't need a neurotic Hillary running the country!!!

    December 3, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Reco, Atlanta, GA.

    It would be very simple for Hillary and her campaign to talk very nice about Obama and how he's the future of the party...almost like a well liked little brother.

    By attacking him they now seem like the younger sibling trying to get out of big brother's shadow.

    This politics stuff is fun and these blogs are even better. I wish I could see some of your faces while you're typing! LOL!

    December 3, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    At Least She Is Of Caucassian Persuasion
    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.
    Posted By Captain-Sky : December 2, 2007 6:44 pm
    After reading your statements it is obvious why racism is alive and well today.

    Posted By Eustace Wallace : December 2, 2007 6:44 pm
    Good research, very informative.

    Obama is a liar. Plain and simple. He is so full of it. Un-f'ing-believable!
    Posted By Hillarylover – SA : December 2, 2007 7:56 pm
    Prove it. One example. Oh, hell, never mind, go back and drink some more Koolaid.

    Fact is–if he can't supervise his campaign staff–how is he going to manage his Cabinet?

    Posted By Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL : December 3, 2007 11:33 am
    So what you're saying is that Hillary did know about planted questions and packing the audience at debates (just to mention a couple of instances), cuz if she didn't, well, see your above quote.
    Well, it just goes to show that Hillary supporters have one thing in common with their candidate, just ignore the facts and say what you think people want to hear. They accuse Obama of being guilty (with no evidence to substantiate) of the things that Hillary does and has been proven to do.
    Come February 5th (Super Tuesday)it will all be over and they can go home and drink some more Koolaid. Cuz by then we will know who the nominees are. The conventions are just a formality.

    December 3, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. jj sanborn Cherokee, Okla.

    When loosing in polls he claims he doesn't follow them now he says he does. What a flip flop

    December 3, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. a.thomas, new york, ny

    Hillary has the following ADVANTAGES over other dem candidates, per the AP poll of Iowa (5 pts), NH (19 pts) & SC (14 pts), released this morning (dec 3/07):

    1) HEALTH CARE – People consider Hillary beating Obama in handling Health care. On health care, no rival approaches the support Clinton wins from party voters. The 41 percent in Iowa who say she would best improve the country's medical system is double the support for Obama and Edwards, and she boasts even wider leads in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    2) IRAQ WAR – Hillary has double-digit leads over Obama and Edwards in Iowa and New Hampshire when Democrats are asked which candidate would make the wisest decisions about the war.

    3) OTHER ISSUES – Hillary leads in all other issues that concern the dem voters. Obama and Edwards haven't taken title to any issues with party voters in the three states, the poll shows, though Obama is close to Clinton on immigration and job creation but the latters are of least importance to the dems voters.

    4) CRUCIAL GROUPS SUPPORT – Hillary has amassed strong support among crucial groups including female, older, less-educated and lower-income Democrats _ significant because women and older voters in particular have dominated these primaries and caucuses in the past. Clinton draws the support of nearly half of women in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    5) DEALING WITH OPPOSITON – Hillary knows how to deal with the opposition.

    6) BLACK & WHITE SUPPORT – Even among blacks who comprise about half of Democratic primary voters in South Carolina, Obama does no better than break even with Clinton. She offsets that by leading him by three-to-one among the state's whites. There are few black voters in Iowa or New Hampshire.

    7) ELECTABILITY – Democrats in each state overwhelmingly call Clinton the Democrat with the best chance of winning the White House.

    Class dismissed.

    HILLARY 08!

    December 3, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. las vegas nv

    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

    hah the klan is still alive and well.the only reason why this country would be torn apart is because of people like you. i am sure when it cames to immigratiom you one of those people who think the the mexicans are taking over this country,wouldnt it be better in this country if all played fair????????

    December 3, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Bob, syracuse, ny

    Obama should now be stressed by the AP poll today, which shows that Hillary has increased her leads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    You go girl!

    December 3, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. george,boston,ma

    She must be stressed you know...

    December 3, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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