December 13th, 2007
01:05 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton apologizes to Obama for drug comment

Obama brushed off a Clinton advisers comments about his drug use Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton personally apologized Thursday to rival Barack Obama for an adviser's comment that Republicans will likely make an issue of Obama's past drug use, a Clinton aide tells CNN's Candy Crowley.

In an exclusive interview with Obama earlier Thursday, the Illinois Democrat brushed aside the comments.

"I just think people are feeling a little worried about the polls," Obama told CNN’s Ted Barrett before a Senate vote on Capitol Hill.

On Wednesday Bill Shaheen, a chairman of the New York senator’s campaign in New Hampshire, told a Washington Post reporter the Republicans will likely exploit Obama's past admission of drug use should the Illinois senator win the party's nomination, and may even suggest Obama once dealt drugs.

Full story

- CNN's Ted Barrett, Candy Crowley, and Alexander Mooney

soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Larry New York, NY

    Mark Winchester VA wrote Apologize all you want but he is still a doper! Great role model for the columbians.

    No. He's not still a doper. That's just plain silly.

    He IS however a great role model for many Americans...a guy who came from a single home, who admittedly wasted his teenage years on drugs and booze, and OVERCAME all that, worked HARD, and has achieved.

    It's the American story.

    A much more interesting one than Hillary's.

    Obama in '08 AND '12

    December 13, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Perrell, Lincolnton, NC

    I think the Obama camp came out and answered smartly with this one and not getting in a slinging of mud fight with the Clinton camp. Like Hillary said in an earlier debate, "when you are on top, everyone is aiming for you." Well, it seems that Obama is moving to the top and she is the one who is aiming.

    December 13, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Lee, Akron, Ohio

    I noticed that the headline on CNN's home page referenced the comment as coming from a "rival". Why is it when the Clinton campaign gets caught in a dirty trick CNN chooses to refer to them as a "rival". Would they treat the Edwards and Obama organizations with the same kid gloves?

    December 13, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Howard, NY

    "There is no reason for not putting the Clintons back in the White house" – Monte Brown

    See, this is the kind of attitude that's holding back Hillary's campaign. This isn't about one candidate "deserving" to win for some unstated, esoteric reason. It's about who is best for our country, who will bring back prestige and inspiration to our nation. It's not about just following a predetermined script about who "should" win and criticizing legitimate contenders as "getting in the way" of the favorite.

    December 13, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Antoine Monel, Orange, New Jersey

    "why should he apologize, Obama Hessein has mentioned it in his memoir and republican will definitely exploit this issue.

    No way Obama can win general election".

    Posted By jmaya, iowa : December 13, 2007 11:50 am

    My good friend,the future of Obama/America is not our hand. Therefore we must be patient, I think that Obama can bring all of us togeter in all issues, especially in the issue of race relations. For your information, Black and White will vote for an African American.

    December 13, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. dmw, roeland park, ks

    His drug use is true. Why is he complaining??? He is so arrogant making comments about the poll numbers when the Clinton campaign is only restating what Obama says in his book.
    He was a heavy drug user and he used cocaine heavily. That is a big deal and he does not have good judgement.

    He knows this will bring his persona that I am GOD and the saviour of the world back down to earth. Maybe the media will start to really look into his past as a State Senator.

    Not ALL people used drugs even though I have read so many comments from people who said all of us had.

    America has too many serious problems to deal with, and this man who is not serious because he was not even going to run for President until the likes of Oprah convinced him; he does not have new ideas; he can not be specific about his ideas and he needs to step aside. We need a serious person to handle our serious problems. We need more than HOPE.

    December 13, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Ashley N., NY, NY

    "I will remind you, Mr. Winchester, that our current president has a very public history of cocaine and alcohol abuse. Pots and Kettles, sir. And Columbia should be capitalized."

    Posted By Steve P., Minneapolis, MN

    ...And also spelled "Colombia." Like the nation, not the university.

    December 13, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    The "realist" said: He's right. Hillary is feeling threatened by the poll numbers and the mud is going to have to starting flying early. She really wanted to save this kind of nastiness for Republicans. It's all right to personally destroy them because they're not black and she doesn't need their vote to become the President.

    Again...for a change we agree. Hillary really does feel that he is expendable–and there really aren't very many blacks in the GOP. We all know why Hillary is the way she is....but why aren't there more blacks in the GOP? You know, a lot of blacks, and whites support John Edwards. They feel he is inclusive of everyone–and views average Americans–as just that–average Americans. Not poll points or voting/donation blocks. Something Hillary needs to consider–something ALL the GOP candidates need to consider.

    December 13, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Dan - Atlanta, Georgia

    The Clintons will do anything to have power, and their lack of ethics and restraint filters down through their campaign, and will be typical of another Clinton White House. Does America really want four more years of the Clinton way of doing things? I don't!

    December 13, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Steve, New York

    Obama is not my choice for prez. But I will say this. I have more respect for a man who admits what he has done in relation to drugs. Then say he tried pot but “did not inhale”.
    I was a democrat, but thanks to Hillary I am not an independent. Shocking # when you look at the amount of people going Independent. Hillary how are you going to bring dems and rep together when you cant even get along with Obama?

    December 13, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. jaywheatley

    The CNN headline is "Obama responds to rival's drug remark", implying Clinton made the comment. She didn't. You can suspect whatever you want behind the scenes, but it's not up to CNN to escalate and implicate. The only thing more dysfunctional than our government is our media.

    December 13, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. Chris L, SLC, Utah

    Another OIF veteran is making a run for congress! If he wins, he will be the second OIF veteran in congress (Rep. Patrick Murphy was the first) and he will be the first OIF vet in the Senate!

    December 13, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. stan pitts pa

    another day another lie from a hrc campaign worker, followed by a denial, if she cant even contain and control her campaign staff, how is she going to control the many big branches of our government? i think the handwriting is on the wall, she needs to just go away because i dont think she is ready to run our big government yet, she can try again in 2016!

    December 13, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Miss M, Stanford, CA

    Why do you people keep commenting on what Bill Clinton did or said as President? Surely Hillary is NOT the same person – she has a mind of her own and should not constantly be made to sound JUST like her husband. As for Obama, he needs to learn grammar and a few other things before running for President! I don't believe he is ready for this job and nominating him is a sure way to have another Republican President. CNN – can we move on now? And yes, I am black!

    December 13, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Dave, Evergreen CO

    We had the Robert Novak story a while back, then the two Clinton campaign workers in Iowa forwarding the 'muslim plant' e-mail, the story about Obama's kindergarten essay and now this? Is anyone else seeing a pattern here?

    Democrats, if you truly want an end to this kind of politics as usual we must not nominate Clinton.

    Obama's reaction shows class, he'll make a great President.

    December 13, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. Frank Rivas, Rockville, MD

    You don't need the GOP's trash, when you have Hillary Clinton's shameless mud. Whoever said, sometime ago, that Clinton was a light Bush-Cheney, was somehow right. Now, if this fool making this comment is a co-chair of Clinton's national campaign, God helps this campaign.

    December 13, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. Mary, Eugene, OR

    Well, once again Obama shows that he has more class and dignity in his little finger than desperate sellout-to-the-big-boys Hillary has in her entire being and pathetic life in meaningless politics.

    I love how Obama knows how to smoothly ride the current wave of momentum he's got going - success is so comfortable for him!

    Meanwhile, Hillary is busy yelling at and firing her campaigners and basically crapping her pantsuit. She was SO arrogant and thought she had this thing in the bag; I can't help but enjoy seeing someone so arrogant eat their humble pie with so much distaste.

    p.s. Chris Meyer, you poor deluded thing, I would advise you to start looking for a mental health professional right now so that you're prepared for the heartbreak you're apparently going to feel on Election Day.

    Go, Barack, go! I'm going to donate some more money to the next President right now! Obama supporters, please do the same so he can continue surfing on top till 2008!

    December 13, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. spraynardkruger

    I guess you never used them, Chris Meyers?

    December 13, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. Aaron, Portland, Oregon

    The people who won't vote for Obama because he smoked pot as a teenager come from the same ignorant segment of the population who won't vote for him because his name sound kinda like "Osama". Let's try to mix in some real news every once in a while, CNN.

    December 13, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Martin, Clarksville, TN

    Here is the question for Hillary:

    Are you an incompetent leader who cannot control your staff or are you a liar who keeps pretending that you do not know what your staff is doing?

    Either way I am voting for someone else.
    Anybody but Hillary in 2008

    December 13, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Maryann Willis IOWA

    Barack Obama has taken over $12million from lobbyists and other special interests since his time in the Illinois legislature.

    December 13, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. zak,derry,Nh

    They can apologize and play nice but drugs are not Obama's problem, skin color is his problem and America's problem.

    America is not going to elect a black man President of these United States and all but the most idealistic must know that. Liberals LOVE to talk about it and Republicans LOVE to talk about it too but when it gets down to pulling lever, punching the card, pushing the button they won't vote for a black candidate for THAT office and black people make up a small minority in this nation and are, quite frankly, notorious for not voting at all – whatever the reason.

    Posted By Pete : December 13, 2007 11:33 am

    Haha, I thought white people have always claimed black people to have voted enough.... wait, may be I heard it wrong. White people haven't been voting at all and it is high time black people not to vote and allow white people go to the poles..
    Tied with your misery right now!

    December 13, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |


    December 13, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Erik

    Go Obama! You have class and honor something the Clinton's forgot!

    December 13, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. Matt H. Nashville, TN

    Who cares if he smoked weed when he was a teen? He's 46 years old. He was a teen when he did it. How many of us can say we did something dumb as a teen? How about ALL OF US. I mean Hiliary did something dumb as a teen I'm sure of it. She has no room to talk. I mean her husband isn't even satisfied with her. HAHAHA If you think that attack on Obama is from a cold heart don't sweat it. Hiliary's marriage is even colder.HAHAHA

    December 13, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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