December 14th, 2007
04:35 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton: I wasn't behind drugs remark

Clinton said Friday she did not authorize an advisor to raise Obama's drug use.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton publicly denounced a former top advisor's comments on Barack Obama's admission of past drug use Friday, the New York senator's first public remarks on the matter since the advisor announced he was resigning from the campaign.

"As soon as I found out that one of my supporters and co-chairs in New Hampshire made a statement, asked a series of questions, I made it clear it was not authorized, it was in no way condoned, I didn't know about it, and he stepped down," Clinton said while campaigning in Iowa.

Clinton was referring to her campaign’s New Hampshire co-chairman, Bill Shaheen, who told a Washington Post reporter Wednesday that Obama's chances of winning a general election would likely be hindered by his use of drugs as a young man.

An Obama spokesman immediately called the comments "desperate," and Clinton's campaign soon issued a statement saying they had not authorized, and did not condone, the remarks. On Thursday afternoon, Shaheen announced he was resigning his post.

Speaking Friday on Iowa Public Television, Clinton noted she personally apologized to Obama for the remarks, and said the "gentleman in question has stepped down."

Clinton also emphasized that she did not intend to make Obama's onetime use of drugs an issue in the campaign.

"There are a lot of differences between us, and those are the contrasts that should be drawn," she said. "I'm running a campaign about who I am, what I've done and that's what I'm going to stay focused on."

Related video: Clinton aide resigns

Earlier: Clinton adviser steps down after drug use comments

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. Kelsey CA

    Hillary you are not making me want to vote for you and I am a woman. Just because you are a woman doesn't entitle you to my vote. I will repeat, just because Hillary, you are a woman doesn't mean I am going to vote for you. I am a thinker and I am leaning toward RICHARDSON because he has good credentials, good roots, and no Clinton baggage.

    Richardson will make us proud in the USA once again.

    December 16, 2007 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  2. Karen G., Chico-CA

    Knowing the Hillary way, political way and climate, this fired guy from NH will be rehired in a few weeks and then they, the clinton campaign will continue. Hillary really disgusts me with her approach to her own campaign. It is sad, disingenuious and embarrassing that a woman with so much so called "experience" in this "business," because after all politics is all about business (right Cheney!) would succumb to this lowest of low levels to spread bad untruths during this race before the first votes are cast. And now I have read that Bill is playing the race card ... they are truly in a quagmire, a loosing streak and Bill can't fathom the idea. Bill it isn't your race to lose.

    December 16, 2007 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  3. Bill Hope AK

    Hillary you say you weren't behind the drug remarks but America knows you were on top of the drug remarks.

    December 16, 2007 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  4. STUFF HAPPENS get over it

    MARK SEATTLE WA,,,, Please take your own advice and don't post again,,,, your creeping us all out,,,,,, Wondering in washington ? didn't you mean wandering in washington ?

    December 16, 2007 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  5. shirley.roybal,surprise,az.


    December 16, 2007 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  6. Mark, Seattle, Wa

    STUFF HAPPENS (from somewhere?): I believe I said I would not post it again, so your advice to "please don't post it again" was unnecessary and questioning whether I meant "wondering" or "wandering" may have been an attempt at humor but missed its mark. Gotta' say, your posting is exactly the kind that prompted me to write in the first place. So, no, thank you so much for your advice, but I think I'll continue to post my thoughts here whenever I want and concerning any topic I want. My advice for you: if you don't like reading mu postings, just skip down until you come to one that agrees with your way of thinking.

    December 16, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. Peg Cantos Stillwater, MN

    I believe Senator Clinton.
    Senator Obama was ungracious when he received an apology, showing no class.
    A CNN reporter was with the Clinton campaign the evening when the story regarding Mr. Shaheen's remarks broke.
    The reporter stated that the Clinton campaign was genuinely mortified when learning of the remarks.
    Hinting and speculating that Senator Clinton was behind the remarks makes more money, for Obama and the media. Obama questioned Senator Clinton's veracity, stated that she had a 'character' problem, questioned her integrity for weeks, and Senator Clinton withstood the attacks.
    And now she is the one who is negative?
    If you leave emotion out of this, reason begs that all of this is Obama trickery, slickness, and youthful inexperience. He accepted Joe Biden's apology graciously and readily during Iowa's debate last week, and yet as the opportunist that he is, makes financial and political hay about remarks made by a Clinton supporter which are factually true. Hypocritical behavior on his part, but no surprise. Whenever a man must stand behind a woman's skirts – Michelle's, Oprah's, and Gayle's, he is a empty suit indeed. In Deed.

    December 16, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    Hey Troy: Did you vote for either Bill Clinton or George Bush? Clinton was a pot smoker, and Bush was an alcoholic, cocaine user, and pot smoker too.

    December 16, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Rose Hann New London, CT

    Hillary, if you were a man this would be a non issue. YOU did not make that statement and the person who did resigned. End of story folks. Let us be fair, Hillary has been attacked by ALL her rivals and somehow that's acceptable, but when the table turns OH MY GOD! Get with it folks and get over it we have troops dying and we are going to knit pick a non issue? Lets come together and use common sense. It's so hard to be a woman in power and it shouldn't be.

    December 17, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. jan henderson kingsville texas

    anyone can see hillary is being set up.,smells of bush politics indeed.,,.this is the classic it just seem to coincidentl she keep getting blamed,.not much dirt on hillary we dont know after all these years.,,.just ignore the bad n reward the good ,.she let it just roll off

    December 17, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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