December 14th, 2007
04:35 PM ET
8 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. TheOther49States

    To John from Des Moines, Iowa:

    John, while we are both democrats you are clearly ready to settle for the status quo that Sen. Clinton is serving up. That is a shame John, and I also loathe the last part of your message, about how everyone you know is voting for her as well. I'm from Iowa too John, although I now live in Denver, and I know the stereotypes that are attached to places like Iowa, hell half the country can't even pronounce Des Moines right, know what I mean? I am a supporter of Barack Obama John, I am not some sleazy republican, and I hope that you and other Iowans make the right choice and vote for real change. I would hate to see the great state of Iowa make a monumental error in their supporting of Sen. Clinton. You people have a chance to make history, set the course for the rest of the election, and get this nation back on it's feet again. Please don't let us down.

    December 15, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Grandpa Jim St Louis, Mo

    Kind of hard to put that cat back in the bag, and at least now it's been used so it's a non-issue. You have to wonder if they have someone checking to see if Obama has ever cheated on his wife, but I guess that would be hard for her to use on him wouldn't it?

    December 15, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. RuthieM

    Earlier: Clinton adviser steps down after drug use comments

    Just one word needs to be taken out of this sentence above: 'adviser'

    December 15, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. Mark, Seattle, Wa

    Why did CNN moderators dump my blog that I posted this morning (12/15 at 11:59 am)? I'll give it another go. Here it is again:

    My God! Every time Hillary opens her mouth, all you Republicans jump down her throat and overload this site with hate messages. It's not as if we don't know you are following your Republican talking points. Don't forget, we saw how you messed up the last election with your smears and swift-boating; this is just the same song, second verse. You guys are scared to death, aren't you? You know if Hillary becomes the candidate, she'll wipe up the earth with your guy. She's smart, experienced, and savvy enough to handle herself against any Republican you can come up with. I gotta' say, too, some of these blogs are so driven by hate that they sound absolutely illiterate. Many really have no point, are filled with lies (of course), and make no sense at all. You must think posting ANY message, no matter how ignorant-sounding, is better that posting none. Pathetic!

    December 15, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Mark, Seattle, Wa

    Okay, now I'm really confused. The blog I posted this morning at 11:59 was up for a short while and then completely vanished. Later, at 3:04, I resent it and, now when I check for it, I find it. But now, my earlier message is back. What's going on? Well, if they both disappear, that's it. I won't post it again.
    Wondering in Seattle.

    December 15, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Roger - IL

    If you are going to tear apart President Bush and blame him for the people who worked for him, i.e, Rove, Rice, Cheney, Gonzalez, then you HAVE to be fair and tear apart Senator Clinton for the people she has working for her.

    You cannot have two different ways.

    December 15, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. okneill,michigan

    Hillary is like her "flim-flam" lying partner Bill, she'll tell you anything and everything depending upon the group she's addressing. Mean while, obama is still a fresh blood that will restore the trust we need in the white house.

    December 15, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Lamute,california

    You have got to be kidding? Naw........she couldn't be up to something like that?...LOL......ROFLMAO! The only reason that Hitlary stayed married to that opprobrious philandering miscreant was to have her chance at getting into the White House. She is no different than Bill, except for the fact that she might be a bit smarter and a great deal more clever. They both work from and count on "focus" groups, opinion polls, etc. This drive for the White House has nothing to do with the Hildabeast's altruistic empathy for the common good of this nation. It does though, have everything to do with feeding her insatiable hubristic feckless ego. What this nation needs to finally realize is that most of the so called leaders of this country in Washington, D.C. is a mirror to what "we" have let ourselves become. We have let this nation get "dumbed" down. Its too much trouble to work hard and/or study as our forebearers did who originally came to and settled this country. Washington has facilitated and long been willing to sponsor a mythical standard of living in order to glean votes. So, now we owe the entire world, we are drowning in a sea of debt. Can you imagine if all the countries that hold the purse strings "called" in all of what we owe. They don't really need nuclear devices, they could "cleanly" destroy this nation and bring it to its knees with the stroke of a pen.
    I think is time to go beyond household names! Obama is my choice!

    December 15, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. MaryTNurse

    sure wish some of you made sense; kind of difficult to discuss rhetoric. Maybe if you read more than just one or two articles a week? And if you aren't going to do that, and you have no experience with what you are attempting to discuss, just what your campaign said for you to say, then try some of that quiet contemplation and see if you can learn something. Of course the title is sensational, they are not trying to write fact, they are trying to sell newspapers. Of course everyone is going to criticize Obama for attacking Clinton when that's what the headlines say.

    For me, it's the facts of the case; as many as I can get my eyes on. I'm not all that interested in the debates either; a sound byte does me no good in figuring out, as a responsible citizen, who deserves my alliance. I research ethics thoroughly first and foremost. I research policy second; after all, ethics informs policy, and if their basic belief is based on integrity, then policy will follow. And lastly, I want to know that the person I intend to send to represent me can do so eloquently and intelligently and without offending or portraying a 'wishy-washy' stance. If I wanted to get all that just from a Post headline, or a debate, I'd be lost.

    Get informed; we're in trouble and things are happening hour by hour that no one seems to care about. We are losing our freedoms, jeopardizing our livelihoods, and endangering our soldiers. We need to get past long held dreams and choose someone who will restore the white house!

    December 15, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    I love Bill Clinton, but the wife turns me off. She is the real she-devil. What calculating, manipulative woman and I use that word WOMEN with caution.

    December 15, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Scott,Tupelo,MS

    Lying B_tch crawl back in you hole.

    December 15, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Daniel

    Hillary has my vote!

    December 15, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Mark

    "Barack Obama is becoming a disgrace to the Democratic Party. He needs to fire the staff member who put out the Hillary/Punjab memo. Obama is a liar and a hypocrite and he is anything but a Democrat.
    God help our Party and our country.
    Posted By Jerome A. : December 14, 2007 10:59 pm "

    To be honest, I agree, maybe not with all statements but with the main idea: NoObama. He and his staff seem to be always offended by SOMETHING. If you don't say he is great, it should be something racial about it.

    I don't mind if Hillary is not nominated if any other candidates except Obama gets the nomination. Bide, Richardson, Edwards are all great. I still believe Clinton is the best, but I think any other except Obama have already done a lot for this country and have a balanced vision.

    December 15, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. J. Mineski, Bradford, MA

    Hillary Clinton claims no knowledge of what her staffers are doing or saying and therefore she denies everything. There is NOTHING that goes on in her campaign that does not get her approval first. I personally, do not believe a word Mr. or Mrs. Clinton have to say, and I do not want to have to listen to her cackle for the next 5 years!

    December 15, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. cd orlando fl

    y'all are some funny people.

    hillary can't lead her own campaign? please. one person made one comment which was out of turn. this isnt a conspiracy, people. it was one brief statement.

    as much as i would like to see the campaign remain positive (among democrats) no apology was necessary. many republicans are law-abiding, respectful people; to them, the black lifestyle is what they see in movies and on television, often characterized by crime and drug use. they may well make it an issue.

    i never thought id see the day someone would apologize TO a former drug abuser. america is a great country...

    December 15, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. Will Boston, MA

    Does anyone believe her? Please. These people, HRC especially, are so controlling, nothing is said without her knowledge–esp from somebody as wired as Shaheen. They're just shocked–shocked, I tell you–that people aren't buying the cynical product they're selling.

    December 15, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Steven, Austin, TX

    Could the Clinton supporters stop trying to defend Clinton by insulting Obama supporters, please? I've seen plenty of anger and disbelief toward Clinton lately, but a staggering percentage of self-described Clinton supporters seem bent on accusing Obama supporters of being sexist, deranged with hatred, crypto-Republicans, or all three at once. You aren't going to convince anyone to vote for Clinton in the primary with talk like that; if anything, you'll convince Democrats to abstain or vote against her if she makes it to the general election. So can we stop it, please?

    December 15, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  18. Chris

    We all agree that you are the Devil Hillary, so denying these drug remarks are just helping to prove that you are kinda looking good honey. What is your secret and why is bill always sticking it in some other broad?

    December 15, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. Mario Preston ID

    Give me a break! that witch knows nothing about nothing like she always claims when she and he liberl idiots screw up! This just goes to show how irresponsible this person is. Is that what we want? heaven forbid it. She is the top person, so she knows what is going on all the time. Lying witch!

    December 15, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  20. Joel Shanight, Edina, MN

    Hillary, way to go on letting this rouge out of your organization. I stand by you and your realistic needed values.

    You are going to be a good president compared to our current pathetic administration.

    December 15, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Yeah, sure, Hillary; you knew nothing about your own national campaign chairman making this baseless garbage drop - about as believable as the rest of your deceit. Does Barack pose a threat to your power grab? We Iowa voters can see through your phoniness..... Thanks. Janet, Des Moines, Iowa

    December 15, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. Running out of hope, N.N., Va.

    In all my life that I've been able to vote, I've voted for a republican presidential candidate only once. That was for Ronald Reagan in his initial bid. But I tell you a truth that may prove more powerful then many would like to believe and that is if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate I'll republican again. Nothing against women. Really! I just don't quite trust Hillary. This Bush, Clinton thing has got to stop now. We're starting to look like Arab monarchy's.

    December 15, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  23. LQ Rochester MN

    I am not a Clinton hater. I supported her husband, I used to like her very much. But this is getting a bit old.

    December 15, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. Sam, Lynnwood, WA

    America has the right to know who you are electing as President of the United States of America. If you think a person who takes cocaine or drugs will be a Good President for the Country – Its your decision. All I can say be wise on your decision.
    God Bless America!!

    December 15, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Troy

    The point of the matter is, Obama was an ex drug addict and he doesn't deserve the presidency. If the Clinton camp brought it up, it's because the truth is just being stated. No way I'm going to have an ex addict as my president. Not one after another. Obama supporters are just plain nincompoops.

    December 15, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
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